Man set fire to a home, had an explosive device, Myrtle Beach cops say

Here is the criminal legal process from arrest to final court days

Horry County Solicitor Jimmy Richardson walks though the legal process from the time someone is arrested until the time they are sentenced.
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Horry County Solicitor Jimmy Richardson walks though the legal process from the time someone is arrested until the time they are sentenced.

A 26-year-old man intentionally set fire to a Myrtle Beach home where police found cocaine inside, according to court records.

Myrtle Beach police charged Terrence Anthony Herriott with possession of a destructive device and second-degree arson. He is being held in J. Reuben Long Detention Center on $150,000 bail.

On Friday, officers responded to a Stavley Avenue residence for a reported fire, according to an incident report. A man said he was asleep on the couch and when he awoke saw the kitchen on fire. He said he ran out the front door.

Herriott was also home at the time and ran out the backdoor, the victim told the police. The victim’s legs were burned during the incident. The victim told officers he did not believe Herriott was trying to harm him.

When officers searched the home, they found cocaine in one of the bedrooms, according to the incident report.

Investigators determined the fire started in the garage and moved to the kitchen and accelerant was used, according to an arrest warrant.

Officers spoke to Herriott, and he said he set fire to clothing that ran from the kitchen to the garage area.

Herriott also said he put motor oil inside a glass bottle and placed a rolled-up, gas-soaked paper towel in the bottle’s neck, according to the warrant. He said the fire grew larger than he intended, and he fled before using the makeshift device.

If convicted of both counts, Herriott faces up to 40 years in prison.

To provide the information for this report, two reporters from The Sun News went to the Myrtle Beach City Clerk’s office to request the arrest warrants on Monday, but initially were told they weren’t ready. The South Carolina Freedom of Information Act requires public entities to make records available when the requester appears in person during normal business hours.

When the second reporter requested the documents, staff told him they were not ready — even though the warrants were served this weekend — because the staff was busy. After waiting for 30 minutes and multiple other people were helped, the warrants were provided, but a clerk questioned why The Sun News was aggressively requesting the documents. After a brief exchange, the clerk accused The Sun News of “making things up.”

Alex Lang is the True Crime reporter for The Sun News covering the legal system and how crime impacts local residents. He says letting residents know if they are safe is a vital role of a newspaper. Alex has covered crime in Detroit, Iowa, New York City, West Virginia and now Horry County.