Double-homicide suspect indicted on charges of soliciting inmates to kill witness

A double-homicide suspect from Union County was indicted by a grand jury Monday on charges he tried to entice two inmates to kill a witness against him.

Eddie “Clyde” Helms, 61, sought out the inmates in the Union County Jail between November and December, court records show. He was indicted on two counts of solicitation of another person to commit a felony.

Helms already is in jail without bond on charges that he killed two men 24 years apart in Union and Anson counties. Helms, who grew up in the New Salem community near Marshville and Anson County, was arrested in New Salem in August in connection with those cases.

He was charged with killing John Terow Griffin III, 39, in Peachland, Anson County, on Nov. 10, 1988, and Charles Ronald Godwin, 60, in eastern Union County on Aug. 30, 2012. Helms also is charged with stalking Godwin and a female friend who recently had ended a seven-year relationship with Helms.

Griffin and Godwin were killed in a similar manner, authorities have said: They were shot in the back with a shotgun by an assailant who had sneaked up on them. As authorities worked the 2012 slaying, they heard “rumor and general information” that led them to look at Helms for the 1988 case, Union County Sheriff Eddie Cathey has said.

Authorities have said little else about the cases other than noting that anger and jealousy were factors in both crimes.

They also have not said what Helms allegedly offered to have a witness killed or who that witness is. The new charges that Helms faces are relatively rare ones for Union County, officials said.

The indictments provided few details about the latest charges.