Crime & Courts

Uncle gets probation in fatal teen drunken driving case

MYRTLE BEACH -- A man charged with giving his niece alcohol before a deadly crash pleaded guilty in court Wednesday to two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

For each count, Gary Gene Shelley, 47, of Loris, was sentenced to three years in prison. Those sentences were suspended to three years' probation.

Shelley also must submit to random drug testing and continue treatment at Waccamaw Mental Health center subject to his counselor's recommendation, according to court records filed with the 15th Judicial Circuit.

His teenage niece, Taylor Shelley, pleaded guilty July 14 to reckless homicide in the death of her best friend, Kayla Bennett.

Taylor Shelley admitted she had been drinking July 26, 2007, the night she crashed a 2004 Jeep Cherokee into a utility pole along Secondary Highway 568 near Loris.

Under a plea agreement, she received a 10-year prison sentence, which was suspended in favor of five years' probation, house arrest for the first six months and 250 hours of community service.

She is also subject to a curfew, random drug testing and must contribute $250 annually to the Kayla Bennett scholarship fund.

-- The (Myrtle Beach) Sun News