A Murrieta woman whose body was found in an Oct. 31 apartment fire allegedly was raped and murdered prior to the fire being set, the Riverside County District Attorney's office said Monday.
Charges in the death of 23-year-old Shanae Christiana Wesley were filed Monday against Marquise Denzell McGlown, 22, of Hemet, the D.A.'s office announced in a news release.
McGlown, who investigators believe met Wesley the night of Oct. 30 at a Temecula bar, has been charged with one count each of murder, attempted murder, arson of an inhabited structure and vehicle theft, according to the news release.
"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," wrote John Hall, spokesperson for the D.A.'s office. "Those special allegations make McGlown eligible for the death penalty. A decision whether to seek the death penalty against this defendant will be made at a later date by District Attorney Paul Zellerbach."
McGlown is scheduled to be arraigned at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday at Southwest Justice Center near Murrieta.
Wesley's body was found at about 6:45 a.m. in unit V-103 of 24850 Hancock Ave. after Murrieta police and fire personnel repsonded to a report of a fire.
Firefighters extinguished the blaze and found a woman's body—later identified as Wesley—badly burned body in the apartment.
During the fire, Wesley’s 3-year-old son was rescued, then treated at a local hospital and released in good condition.
An investigation by Murrieta police detectives led to the identification of McGlown as a suspect in the crime. He was arrested on Nov. 2 in Hemet on a parole violation.
"Detectives submitted their criminal case to the DA’s Office which filed charges after reviewing the evidence in the case," Hall said.
Based on the evidence presented by police, Hall said it is believed that on the evening of Oct. 30, McGlown was with a friend at Bull Pen Burgers and Links, 27483 Ynez Road in Temecula. Wesley was at Bull Pen with a friend and encountered McGlown’s friend, with whom she was already acquainted, Hall said.
From there, investigators believe McGlown and his friend ended up at Wesley's apartment.
"McGlown and his friend went to Wesley’s apartment and were both aware that Wesley’s son was in the apartment," Hall said. "McGlown’s friend left and believed McGlown had already left as well. However, McGlown had taken Wesley’s keys and made his way back into the apartment after his friend was gone and is alleged to have then raped and murdered Wesley. McGlown then set a fire in the apartment in an apparent attempt to cover up his crimes and fled the scene by stealing Wesley’s car."
On Nov. 2, Wesley's 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt was allegedly recovered by police in a parking lot in Hemet, not far from McGlown’s residence, Hall said.
Deputy District Attorney Jess Walsh of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting the case, Hall said.