Former Horry County deputy coroner charged with murder released from jail

Former Horry County deputy coroner charged with murder released from jail
Chris Dontell (Source: JRLDC)

HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – A former Horry County deputy coroner who is charged with murder in a missing man’s death has been released from jail.

Online jail records show Chris Dontell is “out to home detention.”

A judge set a $125,000 bond for 37-year-old Dontell during a bond hearing on Thursday. The judge stated Dontell is to have no contact with the victim’s family or the co-defendant and to remain on home detention.

Dontell and Meagan Jackson, 35, are both charged with murder and criminal conspiracy in the death of Gregory Rice.

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Rice, 46, was first reported missing on Oct. 5, 2020. His body was later found on Nov. 8 along the Little Pee Dee River near Pitts Landing off Highway 378 at the Horry/Marion County line, according to Horry County police spokesperson Mikayla Moskov.

During Dontell’s appearance, the prosecution stated that surveillance footage showed the defendant at a Lowes store pushing a shopping cart that had cement blocks, zip ties and a tarp inside of it.

Scott Hixson with the 15th Circuit Solicitor’s Office stated that the same tarp was the one Rice’s body was discovered in.

The judge said he was setting a bond in the case because he didn’t consider Dontell a flight risk or a danger to the community due to the lack of a criminal record.

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