Originally created 06/08/06

Man confesses to Clemson killing



PICKENS, S.C. - A registered sex offender charged with strangling a Clemson University student with her bikini top returned to South Carolina to face charges Wednesday, and authorities said he confessed to the slaying in addition to attacks in two other states.

Jerry Buck Inman, 35, spoke softly during an arraignment when questioned by a magistrate about whether he understood the charges of murder, rape and kidnapping in the death of Tiffany Marie Souers. DNA from her off-campus apartment led authorities to him.

No bond was set for Mr. Inman, who was being held in solitary confinement.

"It seems like he was just wandering around, finding vulnerable people - women - and preying on them and conducting sexual assaults and getting progressively worse," Jefferson County (Tenn.) Sheriff David Davenport said.

"He didn't know the victim," Sheriff Davenport said of Ms. Souers. "It is our information he was driving around in the (victim's) neighborhood and saw her and he liked her looks."

Mr. Inman has also been charged with burglary, robbery, theft of property and attempted rape in a May 23 incident in which he is accused of breaking into a home in Rainsville, Ala., and trying to attack a woman after she came home for lunch.

Sheriff Davenport said he expects Mr. Inman will also be charged with a May 24 rape in Sevierville, Tenn.

Jefferson County Chief Deputy Bob McCoig said Mr. Inman confessed to killing Ms. Souers after deputies and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agents arrested him near his mother's home in Dandridge, Tenn. He later confessed to the attempted rape in Alabama and the rape in Tennessee.

Sherifff Davenport said the victims identified Mr. Inman from his tattoos.

Ms. Souers, a 20-year-old civil engineering student from Ladue, Mo., near St. Louis, was wearing only a bra when she was found May 26 on the bedroom floor in her apartment. The bikini top was still around her neck, and her wrists and ankles were bound.