DA to seek death penalty against man accused of murdering his - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

DA to seek death penalty against man accused of murdering his teen cousin

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Brittini Ward (Source: Legacy.com) Brittini Ward (Source: Legacy.com)
Dawn Ward (Photo courtesy of the Mecklenburg County Jail) Dawn Ward (Photo courtesy of the Mecklenburg County Jail)
Derek Ward (Photo courtesy of the Mecklenburg County Jail) Derek Ward (Photo courtesy of the Mecklenburg County Jail)
Charlotte, NC -

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Prosecutors say they will seek the death penalty against a man accused of killing his teen cousin earlier this year following an alleged affair with the teen's mother.

Derek Ward was charged on Tuesday, May 25th with murder and first-degree rape in the death of Brittini Lauren Ward. 

Her mother, Dawn Michelle Ward, was also charged with murder, accessory after the fact to a felony, and incest. 

According to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, the incest charge stems from Dawn Ward's alleged relationship with her nephew, Derek Ward.

During a Rule 24 hearing on Thursday, July 29th, the Mecklenburg County District Attorney said it will pursue the case as a capital trial against Derek Ward, but not for Dawn Ward.

Dawn Ward is scheduled to appear in court on August 26th, and Derek Ward will appear in court on September 23rd.

Brittini Ward was found dead inside her south Charlotte apartment at 8101 Providence Court Lane on May 5th.

According to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, Derek Ward also lived at the same address as Brittini Ward.

An obituary published on Legacy.com said Brittini Ward formerly lived in Irmo, SC, and was born in Ridgewood, NJ. 

The obituary also said "Brittini's smile brightened and enlightened all around her, displaying both physical and inner beauty to others."

She attended the Irmo, St. Andrews, and Sardis congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses, Legacy.com said. 

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