Amber DeLoach Murder Suspect Set for Trial - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Amber DeLoach Murder Suspect Set for Trial

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Shan Cheley is facing various charges including Malice Murder Shan Cheley is facing various charges including Malice Murder
Amber Deloach was found murdered in a burning car in September 2012 Amber Deloach was found murdered in a burning car in September 2012

He's accused in the brutal killing of a local teenager last year.

Shan Cheley is waiting to make his case in front of a jury, saying he is not Amber Deloach's killer.

Cheley is accused of raping, strangling, and then burning Deloach's body.

But when offered a plea deal Wednesday, he had a very simple answer, no.

"Do you accept the plea deal in this case?"

Those were the words of accused murderer Shan Cheley Wednesday in a Chatham County courtroom.  Cheley is the man allegedly responsible for the murder of Amber Deloach.

"She was found in the trunk basically in a fetal position," explained Detective Robert Santoro back in 2012. "She was wrapped in a blanket that was partially burned on top."

That was the gruesome discovery made in Yamacraw Village in the early morning last September.  

The strangled, raped body of the 18 year old girl left in a burning car.  Outside of Deloach's vehicle, two shoes. A pair that police say are the same ones Shan Cheley is wearing in surveillance video from a nearby gas station.

"You see him on video both outside and inside, and that's where he purchases gasoline and a lighter and a lighter," explained Santoro.

At Wednesday's hearing, the defense started setting up their case, mentioning Deloach was drinking the night of her death, drugs were found in her system, and the sex, attorneys claim, was consensual.  Details Savannah-Chatham Metro Police detective Robert Santoro clarified at a hearing last year.
"He denied they ever went in the house," said Santoro. "He said she was cold so he went inside and got the blanket and brought it back out that they had sex and did drugs and after that she gave him a ride back to Yamacraw Village and dropped him off next to his car and that was the last time that he saw her that she was alive in Yamacraw Village."

Judge Wamsley knows the extensive media attention could make finding a jury difficult.

That's why he has planned for a large, 50 person jury pool to make sure Shan Cheley gets a fair trial.

A trial Cheley asked for after turning down the prosecution's plea deal.

If convicted, Cheley could now be sentenced to life in prison without parole.

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