Judge denies bond again for suspect in missing N.C. man’s death

Published: Sep. 28, 2023 at 2:11 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 28, 2023 at 6:25 PM EDT
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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – One of the suspects connected to the murder of a missing North Carolina man will stay in jail.

Samantha Watts appeared in court on Thursday to ask a judge to reconsider bond for her, but the judge denied it again.

RELATED COVERAGE | All suspects arrested, charged in connection to N.C. man found dead in Horry County

Authorities arrested Samantha Watts, along with seven other people, in connection to Corey Soles’ death.

Corey Adam Soles
Corey Adam Soles(Tonya Godwin)

Corey Soles, who was from Chadbourn, N.C., was first reported missing at the beginning of January. His body was found on Jan. 16 in the Green Sea area.

Warrants state that Samantha Watts and a co-defendant caused Corey Soles’ death sometime between Jan. 8 and 9 by hitting him with a blunt object multiple times.

Other co-defendants in the case are accused of assaulting Corey Soles and helping to remove and dispose of his body.

The victim’s father, Chris Soles, said he got a text from his son just moments before he was killed.

“He texted me and told me he was in trouble and needed help,” Chris Soles said. “I texted him or tried to text him back to find out what it was that was going on and where he was at. His phone went out. We talked every day. That’s kind of how I knew something was wrong when I didn’t get him. Then the next day, when I found out what was going on, it was a little too late.”

During Thursday’s hearing, the prosecution said the whole assault was captured on surveillance video. They added that Soles’ body was found wrapped in tarps and several cement blocks tied to him.

The defense said that Samantha Watts was not involved in the initial assault and said it’s still not clear what exactly happened and when it happened. Watts’ attorney asked for a $100,000 bond and home detention, but the judge denied that request.

Samantha Watts, Jonathan Watts, Amber Watts, Ryan Porter, Josh Brown
Samantha Watts, Jonathan Watts, Amber Watts, Ryan Porter, Josh Brown(J. Reuben Long Detention Center)

Samantha Watts faces several charges including murder, accessory after the fact and obstructing justice.

Jonathan Watts, Amber Watts, Ryan Porter and Josh Brown were also arrested and face charges in connection to the case.

Three other suspects were juveniles at the time of their arrests.

The prosecution revealed during the hearing on Thursday that Samantha Watts’ son, Payton Watts, was arrested and charged with murder.

Online records show he just turned 17 on Aug. 31 and that he was booked into J. Reuben Long Detention Center on Thursday, Sept. 21. The Horry County Police Department said his case has been waived to adult criminal court.

While the case makes its way through the court system, Chris Soles said he will continue to fight for justice for his son and his grandchildren who are now left without a father.

“It’s tough. I’m still dealing with it every day. I’m just trying to look out for his kids... get justice for him and then I’ll deal with the rest of it,” Chris Soles said.