Four young Buffalo men and a woman today were indicted in the torture slaying of James Jerome Mack, and one -- William Lauderdale -- faces a possible death penalty.
Lauderdale, 20, formerly of Prospect Avenue, was charged with first-degree murder and second-degree murder.
His four co-defendants were charged with just second-degree murder.
State Supreme Court Justice Rose H. Sconiers ordered Lauderdale and his co-defendants, Anthony Giles, 18; Kareema Luper, 20; Terry Mixson, 19; and Antonio Walker Jr., 18, to remain in jail without bail. They are scheduled to be arraigned March 7.
Clark said he expects to decide within four weeks to seek capital punishment for Lauderdale. Clark said Lauderdale is accused of being the lead actor in torture murder of Mack, 18, during a midafternoon confrontation in a North Pearl Street flat on Jan. 21.
Even if Clark decides not to seek the death penalty and Lauderdale is convicted of first-degree murder, he faces life imprisonment without parole.
All five suspects have been jailed since their arrests less than 24 hours after a church worker found Mack's charred body behind St. Louis Catholic Church the morning after the attack.
The grand jury, which spent almost two weeks reviewing the case, also charged all five with first-degree attempted aggravated sexual abuse, hindering prosecution and criminal trespass.
Although Lauderdale was one of the four suspects who police said gave sworn confessions days after the killing, he backtracked during an interview with The Buffalo News Jan. 29 and recanted his alleged admission of guilt, claiming he left the flat before Mack was slain.
Thomas Heard, 19, now in police protective custody, told Judge Andrew C. LoTempio during a City Court hearing Jan. 29 that he had witnessed all five defendants attack and kill Mack without provocation.