Alleged murderer brought back to Selma

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 10, 2005

Quanta Dequan Rice was extradited from Jonesboro, Ga. yesterday, to face charges in Dallas County for capital murder, according to Dallas County Sheriff Harris Huffman.

Huffman said Rice was arrested on a capital murder indictment handed down in January by a Grand Jury.

Rice is accused of murdering

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37-year-old Morris Edward Hatcher at a car wash on the corner of Jeff Davis Avenue and Church Street, Oct. 2, 2004.

Hatcher’s death was linked to an apparent car theft at the time of the incident, according to police reports. His stolen 2001 red and white Chevrolet Tahoe was valued at $15,000.

Hatcher was washing his car at the time of the murder, police reports state.

Only the vehicle’s floor mats were left at the scene of the crime.

He was shot in the head, according to Dallas County Coroner Alan Dailey.

“It was just senseless,” Dailey said.

Later that week, his truck was found in Jonesboro, Ga., according to SPD officials.

Police didn’t name Rice as the suspect when the Tahoe was recovered.

“A suspect has been developed based upon the evidence gathered,” then chief of police Robert Green said in an interview.

Huffman said deputies were dispatched to Georgia early Wednesday morning.

“Two deputies left before daylight,” he said.

While the case is being investigated by the SPD, Huffman said the Sheriff’s Office was requested to transport Rice from Georgia by the SPD.

Rice is held at the Dallas County Jail without bond, Huffman said.

District Attorney Michael Jackson said the case was one of several murders he hoped to get convictions on in the coming months.

“We’re trying to get through all the backlogged murder cases,” Jackson said.

Rice is charged with capital murder, which means he could get the death penalty.

The minimum sentence for capital murder is life in prison.

Jackson said the jury decides the sentence.

“The jury’s weighing whether somebody’s going to die or whether they’re going to spend their life in prison,” Jackson said. “The juror’s have more responsibility.”

A capital murder conviction is usually harder to get, Jackson said, but he isn’t worried.

“We’re confident we’re going to get a conviction in all these murder cases,” Jackson said.