Man accused of 4 murders in South Carolina, Missouri appears in court
(CHESTER, S.C.) — Tyler Terry, the South Carolina man who was arrested in connection with four murders after a weeklong police search, appeared in court Tuesday.
Terry is accused of killing four people from May 2 to May 15 across two states. The victims are Eugene Simpson, 33; Thomas Hardin, 35; Barbara Goodkin, 71; and Sergei Zacharev, 58.
A police search for him was launched after he got into a high-speed chase with Chester County deputies on May 17, during which he allegedly fired at officers, the Chester County Sheriff’s Department said at the time. None were harmed.
Terry eluded over 300 officers involved in the search for days by staying in a wooded part of Chester County near Richburg before he was arrested Monday. He was found hiding in weeds when a team of federal agents spotted him, the Associated Press reported.
Terry appeared before two judges Tuesday, one in Chester County and the other in the city of Chester, and was ordered to be held with no bond. According to South Carolina law, a magistrate judge can’t set bond on a murder charge.
Chester County Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Garis questioned Terry several times about his wellbeing as Terry stared at him while he explained the court room proceedings.
At one point the judge asked Terry, “You feeling alright today?” and Terry returned a barely audible response.
“Excuse me, can you speak up? Garis asked. “I just want to make sure you understand where you’re at. Do you understand where you’re at today? Where are you?”
“Courtroom,” Terry responded.
Terry’s lawyers said they believed he was nervous, according to FOX affiliate WJZY.
“I’m always concerned, though, that the defendant is aware of what’s going on, and I’m hoping that the attorneys are aware of his condition going forward,” Garis said.
“We have no concern based on our conversation this morning,” Terry’s lawyer responded.
Terry will undergo a mental health evaluation, per standard new inmate protocol.
He will also appear before judges in York County in South Carolina and in St. Louis County, Missouri, at a later date.
“There’s no reason for him to ever be out on our streets ever again,” Chester Sheriff Max Dorsey said after the bond hearing, according to WSOC, the local ABC affiliate in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Terry had been on the run since last Monday night, when he was allegedly part of a high-speed police chase with Chester County Sheriff’s deputies, police said. Residents had been urged to stay indoors for days as law enforcement searched for him.
The alleged driver in the chase, Adrienne Simpson of Myrtle Beach, crashed and was arrested. She was accused of driving the vehicle that transported Terry in the May 2 murder of Hardin and was charged with accessory.
On Wednesday, the York Police Department in South Carolina announced they upgraded her accessory charge to murder after obtaining additional evidence related to the case, officials said in a news update Monday.
Simpson’s husband, Eugene Simpson, was found dead last week in Great Falls, South Carolina, and his death was ruled a homicide. He was reported missing May 2. Both Terry and Simpson have been charged in his death, the Chester County Sheriff’s Office said.
In South Carolina, authorities connected Terry to the May 2 murder of Hardin in York County and two other separate shootings, also on May 2, the Chester County Sheriff’s Office told ABC News.
Authorities also connected Terry and Simpson to two murders near St. Louis, Missouri, on the night of May 15, WSOC reported. According to officials, the two allegedly shot Zacharev and Stanley and Barbara Goodkin. Stanley Goodkin survived.
On Monday, St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell charged Terry and Simpson with two counts of first-degree murder and 12 other counts in the deaths of Zacharev and Barbara Goodkin.
Terry and Simpson also are charged with shooting at a motorist, whose name was not released, who reported being shot at 10 times while he was driving on Highway 170 in the St. Louis area on May 15. Three bullets hit his car, but he was not injured, Bell said Monday, per the Associated Press.
Investigators are still trying to determine why the suspects were in the St. Louis area, Bell said.
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.