BAY MINETTE, Ala. (WKRG) — Convicted murderer Mary Rice has begun her life sentence in Florida after being convicted last week in the murder spree with Billy Boyette that spanned three states and resulted in the murders of four women. But, her legal battles aren’t over. She will still be tried in Baldwin County for the murder of Peggy Broz. The question is, when?
Last week’s guilty verdict put the wheels in motion for Mary Rice’s return to Baldwin County to face murder charges in the death of Peggy Broz in Lillian but, the wheels of justice turn slowly.
“One source in Florida told us it could be decades and we’re hoping that that is wrong.” Baldwin County District Attorney Robert Wilters is consulting with the Alabama Attorney General’s Office to try and speed up the process but, it could still take years. “We will probably have to let the appeals process run,” says Wilters.
In February of 2017, Peggy Broz was returning from work. Investigators say Rice and Billy Boyette followed her home, shot and killed her and stole her car. Rice was convicted last week of murder and accessory after the fact in the deaths of three Florida women. “We’re doing our due diligence and getting everything done so we can get her back here as quickly as we can,” says Wilters.
An investigator with the D.A.’s office attended the trial and so did the family of Peggy Broz who will have to wait even longer for Mary Rice to have her day in a Baldwin County courtroom. “When this process gets drawn out as long as it can sometimes, it is not justice for our victim or their families,” says Wilters.
The information the D.A.’s office is getting now from Florida is Rice will have to serve 80 percent of her life sentence or 30 years before she would be extradited back to Baldwin County. The possibility of her facing the death penalty could also delay her return, although Wilters says a final decision hasn’t been made on whether they will pursue the death penalty or not.