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Man charged in 2 Lauderdale County murders appears in court

LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) - Mark Edwin Montgomery appeared in court for a preliminary hearing Wednesday afternoon. He's accused of killing Col Ann Stoner and Joanna Strickland Butler in March 2014. If convicted, he may face the death penalty according the district attorney’s office.

Authorities revealed preliminary autopsy reports showing both women suffered multiple gunshot wounds to the head following an argument between Montgomery and Col Ann Stoner. Police say he shot both women with a rifle.

After the shootings, Montgomery was in a car chase that ended by the scene of the crime on County Road 10.

'This is a horrible situation of domestic violence were two women got killed and we intend to follow the facts and evidence where they lead and prosecute the fullest with the support and corporation of the families of both victims,' said Assistant District Attorney Will Powell.

The judge sent the case to a grand jury Wednesday afternoon after hearing about the evidence and crime scene from the Lauderdale County investigators and from the defendant. The district attorney`s office confirms a trial date may be scheduled sometime in 2016.

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