By Bruce Smith
CHARLESTON, S.C. — A man released last year from prison after serving a decade for armed robbery is now charged with two counts of murder, accused of shooting two women during a rural South Carolina crime spree, authorities said Friday.
Jeffery Eady, 31, of the Oakdale community in Clarendon County, is also wanted for questioning in the disappearance of a third woman who searchers continued looking for on Friday, authorities said.
Eady is thought to have fled to central Georgia, said Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon.
Eady is charged with murder in the death of 37-year-old Crystal Johnson of Adams Run, according to a warrant issued in Charleston County. The mother of three was shot Thursday in the rural convenience store where she worked part time.
A few hours earlier, 65-year-old Maybell White was shot to death with a revolver at a recycling business in Clarendon County, said Sheriff Randy Garrett. White's daughter found her body after not being able to reach her mother by phone. The county is about 90 miles northwest of Charleston.
At that time, deputies in Clarendon County were also looking for Sadie Brown, 77, of New Zion, who lives near the recycling facility and was reported missing Thursday by her caregiver. The search for Brown continued Friday in a rural area near where her car was found, Garrett said.
Within the past week, Eady's father had become a caregiver for Brown. He said there was no connection between Eady and White "except that the recycling center happened to be in front of Eady's father's house."
He said a murder warrant had also been issued for Eady in White's death.
Cannon said technology such as cellphones and surveillance cameras indicate that Eady was in the Macon, Ga., area early Friday. He didn't go into detail but said a number of lottery tickets were stolen from the Charleston County convenience store and later cashed in in Georgia.
Eady was released from state prison in June 2012 after serving more than a decade on an armed robbery conviction, according to South Carolina prison officials.
While still under state supervision as he served out the last months of his sentence, he cut off an electronic monitoring device and was sent back to prison to serve out a final two months before being released in October, parole and probation officials said.
Garrett said that surveillance cameras showed there was another man in Eady's car on Thursday when he stopped at a gas station in North Charleston. But cameras at the convenience store, farther south, indicated Eady was then alone, Cannon said.
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Copyright 2013 Associated Press