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Police: Two arrested in killing of former councilman Tim Buckley

11/17/2016 8:24 PM |

Timothy Buckley found South Carolina

Two people have been charged in connection with the death of former Riverhead Town police officer and councilman Timothy Buckley, according to police in Horry County, S.C.

Johnathan Lamar Hillary, 29, of Augusta, Ga., has been charged with murder and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime, according to a press release.

Bernithia Young, 33, of Atlanta, Ga., was charged with accessory after the fact to a felony, specifically listed as murder, police added. She was found in a Georgia hotel room with Mr. Hillary Friday where firearms were present, according to the warrant issued in her arrest.

Both suspects were taken into custody in Atlanta and are expected to be extradited back to Horry County, officials said.

Horry County Police Department’s public information office did not disclose any other information in connection with the case Thursday evening.

Family friend Pat Mulcahy of Wading River, a fellow former town police officer, said Mr. Buckley’s family is grateful to the Horry County and Myrtle Beach City police departments.

“We’ve very happy with the job they’ve done in bringing these criminals to justice,” he said.

Mr. Hillary has multiple previous felony convictions, according to reports in the Augusta Chronicle. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2005 on charges of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, according to the newspaper.

Ms. Young was previously arrested in connection with a counterfeit check scheme, according to an Alabama news site.

The remains of Mr. Buckley, a 51-year-old Army veteran, were found last Thursday in South Carolina not far from where he was last seen Sept. 29 at the Springmaid Resort in Myrtle Beach, which police have said isn’t far from where he lived.

According to previous media reports, a woman told authorities no one had seen him since 9:13 p.m. that evening, when he was observed heading to his camper at the resort. His truck was later found about seven miles from where his remains were located.

A Wading River native, Mr. Buckley joined the Riverhead Town Police Department in 1989 and was its Officer of the Year in 2005, according to previous News-Review reports. He served two years on the Riverhead Town Board before resigning in 2009 to help care for his ill wife.

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File photo: Former Riverhead Town Councilman Tim Buckley. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

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