Marcus Dansby was formally notified Friday morning in Allen Superior Court that the state is seeking the death penalty in the murder case against him.
Dansby is accused of killing four people, one of them an unborn fetus, in a Holton Avenue home early the morning of Sept. 11, 2016. The dead are Traeven Harris, 18, Consuela Arrington, 37, Dajahiona Arrington, 18, who was 8 1/2 months pregnant, and her unborn child, now named A.J. A fifth victim survived.
Nikos Nakos, Dansby's attorney, said Dansby's trial was set for later this month, but the death penalty filing makes the case much more complicated. He asked for a continuance. Superior Court Judge Fran Gull said the request for a continuance would be taken up at a pretrial hearing scheduled for Wednesday. The prosecution said it has no objections to a continuance.
Nakos also noted an article about the killings that appeared in The Journal Gazette on Christmas Day that he said shone a spotlight on the case. That raised the possibility of a request for a change of venue or that a jury be brought in from outside the county.
Nakos said Dansby has maintained his innocense and refused to plead guilty in exchange for a sentence of life without parole.
Nakos described Dansby as one of the most polite people he's met and said Dansby's teachers and others who knew him can't believe he's accused in the case.
"He has no record," Nakos said. "When my client maintains his innocense and professes it to me, I have to believe him."