Authorities nab murder suspect

Published 8:55 pm Saturday, June 9, 2012

Murder suspect Deandra Marquis Lee, 22, was captured Saturday in a small apartment in Selma, reportedly huddled in the room with a woman.

Selma Chief of Police William T. Riley said he received a tip that Lee, wanted in connection to the murders of three people including two children, was in an apartment at Merrimac Apartments, located on Medical Center Parkway. The tip, Riley said, came in at 10:30 a.m.

After interviewing the individual who gave the tip, Riley then coordinated information with the U.S. Marshals and members of the Alabama Bureau of Investigation. The three organizations immediately rushed to capture Lee.

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Law enforcement officials made entry into Merrimac Apartment No. 410 at approximately 11:10 a.m., Riley said, and apprehended the suspect without major resistance.

“We mobilized so quickly,” Riley said. “You got to think, at 10:30 I’m getting information and by about 11:15 the suspect is in custody.”

An unidentified black female was also found inside the apartment, Riley said, noting that ABI officials will be interviewing her in the days ahead.

Lee is accused of killing three people earlier this week in Lowndes County. The three included 9-year-old twins, Jordan and Taylor Dejerinett and their 73-year-old caretaker, Jack Mac Girdner.

Their bodies were discovered Tuesday evening and on Thursday, investigators with the Alabama Bureau of Investigation said they believed Lee to be in the Selma area.

Riley said he was unsure why Lee, who had once lived in Selma but most recently lived in Mobile, didn’t flee Selma, but acknowledged he could have been preparing to mobilize when law enforcement officials captured him Saturday.

“Well it’s hard to tell,” Riley said. “You don’t know what’s going through these people’s minds. You’ve got to ask the question too, ‘Why would someone harm a child?’ He could have been trying to prepare to leave or get his resources together to leave; we just don’t know.”

Dallas County District Attorney Michael Jackson, whose office worked to have previous bonds on Lee revoked Friday in front of District Court Judge Bob Armstrong, said the effort by the multiple state and local agencies paid off.

“Law enforcement officers and the public did a great job in combing forces to capture this coward,” Jackson said. “[Lee’s] troubles are just now beginning.”

While packing up their equipment, Riley said he was most relieved that Lee was taken into custody without incident or injury.

“It was a great day,” Riley said. “I know it was raining, but none of us got hurt, the suspect wasn’t hurt, no civilians were hurt. I think we can all [breath a sigh of relief].”

Information on where Lee was transported to following his capture was not made available. The ABI has said they will be issuing a release later Saturday, providing more details on Lee’s capture.