Suspect in Execution-Style Killing of 8-Year-Old South Carolina Girl Released From Hospital

The man suspected of killing an 8-year-old South Carolina girl has been released from the hospital.

Multiple media outlets report that Ricky Lee Blackwell was escorted from the hospital Wednesday and taken to the Spartanburg County jail. Master Deputy Tony Ivey says Blackwell was wearing a bulletproof vest and handcuffs.

Authorities say Blackwell put 8-year-old Heather Brooke Center in a headlock last week, then shot her in the head and fired three more shots into her as she fell.

The girl was the daughter of Blackwell's estranged wife's boyfriend.

Prosecutor Trey Gowdy served Blackwell with notice of his intent to seek the death penalty as the suspect recovered from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the stomach.

Gowdy has called the girl's killing an execution.