Monday, May 20 2013 10:58 AM EDT2013-05-20 14:58:13 GMT
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After 6 hours of deliberation an East Baton Rouge parish grand jury has indicted suspected serial killer Derrick Todd Lee for the first-degree murder of Charlotte Murray Pace, who was brutally stabbed to death in her Sharlo town home May 31, 2002.
This came as a surprise because many expected indictments in the other murders of Gina Wilson Green, Pam Kinamore and Carrie Yoder -- all of Baton Rouge.
First Assistant District Attorney John Sinquefield says prosecutors chose the Pace case first because it was a case which had evidence of better quality and better quantity.
Prosecutors filed court documents saying they plan to seek the death penalty. They also asked a judge to allow them to use evidence from four other murders -- the slayings of Gina Wilson Green, Pam Kinamore, Carrie Yoder, all of Baton Rouge and Trineisha Dene Colomb, of Lafayette -- in their prosecution of Lee in Pace's murder.
"The jury would have the right to convict in only the Charlotte Murray Pace indictment, but would have the right to consider the evidence in the other four cases to determine the system, knowledge, intent and plan of the defendant," said Sinquefield.
Although the murder of Dene' Colomb is outside the jurisdiction of East Baton Rouge parish, Sinquefield says they have been in contact with Lafayette Parish authorities and intend to indict all the cases at one time.
Geralyn DeSoto is the latest victim to be connected to Lee. The West Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office confirmed last Thursday that DNA taken from her murder scene conclusively linked her death to Lee. Sinquefield said her case is still under investigation and would not be appropriate for their motion at this time.
Ann Pace Says The Indictment Is A Mile Marker In Many Miles To Go
Ann Pace, Murray Pace's mother, was at the court house for today's grand jury hearing. She says it's very difficult to express exactly what she feels.
"It's a difficult and an emotional moment. I am glad I guess, that's the basic thing -- that things are finally moving toward a trial," said Ann Pace. "And, that's exactly what we want to happen. We're waiting now to hear when an arraignment will be. And, that will of course be the first time when we will be in a room with Derrick Todd Lee."
Ann Pace said she was contacted by the District Attorney's Office before the hearing, when they disclosed to her that they would only seek an indictment in her daughter's case. Ann would not go into detail why prosecutors feel so strong about Murray's case, however, she did say, "The evidence is very clear in her case."
When asked if this provided some type of closure for her and her family, Ann said, "I can't truly say that it does. It's just a mile marker in many miles to go."