The oldest son of a man who police say was killed last year is suing the two people charged with his murder, according to a lawsuit filing.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in Horry County court by Zachary Rice, a representative of the estate of Gregory Rice, who authorities say was killed by Christopher Dontell and Meagan Jackson.

Dontell was a deputy coroner at the Horry County Coroner’s Office, but was fired when he was named as a suspect in the slaying of Gregory Rice.

The lawsuit states that Dontell and Jackson “acted in concert” to murder Gregory Rice in Horry County on or about Oct. 2.

Dontell and Jackson were both booked into J. Reuben Long Detention Center Nov. 11., jail records show.

Dontell was released from jail May 21 after posting a $125,000 bond, J. Reuben Long Detention Center officials confirmed. He is charged with murder and criminal conspiracy.

Jackson remains incarcerated, according to the jail website. She is charged with murder, criminal conspiracy, and four counts of unlawful neglect of a child. Jackson’s bond is set at $105,000.

Zachary Rice is the adult child of Gregory Rice and filed the lawsuit on behalf of himself and his four minor siblings.

Jackson is the mother of Gregory Rice’s four youngest children. Jackson and Rice’s relationship ended about a year before Rice was killed, Chief Deputy Solicitor Scott Hixson said at a hearing in November.

The lawsuit states that Gregory Rice “survived for some period of time before succumbing to his injuries.”

Zachary Rice asked for an unspecified amount of money to cover to medical and funeral expenses, among other damages.

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Jenna Farhat is a reporter covering the South Strand. She has served as the managing editor and the news editor of The Sunflower, an independent, student-run newspaper covering Wichita State University. During her time there, she won several Kansas Collegiate Media awards for her investigative reporting and for feature writing. While she served as managing editor, The Sunflower won awards from the Associated College Press and the Kansas Sunshine Coalition for Open Government. She has been with The Sun News since 2020. She was born in Ohio and grew up in Wichita, Kansas. She is fluent in Arabic.

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