Murder suspect Jeff Eady returns to face charges

Jeffrey Eady (provided)

by Stacy

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- The man accused of killing three women across two counties returned to Charleston to face a judge Wednesday.

CCSO spokesman Maj. Jim Brady announced that Jeffrey Eady was coming back to Charleston County Wednesday to face murder and armed robbery charges for the death of Crystal Johnson, 37, at an Adam's Run gas station May 31.

Johnson, a mother of three, was shot and killed while working at her family's convenience store on Savannah Highway, police said.

The judge denied Eady bond for his murder and armed robbery charges, but got a $100,000 bond for firearm possession.

Eady was stoic during his bond hearing. He closed his eyes while one of the victim's family members spoke about Johnson and what she called a "horrific, tragic act." She then asked the courts to prosecute Eady to the "fullest extent."

Johnson's family members gathered outside the courtroom. They hugged and cried together as they remembered their mother, wife and friend.

"She was a beautiful person, loved life, was full of life and life was taken away from her in a moment," said Rev. Dr. Joann Summers, a relative who spoke for all family members in attendance.

According to affidavits released Wednesday, Eady entered the D & V Convenience Store with a gun, robbed the clerk and then forced her to the back of the store at gunpoint. She never returned.

"This was senseless," Summers said.

Johnson's family members had their say in court. They spoke of the loving mother she was .. and how she didn't have to die.

All the while, Eady closed his eyes.

He never spoke during the hearing, leaving Johnson's family with questions.

"We did want to know why," Summers said. "Why did he have to murder her?"

They said they'd never know the answer. But they said justice for Crystal was a court conviction and a lifetime in prison for Eady.

Johnson's family said it didn't know Eady.

Eady's attorney declined comment after the bond hearing.

Eady has been on suicide watch since his attempted suicide held up his bond court hearing in Clarendon County. He then waived the right to a trial until he could face a circuit court judge who could consider bond.

Eady is also charged in the deaths of Sadie Brown, 77, and Maybell White, 65, in Clarendon County. Brady said Eady will return there to face those charges after his hearing in Charleston County.

Prison officials say Eady was released last year after serving more than a decade for armed robbery.