Murder conviction of Rice upheld by courts

Mary Rice

The First District Court of Appeal has rejected an appeal in the conviction of Mary Rice, the woman who assisted in a murder spree throughout northwest Florida and across state lines

According to a State Attorney’s Office press release, Mary Barbara Craig Rice was sentenced to life in prison Sept. 28, 2018 for first degree murder and accessory after the fact to first-degree murder. Rice and William (Billy) Boyette went on an eight-day, multi-state crime spree that caused the death of four women.

Rice and Boyette fled to a hotel in West Point, Georgia, where Rice eventually surrendered. Boyette was found deceased from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

On January 31, 2017, Boyette killed two women at the Emerald Sands Inn, one being a former girlfriend whom he felt stole drugs and money from him. While investigating these murders, the police discovered a connection between Rice and Boyette. Two days after the Emerald Sands murders, Rice was seen at a Walmart in Crestview, Florida buying ammunition and camping gear. Boyette was waiting in a car outside for her. Three days after the Emerald Sands murders, both Rice and Boyette drove to Lillian, Alabama where a third female was shot and killed for her car. Two days after the Alabama murder, Boyette and Rice were spotted in Pensacola, Florida where a fourth women was murdered and her car stolen. The investigation determined that although Rice did not actually shoot anyone, she did participate in the robberies and was a principal to the homicide committed in furtherance of the robberies.

The court’s opinion is not final until the disposition of any timely or authorized motion, and no such motion is pending at this time. Assistant State Attorney Bridgette Jensen prosecuted the case.

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