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The Journal Gazette

  • Dansby

Thursday, July 25, 2019 1:00 am

Sentencing for killer of 4 begins

Faces over 200 years but not death penalty

MATTHEW LEBLANC | The Journal Gazette

A two-day sentencing hearing is scheduled to begin today for a Fort Wayne man facing at least two centuries behind bars for the 2016 slayings of four people – one, his unborn child – and an attack on another.

Marcus Dansby, 23, had faced the death penalty, but prosecutors agreed not to pursue it if he admitted to the killings. He did that in May, pleading guilty but mentally ill to four counts of murder, one count of attempted murder and a sentencing enhancement for using a gun to commit the crimes.

He faces a prison sentence of up to 320 years and at least 205 years.

Police were called around 4 a.m. Sept. 11, 2016, to 3006 Holton Ave. Emergency dispatchers earlier had answered a 911 call, hearing “a struggle and then gunshots and the call went dead,” investigators said.

Inside the home, Consuela Arrington, 37, was dead from “sharp force trauma and gunshot wounds,” according to court documents, and Traeven Harris, 18, and Dajahiona Arrington, 18, had been shot to death.

Dajahiona Arrington was carrying a 37-week-old fetus when she was killed.

Trinity Hairston, then 14, was shot and stabbed but survived.

Police found Dansby at the scene, covered “head to toe in blood,” a probable cause affidavit alleged. A large knife with a broken handle was found in his pants pocket, and investigators later found a gun covered in blood at the home, Fort Wayne Police Detective Brian Martin wrote in the affidavit.

Sentencing hearings typically are not spread over two days, but Dansby's likely will include testimony from a number of witnesses.

His trial had been scheduled for Oct. 1, and it was expected to last a month. A judge last year ordered Marion County jurors to hear the case in Fort Wayne after defense attorneys argued “public outrage” about the crimes made it impossible for Dansby to receive a fair trial with local jurors.

mleblanc@jg.net