Death penalty review set for man accused of shooting Lake Wylie couple

Death penalty review set for man accused of shooting Lake Wylie couple
Doug and Debbie London (Photo provided by family)
Doug and Debbie London (Photo provided by family)

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The man accused of fatally shooting a Lake Wylie couple will have his case heard before a federal committee later this month to determine if prosecutors should seek the death penalty in the case.

According to federal court documents, filed Monday, a Capital Review Committee is scheduled to meet Feb. 29. The committee will take up the case against Malcolm Hartley.

Hartley is charged with murder in the October 2014 killings of 61-year-old Debbie London and 63-year-old Douglas London. Federal prosecutors say Briana Johnson, 18 years old at the time of the shooting, drive Hartley to the London's home where he shot and killed the couple.

The information was filed as part of an appeal from Hartley's attorney, Rob Heroy. The appeal asks for witness statements, grand jury testimony and reports documenting witness statements, along with a slew of other investigative reports, interviews and evidence.

The document was an appeal of a Magistrate Judge David Keesler' order earlier this month that denied a previous attempt by the defense to obtain evidence.

"[It] is necessary for the defendant to meaningfully present his case in mitigation to the Department of Justice (DOJ) in an attempt to persuade the government as to why the death penalty should not be authorized in this case," the appeal contends.

The document also asks for information and evidence whether Doug and Debbie London were engaged in criminal activity near the time of their deaths.

The appeal requests the materials "as quickly as possible" saying the Capital Committee hearing is scheduled for February 29. The DOJ considers the case for about 90 days.

Jamell Cureton, the alleged leader of the United Blood Nation (UBN) gang, is accused of plotting the murder of the Londons from behind bars.

The Londons were found shot to death in their Tioga Road home on October 23.

A 51-page federal indictment says the couple was killed to keep the husband from testifying against three gang members who attempted to rob the Londons' mattress store in May 2014.

Cureton was reportedly wounded by Doug London during the attempt.

A total of 12 accused UBN gang members were indicted in the case.

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