Judge hears defense motions in triple murder case

Published 4:19 pm Friday, January 31, 2014

By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal

Triple murder suspect Deandra Marquis Lee appeared in Lowndes County Circuit Court Friday morning before Circuit Court Judge Terri Bozeman Lovell while defense attorneys filed several motions in his case set for trail April 7.

Lee faces six capital murder charges in connection with the June 3, 2012 murders of 9-year-old twins, Jordan and Taylor Dejerinett, from Montgomery, and their 73-year-old caretaker, Jack Mac Girdner of Hope Hull, in Lowndes County.

Email newsletter signup

Defense attorneys Jerry Thornton and Logan Taylor of Hayneville represent Lee, who was 22 at the time of the crime.

Lowndes County District Attorney Charlotte M. Tesmer said, “The defense filed several motions, most of them have to do with discovery issues.”

She said, “We have an open file policy anyway, but the judge will rule on these 11 motions the defense filed after hearing both sides of the argument.”

One of the motions filed by the defense challenged the shooting of the victims meeting the aggravating circumstances definition of heinous and cruel as there was no torture involved.

Tesmer asked, “Isn’t the killing of two children heinous enough?”

Tesmer said Lovell indicated that she would rule on the motions in the next week or so.

Lee faces three capital murder charges for the murder of the victims during a robbery, two capital murder charges for the killing of a child less than 14 years of age and one capital murder charge for the killing of two or more people in the commission of the same action.

He pleaded not guilty last September.

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

When the children were reported missing on the following day, 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. Hwy. 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.

Lee was captured June 9, 2012, in a small apartment in Selma, reportedly huddled in the room with a woman.

Lee is currently being held in the Autauga County Jail with no bond.

Tesmer said, “of course, he (Lee) is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty.”