MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – The jury found a man guilty of killing a retired police officer Monday afternoon.
Johnathan Hillary was sentenced to life in prison for the 2016 kidnapping and shooting death of 51-year-old Timothy Buckley in Horry County.
After the verdict was read, cheers and cries could be heard from several of Buckley’s friends and family in the courtroom.
When Hillary heard the verdict, the 32-year-old bent over the table and wouldn’t get up from his seat, according to WMBF news reporter Erin Edwards who was in the courtroom. She said police had to help Hillary out of the room.
Buckley’s body was found in near Tanger Outlets off of 501 nearly two months after he was reported missing.
Police said Buckley disappeared along with his new Ford F-50 truck on September 29, 2016. His truck was later found on 29th Avenue North by two friends who came to Myrtle Beach from New York to look for him. That man recalled finding the truck.
His body was found months later by a teenager.
“The healing for the family can start now. It was a very tough trial to go through, to relive all these horrible memories of what we lived through over the last two and a half years. But now, the family has closure, the justice system has done it’s job, and we look to rebound from that and always have Tim in our memories," said Timothy Buckleys friend Patrick Mulcahy.
Bernithia Young, Hillary’s girlfriend, was also charged in the case. A trial date has not been set in her case.