Man pleads guilty to 2009 murder, kidnapping and rape of Brittanee Drexel
GEORGETOWN COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - The man charged with killing a 17-year-old in Myrtle Beach back in 2009 pleaded guilty in a Georgetown County courtroom Wednesday morning.
Raymond Moody pleaded guilty to the murder, kidnapping and rape of Brittanee Drexel.
Moody was sentenced to life in prison for the murder and 30 years each for the kidnapping and criminal sexual conduct charges.
During the almost hour-and-a-half hearing, the family recounted the events the day of and the days after April 25, 2009, when Drexel went missing.
County officials and the solicitor went over the evidence, the text messages and surveillance footage of the teen from Rochester, New York.
Moody just stared blankly ahead at a flatscreen showing that evidence.
Brittanee’s mom Dawn Pleckan spoke at Wednesday’s hearing. In often emotional words, she delivered direct and pointed statements at Moody.
“Today we know the truth and today Mr. Moody, you face the consequences for that,” Pleckan said.
Pleckan described Brittanee’s photo and ashes worn around her neck as a celebration and remembrance of Drexel’s life.
“That’s all I have left. That’s all we have left after what you did to her,” Pleckan said.
“She fought back, she fought for her life. We know now that she scratched the hell out of your head face and neck. You will forever carry the scars of what my daughter did to you,” Pleckan said.
After the victim’s impact statements were read in court, Moody addressed the court.
“I was a monster. I was a monster then. And I was a monster when I took Brittanee Drexel’s life,” Moody said.
Before reading Moody’s sentence, Judge Ferrell Cothran, Jr. said it was his job to sentence Moody appropriately.
“We are all products of the decisions we make in life and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people give up their long-term happiness for immediate pleasure,” Cothran said. “And you gave up a lot of people’s long-term happiness for your immediate pleasure. "
Investigators say he kidnapped, assaulted and killed Drexel, a New York teen who was vacationing in Myrtle Beach during Spring Break on April 25, 2009.
Georgetown County deputies say Moody confessed after he was charged on May 4 with obstruction of justice. Authorities said that Moody strangled Drexel on the same night that he kidnapped her.
Drexel’s body was later recovered in the Harmony Township area of Georgetown County after Moody revealed the location.
Moody was named in 2012 as a person of interest in her disappearance and is not a stranger to law enforcement. He served more the 20 years in a California prison for some similar charges including rape and kidnapping of a child under 14.
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