Man arrested after woman found dead in burning car - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Bond denied for man accused of trying to cover up woman's murder

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Darrell Griffin (Source: Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center) Darrell Griffin (Source: Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center)
Johnette Pratt (Source: Facebook) Johnette Pratt (Source: Facebook)
RICHLAND COUNTY, SC (WIS) -

A judge denied bond for a man who is accused of strangling a woman and then trying to cover up her death by setting a car on fire last week.

48-year-old Darrell Lydell Griffin appeared in a Richland County courtroom Tuesday morning to answer to murder charges.

He was charged with murder after the body of a woman was found inside a burning car on August 7.

The body of 44-year-old Johnette Pratt of Columbia was found in a burning car near Alpine Road and the Christian Faith Fellowship Church Tuesday evening.

Sheriff's investigators say Griffin went to their headquarters on Two Notch Road to report he and his girlfriend had been kidnapped.  Investigators say Griffin didn't make much sense and had him transferred for medical treatment.

"He was basically unable to provide any description at the time of the kidnappers, where it happened," said Major Stan Smith with the Richland County Sheriff's Department. "He was wet. He was disoriented. Our deputies responded and felt like it was more of a medical issue."

When Griffin was released he contacted Pratt's family, who became concerned and reported her missing. 

Investigators say Griffin strangled Pratt to death, then tried to cover up the crime by filing a false report. 

Investigators say they'll need forensic evidence to validate Griffin's claims, but what he told them was enough to charge him with murder.

Richland County Coroner Gary Watts says preliminary autopsy results indicate that Pratt died as a result of strangulation.  

Griffin is being held in the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center.

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