MURRIETA – An ex-con accused of raping and killing a 23-year-old Murrieta woman and setting fire to the apartment where her 3-year-old son was sleeping is scheduled to be arraigned today.
Marquise Denzell McGlown, 22, of Hemet, could face life in prison without parole or the death penalty if convicted in the Oct. 31 slaying of Shanae Christina Wesley. Held without bail at the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta, he is charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder, rape and special circumstance allegations of lying in wait and killing during the commission of a felony.
According to prosecutors, Wesley encountered McGlown and his friend, with whom she was acquainted, at a Temecula bar on the night of Oct. 30 and invited them back to her residence at the Waterstone Apartments at 24850 Hancock Ave. After a while, McGlown and his friend left, going their separate ways, according to the D.A.’s office.
But McGlown had taken Wesley’s keys, ”made his way back into the apartment after his friend was gone and is alleged to have then raped and murdered Wesley,” said District Attorney’s Office spokesman John Hall. ”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.”
A neighbor spotted smoke billowing out of the apartment in the predawn hours and rushed in, rescuing the victim’s son, who suffered minor injuries, according to police. Firefighters arrived moments later, extinguished the blaze and found Wesley’s remains.
The boy was briefly hospitalized, then released in good condition into the care of his extended family.
Wesley’s 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt was found by investigators two days later in a Hemet parking lot, within walking distance of McGlown’s home, authorities said.
The defendant was initially arrested and jailed for parole violations. Murrieta police completed an investigation and submitted their findings to the D.A.’s office a couple of weeks later, resulting in the current charges.
District Attorney Paul Zellerbach will decide at a later time whether to pursue capital punishment if McGlown is convicted.