Suspects admit to killing 4, police say
The man and woman charged with killing two women and two young children in a squalid Lanham home last month will continue to be held without bond, a Prince George's County judge ruled Friday.
The ruling came after a police officer testified that the pair admitted their roles in the slayings.
Following a brief preliminary hearing, District Court Judge John P. Morrissey ruled that Darrell Lynn Bellard, 42, of Dickinson, Tex., and T'keisha Nicole Gilmer, 18, of Texas City, Tex., should remain locked up.
Bellard and Gilmer are each charged with four counts of first-degree murder in connection with a quadruple slaying that occurred early Aug. 6 in a house in the 6800 block of Third Street.
Four victims were shot to death: Mwasiti Sikyala, 41; Dawn Brooks, 38; Shakur Sylvester Sikyala, 4; and Shayla Shante Sikyala, 3.
Brooks was the children's mother, and Mwasiti Sikyala was their paternal aunt, authorities have said. The victims were found in a garage apartment amid piles of trash, police said.
Cpl. Michael Delaney, a county police homicide investigator, testified that patrol officers who responded to a report of a shooting found Bellard and Gilmer at the home. The couple provided detectives with statements admitting they participated in the killings, Delaney testified. Gilmer said in her statement that Bellard shot the victims, Delaney said.
Bellard's statement was videotaped, Delaney said. During Gilmer's statement, the video recording equipment was not functioning, Delaney said.
Delaney said Bellard and Gilmer drove to Maryland from Texas to sell marijuana. In the hours before the shooting, Bellard and Gilmer took Brooks for a drive, the corporal testified.
When they returned, Mwasiti Sikayla said someone had come into the home and stolen the marijuana, Delaney said.
Bellard became upset and began looking around the home for the drugs, Delaney said. When Bellard couldn't find the marijuana, he and Gilmer went to Bellard's truck and each retrieved a handgun, then returned to the home, Delaney said.
Police sources have said that Gilmer is believed to have blocked the escape of the victims while Bellard shot them.
September 3, 2010; 2:59 PM ET
Categories: From the Courthouse , Homicide , Pr. George's , Ruben Castaneda
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