Serial Slaying Suspect Charged in 1 Death

From Associated Press

Donald Leroy Evans, who claims that he has killed dozens of people since 1977, was charged with murder Friday in the slaying of a homeless 10-year-old girl, authorities said.

The girl's mother, Tammy Giles Routh, was charged with being an accessory to sexual battery, Harrison County prosecutor Robert Payne said.

"The investigation revealed that the mother permitted this child to go with Donald Leroy Evans with full knowledge that sexual activity was to take place between him and the child," Payne said.

The child, Beatrice Louise Routh, was last seen alive on Aug. 1 at a Gulfport beach. Her mother said she let the girl go with Evans to the supermarket after meeting him earlier in the day. Routh called police two hours later when they failed to return.

Evans was arrested on Aug. 5 in Louisiana, and authorities found the girl's body Sunday near a rural highway in southern Mississippi. She had been raped and strangled.

Evans, 34, of Galveston, Tex., is also charged with kidnaping, a federal offense. He is scheduled to be arraigned in federal court on Monday and will plead guilty to that charge, his court-appointed attorney, Fred Lusk, said.

Evans, who is in federal custody, will probably appear in state court next week. The federal kidnaping charge will be prosecuted first.

The murder charge carries the death penalty. Evans has asked for the death penalty in return for his cooperation in leading authorities to his alleged victims. Only the girl's slaying has been officially confirmed.

Routh, who appeared in court Friday, had been held in jail as a prospective witness on $10,000 bond because authorities thought she might flee before testifying.

Routh faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison if convicted. In 1985, she pleaded guilty to abusing her 15-month-old son and gave up custody of the boy, court records show.

Evans has told authorities that he killed people in at least 20 states from the time he left the Marine Corps in 1977 until his imprisonment in Texas in 1987 for rape, Lusk said.

Evans spent nearly two of those years in and out of jail, authorities said. He also spent a month in a Chicago hospital seeking help with psychiatric problems, said his uncle, Donald E. Walker.

He checked himself out of the Veterans Administration Lakeside Medical Center in March, 1984, although his psychiatrist warned that "he shouldn't be on the street and that he would hurt somebody," Walker said.

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