Former Horry County deputy coroner accused of murder answers wrongful death suit
HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – A former deputy coroner accused in the murder of a missing man has answered a wrongful death lawsuit that has been filed against him.
The family of Gregory Rice filed the lawsuit in June 2021 against Chris Dontell and Meagan Jackson.
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The two are also charged with murder and criminal conspiracy in Rice’s death. Jackson is the mother of four of Rice’s children.
Rice was first reported missing on October 5, 2020, and after weeks of searching, Rice’s body was found along the Little Pee Dee River near Pitts Landing off Highway 378 at the Horry/Marion County line on Nov. 8, 2020, authorities said.
The wrongful death lawsuit alleges that Dontell and Jackson caused injuries to Rice and that he survived for “some period of time before succumbing to his injuries.”
On Tuesday, Dontell filed an answer to the complaint, where he denies the allegations made against him and demands strict proof.
The documents also state that Dontell was not responsible.
“Defendant Dontell alleges, upon information and belief, that any injuries or damages alleged in Plaintiff’s Complaint, were caused by someone other than Defendant Dontell and, therefore, he is not liable to Plaintiff.
The filing asks for the wrongful death lawsuit against him to be dismissed.
Jackson has not filed an answer to the lawsuit.
Dontell is currently being held at the J. Reuben Long Detention Center after having his bond revoked after a judge said that he violated the conditions of his bond on numerous occasions.
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