Bond revoked for Conway man charged with murder

The State’s motion to revoke the bond of a Conway man was granted Sept. 9.

Christopher Allen Dontell, 38, is facing charges of murder and criminal conspiracy, according to information provided by the 15th Judicial Circuit Solicitor’s Office.

He was arrested Nov. 11, 2020, and spent six months in the Horry County Detention Center before being released on a $125,000 surety bond, according to the HCDC’s website.

The website also shows Dontell back in jail as of Sept. 9.

Mary-Ellen Walter, the senior assistant solicitor, who argued the motion for the 15th Circuit Solicitor’s Office, said one of the conditions of that bond was an order that Dontell have no contact with his co-defendant, Meagan Marie Jackson, 36, also of Conway.

Circuit Court Judge William H. Seals Jr., who heard the motion, found that Dontell had violated the conditions of his bond on numerous occasions.

“Conditions of bond are not suggestions, they are court orders,” Walter said. “Defendants who violate the conditions of their bond do so at their peril. I am grateful to the work of the Horry County Sheriff’s Office Home Detention Unit and the Horry County Police Department for their work on this motion.”

Dontell and Jackson were charged in connection with the shooting death of Gregory Rice, Jackson’s husband. Jackson reported Rice missing on Oct. 5, 2020. His body was found in the Pee Dee River on Nov. 8, 2020. He had been shot multiple times. There is no trial date set at this time.

Meth possession draws 10-year sentence

A Conway man pleaded guilty recently to possessing methamphetamines and was sentenced to 10 years in prison, according to information provided by 15th Circuit Solicitor Jimmy Richardson.

Jeffrey Gore, 52, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamines on Aug. 30, before Circuit Court Judge Benjamin Culbertson, who sentenced him to serve 10 years in prison, according to Adam Harrelson, an assistant solicitor, who prosecuted the case for the 15th Circuit Solicitor’s Office.

Gore was arrested Feb. 29, 2020, after an ongoing investigation into illegal narcotics activity. When he was arrested, officers found 250 grams of methamphetamine in Gore’s possession and charged him with trafficking methamphetamine, according to information provided by the 15th Circuit Solicitor’s Office.

Stolen vehicle found

An Aynor woman and Conway man were both charged with simple possession of marijuana, and the Aynorite was charged with possession of stolen property after Conway police were called to look for a stolen Toyota Corolla, according to a Conway police report.

Police say they stopped them in the car that had been reported stolen, searched the occupants and found that they both had marijuana. They were taken to jail.

Suspect found

A Conway police officer stopped a semi-truck for violating the city’s truck route, according to a Conway police report.

When the officer checked with dispatch, he found that an Andrews man in the truck was wanted for larceny in Georgetown County.

He was taken to jail and someone was called to pick up the truck, according to a Conway police report.

Shots fired

A report of shots fired sent Conway police to the area of U.S. 378 and Hemingway Chapel Road. When police got there at about 2:30 p.m. one afternoon this past week, they determined that shots had been fired, according to a Conway police report. The scene was secured and when the command staff and Criminal Investigations Division were notified they went to the area.

The Conway police report says the case is pending investigation.

Drug/alcohol incidents

■ The poor driving of a North Carolina man caused several motorists to report him as driving recklessly, almost striking several cars as he traveled southbound on U.S. 501 at about 3 p.m. on a recent afternoon.

Conway police spotted the vehicle at the intersection of U.S. 501 and El Bethel Road.

The responding officer says the man was unable to maintain his lane and crossed into the center median multiple times in a short while. He was stopped at Conway Ford where two witnesses, driving two vehicles, also stopped to tell police that the man was driving very recklessly, almost hitting them and many other vehicles on the road, according to the report.

The witnesses completed written statements detailing what had happened, according to the police report.

The officer says the man smelled of alcohol, had glassy eyes and slurred speech and refused to try field sobriety tests.

The police report says the suspect had a Yeti tumbler with a Bloody Mary drink inside, and an open can of alcohol.

He was handcuffed and taken to the Horry County Detention Center where he agreed to try a breath test; however, the officer says the suspect failed to blow properly causing the test to fail. The report says the suspect tried to make it look as if he was blowing, but he was not.

He was charged with driving under the influence, first offense.

■ Two men were taken to jail after a Conway policeman says he saw the driver of the vehicle they were in make an improper turn from Mill Pond Road onto U.S. 378 at about 3 a.m. on a recent morning, according to a Conway police report.

The driver, a Conway man, told police he didn’t have his license, but would give his name and try to find his registration and insurance. The officer says the driver’s speech was severely slurred, he was having trouble staying on track and repeating himself often, the police report says. The officer says he also smelled alcohol.

A passenger in the vehicle, listed as a Hemingway resident, was found to have a confirmed warrant for larceny with the Horry County Sheriff’s Office.

He told police he had a BB gun in the vehicle and didn’t want to leave it there because it didn’t belong to him.

The gun was collected and placed in an evidence locker at the Conway Police department, according to the police report.

A second officer gave field sobriety tests to the driver before charging him with driving under the influence. Both men were taken to jail. The driver was given a breath test, but the report doesn’t include what the result was.

He was charged with driving under the influence, second offense, according to Horry County jail records.

■ A Georgia woman was charged with public drunkenness after an Horry County policeman found a vehicle on the side of the road with its hazard lights activated on S.C. 22, according to an Horry County police report.

An unidentified man told the officer when his vehicle broke down the suspect jumped into the passenger seat, the police report says.

The report says the woman was found to be highly intoxicated and the officer smelled alcohol coming from her. The report says she was unsteady on her feet and was unable to communicate clearly.

The report says the woman told police she was “walking to Georgia for her friend’s surgery in Chattanooga, Tenn.”

At that point, the officer charged her with public drunkenness and took her to jail.

■ Conway police were called to a woman lying in front of the First Baptist Church on Elm Street in Conway, according to a Conway police report.

A officer asked the woman if she was okay and if she needed emergency medical workers.

The report says the woman, who was slurring her words, was uncooperative.

Two officers helped the woman to her feet and reported that she was having trouble keeping her balance, according to the police report. The officer then determined that the woman was severely intoxicated, charged her with public drunkenness and took her to jail.

Rounding ‘em up

Horry County police assisted the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency recently. The Horry County police report says local officers apprehended some of the DEA’s targets and released them into federal custody.

It’s all wet!

A Longs man told Horry County police that he got out of bed at about 5:45 a.m. on a recent morning and had a cup of coffee.

After his wife left for work, he went back to bed. That’s when he heard his garage door open and his truck crank up.

He said he ran out of the front door and saw his truck backing out of the driveway. He told police he yelled at whoever was inside the truck, but the driver backed out of the driveway and accelerated down the street and out of his subdivision.

The Horry County police report says he ran back inside and called 911.

The report says whoever took the car had pulled the screen back on the garage door and the door was open about two feet off of the ground.

Inside the garage, the truck’s owner has a little “bar” area set up “for his enjoyment”, according to the report.

That’s where he saw that two bottles of whiskey, his medical card and the key to the truck were missing.

Police went around the area looking for the vehicle, but couldn’t find it.

The officer then went to a convenience store, located at the intersection of S.C. 9 and S.C. 905 where a citizen pulled beside the patrol vehicle and told the officer there was a vehicle in a canal on Castler’s Heights Road, just off of S.C. 905. The report says the officer confirmed that the vehicle in the canal belonged to the victim. The S.C. Highway Patrol was called to complete a crash report.

The vehicle could not be processed for prints because the inside was covered in mud and the driver’s side window was down and it was raining, according to the report.

The owner was noticed and went to the wreck site.

Vehicle incidents

■ Conway police were called to The Cove on S.C. 544 to check on a report of an automobile break-in, according to a Conway police report.

The responding officer said the vehicle’s owner reported that at about 3:30 p.m. on a recent afternoon he noticed that the center console of his vehicle was open. He said he parked the car around 9 p.m. the night before when he left the doors unlocked. He was missing $500 in cash and an S&W 9mm handgun. The gun couldn’t be listed on the NCIC because the owner didn’t have its serial number.

■ Sometime between 4:20 a.m. and 5:10 a.m. Friday, someone took a company truck and trailer from Holly Ridge Drive where the owner stores them. The Horry County police report says all of the trailers were secured with padlocks and hitch locks, but all of the locks were removed and taken.

A white 7-inchx16-inch enclosed v-nose trailer loaded with various landscaping tools and equipment was attached to a new black cab truck. Both were stolen. The trailer was valued at $7,000 and the Chevrolet Silverado was valued at $12,000. The report says both had vinyl lettering on their sides.

Police planned to enter the trailer and equipment into NCIC. The truck was recovered, according to the police report.

■ A young man told Conway police that someone broke into his automobile and took his Remington .270 rifle. The owner thinks his things were taken while his vehicle was parked at the Pier Apartments on S.C. 544 between 9:30 p.m. to about noon the next day.

■ The owner of a 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe was taken from a location on S.C. 90 sometime between 11 p.m. Saturday to 8:30 a.m. Sunday.

The owner says he might have left his doors unlocked. The victim said there is no video surveillance on the property that could establish a possible suspect.

Horry County police planned to list the vehicle in NCIC.

Burglar needs a potty?!!

A resident of Hulls Island Road in the Loris section called 911 after she was awakened by someone trying to break into her residence. She told Horry County police that she heard someone break her bathroom window and then heard someone trying to open her back door.

The Horry County police report also said when she asked who was there the suspect said he needed to come inside so he could use the bathroom.

The police officer who answered the call said he saw a broken bathroom window and an area on the back door that looked like someone had tried to pry it open, according to an Horry County police report.

The officer checked around the neighborhood, but didn’t find a suspect.

Intimidation

A resident of Coastal Oaks Drive in the Conway section of Horry County told Horry County police that she asked a man and a girl, who used to be a friend of hers, to quiet down because they were arguing, according to an Horry County police report.

She told police the couple lives in a tent near hers. One of the arguers, a Loris person, cursed at her and said “…I’ll slit your throat.”

At that point, she left her tent and went to her mother’s house where she called 911.

Because the person who made the comment does not have the present ability to commit the act, the case was administratively closed, according to the Horry County police report.

Environmental employees were consulted about the tents being in the road at the incident location and about trash accumulations associated with the victim, the report says.

Pinging a telephone

An Horry County police report says a resident of Quail Run told police that on the previous night, he was at home with his girlfriend. At about midnight he heard a noise in his back yard and went outside to investigate. The Horry County police report says he thought his neighbors or college kids were making the noise.

According to the report, he said he might have left his door unlocked when he went back in.

Later that morning he realized that his laptop and charger were missing from his living room table. The missing item was an $1,100 MacBook Pro Silver series.

The victim said he pinged his phone and learned that the computer was located about 1.5 miles from his residence.

The ping did not show the computer inside of the residence, only close to the residence near the roadway.

The computer was listed in NCIC, according to the Horry County police report.

Book bag tracked

Horry County police were called after a victim says a MacBook in her JanSport book bag with her name was found on Citadel Drive.

She said the victims are roommates who went to bed around 3 a.m. on Sunday morning and woke up the next day when they realized the book bag was gone. The woman said she tracked her MacBook to Citadel Drive. A second woman said her airpods were stolen. They had been on the counter in the residence where they live.

Two police contacted a tenant of the Citadel Drive residence, who told them he didn’t know anything about a book bag or MacBook.

The homeowner, who was not there, was okay with an officer doing a protective sweep of the house to make sure the items were not there.

The report says the resident told police they could do whatever they needed to do.

At that point, the officer says he saw a suspect peek his head around an open window from the outside. The officer told him to show his hands and asked who he is.

The officer then grabbed the man’s arm and helped him through the window and walked him to the front of the residence. A second officer asked the man where the MacBook was and told him that the stolen book bag was found in the back of his residence.

The man then said he didn’t know anything about what they were talking about, according to the police report.

The suspect then told police that a friend brought the book bag and MacBook to him so he could work on it, claiming that he works on Apple products for a living. The officer then confronted him about being honest and gave him one more chance to come clean about where the stolen items were. He agreed to take them to the items.

He was patted down and put into the back of a patrol vehicle. The suspect then directed police to Erskine Drive. He said the sliding back door was unlocked and the things were in the rear bedroom.

An Horry County officer and a Conway officer made a sweep of the house to make sure that no one else was there. They located multiple bags in the back room, along with tools and laptops.

Due to the amount of property that was in the back room, CID personnel was summoned.

A Conway officer stayed there to maintain security. The officer then handcuffed the suspect, who decided at that point that he didn’t want to talk with police.

Another victim had arrived at the residence where the missing things were and told police that his book bag was also stolen overnight. It held a MacBook, charger and notepad. (See previous report.)

The suspect was taken to jail where he was charged with first-degree burglary.

A second police report says some missing things were found in an abandoned house on Erskine Drive that is currently for sale.

A third report says the house was empty and no one was supposed to be there. The report says there was forced entry into a shed, but not into the residence.

The property inside the residence came from five stolen property cases from burglaries on Quail Run Road, according to an Horry County police report. The suspect was then charged with second-degree burglary and receiving stolen property.

The suspect’s jail record shows charges of trespass on April 15; possession of a stolen vehicle, violation of city ordinance and tampering with utility meters, May 6; and second-degree burglary and receiving stolen goods over $10,000 on Sept. 12. He was still in jail with a $10,000 bond Tuesday.

Pointing a gun

A witness flagged down two Conway police officers telling them that there was a pickup truck behind them with a man inside pointing a handgun at his passenger, according to a Conway police report.

Police watched and saw that the driver didn’t use his turn signal to change lanes and was driving carelessly on Church Street.

The officers got behind the vehicle after Mill Pond Road and attempted to stop the vehicle that made an abrupt right turn, going into the opposite lane, before pulling into a handicap parking spot at AutoZone at about 7 p.m. Friday.

The Conway police report says when an officer approached the car he saw a woman starring forward with tears running down her face, and he also saw a frightened child in the back seat.

The report says the driver admitted to the officer that the two had been arguing and that there was a firearm inside the vehicle, possibly under the seat.

One officer stayed with the driver while the second officer went to the passenger side to speak with the victim.

The woman was able to give the officer one firearm that was in a case and a second firearm that had been thrown onto the floorboard by the driver.

That firearm came back clear.

A female officer was summoned to speak with the victim. While they were speaking, the child said the driver had been cursing and yelling at the victim while pointing his brown and black gun at her.

While speaking with the victim, the officer saw open containers on the floorboard near the driver.

An officer then searched and found an orange pill container in the center console with its label torn off.

Inside the pill container was a large number of circular white pills determined to be acetaminophen and oxycodone hydrochloride 325 mg/5 mg, a Schedule II narcotic.

The victim then told two officers that she and the suspect had been living together for about three months. The child is the man’s son, not blood kin to the victim, according to the police report.

The woman said the man pointed the handgun at her while they were arguing inside the vehicle, and did it in the presence of the young child, who saw everything.

The woman didn’t have any visible injuries. She told the officers the argument was about her hanging out with her friends, according to the report.

The suspect admitted that he owned the gun and told the officers he put it on the floorboard near the woman’s feet. He does not have a concealed weapons permit.

He also said the narcotics were his. At the jail the suspect became combative and refused to let jail workers take his photograph.

The out-of-town man was charged with unlawful carry of a gun; first-degree domestic violence; and distribution of other than I (B) (C) LSD and Schedule II to a person under 18.

He was released three days later on a $40,000 bond, according to jail records.

Young man charged with burglary

A young woman, who lives in an apartment on S.C. 544, told Conway police that a man was screaming to her to let him in and he repeatedly kicked and hit her apartment door until it broke open, according to a Conway police report.

After the door opened, the suspect went in and headed toward the living room while the woman locked herself in another room.

She sent out a group message for help while she was on the phone with 911. Multiple people there told police they saw the suspect in the apartment and yelled at him to leave, which he did before heading upstairs to another apartment.

An officer was also shown a photo of the fleeing suspect.

Officers then went to the apartment that the man was seen entering. They knocked on the door multiple times before someone finally came to the door, but he tried to close it when he saw the officers.

Three others then came out of the apartment and the last one told police that the suspect was inside.

Police went in and found the man on the couch, took him into custody and took him to jail.

The victim then told police that she believed the suspect was going to sexually assault or kill her.

The suspect was charged with first-degree burglary because he forced his way into an occupied dwelling during the night with the intent to commit a crime, according to the report and jail records. He was released the next day on a $30,000 bond.

His checks were missing

A Conway man told Conway police that earlier this month he noticed that some checks were missing from his checkbook, according to a Conway police report.

He told police he reported the missing checks to the proper law enforcement agency, but later when he went to his bank to get copies of the checks that had been cashed he learned that over a period of several weeks, four checks, written for $500 each, had been cashed at a Conway bank.

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