MARLBORO COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — The death penalty is off the table for a man accused of killing a Marlboro County woman and her daughter in 2017, according to the 4th Circuit Solicitor’s Office.
The attorney for Jejuancey Harrington and prosecutors reached an agreement on Tuesday in which Harrington waived his right to a jury trial in exchange for prosecutors agreeing not to seek the death penalty in the case, the solicitor’s office said.
Harrington, who’s accused of killing Ella Lowery and her 8-year-old daughter, Iyana Lowery, will instead have a bench trial before Circuit Judge Michael Nettles starting on Feb. 13. In a bench trial, the judge hears evidence from prosecutors and the defense and then gives a verdict.
The trial had been scheduled to start with jury selection on Feb. 6. The solicitor’s office said prosecutors talked to the victims’ family before signing off on the agreement.
Some initial testimony in the case will actually take place before the trial’s official start date, the solicitor’s office said. Because a prosecution witness is unavailable during the week of Feb. 13, that testimony will be taken on Feb. 9.
According to an arrest warrant, Harrington robbed Ella Lowery and stabbed her multiple times. Law enforcement agents obtained video footage from New Bridge Road in McColl that places Harrington near an abandoned home where “personal belongings of Ella Lowery were found after the murder.”
The warrant also details how Harrington killed the young girl after kidnapping her from her home. Harrington placed Iyana Lowery’s body in a remote pool of water off New Bridge Road in McColl, where she was discovered. Harrington “transported [Iyana] in a 1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse,” where Iyana’s DNA was found in the trunk of the car, the warrant indicated.
Arrest warrants also show that authorities found Harrington’s DNA on a cigarette at the home on Craig Circle in Bennettsville where Ella Lowery’s body was found. Forensic testing also showed that Iyana Lowery’s DNA was inside Harrington’s vehicle.
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Dennis Bright is a digital producer at News13. Dennis is a West Virginia native and graduate of Marshall University. He has won copyediting and journalism awards in Virginia and Ohio. Follow Dennis on Twitter and read more of his work here.