New charges for man accused of killing 77-year-old Hollywood woman

Jerry Lee Manigault

The convicted sex offender accused of killing a 77-year-old Hollywood woman will appear in court Tuesday for additional charges.

Jerry Lee Manigault, 53, of Hollywood was charged with murder and first-degree burglary Friday in the killing of Julia Mudgett.

On Monday, Charleston County investigators filed additional charges of kidnapping and strong arm robbery against Manigault in the case, sheriff's Maj. Eric Watson said.

Manigault is scheduled to appear at a bond hearing before a magistrate Tuesday morning, but he will almost certainly remain behind bars, as no bail has been set on the initial charges.

Mudgett had been reported missing and hadn't been seen since May 3, according to authorities.

Her body was found Friday wrapped in cloth in woods off a road about a half-mile west of her house, officials said.

Sometime between 7 p.m. May 5 and 10 p.m. May 6, Mudgett was hit several times in the head and body, causing blood loss that is believed to have contributed to her death, according to an arrest affidavit.

According to the affidavit, the investigation unfolded this way:

A window in the front door of Mudgett's Toogoodoo Road home was broken. The house appeared to have been ransacked, kitchen cabinets were open and a large amount of blood was spattered on the floor and walls. A machine Mudgett used to help her breathe was still running in a front room.

Mudgett was nowhere to be found, but her maroon Hyundai Elantra was gone.

Investigators got tips that Manigault had gone to Bluffton, where he had family members. Manigault was seen with the car on numerous occasions at several locations in Bluffton.

Detectives later found Mudgett's car in the area. Blood was found in the trunk, and the State Law Enforcement Division was called to compare samples with Mudgett's blood.

Mudgett died of blunt trauma, authorities said.

Manigault is also a suspect in the death of 70-year-old Polly Ann Mitchell of Bluffton, whose body was found last week.

Manigault's status as a sex offender stemmed from convictions in a July 1996 kidnapping and assault.

Reach Natalie Caula Hauff at 937-5594 or