State will seek death penalty in fatal fire

Prosecutors have filed notice that they intend to seek the death penalty against two people charged with setting a July fire that killed two young boys.

Anthony Braswell, 36, and Shauntrice Murry, 34, both of a Chambers Road address, are charged with two counts of felony murder and one count of first-degree arson, according to court records. Braswell also is charged with two counts of murder.

Braswell is accused of pouring gasoline from a plastic sports-drink bottle onto the porch at 417 Moseley Ave. to start the fire July 14, according to his arrest warrant. The warrant said Murry accompanied him.

Two children — 2-year-old Hezekiah Harris and 4-year-old Tydarious Harris — were killed in the ensuing blaze. Because the children died as a result of a deliberately set fire, authorities ruled that their deaths were homicides.

A fight on the night of the fire that involved residents of the house and the suspects may have been a motive in the case, authorities said at the time.

A third person, 27-year-old Latoshia Yvette Wyche, of a Moore Street address, is charged with two counts of felony murder and one count of arson. The case against her has not gone before the grand jury.

When firefighters arrived at the Moseley Avenue home, located four blocks west of Pio Nono Avenue, it was engulfed in flames.

Firefighters learned that the boys still were inside. Two of them jumped on top of a trash can and climbed inside the house.

The entire house was on fire except for the bedroom where the boys were sleeping.

The firefighters searched the smoke-filled room with their hands and found the two boys. Outside, they administered CPR.

The boys died of smoke inhalation, officials said.

The death penalty notice was filed by prosecutors Dec. 9, according to court records.

District Attorney Howard Simms was not available for comment Tuesday.

Five other death penalty cases are pending in Bibb County.

Information from The Telegraph’s archives was included in this report.

To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.