Pretrial Motions Filed in 'Bikini' Murder of Clemson University Student

Pretrial motions were to be argued Friday in the case of a convicted sex offender charged in the slaying of a 20-year-old Clemson University student who was strangled with a bikini top.

Jerry Buck Inman, 36, faces kidnapping, rape and murder charges in the death of Tiffany Marie Souers.

Souers, an engineering student from Ladue, Mo., was found inside her off-campus apartment May 26, 2006. Police said a bikini top used to choke her was still around her neck.

Inman's attorney, Symmes Culbertson, said Wednesday that pretrial motions would be considered but would not provide details. A spokeswoman for prosecutor Bob Ariail also confirmed motions would be heard Friday.

Ariail has said he intends to seek the death penalty for Inman.

A judge has issued a wide-ranging gag order in the case, not only keeping prosecutors and lawyers from talking to reporters, but also law enforcement officers, including those in Tennessee where Inman was arrested, as well as the relatives of Souers and Inman.

No trial date has been scheduled for Inman, who also faces charges in the attempted rape of a 24-year-old woman in Rainsville, Ala., and in the rape of a 28-year-old woman at her home in Sevierville, Tenn. Authorities have said those crimes occurred in the days leading up to Souers' death.

Inman spent about 18 years in prison in North Carolina and Florida for rapes he committed as a teenager. He is a registered sex offender in both states.

He was free for about nine months before his June 2006 arrest.

Inman's hearing has been scheduled for 10 a.m. before Judge Edward Miller.

In April, Miller allowed Culbertson, who has represented Inman since his arrest, to continue working on his case, along with Greenville lawyer James Bannister and Pickens County public defender John W. DeJong. Under South Carolina law, defendants facing the death penalty are allowed to have at least two attorneys.