Monday, March 29, 2010

Dalzell Sentenced

From Asheville Citizen Times
Man gets 27 years in Buncombe Internet child sex sting
This time, they got their man.

A suspect cleared in the disappearance of a woman 12 years ago was sentenced Friday to nearly 27 years in federal prison for using the Internet to entice someone he thought was a Buncombe County girl to meet him for sex.

Andrew Douglas Dalzell, 33, pleaded guilty to the crime in U.S. District Court in Asheville.

Judge Martin Reidinger ruled he had to take Dalzell's confession to the 1997 slaying of Deborah Key into account in the sentencing even though a murder charge was thrown out when a state court judge ruled the confession was inadmissible.

Buncombe County sheriff's deputies charged Dalzell in February 2007 with solicitation of a child by computer after he initiated explicit chats with an undercover officer posing as an 11-year-old girl. Dalzell was arrested after he drove from Gastonia to the Asheville area to meet the girl.

Reidinger said he hoped the stiff sentence would serve as a deterrent to other potential child sex offenders.

“That's the sort of behavior that this society cannot tolerate,” he said.

Dalzell sobbed as he apologized for this crime.

“I made an extraordinarily bad judgment,” he said. “I am not a bad person. I love my mother, I love my wife, I love my baby. Being away from them hurts.”

A judge in Orange County threw out a 2004 murder charge against Dalzell after finding police fabricated an arrest warrant to pressure him into a confession.

Police said Dalzell was last seen with Key at a Carrboro pool hall just before her disappearance. Investigators in Carrboro never found a body or other physical evidence linking Dalzell to Key's disappearance, but in 2004 they saw a chance at a confession, Carrboro police Lt. John Lau said.

The opportunity arose after Dalzell asked officers for protection as he moved out of his Carrboro residence because he was afraid of being attacked by a local drug dealer, Lau said.

Officers spotted stolen property during the move, and detectives had also obtained what they said was evidence of him trying to solicit a minor girl to come live with him and his girlfriend, Lau said.

When Dalzell was arrested on larceny and solicitation charges, he was shown a fake arrest warrant charging him with murder, which prompted a confession.

“One and a half minutes into interview, he gave it up and admitted he strangled her,” Lau said.

In 2005, Orange County Superior Court Judge Wade Barber threw out the murder charge. Barber said officers “fabricated official court documents,” used deception and should have immediately informed Dalzell why he was being arrested.
Joy and I have been interviewed today by Beth Velliquette with the Chapel Hill Herald about this, who has written several news articles before about Debbie Key.
CORRECTION - It was February 2009 (not 2007) when Dalzell was arrested in Buncombe County.
UPDATE - March 30
UPDATE - April 3
This story in 'Who Killed Theresa?'


Anonymous said...

I've read the article over and over; it's almost unbelievable. Finally!

Yeah, I know, it's not for Debbie's murder, but he's been put where he belongs.


Forrest Covington said...

When his confession was thrown out in court a few years ago, I kept telling people that he would screw up again. Lo and behold, he did! I was worried he would kill or rape again, but thankfully he was caught before he could.

I am glad that the confession worked against him in the sentencing. Ironically, he probably got more time for this than he would have if he had plead a manslaughter charge.

I would have preferred he get life, but if he serves the full 27 years he will be 60 when he gets out. He will have plenty of time to think about the life he is missing and the life he took.

How did such a sicko pervert get a wife and child when so many decent men can't? Unbelievable.

Sharron Prior website said...

Amazing is the word..and more! Bill! Thank you for calling my attention to this..on such a time when I was not feeling my best! you have made me smile more in the last couple of days! I Thank you..!
Quote, His words..
"“I made an extraordinarily bad judgment,” he said. “I am not a bad person. I love my mother, I love my wife, I love my baby. Being away from them hurts.” poor YOU! if you had even thought about your WIFE your Mother, Your would not be where you are should have been there 12 years ago
Good for you!
Hope one day something comes out what you did to Debbie..

Bill Widman said...

Thanks Everyone, for such good comments!

I'd like to respond to the question Forrest asked. I've been wondering the same thing myself.
Why would a woman want to marry a man who cannot keep his sexual interests within the marriage? And why would she have a baby with a man who was bound to end up in prison?
Maybe it's a Karla Homolka thing. Who knows? Consider that Ted Bundy got married while on death row.
Pity the poor child.

Anonymous said...

Here is a link to a PDF file of the official announcement