Man sentenced for various Horry County crimes

Gerard "PR" Watts pleaded guilty to Assault and Battery of a High and Aggravated Nature, Use of a Weapon during the commission of a Violent Crime, Possession with Intent to Distribute Heroin Second Offense and Threatening the Life of a Public Official on September 5 for an incident that happened at Club Crush in December 2012 and various other crimes in Horry County.

On December 1, 2012, Watts attacked a victim inside Club Crush in Myrtle Beach.

An investigation revealed that there was an ongoing dispute between Watts and the victim. Inside the club, Watts grabbed the victim and when the victim pulled away from him, Watts produced a small caliber handgun and began firing at the victim, striking him at least once, as Watts chased him outside the club.

As Watts continued to chase the victim into the parking lot, a security officer was forced to deploy his sidearm.

The security officer instructed Watts to drop the handgun and when Watts refused, the security officer fired several shots, striking Watts.

Watts was loaded into a truck by friends and was eventually taken to Grand Strand Regional Medical Center where he was treated after giving a false name. Upon his release from the hospital, Watts was arrested and charged, eventually posting bond and being released from J Reuben Long Detention Center.

While out on bond, Watts was arrested on marijuana charges in February 2013 and released on bond again.

In April 2013, troopers with the South Carolina Highway Patrol attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a vehicle Watts was driving, for a moving violation.

Watts fled in the vehicle into a motel parking lot, where he jumped out of the car, leaving the vehicle to continue moving. The vehicle struck the motel near the lobby.

Troopers pursued Watts and eventually apprehended him. While searching the area, troopers found approximately 40 bindles of Heroin Watts had attempted to hide, according to the solicitor's office.

When Watts was caught, he also threatened the trooper, the solicitor's office added.

After being released from handcuffs at J. Reuben Long Detention Center, Watts attempted to lunge at the trooper but was restrained by detention officers.

Watts was eventually freed on $150,000 bond on or about May 17. While out on bond, Watts was arrested again on weapons and marijuana charges on or about May 23.

His bond was revoked and Watts was held at J. Reuben Long Detention Center until disposition of his charges. Watts has an extensive prior record including numerous convictions for drugs and a federal charge of Felon in Possession of a Firearm.

The State recommended a sentence range of 10-15 years, without the option of parole release, where all sentences would run concurrently.

On September 11, Judge Larry B. Hyman sentenced Watts to concurrently serve 13 years, without the option of parole, on the Assault and Battery of a High and Aggravated Nature offense, 5 years on the Weapons offense, 10 years, without the option of parole, on the Heroin offense, and 10 years on the Threatening the Life of a Public Official offense.