A twenty-year-old Richland County, South Carolina man will spend the next thirty-eight years in prison after pleading guilty to murdering a woman in Cayce, S.C. a little more than two years ago.
Thirty-year-old Heather Renee Jordan of West Columbia, S.C. was shot and killed in the early morning hours of September 26, 2021 by Kendrick Lamar Moody at a residence located on the 1600 block of Northland Drive in Cayce.
Moody murdered Jordan after the pair participated in a robbery with two other individuals the previous evening. The shooting took place during a drug-fueled argument that ensued in the aftermath of the robbery, according to local law enforcement.
Moody pleaded guilty to killing Jordan during the fourth day of his jury trial in Lexington County, according to a news release from the office of S.C. eleventh circuit solicitor Rick Hubbard.
“During the trial, a witness testified that multiple people were inside of a bedroom with Jordan prior to the shooting,” the news release noted. “The witness described the environment as ‘hostile’ and stated that he observed Moody place a .22 Ruger rifle to Jordan’s head and saw him pull the trigger.”
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According to her obituary, Jordan was the mother of a young daughter at the time she was killed.
“Moody fled the scene after shooting Jordan and discarded the rifle in a nearby wooded area,” the release continued. “(He) was apprehended by law enforcement the following day.”
Officers of the Cayce police department executed a search warrant at the crime scene and recovered a .22 cartridge case from the bedroom. They found Jordan’s body in a nearby closet where it had been dragged and dumped following the shooting.
During the trial, agents of the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) testified that “an examination of firearms evidence determined that the .22 Ruger rifle fired the .22 casing found at the crime scene,” according to the solicitor’s release.
“Additional evidence presented at trial established that DNA collected from the grip of the .22 rifle was consistent with Moody’s DNA profile,” the release added.
No plea offers made by the state in this case, and the 38-year sentence imposed upon Moody by S.C. circuit court judge Walton J. McLeod IV must be served “day-for-day” – meaning the convicted killer is not eligible for parole.
Moody’s case was prosecuted by eleventh circuit deputy solicitor Suzanne Mayes and assistant solicitor Kelly Oppenheimer. The investigation into the murder was led by the Cayce police department with assistance from SLED.
Two other men — 41-year-old Michael Allen Ponder Sr. and 20-year-old Charles Cavin Craft – remain incarcerated at the Lexington County detention center awaiting the disposition of charges filed against them in connection with Jordan’s murder.
Craft has been charged with accessory to murder after the fact, attempted murder, conspiracy, failure to stop for blue light, resisting arrest with a gun, possessing a gun during a violent crime and possessing a stolen vehicle. Ponder has been charged with accessory to murder after the fact and conspiracy.
As regular members of our audience are well aware, this news outlet frequently calls out South Carolina’s judicial system – and its bad actors – when violent offenders are not held accountable for their actions. In the interest of fairness, we believe it is important to also highlight cases like this one in which violent criminals are held accountable – and to praise those who do the hard work of securing justice for victims.
We would also like to commend the judges who prioritized public safety by keeping these violent criminals off the streets while the charges against them were adjudicated.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children.
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