IREDELL COUNTY, N.C. - A man accused of kidnapping a 14-year-old girl, tying her up and killing her mother is facing the death penalty if he is convicted.
Iredell County deputies said they found the body of Robin Denman on the day after Christmas and also rescued her teenage daughter, who they said was being held captive.
Gary Love, 47, will face the death penalty if he is convicted of murder, kidnapping and sexual assault.
According to these court documents, the case is so disturbing that the suspect, Gary Love, is being held in safekeeping in Raleigh.
Authorities are concerned someone might hurt him or he could hurt someone else.
Eyewitness News anchor Brittney Johnson was in the courtroom Wednesday.
The suspect's attorney said they're disappointed in the decision.
Neighbors living on Cool Spring Road worry things will never be the same.
“It’s heartbreaking around here, every time you ride by, and it’s always going to be,” neighbor Becky Tayse said.
A teddy bear honoring the victims sits as a reminder of the horrific scene officers said unfolded inside.
Detectives said Gary Love was visiting from Ohio and staying with the family for roughly 3 months when he killed the woman and repeatedly attacked her daughter.
The girl managed to text her friend who alerted police.
Savannah Evans, 13, said she woke up the morning after Christmas to an alarming text from her friend, the victim.
"(She told me) to, 'Call 911, me and my mom need help fast,'" Evans told Channel 9.
She and her grandmother called Iredell County deputies to conduct a welfare check at the home in the 700 block of Cool Springs Road.
Deputies knocked on the door and asked for Denman and her daughter. They said Love answered the door and told investigators that Denman and her daughter had gone to a funeral.
He fled out the back of the house, but officers captured him and soon found Denman's 14-year-old daughter, authorities said.
Wednesday, Love sat shackled and silent as prosecutors argued in favor of the death penalty.
The teen's family watched as the judge granted the motion making it a capital case
“He is still in shock right now. He is one of those guys, he doesn't have any criminal history," defense attorney Ken Darty said. "We certainly aren't admitting or not saying he committed a crime at this point, but he's just shocked."
Love’s attorneys said he's never been incarcerated and had a job and family in Ohio.
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