SC to seek death penalty in triple murder trial of Jeffrey Eady

The (Sumter) ItemNovember 2, 2013 

Jeffrey Eady

A 31-year-old Clarendon County man accused of killing three women during a crime spree between Clarendon and Charleston counties during the summer was officially informed Friday that he will face the death penalty for his alleged actions.

Under close security, Jeffrey Eady appeared in a Clarendon County court Friday for the official notice hearing that he could be sentenced to death if found guilty for the death of Clarendon County recycling center employee 65-year-old Maybell White.

Eady also faces murder charges in the deaths of 77-year-old New Zion resident Sadie Brown, a family member of the suspect, as well as Charleston County convenience store employee, 37-year-old Crystal Johnson.

Third Circuit Solicitor Ernest "Chip" Finney III said Eady's actions during the incident involving White, which also involves armed robbery charges for the theft of the victim's car, made Eady eligible to face the death penalty. While not taken lightly, Finney said pursuing the death penalty was the appropriate action, considering the magnitude of the crimes. "We decided to take this line on the case because his actions made it appropriate to consider," Finney said.

Because of this, Finney said Eady faces at least two separate trials in Clarendon. The first trial will be for the killing of Brown, which will occur sometime in the next 12 months, and then the capital offense trial for the charges in the White case.

After a two-day manhunt throughout the southeast, Eady was arrested in June in Mexico Beach, Fla., after authorities there located the vehicle he was suspected of driving at the time. Shortly after the arrest, authorities in Florida announced that they thought they had recovered the weapon used in the killings.

Eady first became a suspect in late May after Brown, his cousin, was reported missing by a caregiver. Her body was found in a wooded area near her home a few days later.

Shortly after Brown was reported missing, however, White was found shot to death at the 527 Subdivision Road recycling center.

And while responding to the crime scene at the recycling center, Clarendon authorities were notified that someone had used a bank card belonging to Brown at a Charleston location. That same day, Johnson was robbed and shot to death in Charleston County.

Eady had been out of jail for less than a year at the time of the incidents, having served 10 years in state prison for armed robbery.

The first attempt to hold a bond hearing for Eady in Clarendon County back in June had to be postponed a day because Eady, just before the hearing, used the clasp on his admittance bracelet at the Clarendon County Detention Center to slit his wrist.

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