Sheriff on teen’s murder: “Oh, I want to pursue the death penalty”
He told reporters that investigators charged McCloud with a second capital murder count this week for the death of Anastasia Gilley’s, whose pregnancy Florida records confirmed, unborn child.
DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - Marquis McCloud, the lone suspected killer in a pregnant teen’s murder, should die for the crime, Houston County Sheriff Donald Valenza said on Wednesday.
“Oh, I want to pursue the death sentence--I do,” he said during a press briefing. “This was a horrible crime.”
He told reporters that investigators charged McCloud with a second capital murder count this week for the death of Anastasia Gilley, whose pregnancy Florida records confirmed.
Alabama law permits multiple charges when two or more die during a single criminal act.
While Valenza supports the death penalty if a jury convicts the 33-year-old McCloud, prosecutors will decide whether to seek that punishment.
Houston County District Attorney Russ Goodman told News4 that his office is reviewing the case and plans to announce whether it intends to seek the death penalty in the next few days.
Because this is a capital case, the only other option would be life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Gilley, 19 and four-months pregnant, vanished from Greenwood, her Florida hometown, on May 3, and her decomposed body was found in a dusty field along Headland Avenue in Dothan one week later.
Valenza estimates she had been dead for several days after McCloud abducted her.
In his 14-minute briefing, the sheriff revealed that investigators found Gilley’s cell phone along a rural road, and information from that device revealed McCloud as the sole suspect.
Related: Watch the full version of Sheriff Valenza’s press briefing
He praised what he called deputies unrelenting efforts, estimating they spent more than 1000 hours on the case.
The first test of their evidence will come during a June 7 hearing when Houston County District Judge Benjamin Lewis decides if the case proceeds to a grand jury.
McCloud has a 15-year adult criminal record that includes other sex arrests and accusations that, as a registered sex offender, he lived too close to an Abbeville, Alabama, school.
Related: Suspected teen killer has criminal history
He served a prison sentence for rape.
McCloud is in the Houston County Jail, held without bond.
This story was updated to reflect deputies spent more than 1000 hours on investigation.
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