Woman accused in death of Horry County man locked children in rooms with electronic lock, warrants say
HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – One of the two suspects charged in connection to the death of a man who was reported missing last month now faces child neglect charges.
Meagan Marie Jackson, 35, is charged with four counts of unlawful neglect of a child, jail records stated.
According to an arrest warrant, Jackson is accused of locking the three youngest children in their rooms with no means of exiting.
“The rooms were secured with an electronic lock that had the batteries removed,” the warrant states. “There was not a doorknob on the inside of the room and the lock required a key code to unlock, which the children did not know.”
According to authorities, the children were forced to urinate in their rooms using “whatever containers were available” due to being locked in.
Jackson also allegedly secured the bedroom windows with small padlocks and manipulated the slide tracks, which made opening the windows impossible, the warrant stated.
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She appeared for a bond hearing Friday afternoon on the charges and was given a $5,000 surety bond for each of the four counts.
Jackson, along with 37-year-old Chris Dontell, is also charged with murder and criminal conspiracy in the death of Gregory Vincent Rice. Both appeared for bond hearings on those charges on Thursday and were given $100,000 and $125,000 surety bonds, respectively.
As of Friday afternoon Dontell was released to home detention while Jackson remained behind bars, according to online records from the J. Reuben Long Detention Center.
Dontell was employed with Horry County as a deputy coroner but has since been fired.
Rice, 46, was last heard from on Oct. 2 and was reported missing three days later.
His body was later found along the Little Pee River near Pitts Landing off Highway 378 at the Horry/Marion County line on Nov. 8, according to authorities.
Jackson was the mother of four of Rice’s children. During Thursday’s hearing, it was revealed they were taken by the Department of Social Services and placed in the custody of her half-brother.
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