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Lancaster man charged in two murders

Posted: February 3, 2011 5:34 p.m.
Updated: February 4, 2011 5:00 a.m.
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Kershaw County Coroner Johnny Fellers identified Evans' second victim as his estranged wife, Elizabeth Marie Evans, of Lancaster.

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Bond was waived Thursday for a Lancaster County man charged with murdering his estranged wife and a Kershaw County man.

Brian Franklin Evans, 45, is being held at the Kershaw County Detention Center.

The Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) homicide investigation began with the discovery of 59-year-old Jerry Wayne Geiger’s body at his McBee Highway home in the Mt. Pisgah area.

Sheriff Jim Matthews said that Geiger’s family, after not being able to reach him for several days, contacted the KCSO just before midnight Tuesday. Deputies went to Geiger’s house and found his body in a bedroom. He had been beaten and shot multiple times, Matthews said, and was believed to have been dead several days.

Finding that Geiger’s black Chevrolet pickup truck was missing, the KCSO issued a BOLO around 3 a.m. Wednesday, along with a sketch by a S.C. Law Enforcement Division forensics artist of a man who had been seen by Geiger’s family at his home. Deputies with the Florence County Sheriff’s Department sighted and stopped the truck in Florence and took Evans into custody.

Following up on additional information at that time, the KCSO located a second body which was later identified by Kershaw County Coroner Johnny Fellers as Elizabeth Marie Evans, 60, of Lancaster. Evans, who had reportedly been missing for several weeks, was found around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday in woods on Flat Rock Road off U.S. 521.

An autopsy Thursday morning revealed the woman died of asphyxiation by strangulation. Fellers said he believes Evans was killed at the location she was found and that additional tests will be performed to try to pinpoint an exact time of death.

Brian Evans has an extensive record, Matthews said, including housebreaking and escape, and was wanted on warrants from the Lexington, West Columbia and York areas. He also has a history of drug use, specifically crack cocaine, the sheriff said, and drugs may be a factor in the homicides.

Matthews said Evans has remained calm while in custody but that it seems to be a “calm with no remorse.” He has been cooperative with authorities, according to the sheriff.

The KCSO investigation is ongoing, Matthew said, and investigators continue to collect evidence and obtain search warrants for a house and vehicle related to the case.

“We’re still running down leads and the records of others to bolster our case,” the sheriff said. “You always go into a case anticipating a jury trial.”

Both Matthews and Fellers commended the cooperation of all agencies involved in the investigation.

“There was a lot of good work, hard work, by the sheriff’s office investigators,” Fellers said. “It’s just amazing how all these agencies came together to begin working toward closure for two different families.”

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