Elected: January 2, 2023 (term expires: December 31, 2026)
Coroner Darnell D. Hartwell was born in Charleston, SC in 1984 and was raised in the northern part of Berkeley County (Bonneau, Alvin). He is a 2003 graduate of Timberland High School.
Coroner Hartwell has served the citizens of Berkeley County his entire career. From 2003-2005 he served at the Bonneau Volunteer Fire Department and from 2003-2018 he also served with the Berkeley County Rescue Squad.
Coroner Hartwell began his career in the Coroner’s Office in 2005 and served thru 2010 as a volunteer deputy coroner under the leadership of the late Coroner Glenn Rhoads. In 2011 Coroner Hartwell was sworn in as a paid deputy coroner under the leadership of retired Coroner William “Bill” Salisbury, and from 2018 to present as Chief Deputy Coroner under the leadership of Coroner George M. Oliver.
With nearly 20 years of service in the Coroner’s Office Coroner Hartwell has over 3000 training hours in death investigation, criminal investigations, emergency services and leadership training. He has been involved in over 5000 death investigations that include but not limited to naturals death, violent deaths, suicides, accidental deaths, and homicides. Coroner Hartwell has assisted in leading the Coroner’s Office thru the Covid-19 pandemic and the everlasting opioid epidemic fatalities. He has led his team thru example and teaching to strive towards excellence, treating all families with dignity, compassion, and professionalism.
Coroner Hartwell is an active member with the South Carolina Coroner’s Association, International Association of Coroner’s and Medical Examiners, The Lowcountry Health Care Coalition, The National Training Center Bureau of Justice Training (U.S. Department of Justice), The Kennedy Center Prevention Programs, Wounded Warriors (Suicide Prevention for Military Personnel) and the Fraternal Order of Police. Coroner Hartwell is a Registered Medicolegal Death Investigator, and a class 3 certified law enforcement officer for the State Of South Carolina.
Coroner Hartwell is an active member of Pointe North Community Church. He is married to Melissa Hartwell; he has two sons and a daughter.