Michael Carl George of Stafford County could go to Virginia's electric chair if he is convicted of slaying Alexander Sztanko, a Prince William County grand jury decided yesterday.
The grand jury indicted George, 32, for capital murder in the killing of Sztanko, 15, after Commonwealth's Attorney Paul Ebert presented evidence that Sztanko was robbed before he was shot in the head.
George also was charged with robbery, abduction "with intent to defile," the use of a firearm in the commission of murder and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Virginia law allows the death penalty only for such crimes as murder for hire, "willful, deliberate and premeditated" killing during the commission of a robbery, a rape or a kidnapping, the killing of a law enforcement officer and multiple murders.
Ebert said a "small amount of cash" and some other property were taken from Sztanko, but he would not list the other property. He would not say how much money was taken.
Court records also indicate Sztanko may have been tortured with an electrical stun gun during the crime.
"I'm pleased we have a capital murder indictment," Ebert said yesterday. "This office intends to press for the death penalty."
Sztanko's body was discovered on Father's Day in a wooded area of eastern Prince William County near Interstate 95. He had left his parents' home on Cardinal Drive 24 hours earlier to ride his motorized dirt bike with friends in the "power lines" area of Woodbridge, a cleared utility right-of-way popular with bikers.
George, a $20,000-a-year civilian computer operator at Quantico Marine Base, had served 2 1/2 years in state prison after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter in 1983 in the death of 8-year-old Larry Perry of Dumfries. Perry disappeared May 22, 1979, near where Sztanko's body was found.
George has been held without bond in the Prince William Adult Detention Center after his arrest June 17 near where police discovered Sztanko's body.
At a preliminary hearing last week, police testified that a 9mm semiautomatic handgun had been seized from George's room at the home he shared with his parents in Stafford. Police say they believe it was used in the slaying.
No date has been set for the trial, but Ebert said it likely will be in late fall or early winter.