Local News

Death penalty sought in Durham woman's slaying

Posted August 22, 2013

— A Superior Court judge on Thursday approved prosecutors' request to seek the death penalty against a Fayetteville man accused of killing a Durham woman last month.

John Franklin Alexander, 34, of 4402 Ruby Road, is charged with first-degree murder, possession of a stolen vehicle and possession of stolen property in the death of Ella Davis.

Davis, 58, was found stabbed to death inside her home at Greens of Pine Glen apartments on Glen Hollow Lane on July 23.

Alexander was arrested in Harnett County after he crashed in Davis' car.

Durham County Assistant District Attorney Jim Dornfried said Alexander's criminal history warranted that prosecutors pursue a capital case against him.

Alexander pleaded guilty in 2001 to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 13 to 16 years in prison for the June 21, 1998, stabbing death of 29-year-old Kerry Mortenson in Fayetteville. He served a little more than 10 years before he was released from prison in March 2012, and his parole ended in December.

Judge Michael Morgan ruled that prosecutors presented sufficient evidence to proceed in a capital case.

15 Comments

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  • cn38of50 Aug 22, 2:52 p.m.

    What's the point in giving him the death penalty? The way the system works he will die of old age!

  • HockeyPlayerX Aug 22, 2:38 p.m.

    "There isn't a state in the union that uses the death penalty for second degree murder." ... they should start.

  • Always160 Aug 22, 2:33 p.m.

    He pleaded guilty to second degree murder the first time. That does not mean that he did not commit what could have been a first degree murder, it means someone gave him a break and this is how he repaid society...by continuing to murder!

  • pause to consider Aug 22, 2:22 p.m.

    "His first murder conviction was for second degree murder. There isn't a state in the union that uses the death penalty for second degree murder."

    He plead guilty to 2nd degree to likely avoid a 1st degree prosecution/conviction? So, yes, a real prosecution instead of plea deals could have been prevented this 2nd murder. I'm all for innocent until proven guilty, but when guilty, our system has to show a lot more 'true grit'!!

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Aug 22, 2:21 p.m.

    68_dodge_polara - "The government can not will not protect you or your family, that is solely up to you."

    A truer statement has never been spoken.

    The government cares little for individuals.

    The first priority of a politician is themselves, their families and their buddies.

    The second priorities is groups of people that stand with them.

    Because it is in those two priorities the majority of their votes come from.

    Shamefully!!!

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Aug 22, 2:19 p.m.

    "liberals always say that the Death Penalty doesn't prevent murders. It would have prevented one here!"

    Agreed!!!

    Except people from both camps, conservative and liberal, dispute the death penalty, not just liberals.

    In fact I know more liberals who are for the death penalty than liberals who are against it.

    So you might want to stop putting labels on people and putting blanket traits and beliefs below those labels, especially folks you don't know.

  • pause to consider Aug 22, 2:18 p.m.

    He deserves the death penalty, the prosecutors can seek the death penalty, but this man will likely out live me.

  • Offshore Aug 22, 2:10 p.m.

    The government can not will not protect you or your family, that is solely up to you.
    68_dodge_polara

    Exactly right. The only thing the gov't will do, what ever it takes to garner votes. Enforcement of laws present and future is not important to them.

  • jackflash123 Aug 22, 1:55 p.m.

    "liberals always say that the Death Penalty doesn't prevent murders. It would have prevented one here!"

    His first murder conviction was for second degree murder. There isn't a state in the union that uses the death penalty for second degree murder.

  • coachjim44 Aug 22, 12:50 p.m.

    liberals always say that the Death Penalty doesn't prevent murders. It would have prevented one here!

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