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      Judge: husband could spend life in prison if convicted in wife's murder

      Rodney Ivey, charged with his wife's murder, makes his initial court appearance in Florence County.

      Rodney Ivey learned Thursday that he could spend the rest of his life in prison if convicted of his wife's murder.

      Magistrate Judge Belinda Timmons told Ivey, 23, this as he made his initial appearance in court after being formally charged Wednesday.

      His wife, Devin Ivey, had not been heard from or seen since June 8th at the Budget Inn on US Highway 301 in Olanta in Florence County. That is, until one week later, June 15, when the 22-year-old's body found on Brown Road in the Coward-Scranton community in Florence County.

      Captain Brett Camp with the Florence County Sheriff's Office says Devin Ivey's family was not able to attend Thursday mornings court proceeding because they were too overwhelmed with grief.

      In the days leading up to the murder charge, Rodney Ivey had been charged with giving false information to police in connection with his wife's disappearance. Deputies say he told them five different stories about what happened. He was also charged with a probation violation in connection with this case.

      Investigators with the Florence County Sheriff's Office determined that Rodney killed his wife after an altercation at the Budget Inn and disposed of her body on Brown Road near Coward.

      Devin Ivey's body will be sent for an autopsy to determine how she died. This case is still under investigation.

      Rodney Ivey's next court appearance is August 17th. He is still being held in the Florence County Detention Center.

      Cpt. Camp says deputies are speaking with prosecutors about the possibility of pursuing the death penalty in this case.