With every allegation from the prosecutor's lips came a response from the courtroom gallery.
A grunt, a sign, a moan — utter disgust at tales of the zip ties carried by the "serial rapist and murderer," the black bandannas stuffed in victims' mouths, the pictures taken of dark moments in DeKalb and Fulton counties.
One woman got up and fled the courtroom.
DeKalb prosecutor Dalia Racine revealed the details Wednesday during a hearing for suspect Terique Hall, 24, of Atlanta.
Racine repeatedly called Hall a "serial rapist." The deputy chief assistant district attorney detailed a nine-day spree in early November in which Hall allegedly committed three rapes, one attempted rape and the chilling murder of a 20-year-old pregnant woman.
Hall tried to video tape himself suffocating the hog-tied woman, Ashley Mays, in her room at Quality Inn and Suites outside Lithonia, the prosecutor said.
Hall — who worked driving seniors and the disabled for MV Transportation, a contract firm whose customers include MARTA — asked for Wednesday's hearing. He wanted a judge to let him bond out of the DeKalb County jail.
Judge Winston Bethel took only seconds to deny the request, citing the gravity of the allegations.
Racine said the victims had all advertised escort services on backpage.com. The string of assaults got concerning enough that, while police were searching for the suspect, they cold-called escorts from the site just to warn them.
Michael Mays told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution his late daughter was a promising young woman but adrift. He tried to talk to her, but Ashley Mays believed past blemishes on her record made prospects of legitimate work few.
A long-haul trucker, the father, 44, had to work Wednesday and couldn't attend the hearing.
"For the first few weeks it was bad," he said from the cab of his truck in Louisiana. "The only reason I'm handling it now is I'm back driving the truck. Every once in a while I drift and cry."
But he wants to hear the details of what happened to his daughter and her unborn child, who didn’t survive. He's hoping the case might help spread the word to young women about the dangers of backpage.com and sites like it.
As Racine told it, the dangers played out grimly for the four women Hall met last month.
The first victim said she was assaulted on Nov. 9 at an East Point hotel.
On Nov. 11, at a townhome near Lithonia, Hall allegedly poured bleach on a woman after raping her and told her she was "lucky" he didn't also have rubbing alcohol. The combination would've made chloroform.
Three days later, a pimp overheard a prostitute scream during an attempted rape at America's Best hotel in the Northlake area. The pimp shot the attacker's car as he fled, Racine said.
Ashley Mays, who was 4-months pregnant and leaves behind a 3-year-old, died Nov. 18. The prosecutor said Hall's cell phone contained a picture of Mays bound and gagged.
Authorities are waiting for a report from a doctor to decide whether to charge him with the death of the fetus.
Racine said Hall was connected to the crime spree through surveillance video, witness accounts and the cell phone used to contact the women.
It was a Wi-Fi phone, which had been reloaded with anonymously registered prepaid debit cards. There were attempts to conceal whose phone it was, Racine said.
But the number was connected to an email address, which began with: "teriquehall."
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