Greenville man sentenced to life in prison for kidnapping Upstate woman

The Greenville man was recently found guilty of kidnapping and carjacking
Published: Jun. 14, 2022 at 4:57 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - Solicitor Barry Barnette announced that a Greenville man was recently sentenced for the 2019 kidnapping of an Upstate woman.

Barnette said 63-year-old Jerry Cecil Edwards was found guilty of kidnapping and carjacking following a two-day jury trial. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole for the incident.

According to Barnette, the incident occurred on June 11, 2019. Edwards approached a woman in the parking lot of the Quick Trip on W. Main Street at around 1:00 a.m. and asked for a ride to Walmart. The woman explained that the store was closed but offered to give him a ride wherever he needed to go.

Once inside the car, Edwards told the woman to drive to a place on Clinton Street, where he demanded money and took her car keys. He then threatened to hit her in the head with a brick unless she undressed and got into the car’s trunk. The woman complied but jumped out of the truck and fled to a nearby home once the car stopped.

Officers later took Edwards into custody and found the victim’s car. He also had the victim’s purse, cell phone and credit cards.

During the trial, the victim testified and quickly identified Edwards as her attacker. Barnette said he used 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.”

Before this incident, Edwards had been convicted of 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.

“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.”