HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — A judge denied bond Friday morning for a former Horry County deputy coroner who is accused of murder after an assistant solicitor brought up anonymous allegations that Dontell tried to hire someone to kill two Horry County residents while he was in custody.
Dontell, along with co-defendant Meagan Jackson, are accused of murdering Gregory Rice in 2020. Jackson and Rice shared multiple children.
Amy Lawrence with Lovely Law Firm, who represented Dontell in court Friday, asked for Judge Jocelyn Newman to re-grant his bond because Jackson’s bond was granted again in March.
She also argued that Dontell has a protein allergy that has caused him to lose 30 pounds while in jail, but the prosecution said there was no documentation of that.
During the bond hearing, Assistant Solicitor Mary-Ellen Walter brought up an allegation that Dontell, while in custody, had solicited another person to kill two Horry County residents.
“You’ve got to have some sort of evidence to back up that,” Lawrence said. “I could call in anonymous things all day long. That doesn’t make them true.”
Walters didn’t offer more details about the allegations, citing safety and legal matters.
Fifteenth Circuit Court Solicitor Jimmy Richardson told News13 that he doesn’t expect those allegations to lead in charges. News13 also reached out to Horry County police, who said they were not aware of the claims.
Walters argued that no circumstances have changed that called for allowing bond.
“If anything, the only change of circumstances is the defendant is now under investigation for potentially another violent crime,” Walters said.
Jackson received bond again this March after her attorneys appealed for it in February. She received a $150,000 bond and remains under home detention, with her previous conditions still applied.
Dontell had previously received bond. However, it was revoked last year after authorities said he violated its conditions. Jackson’s bond was also revoked, with authorities claiming that the two had contact with each other both in person and over the phone multiple times — therefore violating their conditions. She also was accused of being in locations she wasn’t allowed to be.
Rice’s family filed a lawsuit against Dontell and Jackson in June 2021, claiming that the two conspired together to hurt Rice. Dontell has responded in legal documents by stating that the injuries and damages mentioned in the suit were caused by someone else.