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Suspect confesses to student killing, authorities say
Scripps Howard News Service


June 07, 2006

DANDRIDGE, Tenn. - A registered sex offender, calling himself "a sick animal," confessed to the strangling death of Clemson University student Tiffany Marie Souers and two other rapes involving young blonde women in Alabama and Tennessee just days before, authorities said Wednesday.

In all three cases, Jerry Buck Inman was driving around and just happened to see these women, said Jefferson County Sheriff Department Chief Deputy G.W. "Bud" McCoig, who arrested Inman near his parents home in Dandridge late Tuesday and who interrogated him overnight.




"We asked him, 'Why?' and all he would say was that he's a sick animal," McCoig said.

Inman, 35, a sex offender registered in Florida, Tennessee and North Carolina, was linked to Souers' Central, S.C., off-campus apartment by DNA, authorities said.

DNA matches also connect Inman to a May 24 attempted rape and aggravated robbery of a 24-year-old woman in DeKalb, Ala., and a May 23 aggravated rape of a woman in her early 30s in Sevierville, Tenn., McCoig said.

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Department was contacted by South Carolina authorities around 2 p.m. Tuesday after a match to evidence in the Tiffany Souers killing from a Florida DNA registry.

The department staked out his parents' home and the homes of his sister and nephew.

McCoig spotted him about 11:45 p.m. driving by his parent's home in a red-and-tan colored 1991 Chevy Blazer and started a short chase in an unmarked vehicle that reached speeds of up to 70 mph., he said.

McCoig, who is in charge of sex offender registration, said Inman recognized him and pulled over into the parking lot of Mount Carmel Baptist Church.

When he walked up to Inman, McCoig asked him, "I'm here about the South Carolina deal. Do you know what I'm talking about?" he told the Anderson Independent-Mail. "And he said 'Yes.' "

Inman was taken into custody without incident. Inman was carrying only a small lockblade knife.

"I knew him. He had to report with me," McCoig said. "He has such a violent past I'm not at all surprised he did this."

Inman, the suspect in the strangling death of Clemson University junior Tiffany Marie Souers, was back in the Upstate Wednesday afternoon - this time behind bars.

Officers with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division and Central Police Department drove Inman from Dandridge to the Pickens County Law Enforcement Center in South Carolina Wednesday.

Pickens County law enforcement officers started applauding as Inman climbed out of the vehicle and was walked into the law enforcement center for his arraignment on murder charges. Inman said nothing and kept gaze fixed to the ground. About a dozen onlookers lined the street.


Contact Megan Nichols of the Anderson Independent-Mail in
Anderson, S.C., at
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Scripps Howard News Service,

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