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Greenville man receives life in prison without parole for abduction

Published on Tuesday, June 14, 2022

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Jerry Cecil Edwards, 63, of Greenville, received life in prison without parole.
 

Spartanburg County Sheriff Office Photo

Jerry Cecil Edwards, 63, of Greenville, received life in prison without parole.

 

A career criminal received a life prison sentence without parole Tuesday for the abduction of a Spartanburg woman.

Jerry Cecil Edwards, 63, of Greenville, was found guilty of kidnapping and carjacking at the conclusion of a two-day jury trial.

Edwards approached a woman in the parking lot of the Quick Trip, 489 W. Main St., about 1 a.m. on June 11, 2019 and asked for a ride to Walmart. The woman told the man the retailer was closed but she offered to give him a ride to wherever he needed to go.

Edwards directed the woman to drive to a Clinton Street location. He demanded money and took her car keys. He threatened to hit her on her head with a brick unless she undressed and climbed into the trunk of the car. The woman complied with the demands while Edwards drove her car to Short Allen Street.

When the car stopped, the woman pulled the trunk release to escape from the vehicle. The woman fled to a nearby home for help while Edwards left the scene.

Police arrested Edwards hours later in Greenville with the victim’s car in his possession. He also possessed the victim’s purse, her cell phone and her credit cards.

The woman testified during the trial and quickly identified Edwards as her attacker.  Solicitor Barry Barnette utilized surveillance video from the convenience store, law enforcement testimony, witness testimony and pictures to connect Edwards to the crime.

“This situation could have been a lot worse if the courageous woman had not run for help when she did,” Barnette said. “Her actions were a life saver.”

Edwards’ prior criminal record includes convictions for first-degree burglary, 3 counts of attempted kidnapping, attempted kidnapping, strong-arm robbery, 3 counts of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature and breach of peace of a high and aggravated nature.

Circuit Judge Lawton McIntosh sentenced Edwards in accordance with state law for repeat violent offenders. 

“Jerry Edwards has repeatedly demonstrated that he can’t conform to the laws of our state,” Barnette said. “I’m thankful he will spend the balance of his life behind bars in prison.”

 

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