June shooting death near Myrtle Beach leads to indictment of Horry County man

troot@thesunnews.comFebruary 11, 2013 

An Horry County grand jury indicted a 20-year-old man on a murder charge in connection with the shooting death of a man in June near Myrtle Beach, according to court records.

Donavon Curtis Johnson, 20, of Conway was indicted on a charge of murder in the June 8 shooting death of 20-year-old Jose Gutierez of Myrtle Beach.

Johnson remains jailed at J. Reuben Long Detention Center without bond. He was arrested Sept. 13 after fleeing from Conway police twice following two unrelated shootings in the city.

Police arrested Johnson after they found him hiding in a closet at an apartment on Creel Street in Conway on Sept. 13, a day after he had escaped from Conway police custody after being taken to the police satellite station in the city.

The day before his arrest, Conway police who responded to a report of shots being fired took Johnson into custody after finding him hiding behind shrubbery. Police said he jumped a fence on Sept. 12 and ran away, but officers caught him later the same day and arrested him behind a home on Wright Boulevard.

Police had taken him to a satellite station where he was questioned about the shooting, but when officers tried to put him in a patrol car for transport to J. Reuben Long Detention Center he fled, and police were not able to capture him until the next day.

Conway police sought Johnson and charged him in connection with an incident on Sept. 12 and an unrelated shooting on May 9 in the 2200 block of Maple Avenue in the city, where a man was shot twice, but not killed.

Horry County police filed the murder charge against Johnson and a grand jury indicted him on that charge, according to indictments released last week.

Also charged was Shelton Lathal Butler Jr., 21, of Conway.

Gutierez was pronounced dead June 8 a short time after he arrived at the Conway Medical Center emergency room, according to authorities.

Horry County police were called to Ronald McNair Boulevard, which is near the Carolina Bays Parkway overpass, for a report of gunshots being fired in the area. The caller told dispatchers that a man had been shot and several women put him in a vehicle and drove away.

Officers found a crime scene in that area that included blood, a cellphone and shoe in the street, according to the report. A witness told police that she was inside her house and heard what sounded like gunshots. The witness told police she saw a man leave the scene in one vehicle and the women and Gutierez leave in another vehicle.

While officers were at that scene, Gutierez arrived at the hospital for treatment, police said.

Officers learned the women took Gutierez to the hospital, and they were questioned about the shooting there. The man, who the witness described as leaving the scene, also arrived at the hospital and was questioned by police.

Several neighbors told police they heard three gunshots at the time of the incident, but that they did not see what happened, according to the report.

Contact TONYA ROOT at 444-1723 or follow her at Twitter.com/tonyaroot.

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