One of the suspects charged with murder in the 2013 disappearance of Aynor teen Zach Malinowki is facing new charges including murder and kidnapping.
Javon Dion Gibbs, 22, of Conway was arrested Wednesday by Horry County police. He is charged with trafficking in cocaine and possession of a weapon during a violent crime in addition to murder and kidnapping, police said.
Horry County police detectives and U.S. Marshal Service Fugitive Task Force arrested Gibbs for the Sept. 27 murder of a 22-year-old Laquan Johnson of Loris, according an email statement from Lt. Raul Denis with Horry County police.
Johnson died from injuries suffered during a shooting later that day, according to Tamara Willard, Chief Deputy Coroner with the Horry County Coroner’s Office.
“ During his arrest, Gibbs was in possession of a trafficking amount of what is believed to be a controlled substance - cocaine. Javon Gibbs is presently detained at the Horry County Detention Center,” said Denis in the email.
Several bags of cocaine were found during the arrest at a Conway-area home with an approximate weight of 40 grams, according to an Horry County police report.
During the incident on Sept. 27, Horry County police were called about 5 a.m. for a call about an attempted murder/burglary call to a home on Kimberly Drive in the Conway area. Johnson was discovered and taken to Grand Strand Regional Medical Center, the report states.
Police said they saw a bag of a green leafy substance and a bag containing a white powdery substance in the home. They later spoke with a 20-year-old woman who stated she heard a loud noise that sounded like a gunshot. She called out for Johnson after hearing the loud sound and then an unknown male with a bandana covering his face, came into her room, according to the report.
The suspect fled and the woman said she tried to keep pressure on Johnson’s wound. She told police that while she believed Johnson had several friends over earlier before she got there, she thought that her and Johnson were the only others in the home during the incident, according to the report. She also said the suspect she saw had a silver gun, police said.
Police said the 20-year-old woman was a kidnapping victim because Gibbs did confine her at the residence after unlawfully entering armed with a gun, according to an arrest warrant.
Gibbs is also charged with murder and kidnapping in connection with the disappearance of Zach Malinowski, a 19-year-old from the Aynor area who was last seen in Aug. 2013.
Christopher Anfony Brown, 22, is also charged with murder and kidnapping in connection with Malinowski case and remains jailed on $200,000 bond on unrelated charges, including attempted murder, weapon, and drugs, records show.
Malinowski, 19, was last seen on Aug. 25, 2013, and was last heard from via telephone at 12:15 a.m. the next day, according to an Horry County police report. A week later police found Malinowski’s burned 1996 Chevrolet Beretta along Valley Forge Road, which is near where Malinowski had recently moved into his grandfather’s home in Aynor.
In December 2014, Horry County police charged Brown and Gibbs, both of Conway, with kidnapping and murder in connection to Malinowski’s August 2013 disappearance.
The 15th Circuit Solicitor’s Office was recused from prosecuting the case by Judge Larry Hyman in late August to avoid the appearance of impropriety due to a conflict of interest.
The Attorney’s General’s Office is in charge of assigning a new circuit court to the case, and Hayley Thift Bledsoe, Attorney General’s Office spokeswoman, said their office is now handling the case.
Gibbs will go before a magistrate court judge Friday for an initial appearance.