"Gruesome" testimony sends capital murder case to grand jury

By Brad Kessie - bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Disturbing testimony from a sheriff's investigator both stunned and sickened family members of Shakeylia Anderson. They heard stomach churning details about how the 17-year-old was raped, run over by a car, and then burned last December in a wooded area along Highway 15.

The prosecutor in Friday's preliminary hearing was Herman Cox. Before court, he handed out a statement about this case.  Cox called Shakeylia Anderson's death the most gruesome murder he'd ever seen.

Cox wrote, "The violence and manner of death the defendant inflicted upon the victim was horrible."

The defendant in this case is Leslie Galloway III. He walked into a Harrison County courtroom Friday afternoon wearing the red inmate uniform he was issued after being arrested on December 10. For about an hour, Galloway sat at the defense table and heard graphic descriptions of the evidence collected by investigators.

The case against the Moss Point man accuses him of raping the 17-year-old Harrison Central student. He then allegedly ran her over several times with his mom's car and then burned her body.

Investigator Michelle Carbine was the only person who testified during the preliminary hearing.

"We found an unclothed black female who appeared to have been burned," Carbine said, describing what she saw on December 6 when she reached the murder scene. "She was bleeding in the facial area, lying face down, kind of on her side, but her face was down in the dirt."

Before Galloway allegedly fled the scene, Investigator Carbine said he set her body on fire.

"Approximately 200 feet away from her was another path," the investigator explained, painting a picture of what the wooded area looked like. "Walked down that path and there was a little burn spot. A couple of different burn patches, and some broken glass, and I believe some material or possibly human tissue was also found and recovered from that area."

County Court Judge Robin Midcalf ruled that there was enough evidence in this capital murder case to send it to the next grand jury that meets. Because it's a capital case, Galloway will remain in the Harrison County jail without bond.