Man charged with murder in 2 killings outside Indiana plant

A man suspected of fatally shooting a woman and her granddaughter outside a central Indiana automotive seating plant where all three worked was formally charged with murder Friday, and prosecutors plan to seek the death penalty if he’s convicted.

Gary C. Ferrell II, 26, faces two counts of murder and one count each of criminal confinement with a deadly weapon, resisting law enforcement and carrying a handgun without a license.

The Frankfort man was arrested Wednesday following a high-speed car chase after the fatal shootings outside NHK Seating of America, where police said he had worked a day shift.

Ferrell is accused of killing co-workers Promise Mays, 21, and her grandmother, Pamela Sledd, 62, both of nearby Rossville, in the plant’s parking lot as they arrived late Wednesday afternoon for their evening shifts.

A not guilty plea was entered on Ferrell’s behalf at an initial hearing Friday. He is being held without bond and is scheduled for a jury trial in February.

Online court records did not list an attorney for Ferrell, though they do show that he will be appointed pauper counsel.

Clinton County prosecutors filed a court notice Friday declaring that they will seek the death penalty against Ferrell, citing his alleged confinement of Mays just prior to the shootings as an aggravator that allows them to pursue capital punishment.

According to prosecutors, when police interviewed Ferrell after his arrest on Wednesday, he told them he thought up his plans to kill Mays the night before, the Journal & Courier reported.

A probable cause affidavit filed with the charges does not indicate what Ferrell’s motive might have been in the killings.

The affidavit, which cites factory security video for details of the killings, states that Ferrell parked next to Sledd’s vehicle outside the plant shortly after 4 p.m. Wednesday, opened his car’s trunk and then forced Mays from her grandmother’s car.

With a semiautomatic handgun in his right hand, Ferrell then dragged Mays to the back of his car and tried to force her into the trunk, according to the affidavit.

Sledd then exited her car and exchanged words with Ferrell, who pointed to the factory, aimed the gun at Sledd as she backed away, allegedly shot her three times as she tried to get away, and she collapsed. Ferrell then shot Mays, who was crouched behind his car refusing to get into the trunk, and she fell to the ground before he returned to his car, backed over her body and drove from the scene, according to the affidavit.

Police intercepted Ferrell on Indiana 28 and chased him into Frankfort, where he was arrested after crashing his car in a construction zone, police said Wednesday.

NHK Seating of America opened in June and employs about 700 people who design and make seating for automotive vehicles, according to the company’s website. Frankfort is located about 50 miles northwest of Indianapolis.

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