Murder of 4 will face life without parole if convicted

UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (WUSA9) -- Prince George's County State's Attorney Angela Alsobrooks announced Monday that a judge has denied Darrell Bellard's motion for a jury sentencing if he is convicted of the 2010 murders of two women and two young children.

Authorities said Bellard would face life without parole if he is convicted.

"We are very pleased with the judge's ruling in this instance," Alsobrooks said. "We believe that the law is clear that a defendant does not have a right to a jury sentencing if convicted of a crime punishable by life without parole and we believe the judge made the right ruling in this case."

Prosecutors Wes Adams and Joe Ruddy said that a defendant's right to a jury sentence would have to be made by law and there is no such law currently, according to authorities.

According to authorities, Ruddy and Adams cited the current law and case law that says that a judge will impose a sentence in all cases in which a convicted defendant is facing life without parole.

In denying the defense motion for a jury sentencing, if Bellard is found guilty of killing two women and two children in 2010, he will face life without parole.

Authorities said, Bellard is facing four counts of first degree murder for the deaths of Dawn Brooks, Mwasiti Sikyala and Brooks' two children.

The Jury selection will start Tuesday. If there is enough time Tuesday, opening arguments will begin. If not opening arguments will take place on Wednesday.


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