The Latest: Suspect returning from Georgia to Florida

AP News
|
Posted: Feb 08, 2017 5:53 PM
The Latest: Suspect returning from Georgia to Florida

The Latest on the capture of a woman suspected in a string of deaths across Florida and Alabama (all times local):

5:30 p.m.

Officials say a woman who surrendered to authorities after a standoff at a west Georgia motel is being returned to the Florida Panhandle.

Florida First Circuit State Attorney Bill Eddins said during a news conference Wednesday that investigators from his office traveled to Georgia and took 37-year-old Mary Rice into custody that afternoon.

Rice was heading to Santa Rosa County, Florida, where she faces a charge of accessory after the fact to first-degree murder. She also faces murder charges in neighboring Escambia County, Florida, and Baldwin County, Alabama.

Eddins says prosecutors and law enforcement officials from both states will meet soon to discuss where Rice is to be tried first.

Rice was arrested Tuesday evening after another suspect, 44-year-old William "Billy" Boyette, fatally shot himself.

___

1:15 p.m.

A Florida sheriff says an Alabama woman killed during a two-state crime spree was stalked and followed back to her home before being shot.

Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan told WCOA on Wednesday that 37-year-old Mary Rice and 44-year-old William "Billy" Boyette stole a car from Peggy Broz after shooting her Feb. 3 outside her home in Lillian, Alabama. News outlets in Alabama reported that the 52-year-old Broz worked for Baptist Health Care in Pensacola, about 15 miles away.

The duo is also suspected of killing two women at a motel in the Panhandle on Jan. 31 and of fatally shooting a young mother during a home invasion near Pensacola.

The sheriff says the mother's car was spotted outside a motel in Georgia on Tuesday. Authorities surrounded the motel and the SWAT team was preparing to go inside when Rice stepped outside and surrendered. Moments later, officials say Boyette fatally shot himself in the room.

___

10:30 a.m.

Authorities say a woman who surrendered to authorities following a standoff at a west Georgia motel is being questioned by investigators from Florida and Alabama.

Troup County sheriff's Sgt. Stewart Smith said 37-year-old Mary Rice was being held Wednesday morning in the county's jail. An initial court hearing had not yet been set.

A tip called in Tuesday afternoon led law enforcement to the motel in West Point, Georgia, where Rice and 44-year-old William "Billy" Boyette were holed up in a room. Authorities say Boyette fatally shot himself after Rice surrendered.

The pair had been on the run since Jan. 31, when the bodies of two women were found at the Emerald Sands Inn in the Florida Panhandle.

They also are suspected in the Feb. 3 death of Peggy Broz in Lillian, Alabama. A fourth victim who was shot early Monday when authorities say Rice and Boyette went to her home in Florida died on Tuesday.

Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan said the two also took the car that belonged to Kayla Crocker, 28. Her 2-year-old child was not injured.

___

7 a.m.

A 37-year-old woman faces multiple charges in Florida and Alabama after surrendering to authorities following a standoff at a Georgia motel that ended with another suspect fatally shooting himself.

Officials in Pensacola, Florida, say Mary Rice faces charges of accessory after the fact to capital murder in the deaths of two women found dead Jan. 31. She also faces a capital murder and robbery charge for the death of a woman in Lillian, Alabama. And charges are still pending for Rice in the case of Kayla Crocker, who died Tuesday afternoon, a day after she was shot during a home invasion near Pensacola.

Authorities say the pair stole Crocker's car. A tip led law enforcement to the motel where Rice and William "Billy" Boyette had holed up in West Point, Georgia, on Tuesday afternoon. Rice came outside the room and surrendered.

Troup County Sheriff James Woodruff told reporters deputies heard a single gunshot and found Boyette dead inside the room.

___

3:52 a.m.

Authorities say a man suspected in the killings of two women in Florida and one in Alabama died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, putting an end to a standoff with police at a Georgia motel.

Escambia County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Amber Southard in Florida confirmed that 44-year-old William "Billy" Boyette fatally shot himself Tuesday evening at the motel. Boyette and 37-year-old Mary Rice had holed up inside a room at the motel, and Rice was taken into custody.

Dominic Guadagnoli of the U.S. Marshals Service earlier told the Pensacola News Journal that the stolen vehicle the couple had been driving was seen at the motel, and that Rice checked into the motel using her real name.

Officials say the bodies of 30-year-old Alicia Greer and 39-year-old Jacqueline Jeanette Moore were found Jan. 31. On Friday, 52-year-old Peggy Broz was fatally shot and her car was stolen.