Triple murder suspect sentenced after plea, said voices drove him to kill

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - A man who murdered and robbed a Lowcountry convenience store clerk was sentenced to life without parole Thursday morning.

Jeffrey Eady pleaded guilty but mentally ill in the May 2013 shooting death of 37-year-old Crystal Johnson.

Eady is already serving two other life sentences for the murders of two people in Clarendon County.

Clarendon County deputies say Eady shot and killed 77-year old Sadie Brown on May 28, 2013. Two days later, Eady shot and killed 65-year old Maybell White, a Clarendon County recycling center employee.

Charleston County deputies say later that day Eady shot and killed Johnson at the D&V convenience store in Adams Run.

According to court affidavits, Eady's family recognized him from surveillance photos from the store. He was captured on June 1, 2013 in Dade County, Florida.

Eady addressed the court and apologized. Public Defender Ashley Pennington said the man was hearing voices.

"He already passed the D&V convenience store which is south on Highway 17. But the voices demanded to come back to that and we had this horrible tragic incident as a direct result," Pennington told Judge Markley Dennis.

"It's sad to say all this led to a point to where it broke me down and put me in a state of confusion where such crimes took place like that," Eady told the judge.

Clarendon County prosecutors had planned to seek the death penalty against Eady in White's murder, but the death penalty was taken off the table when Eady's mental illness was revealed.

Eady is serving his sentences at Lee Correctional Institution.

Copyright 2017 WCSC. All rights reserved.