Judge rejects bids to declare Indiana death penalty unconstitutional

February 19, 2019 GMT

An judge has rejected efforts by a man charged with four murders -- one, his unborn child -- to avoid the death penalty.

Lawyers for Marcus Dansby, 23, asked the judge in separate motions filed last year in Allen Superior Court to declare Indiana’s capital punishment statute unconstitutional and throw out the death penalty as an option because of his age at the time of the crimes. Dansby was 20 years old at the time of the slayings in 2016.

Allen Superior Judge Fran Gull ruled against both arguments in an order issued Monday.

“On the defendant’s claim that Indiana’s capital sentencing statute is unconstitutional, the law is clearly against (Dansby) and for the State of Indiana,” Gull wrote.

Dansby is charged in the Sept. 11, 2016, slayings of Traeven Harris, 18, Consuela Arrington, 37, Dajahiona Arrington, 18, and the fetus she was carrying. Trinity Hairston was shot and stabbed but survived, and Dansby is charged with attempted murder in that alleged attack.