Grand jury to hear triple murder case

Published 5:20 pm Tuesday, June 11, 2013


The Lowndes Signal


“The community was horrified that someone would execute two young defenseless children and an older gentleman. It was disturbing that they were brought to Lowndes County apparently for that purpose,” Lowndes County District Attorney Charlotte Tesmer said in reference to the one-year anniversary of a triple murder that rocked Lowndes County.

Tesmer said she expects to try the case against Deandra Marquis Lee for the murders in Lowndes County this October.

Lee, 22, is accused of killing 9-year-old twins, Jordan and Taylor Dejerinett, from Montgomery, and their 73-year-old caretaker, Jack Mac Girdner of Hope Hull.

The three had been reported missing on Monday, June 4 and their bodies were discovered Tuesday, June 5, 2012.

Lee was later declared a suspect in the murders and captured Saturday, June 9, 2012, huddled in a Selma apartment.

“It is my hope to receive a completed Alabama Bureau of Investigation file before the Lowndes County Grand Jury meets on July 15,” Tesmer said Monday. “Several agencies assisted in the investigation of the case. The lead agent has assured me that he is working with those agencies to retrieve what information they may have collected so that we will have a complete file to present to the Grand Jury.”

Tesmer said her office would be prepared to try the case during that term of criminal court.

The children had last been seen with Girdner Sunday, June 3,2012 according to information from the Department of Public Safety.

When the children were reported missing on that Monday, authorities said they were in the custody of Girdner, who had known the family for “about three years.” They had been reportedly last seen in Montgomery.

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 Highway 21 near Hayneville, three miles south of U.S. Highway 80.

A day later, the ABI confirmed they had recovered the missing 1998 white Mercedes, owned by Girdner. The car, which was missing all four of its doors, was discovered in the Minter community in south Dallas County.

According to an article in The Selma Times-Journal, Lee was captured Saturday, June 9, 2012 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 was in an apartment at Merrimac Apartments, located on Medical Center Parkway.

After interviewing the individual who provided the tip, Riley then contacted the other agencies involved in the search, including ABI, the Alabama State Troopers and the U.S. Marshals.  The organizations immediately rushed to capture Lee.

Law enforcement officials made entry into Merrimac Apartment No. 410, Riley said, and apprehended Lee without major resistance.

After his arrest, District Court Judge Adrian D. Johnson bound Lee over to the grand jury on July 2 finding probable cause after hearing testimony from Alabama Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Matt Bowman.

The preliminary hearing of Lee was disrupted at Lowndes County District Court when three uncles of the slain 9-year-old twins charged at Lee as he was brought into the courtroom.

Lee is being held in the Lowndes County Jail on a $3 million cash bond; $1 million for each murder charge.