BRANDON, Miss. — A man convicted in Kansas of attempted murder and other charges during a series of crimes in several states has been brought back to Mississippi to face murder charges.
Rankin County District Attorney Michael Guest said Monday that authorities went to Kansas last week and brought Alex Deaton back to Mississippi on Friday. Guest said he hopes to try Deaton late this summer on charges of murder, drive-by shooting and motor vehicle theft.
For now, Deaton is being held without bail in the Rankin County jail. Guest said he didn’t know if Deaton has a lawyer for the Mississippi charges.
Authorities believe a series of violent crimes that stretched for more than 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) began in the suburbs of Mississippi’s capital city on Feb. 22, 2017. Officials believe Deaton strangled his girlfriend, 30-year-old Heather Robinson, and stole her SUV.
The next day, Deaton shot Brenda Pinter to death as she was cleaning a rural church near Philadelphia, authorities said.
Deaton also faces a first-degree murder charge in Neshoba County, and he was indicted in Rankin County for shooting and wounding a jogger near Robinson’s apartment after Pinter’s death.
Deaton resurfaced Feb. 28 near Albuquerque, New Mexico. He faces an 11-count indictment in Sandoval County there for trying to kidnap two teenage hikers. Authorities say he shot one of them and stole a car.
Before dawn the next morning, Deaton robbed and stole a car from a convenience store clerk in Pratt, Kansas. He pleaded guilty in July to attempted first-degree murder and aggravated robbery there, and was sentenced in October to nearly 13 years in prison.
Deaton faces a possible life sentence on the murder charge, plus up to another 30 years on the drive-by-shooting if convicted in Mississippi. Guest said his goal is to make sure Deaton never leaves prison.
Robinson’s mother and other family members sat in the audience as Guest spoke to reporters Monday, with the mother cradling Robinson’s red-covered Bible, which Guest said he gave back to the family. Relatives declined to speak to reporters.