Marvin Rice

A former Dent County sheriff’s deputy who once worked as an officer in Houston – and is suspected in a double homicide – waived his right to a preliminary hearing last Wednesday and is set for a formal arraignment this week.

Marvin Rice, 44, was taken into custody in December after a shootout in the lobby of the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Jefferson City. Rice had led law enforcement authorities on a pursuit from Dent to Cole counties after allegedly shooting and killing Steven Strotkamp, 39, and Annette Durham, 32.

Rice, with a beard and mustache, was in a wheelchair before a judge and was fitted with a bulletproof vest and handcuffs when he was wheeled into the courtroom.

Rice is charged with two counts of first-degree murder for the Dec. 10, 2011, murders of Durham and Strotkemp, her boyfriend.

Rice has confessed to the murders, according to a probable cause statement from law enforcement.

Authorities said Rice had a child, who is 2 years old, with Durham. The child was with Durham at a residence in northern Dent County along with Strotkamp and another of Durham’s children, 6.

Authorities said Rice, a then correctional officer at the South Central Correctional Center at Licking, went to the residence demanding custody of the 2-year-old child. An argument ensued, and Rice displayed a handgun. Durham took the 6-year-old into another room, and that child reported hearing gunshots.

Durham left the 6-year-old in the bedroom and went out to the front of the house, authorities said. The 6-year-old later reported she heard more shots and a car leave. She ran to a neighbor, who called authorities.

Lawmen said Rice had fled the scene with the 2-year-old but left the child with a family member before fleeing the county. Both children were unharmed.

Authorities said Rice was fired from the Dent County Sheriff’s Office in 2009. Rice previously was a police officer in Houston.

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