Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

No bond for Md. slaying suspects

The two Texas drug couriers charged in Friday’s shooting of two women and two young children in a squalid Prince George's County apartment were ordered held without bond Monday, and prosecutors are exploring whether they can seek the death penalty against them, authorities said.

Appearing on a closed-circuit television, Darrell Lynn Bellard, 43, of Dickinson, and T'keisha Nicole Gilmer, 18, of Texas City, did nothing but answer Prince George’s County District Court Judge Thomas Love’s basic questions during the hearing, which lasted less than five minutes. Prosecutors were not given any opportunity to speak about the evidence against the pair or say why they should be held before Love ruled that their “no bond” status be continued.

In a news conference after the hearing, Prince George’s State’s Attorney Glenn F. Ivey said police were still gathering evidence in the case, and prosecutors would weigh that evidence before deciding whether they could seek the death penalty.

He said recent laws require that he have either DNA linking the killer to the crime, a videotaped confession or a videotape of the crime itself, and prosecutors were “in the process” of reviewing whether they had that evidence in this case. He said he could not comment specifically on what evidence had been gathered because of ethics rules governing what he can say during an active case.

Bellard and Gilmer are accused in the deaths of Dawn Yvette Brooks, 38; Mwasiti Sikyala, 41; Shayla Shante Sikyala, 3; and Shakur Sylvester Sikyala, 4. Brooks was the mother of the children, and Mwasiti Sikyala was their paternal aunt, authorities said. All lived in the 6800 block of Third Street in the Lanham area, where their bodies were discovered about 3 a.m. Friday in a garage apartment amid piles of trash and debris.

Police have said previously that Bellard shot the four victims execution-style, firing multiple bullets into each one, and that Gilmer, 18, blocked their escape. They both admitted their involvement in the crime, which law enforcement sources have said stemmed from a dispute over a drug debt the women failed to pay.

-- Matt Zapotosky

(This post has been updated.)

By Washington Post Editors  |  August 9, 2010; 3:10 PM ET
Categories:  From the Courthouse , Homicide , Pr. George's , Updates  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Va. deputy released from hospital
Next: Gold prices, thefts a growing problem

No comments have been posted to this entry.

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.

characters remaining

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company