A Saint Lucian man has been sentenced to death for the shooting death of two people, including a pregnant woman, at a motel in North Carolina, United States (US) nearly three years ago.
Seaga Edward Gillard, 30, who is from Soufriere in Saint Lucia but resided in the US, was convicted two weeks ago for the double murder.
A Wake County jury delivered the unanimous decision about two hours after it resumed deliberations on Monday morning.
According to WRAL.com, Gillard did not show any emotion when the jury’s decision was handed down.
“The death penalty sentence is the first by a Wake County jury in over a decade,” the website reported.
The Saint Lucian was convicted by the same jury of several charges including two counts of first-degree murder, attempted robbery with a firearm and attempted first-degree rape.
WRAL.com reported that April Lynn Holland, 22, and her boyfriend, Dwayne Garvey, 28, were gunned down inside an Americas Best Value Inn, a motel located on Arrow Drive off Glenwood Avenue in Raleigh.
“Security cameras at the motel near Crabtree Valley Mall captured the deaths of Holland and Garvey. During the first phase of the trial, jurors saw the grisly black-and-white footage in which Gillard opened fire on Garvey inside a motel hallway,” the website reported.
Below are further information posted by WRAL.com on the case.
Prosecutors told the jury that Holland, who was three months pregnant, was working as a prostitute at the motel, while Garvey, the father of her three children, was her partner in the operation.
Assistant District Attorney] David Saacks told the jury Friday that despite the couple’s involvement in running a prostitution enterprise, their lives still mattered.
“They were murdered in cold blood,” Saacks said. “Now we’re deciding on the appropriate punishment. Do they matter?”
During the trial, the prosecution said Gillard was a repeat criminal who had robbed and sexually assaulted a string of women before the slayings of Holland and Garvey.