Lowndes County capital murder conviction upheld

Published 3:33 pm Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall announced Tuesday that the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals had upheld the previous conviction of Deandra Marquis Lee, who was charged with six counts of capital murder during a 2012 robbery.

Lee was convicted in October 2018 for the 2012 murder of nine-year-old twins Jordan and Taylor Dejerinett and their 73-year-old caregiver, Jack Mac Girdner.

According to evidence revealed at trial, Terrye Moorer on June 3, 2012, dropped off her twin sons with Girdner, who was also a friend for her church – when Moorer returned to pick the boys up, the house was dark and non one was home.

Moorer filed a police report and two days later the bodies of all three – the two boys and their caregiver – were found on a dirt road off of Alabama Hwy. 21 in Lowndes County.

Lee was pegged as a suspect early on based on reports that he was seen driving Girdner’s white Mercedes on the day of the murders and the last call made to Girdner’s phone came from Lee’s mother’s number.

Lee’s cousin, Joe Hamilton, testified that on June 3 he got a ride home from Lee in a white Mercedes with a skateboard and bag in the back – Moorer testified that her children had similar items when they were left with Girdner.

Further, Lee’s fingerprints were found inside Girdner’s vehicle and several people reported that Lee had admitted to killing Girdner, but not the two children.

Additionally, a man incarcerated with Lee in Autauga County, Curtis Robinson, testified that “Lee went there to commit burglary and it turned to something else” – Girdner added that Lee told him he shot Girdner and the children.

Lowndes County District Attorney Charlotte Tesmer’s office prosecuted the case and obtained a guilty verdict.

Lee was sentenced to life in prison without parole, but subsequently sought to have the conviction reversed on appeal.

The Attorney General’s Criminal Appeals Division handled the case during the appeals process and argued for the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals to uphold Lee’s conviction, which the court did in a decision issued Friday, Sept. 4.