Guilty plea in brutal murder of pregnant woman

How he found his victims.

DECATUR, GA. - A man accused of brutally murdering a Lithonia pregnant woman last year pled guilty on Wednesday.

Terique Dwayne Hall, 25, pled guilty to murder, rape and weapons offenses in the death of Ashley Mays, as well as sexual assault crimes against two other women.

Hall was sentenced to two consecutive life terms plus five years in prison.

Mays’ body was found by the cleaning staff at a Quality Inn on Snapfinger Park Drive on Nov. 18, 2016. She had been raped and then strangled to death.

Video surveillance captured images of Hall entering the Mays’ hotel room and exiting less than an hour later. He fled in a dark colored car parked in a wooded area near the hotel.

Seven days prior to Mays’ murder, Hall attacked another woman in similar fashion. According to police, he entered that woman's Lithonia townhome, pulled a gun on her, forced a black bandana into her mouth, zip-tied her hands and feet, and then raped her in her child’s bedroom. He also stole electronics and money.

Hall attempted to attack another woman at the America’s Best Value Inn on Crescent Centre Boulevard in Tucker, three days later. That attack was thwarted by another man who was at the location and pulled a gun on Hall, forcing him to run away.

According to officials, Hall met with each of his victims under the guise of purchasing sex after contacting them online through Backpage.com.

11Alive's Chris Hopper looked into the site and talked to one local D.A. about how prevalent it is.

The site is, at its core, made up of classified ads, some more unsavory than others. Ads soliciting sex are not hard to find, and, according to Cobb County Assistant D.A. Chuck Boring, women who post on the site often find themselves in the situation where they become victims of human trafficking.

"They have no idea the reality of this until they get into it," Boring said. "It is happening all over, especially in major metropolitan areas. The Internet has made this a much smaller world, so people just can go on their computer and just get access to this type of thing."

Yet while the site has come under fire, it's been difficult to get it shut down.

"It's very difficult (to go against them), because, like many social media or Internet type of groups, once you find a way to try and stop it, they find a way to get around it."

Listen to the full conversation below.

© 2017 WXIA-TV


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