Florida prosecutors will seek the death penalty for Richard McTear who is accused of throwing a 3-month-old infant from a moving car on Interstate 275.
If McTear is convicted of slaying baby Emanuel Wesley Murray, Assistant State Attorney Jalal Harb said the state will seek to put him to death.
Officials say McTear forced his way into the apartment of the child's mother, Jasmine Bedwell, on May 5. Prosecutors said he beat Bedwell, threw her infant on a concrete floor and drove off with the child before tossing the baby from his moving car onto the interstate shoulder, reports tampa Bay Online.
McTear is charged with first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse, kidnapping, felony burglary and burglary with battery. He pleaded not guilty to all charges.
"He deserves worse than that,'' said Bedwell's mother, Lillie Bedwell, about prosecutors pursuing the death penalty for McTear. "But if that's what he's going to get, then that's a good thing. The baby was 100 percent innocent."
"At this point in these proceedings, it is premature to characterize the current adverse publicity as a serious an imminent threat to the administration of justice," Holder said. "It has not been shown that defendant's right to a fair trial is in any reasonable way threatened by the reports surrounding the trial and the parties."
Ida Williams, who claims to be McTear's fiancée, sobbed throughout the hearing, doubling over when Harb made his announcement to seek the death penalty.
She said she met McTear in jail and the pair plan to marry as soon as they can.
"He's a sweet person," she said. "He tells me to do right by my kids. We talk a lot about God."
Lillie Bedwell said she had never heard of her son having a fiance in jail until told of the possibility by a reporter.
The last time McTear was in court last month, he was professing his love of Jasmine Bedwell.
"I love you, Jasmine," he said while being led out of the courtroom. Bedwell later collapsed outside the courthouse when asked about the comment.
Williams said there is another woman in the mix. She said another woman, whom she didn't know, had McTear's baby in the past couple of weeks.
"He loves children," she said.
Williams isn't deterred by the accusations of his killing an infant.
"I don't believe he really did that." she said.