GREENSBORO — Prosecutors plan to seek the death penalty against a 29-year-old woman accused of shooting and killing three people on New Year’s Day, including her daughter.
Autopsy reports released this week show that each of the victims died from gunshot wounds to the head.
Last month, Brittany Christina McKinney was transferred from the Guilford County jail, where she had been on a suicide watch since her arrest, to a state psychiatric hospital.
Earlier this week, a judge extended her stay for an additional 60 days.
“I would like to think that they would wait and sort of evaluate the entire situation from both sides instead of just looking at the cold facts of what happened,” said Greensboro attorney Wayne Baucino, who is representing McKinney.
On Thursday, Assistant District Attorney Robert Enochs filed a notice of intent to seek the death penalty and has asked for a May 4 hearing.
Baucino has filed a motion to delay that hearing.
In his motion, Baucino wrote that McKinney is not capable of proceeding to trial yet due to a “significant” mental illness.
McKinney, who found work through a temporary agency, is charged with the shooting deaths of her 10-year-old daughter, Mkenzie; niece Serenity Taliem Rose, 2; and friend Jerry Griffin, 61.
Police officers were performing a welfare check at 3627 Sweet Birch Drive, a southeast Greensboro subdivision, when they discovered the bodies about 11:15 a.m. on New Year’s Day.
McKinney’s daughter and Griffin were dead when police arrived. Rose died later from her injuries.
According to autopsy reports, both girls were shot in the face.
Griffin was shot in the back of the head.
Investigators haven’t offered a motive and are still trying to determine what led to the slayings.
McKinney’s lone brush with the law involved a traffic infraction in Onslow County some time ago.
At the May 4 hearing, prosecutors are expected to explain to a judge that an “aggravating factor” should allow them to seek the death penalty.
“The obvious one is that three people died,” Baucino said.