ATLANTA - ROSWELL, Ga. -- New details emerged in the murder of two teens in Roswell on Friday and 11Alive’s legal analyst believes the death penalty is on the table for the suspect.
Jeffrey Hazelwood, 20, is accused of killing two teens in Roswell behind a Publix grocery store on Aug. 1.
There was raw emotion inside a Fulton County courtroom as a Roswell detective described the gruesome and bizarre murder confession by Hazelwood.
Natalie Henderson’s parents listened as the detective detailed the murders of their daughter and Carter Davis behind the grocery store.
“At this point he said that he shot her," answered the detective. "Where did he shoot her?" asked the attorney. "In the head,” said the detective.
Friday night, 11Alive News legal analyst Phil Holloway weighed in on the details he heard in court.
“When you take into account there were two victims and they died the horrific death that they did die, which could only be described as tortuous in nature, that would make this case eligible under the law for the death penalty,” Holloway said.
The detective testified that Hazelwood confessed to following Henderson and Davis behind the grocery store. He watched them for a while before moving in. He said he pistol-whipped and then shot Davis in the head.
According to the detective, Hazelwood admitted to sexually battering Henderson before killing her.
The autopsy shows the alleged killer later posed the bodies.
“It shows that he clearly has thought about this, it shows that his mind does not work the way most people’s mind works, it shows that he has some sociopathic tendencies," Holloway said.
The detective testified writings they discovered appear to show Hazelwood wanted to be an assassin.
“They will use that as motive, they will say that is someone who has a desire to kill, they have thought about this, they have planned it," Holloway said.
Hazelwood’s attorneys mentioned specific mental issues after Friday's hearing.
Holloway believes that’s because insanity is the only possible defense no matter how tough it is to prove.
“He said somebody told him to do it whether that person exists or not; he said he wanted to be an assassin - those two things go to motive and when a prosecutor can prove a solid motive it’ll go a long way towards defeating a claim of legal insanity,” Holloway said.
A Georgia jury can say someone is mentally ill and still guilty of a crime. That’s different from legally insane.
It shows they knew the difference between right and wrong. It also leaves life in prison and the death penalty as sentencing options.
It’s still very early in the case and it now goes to a grand jury for a decision in September.
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