Bond set at $500,000 for stabbing, crash suspect

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Bond has been set at $500,000 for a 28-year-old man who police say is connected to a Myrtle Beach stabbing and car crash that killed a Pawleys Island woman on Monday.

Johnny Samuel Foster, 28, of Myrtle Beach, appeared in court at the Myrtle Beach Law Enforcement Center on Friday morning for a bond hearing. After hearing testimony from the stabbing victim, a judge presiding over the hearing set Foster's bond at $500,000.

Foster, according to authorities, will remain in custody at the Myrtle Beach Jail until bond is posted.

Myrtle Beach Police say the accident on US-501 and Seaboard Street that killed Cheryl Byrd, 53, was caused by the stabbing suspect after he had fled the scene at 1345 Brown Pelican Dr. Investigators say Foster has charges pending for assault and battery with intent to kill, assault while resisting arrest, possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime and felony DUI.

Capt. David Knipes, spokesman for the Myrtle Beach Police Department, says officers were called to the scene near Robert Grissom Parkway shortly before 6 p.m. When officers arrived, they found the victim, identified in an incident report at Stephanie Bennett, 30, lying on the ground with a stab wound to the stomach. Police say Foster then fled in a vehicle and struck an officer with the vehicle's mirror.

Bennett, who investigators identified as Foster's girlfriend, was taken to South Strand Ambulatory Care Center and later transported to Grand Strand Regional Medical Center. She was released from care Tuesday afternoon.

Police say a weapon was recovered from the scene.

"I was looking out my bedroom window and I saw a lady and a guy fighting and basically he had a butcher knife," witness Gene Sparkman said. "I saw him swing the knife a couple of times, but I didn't actually see him hit her with the knife."

Investigators say Foster got onto US-501 at a high speed and collided with two cars at the intersection of 501 and Seaboard just after 6 p.m. Byrd died at the scene as a result of injuries sustained in the crash.

"It's very tough to look at. It's very sad," said Myrtle Beach Police Lt. Chuck Dunn. "Innocent people have been injured by someone else's action."

A viewing will be held for Byrd at 6 p.m. Friday at Wilds Funeral Home in Georgetown. A funeral will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at Bethel AME Church in Georgetown.

Another victim of the crash was life-flighted from Coastal Grand Mall to New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington. At last check, the victim is in stable condition.

One detective at the scene described the overturned vehicle, the use of the jaws of life, and all of the emergency responders as part of one of the worst accidents he's ever seen on US-501.

The Myrtle Beach Police Department continues to investigate this incident and anyone with any information is asked to please contact Investigator Pieterse at 843-918-1913.

This is not Foster's first run-in with the law. He was previously arrested in October 2007 by Myrtle Beach Police for possession of crack, and again in March 2008 on a bench warrant for failure to appear on the possession charge. He pleaded guilty on the charge and received a one-year suspended sentence with one year probation, and his driver license was suspended. Foster was also arrested in 2008 on probation violation.

Foster was released from medical care on Thursday afternoon.

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