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Who killed Scoopy? Pawleys family still looks for answers two months after shooting

By Jason Lesley
Coastal Observer

James Earl Richardson Jr. was a big baby, 9 pounds at birth. His mother called him “Scoopy” because he was such an arm load to scoop up.

Thanks to his grandparents, Irvin and Albertha Richardson of Waverly Road, Scoopy, 18, was planning to make something of himself. He liked to write songs. He was waiting on a callback for a part-time job and hoping to join the Navy after he finished Waccamaw High.

None of those things will happen for Scoopy Richardson. He was found shot to death at the corner of Parkersville Road and Julian Rutledge Drive just after midnight on May 25.

“Anytime he was out, he would call me and let me know he was on the way home,” said Mrs. Richardson, the teen-ager’s grandmother. “That night, I called him at 11 o’clock and said it was time to come home because you’ve got school the next morning. He said he was coming.”

Thirty minutes passed, and the boy’s grandmother called again. She said he sounded “a little mad” on the phone but said he was coming home. The next thing Albertha Richardson heard was that Scoopy was on the side of the road.

“I didn’t know if he was beat up, laying on the side of the road, or whatever,” she said.

It was worse than that. Much worse.

Scoopy had suffered “multiple gunshots to the torso,” according to Georgetown County Coroner Kenny Johnson. His wounds were fatal.

“He was a good person,” Mrs. Richardson said. “He was back and forth, living with us and in Fayetteville. He was a sweet young man. Everybody liked him. Every night before he’d go to bed, he would hug me and tell me that he loved me. Before he’d leave the house, he would do the same thing.”

Scoopy’s mother, Mona Lisa Williams, lives in Socastee. He was more comfortable with his grandparents in Pawleys Island and moved in with them permanently in February. He initially enrolled in Howard Adult Center and later transferred to Waccamaw High.

Daisy Greene, Scoopy’s aunt, said he had good intentions.

“I don’t understand,” she said. “I just don’t understand why they would do that to him. Nobody deserves that. He didn’t have a chance to live his life.”

His cousin Shaquana Richardson said Scoopy didn’t have problems with anyone. “If he did,” she said, “I would have known about it.

“He was a baby. He didn’t have no kids. He was just getting his life back on track, thanks to my grandma.”

Shaquana says she believes Scoopy was shot somewhere else and dumped at the corner.

“The same thing happened with his daddy,” she said.

Scoopy’s father, James “Waggy” Richardson, died the day before Easter in 2011 and his body was left in his mother’s yard.

“He was with some people, and something happened,” Shaquana said. “I’m not saying somebody killed him, but they could have helped him. They left him there to be found. They dumped him at the top of the road at my grandmama’s house. People thought he was sleeping, but when they went to check on him he had already passed.”

The coincidence grows when Shaquana adds that Scoopy was killed on his daddy’s birthday.

Shaquana said Scoopy handled his father’s death like a man. “He didn’t lose his mind,” she said. “He was calm and relaxed, the same old person.”

She has heard all the rumors circulating in the community: the sound of the shots, blood at the scene, a fight earlier that night. She is convinced that he was shot somewhere else and his body dumped at the corner because he was as straight as a pencil, arms at his sides.

“I never thought somebody would kill him,” she said. “If you knew him, you would like him. He wasn’t a thug or a gangster, running around selling drugs. Nobody tried to rob him. This was personal. It was somebody we know.

“For somebody to kill him like that, it really hurt. I want to know why. I want to know who did it. It’s not fair that they are tearing our family apart.”

New evidence goes to crime lab Investigators have turned up “a major piece of evidence” in the investigation into the death of Scoopy Richardson, Assistant Sheriff Carter Weaver said.

Weaver said the evidence has been sent to the state crime lab for analysis.

Two full-time investigators are working the case.

“We have a good relationship with the family,” Weaver said Tuesday. “We owe them the justice.”

Anyone with information about the homicide may call the sheriff’s office at 546-5010 or send an anonymous tip by text message to 274637. Text GCSOTIP followed by the message.

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