Triple-murder suspect pleads not guilty

Published 2:54 pm Monday, September 23, 2013

Triple-murder suspect Deandra Marquis Lee, dressed in an orange inmate uniform, entered pleas of not guilty to six capital murder charges during a court appearance Monday.

Lee is accused of killing twins Jordan and Taylor Dejerinett and their 73-year-old caretaker Jack Mac Girdner in June of 2012. According to the ABI, the bodies were discovered by the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office and the ABI on a dirt road off of Alabama Hwy. 21 near Hayneville, three miles south of U.S. Hwy. 80.

This past June, a Lowndes County Grand Jury indicted Lee on six charges of capital murder for allegedly murdering three people during a robbery, killing two children under the age of 14 and murdering two or more people.

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Lowndes County District Attorney Charlotte Tesmer said she plans to seek the death penalty for the capital murders.

“These are the ones we are here to protect — children,” Tesmer said. “These children didn’t deserve what they got. Mr. Girdner did not. He was an elderly man. And the crimes are those type that lend themselves to the death penalty.”

Tesmer noted that Lee is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty.

Tesmer said Lee is currently being held in the Autauga County Jail.

According to Tesmer, it is up to the sheriff whether or not he houses inmates in his local county jail or if he makes arrangements for the inmate to be houses in another jail. She said there were some issues with his conduct within the Lowndes County jail that caused Sheriff John Williams to arrange for Lee to me housed in the Autauga County Jail.

Lee is being held on a $3 million cash bond.

Tesmer said the case will go to trial in the spring.

Defense attorneys Jerry Thornton and Logan Taylor of Hayneville are representing Lee.

Thornton declined Monday to comment on the case.