Crime & Courts

SC man sexually assaulted 83-year-old, tied her up with Nike shoelaces

EDGEFIELD COUNTY, SC An Edgefield County man will serve a 60-year prison sentence after he was convicted for the home invasion and rape of an 83-year-old woman last year.

A jury in Edgefield County General Sessions Court returned a guilty verdict Friday for Edward Terrell Chandler for first degree criminal sexual conduct, first degree burglary, kidnapping and common law robbery, prosecutors said.

Circuit Court Judge Eugene C. Griffith Jr. sentenced him to 60 years for burglary, 30 years for criminal sexual conduct, 30 years for the kidnapping and 15 years for robbery to be served concurrently, according to court records.

The burglary, kidnapping and criminal sexual conduct charges are “no parole” offenses, meaning those convicted must serve at least 85 percent of the sentence before release on community supervision, according to Senior Assistant Solicitor Suzanne Mayes.

Parole may be granted for the robbery conviction, though he must serve the burglary sentence first, Mayes said.

“He would be approximately 78 years of age before eligibility for release,” Mayes said.

The victim was at her home in the Johnston area of Edgefield County when Chandler, 28, knocked on her door in the early morning of Feb. 24, 2015, according to a news release from Solicitor Donnie Myers’ office.

Chandler reportedly asked to use the victim’s phone, claiming his father had a medical problem. Chandler then forced his way into her home and sexually assaulted the woman, the release stated.

He then stole money from her purse and forced her to write him a check for a large amount of money.

He then tied her up using shoe strings from his Nike Air Max shoes, electrical cord and tape.

Chandler fled the scene and the woman was able to free her hands from the restraints and call 911 for assistance.

Edgefield County deputies and EMS workers arrived at her home and found her wrapped in electrical cord shoe strings.

She was bleeding from the sexual assault and was rushed to Aiken Regional Hospital for medical treatment.

Chandler went to Coastal Gas Station nearby and attempted to cash the check. The owner of the gas station refused and notified law enforcement of Chandler’s vehicle description.

About 20 minutes later, Chandler’s vehicle was stopped in Trenton, and he was taken into custody. He did not have shoe strings in his Nike Air Max shoes at the time of the arrest, according to the release.

During last week’s trial, the victim testified and positively identified Chandler as her assailant. She said she recognized Chandler because he had previously done yard work at her home.

The prosecution also called an expert witness from the Nike Corporation to identify the shoe strings from the crime scene. The expert testified that the shoe strings were sold with the color of style of Nike Air Max shoes Chandler was wearing at the time of his arrest. Herbert Hedges, who has worked with Nike for 30 years, has provided expert testimony is several cases around the country involving Nike products. He also testified in former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez’ case last year.

Chandler’s previous convictions include possession with intent to distribute cocaine, forgery and theft by taking.

Mayes said her office appreciated the Edgefield County Sheriff’s Department’s efforts, which conducted the investigation.

“They acted swiftly to respond to this crime, especially during the first 24 hours which is crucial during a criminal investigation,” she said. “Their officers worked overtime to prepare this case for court and see justice prevail.”