MYRTLE BEACH — A 31-year-old Myrtle Beach man with an extensive criminal record was sentenced to 13 years in prison without the possibility of parole after he pleaded guilty to assault and weapons charges in a club shooting inside the city, according to authorities.
Gerard “PR or Paddy Rod” Watts, 31, of Myrtle Beach pleaded guilty to assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, use of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime, second-offense possession with intent to distribute heroin and threatening the life of a public official, said Brad Richardson, a senior assistant solicitor with the 15th Circuit Solicitor’s Office.
Circuit Court Judge Larry Hyman sentenced Watts to 13 years without parole on the assault charge, five years on the weapon charge and 10 years each on the threatening a public official and drug charges, with the sentences running concurrently, Richardson said.
“Watts has an extensive prior record including numerous convictions for drugs and a federal charge of felon in possession of a firearm,” Richardson said.
On Dec. 1, 2012, Richardson said Watts attacked another man inside Myrtle Beach’s Club Crush because of an ongoing dispute between the men. Watts shot the victim at least once from behind and chased him outside the club into the parking lot, Richardson said.
A security guard ordered Watts to drop the gun, but Watts refused, Richardson said, and the guard shot Watts. Friends took Watts to Grand Strand Regional Medical Center where he was treated under a false name.
Upon his release from the hospital, Watts was arrested and charged in the club incident, Richardson said. In February, while he was free on bail in the shooting incident, Watts was arrested on drug charges and was released the next day on bail.
In April, Watts as arrested by a S.C. Highway Patrol trooper after he attempted to stop Watts for a traffic violation, Richardson said. The trooper reported that Watts drove into a motel parking lot, jumped from the vehicle and allowed the vehicle to hit the motel.
Troopers chased after him and found about 40 bundles of heroin that Watts tried to hide, Richardson said. During his arrest, troopers said Watts threatened the trooper and lunged at him when he was released from handcuffs inside J. Reuben Long Detention Center.
Watts was released on May 17 on $150,000 bail, and six days later was arrested again on weapons and marijuana charges, Richardson said. Watts’ bail was revoked at that time.
Watts remained at the jail until the disposition of the charges, Richardson said.
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