Death penalty sought in Marcus Kauffman case

07/11/2014 1:43 PM

07/11/2014 1:45 PM

The Rowan County district attorney said Friday that she will seek the death penalty against two of four suspects in the death of Marcus Kauffman last December.

District Attorney Brandy Cook said the murder trials of Khari Dewayne McClelland, 24, and Jalend Daquan Turner, 20, will be tried as capital cases.

Two other suspects, 19-year-old Tramel Devon Hart and 25-year-old Michael Dwayne Teasley, are charged with accessory after the fact in the case.

Kauffman was shot Dec. 2 after returning to his home in western Rowan County from a Thanksgiving weekend trip. He and his then-pregnant wife, Maryann, noticed a car parked near their home on Chenault Road. Kauffman, a volunteer firefighter, dropped his wife off at a neighbor’s house and went to check on his home.

Prosecutors said Kauffman discovered men breaking into his home. He called 911 and reported someone firing shots. He was found a short time later in his car, shot in the head.

Turner and McClelland were arrested the following week. Arrest warrants said prosecutors believe the suspects stole a laptop and desktop computer, handgun and Xbox game system from Kauffman’s home.

Kauffman was hospitalized at Carolinas Medical Center but died Dec. 20 after his family decided to take him off life support.

Maryanne Kauffman gave birth to a son in mid-February. The child is named Marcus Landon Trace Kauffman.

No trial date has been set for McClelland and Turner.

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