VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – Thursday marked the first time the accused serial killer, 37-year-old Robert Hayes, stepped foot inside a Volusia County courtroom.
He looked drastically older than during his first appearance in front of a judge in Palm Beach County last year when he was charged with first-degree murder for the death of a 32-year-old woman in 2016. Hayes, who previously had a shaved head and no facial hair, had greying hair and a full beard in court Thursday.
Hayes has been in the Palm Beach County Jail since September and was extradited Wednesday to Volusia County.
Hayes is facing three charges of first-degree murder with a firearm.
Hayes remained quiet in court as security stood just feet behind him. A judge ordered that he be held without bond.
Last November, Hayes was officially charged with the deaths of three women whose bodies police said were dumped in remote areas around Daytona Beach more than a decade ago.
Authorities said DNA evidence from crime scenes run through genealogy sites eventually linked Hayes to the deaths of Laquetta Gunter, Julie Green and Iwana Patton. Police said the women were fatally shot between 2005 and 2006. Investigators sad they’re still working to link Hayes to the death of Stacey Gage who was fatally shot in December 2017.
He will have a pretrial hearing Feb. 18 during which a judge will decide if he should stay in Volusia County or return to Palm Beach County.
In November 2019, State Attorney R.J. Larizza said prosecutors would seek the death penalty in this case.