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Defendant sentenced for the 2004 murder of Mary Mount

By Staff | Dec 3, 2019

Today, Terry McDonald pled guilty and was sentenced to 25 years in prison for the 2004 murder of Mary Mount. The victim was last seen in Lee County when she was 28 years old.

According to a report from the State Attorney’s Office, Mount and the defendant met in 2003 on the Internet. Mount purchased a bus ticket for the defendant so he could travel from Seattle, Washington, to Cape Coral to meet in person. When he arrived in Cape Coral on Dec. 22, 2003, she rented a hotel room for the defendant for one month so they would have time to get to know each other.

On Jan. 5, 2004, after having dinner at her parents’ home, Mount and McDonald went to the hotel room, and Mount was never heard from or seen again, reports indicate.

On Jan. 28, 2004, the State Attorney’s Office said the defendant was found in Corpus Christi, Texas, with Mount’s vehicle and her credit cards and other property of hers. At that time, he claimed he did not know where Mount was and that she had given him her car and property. Later he claimed she died from a medical emergency and her body was located.

The investigation of this case continued in an effort to gain further evidence. In July 2019, the State Attorney’s Office Cold Case Homicide Unit obtained new evidence in the case in partnership with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office. The CCHU team and detectives from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office traveled to Arizona and then to Texas where the defendant was incarcerated for another crime.

At that time, McDonald confessed to killing Mount. He told CCHU investigators that while he and Mount were staying at the hotel on Jan. 5, 2004, he suffocated her with a pillow. The State Attorney’s Office reported that the defendant claimed that he could not explain why he killed Mount, and that there was no justification for her murder.

On Sept. 23, 2019, McDonald was arrested for the murder of Mount.

“I hope today’s sentencing helps Mary’s family heal and gives them some closure,” said State Attorney Amira Fox.

Fox issued a public thank you to Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno, Lee County Sheriff’s Office Capt. John Long, Assistant State Attorneys Dan Feinberg and Stephanie Russell and State Attorney’s Office Investigators Jennifer Griffith and Steve Scalici for their dedication to this case.