HAYNEVILLE, Ala. – Authorities are filing murder charges against a man being sought in the killings of 9-year-old twins and their 73-year-old baby sitter, a prosecutor said Thursday.
Deandra Marquis Lee, 22, was charged with three counts of murder, Lowndes County District Attorney Charlotte Tesmer said. Authorities suspect the killings happened on a dirt road where the bodies were found.
Lee most recently lived in Montgomery after being acquitted of a double murder in Selma last year.
"They are actively looking for him," the prosecutor said.
Authorities previously identified Lee as a person of interest in the deaths of 9-year-old Jordan Dejerinett and his sister Taylor, as well as 73-year-old Jack Mac Girdner.
Girdner, a family friend who watched the children for their mother, was an anesthesiologist in California before retiring and moving back to his home state a few years ago, Tesmer said.
Authorities said Girdner had known the children's family for about three years after meeting them at the church they attended in Montgomery.
Investigators found the bodies of all three Tuesday on a dirt road a few miles outside Hayneville, near the elderly man's home. When the twins' mother returned from work to get them, there was nobody at the house, said Lowndes County Sheriff's Chief Deputy James Martin.
It was unclear if Lee knew any of the victims or their families. A stain of dried blood marked the road where the bodies were found.
Lee was free on bond at the time of the slayings. He was arrested Dec. 15 and released on bond in Dallas County after being charged with a felony count of possessing a firearm with an altered serial number, obstruction of justice, resisting arrest and violation of a license to carry a pistol, said District Attorney Michael Jackson. Lee fought with officers who stopped him in Selma, Jackson said.
On Feb. 9, in neighboring Lowndes County, Lee was arrested on a third-degree robbery charge stemming from a strong-arm car theft in July 2011, said Chief Deputy James Martin. He was released on bond in that case, too.
"It's up to the judge. We can't refuse to release them," Martin said.
The car theft occurred about four months after Lee was acquitted in Dallas County on two counts of capital murder and one count of attempted murder in a 2008 shooting, Jackson said.
Lee was riding in a car with three fellow gang members when a dispute erupted over a gun, Jackson said. Two men were slain and a third man was wounded, and jurors acquitted Lee after he and the survivor each accused the other of the slayings.
"There was a big dispute about who did the killing in the case," he said. "It was a hung jury for like three days and he finally got acquitted."
Jackson said Lee is likely armed and extremely dangerous.