Crime

He murdered his ex-wife and set fire to her bait shop, now he’ll serve decades in prison

Jessica’s Reef dropped to honor Murrells Inlet woman

About a dozen concrete cylinders were added to Pawley's Reef today in honor of Jessica Hill as her parents and children watched from a nearby boat. The popular owner of Perry's Bait and Tackle in Murrells Inlet was killed in her shop in Sept. 2017.
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About a dozen concrete cylinders were added to Pawley's Reef today in honor of Jessica Hill as her parents and children watched from a nearby boat. The popular owner of Perry's Bait and Tackle in Murrells Inlet was killed in her shop in Sept. 2017.

A man who killed his ex-wife and set fire to her bait shop will spend nearly a half-century in prison.

Eric Perry pleaded guilty to murder and third-degree arson for the killing of Jessica Hill, 37, in 2017. He entered his pleas on Monday in Georgetown County court and was sentenced to 45 years in prison, according to the 15th Judicial Circuit Solicitor’s Office.

Hill, known as Jessica Perry while married, owned Perry’s Bait & Tackle, 3965 U.S. Highway 17 Business, in Murrells Inlet.

A witness saw Eric Perry set fire to the shop and tried to stop him on Sept. 29, 2017, according to an arrest warrant. Several Georgetown, state and federal police agencies worked to find Hill after the fire, officials said. They found Perry operating a boat in the Murrells Inlet area and Hill’s body was on board.

Hill died from strangulation and head trauma, a Georgetown Coroner previously said.

Hill was locally known as the face of the bait shop. Friends and family held a memorial service for her on the water and later added the Jessica Perry Memorial Reef as part of the Pawleys Island Reef.

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Alex Lang is the True Crime reporter for The Sun News covering the legal system and how crime impacts local residents. He says letting residents know if they are safe is a vital role of a newspaper. Alex has covered crime in Detroit, Iowa, New York City, West Virginia and now Horry County.
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