Prosecutors in Florida will seek the death penalty against a man accused of brutally killing a married couple returning home from Daytona Beach Bike Week festivities last month.
Jean Macean, 32, was indicted in late March by a grand jury on two counts of first-degree premeditated murder with a weapon for the killings of Terry Aultman, 48, and Brenda Aultman, 55.
Brenda’s grown daughter welcomed the news that prosecutors were intent on seeking the most severe punishment for Macean, describing the move as “justified.”
The Aultmans were repeatedly stabbed and had their throats slashed while biking home from a bar on the night of March 6, prosecutors said. They were discovered lying in pools of blood next to their discarded bikes.
Macean was arrested just days later, after a waitress at an Orange County Johnny Rockets eatery recognized him as a former customer and led the cops to him.
On Monday, the Office of State Attorney for the Seventh Judicial Circuit Court R.J. Latizza filed a notice of intent to pursue the death penalty against Macean.
The document states that the State intends to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the murders were homicides “committed in a cold, calculated and premediate manner without any pretense of moral or legal justification.
“The murders were “especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel,” and the defendant “was previously convicted of another Capital Felony or of a felony involving the use or threat of violence to the person,” prosecutors said.
Prosecutors commonly invoke the third aggravating factor when a defendant is accused of committing multiple killings.
Sara Turner, Brenda Aultman’s daughter, told the Daytona Beach News-Journal that prosecutors had spoken to her before filing the notice signaling their intent to seek the death penalty for Macean.
“I think that it’s justified,” she said of prosecutors’ intention to seek the death penalty. “But I think it’s going to be a hard and long, difficult process for me and my family regardless of what they seek. I think this is going to impact us for the rest of our lives.”
Daytona Beach police previously said that Macean, a native of Haiti, confessed to the murders during his interview with detectives following his arrest.
“This was one of the most brutal murders I’ve ever seen in my 20-plus years as a police officer in Daytona Beach,” Daytona Beach Police Chief Jakari Young said at the time.