Murrells Inlet man receives 45-year sentence for murder, arson charges in 2017 case

Grand Strand Crime

GEORGETOWN COUNTY, SC (WBTW) – A Murrells Inlet man was sentenced to 45 years in prison Monday, after pleading guilty to murder and third-degree arson in the death of his ex-wife in 2017.

Fifteenth Circuit Solicitor Jimmy Richardson announced that Eric Perry, 36, pleaded guilty to the charges in the Sept. 29, 2017 death of Jessica Hill, 37, and a fire at her business, Perry’s Bait & Tackle at 3965 U.S. 17 Business.

Georgetown Police were looking for Perry after the fire and later found him on his boat in the inlet. Hill’s body was recovered from the boat.

Warrants previously obtained by News13 suggested a witness tried to stop Perry from starting the fire at the business.

In February of 2019, friends and family members of Hill honored her by dropping an artificial reef into the inlet at Pawley’s Island Reef.

In October of 2017, Hill’s mother, Sharon Doehner, described Jessica as ‘an amazing person’ who loved her kids, family and the community of Murrells Inlet.

The following law enforcement agencies worked on the case: the U.S. Coast Guard, State Law Enforcement Division (SLED), South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR), the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office, the Horry County Police Department, the Horry County Sheriff’s Office and the Murrells-Inlet Garden City Fire Department.

We appreciate the dedication by all the public safety officials who assisted in bringing this defendant to justice especially the team at the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office, who coordinated the efforts and worked tirelessly during the investigation. We also recognize the help provided by citizens and business owners in the Murrells Inlet community who provided information and assistance to law enforcement.

Scott Hixson, chief deputy solicitor with the Fifteenth Circuit Solicitor’s Office

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