Murder trial of accused Myrtle Beach cop killer continued

MBPD Officer Joe McGarry

The murder trial of a man accused of killing Myrtle Beach Police officer Joe McGarry has been continued, according to the Horry County Solicitor's Office.

Luzenski Cottrell is facing the death penalty for the 2002 shooting. Police say Cottrell shot McGarry in the face while being questioned in the parking lot of a Myrtle Beach doughnut shop.

Cottrell was convicted of McGarry's murder and sentenced to death in 2005. However, the South Carolina Supreme Court overturned the conviction in 2008, saying the jury should have been allowed to consider a possible verdict of voluntary manslaughter.

According to a press release, 15th Circuit Solicitor Greg Hembree requested that the court relieve Cottrell's defense counsel, grant a continuance and assign him new representation in an effort to protect his right to be effectively represented. Circuit Court Judge Larry Hyman granted the request after talking privately with the defense counsel.

A new court date will be scheduled after a new defense counsel is appointed.

McGarry was 28-years-old when he was killed. The Myrtle Beach Police Department and members of the community gather every year to honor the fallen officer.