A convicted felon accused of raping and murdering a 23-year-old Murrieta woman, then setting fire to her apartment made a court appearance Tuesday.
Marquise Denzell McGlown, 22, of Hemet was scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday afternoon after the Riverside County District Attorney's Office announced it had filed formal charges against him Monday in the Oct. 31 death of Shanae Wesley.
Police and fire personnel found Wesley's charred body in her Murrieta apartment after a fire was reported at about 6:45 a.m. Oct. 31. Her 3-year-old son was rescued from the flames by a neighbor, authorities said.
Murrieta police arrested McGlown Nov. 2, naming him their prime suspect in the homicide investigation.
The DA's office revealed Monday that based on the investigation, it is believed Wesley and McGlown met through a mutual friend the night of Oct. 30 at the Bull Pen, a bar in Temecula.
Investigators believe McGlown and his friend then went to Wesley's apartment, where McGlown allegedly took Wesley's keys. He is accused of re-entering her apartment and raping and killing her, then setting fire to the place.
A small group of relatives and friends of Wesley sat Tuesday in the hushed courtroom.
Whether McGlown will plead guilty or not guilty remains to be seen on Dec. 7, as McGlown's public defender, Gregory Henderson, requested the proceeding be postponed until then.
Henderson said the extra time was needed in order for the public defender's office to run a check for any possible conflicts of interest related to defending McGlown.
"That is routine in these types of cases," said John Hall, spokesperson for the DA's office. "...If there is any reason why they can't, then it would go to the conflict panel, which would then represent him."
Judge Michael Rushton granted the motion, but struck down a request by Henderson that the media not be permitted to publish courtroom photographs of McGlown.
In the coming weeks, Hall said District Attorney Paul Zellerbach will decide whether to pursue the death penalty against McGlown.
"The district attorney will make that decision himself," Hall said, after Tuesday's short proceeding.
McGlown is charged with one count each of murder, attempted murder, arson of an inhabited structure and vehicle theft.
Wesley's car was allegedly found not far from where McGlown was arrested in Hemet, investigators said.
Also attached to the murder charge are special allegations of lying in wait, murder during the commission of a rape, and murder during the commission of a burglary, according to Hall.
"Those special allegations make McGlown eligible for the death penalty," Hall said.
Shackled and wearing a red jail outfit, McGlown answered yes and no to the judge's questions Tuesday when he was briefly brought out of a nearby holding room.
McGlown remains jailed at Southwest Detention Center, where he is being held on no bail due to a previous serious felony burglary conviction in 2008, for which he was sentenced to two years in prison.