Man accused of killing woman, leaving body in closet eligible for bond

Man accused of killing woman, leaving body in closet eligible for bond

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - A judge set bond at $250,000 for Leon Collier, who is accused of killing a woman near Little River in November 2015 and leaving her body in a closet.

"That's a pretty big amount," 15th Circuit Solicitor Jimmy Richardson said. "It may be the equivalent of no bond."

Prosecutor Josh Holford said he explained why Collier is a flight risk and a danger to the community during the circuit court bond hearing Tuesday.

Holford said Collier has ties to New York and a minor criminal record, including simple possession and DWI from the 1990's as well as traffic violations in South Carolina.

He said Collier is a danger to the community due to the seriousness of the crime, plus, children were kept inside of the apartment for a week after, leading to two charges of unlawful neglect of a child.

Coroner Robert Edge said the autopsy revealed Phipps was strangled to death and her body was found about a week later with charcoal and cat litter also in the closet to mask the smell.

The judge recognized the state's concerns on the bond order and set bond at $250,000.

"I think it's an extremely fair, reasonable bond to the state," Solicitor Richardson said.

Collier was still incarcerated at J. Reuben Long Detention Center as of Tuesday evening, according to the website.

Phipps' brother, Chris Williams, hopes Collier isn't able to post the necessary bond.

"He went off the handle there," he said. "What if he just goes off the handle to somebody else?"

He said he tried to attend the hearing Tuesday, but he wasn't able to in the end. He said he would've asked the judge to deny bond.

"For something like that, you don't deserve a bond," he said.

Richardson said it's possible Collier won't be able to make bail based on the fact he had to ask for a public defender. However, he said everyone is entitled to bond because they are innocent until proven guilty.

He said a bail bondsman will help ensure Collier would stay in the area if he gets out on bond.

Richardson said both sides of the case are waiting on testing of evidence from SLED before going forward with the trial.

Williams said he's ready to get the trial over with and know that Collier won't even have the chance for bond anymore.

Collier's public defender didn't respond to request for comment.

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