Rodney Earl Sanders, 46, has been charged with two counts of capital murder in the senseless slaying of Sisters Margaret Held and Paula Merrill, both 68.
Held and Merrill were well-known in their small hometown for dedicating their lives to providing health care in one of the state’s poorest counties. Their bodies were found after colleagues at the health clinic they worked at grew worried when they failed to show up for work.
Wearing an orange prison jumpsuit, Sanders remained quiet during a preliminary hearing in a Durant courthouse Friday.
Standing mere feet away from Sanders, Mississippi Bureau of Investigation agent LeCarus Oliver testified that the sicko admitted to crashing in a shed across the street from the nuns’ home.
After sleeping there for three nights, Sanders broke in through the backdoor. After stabbing the pious pair to death, he cleaned himself up in a bathroom sink, records show.
“He washed himself up because his hands were sticky,” Oliver said. Investigators retrieved a knife from the shed Sanders had been staying at and rape kits for the two victims are pending at a state crime lab. The nuns’ distraught relatives and colleagues have said they do not want prosecutors to seek the death penalty for Sanders. District Attorney Akillie Malone-Oliver said outside of court Friday her office has yet to make a decision on the matter.