Virgil Delano Presnell Jr. initially rejected the authorities’ suspicions, but he eventually confessed and directed them to the location where the girl’s bones had been discovered.
A man who was supposed to be executed in Georgia on Monday after being convicted of murdering an 8-year-old girl and raping a 10-year-old girl in 1976 was granted a stay of execution by a judge on Monday. On Tuesday, the court decided to delay the scheduled execution.
Virgil Delano Presnell Jr., then 68 years old, kidnapped Lori Ann Smith, then 8 years old, when they were traveling home from primary school in Cobb County 46 years ago.
When Smith attempted to get away, he sexually assaulted her and then drowned her in a nearby stream. Following the murder, the police found him standing outside of his apartment building. Even though he initially denied any responsibility, he quickly confessed and led them to the location where the dead girl lay.
In the latter part of that year, he was tried for and found guilty of intentional murder, kidnapping, and rape, and he was ultimately sentenced to death for his crimes.