Terry McDonald pleads guilty, sentenced to 25 years in prison for death of Mary Mount

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

Mary Mount and the defendant met in 2003 on the internet. Mary 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 December 22, 2003, Mary rented a hotel room for the defendant for one month so they would have time to get to know each other.

On January 5th, 2004, after having dinner at Mary’s parents’ home, Mary and McDonald went to the hotel room. Mary was never heard from or seen again.

On January 28th, 2004, the defendant was found in Corpus Christi, Texas with Mary’s vehicle and her credit cards and other property of hers. At that time, he claimed he did not know where Mary 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 (CCHU) 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 Mary Mount. He told CCHU investigators that
while he and Mary were staying at the hotel on January 5th, 2004, he suffocated her with a
pillow. The defendant claimed that he could not explain why he killed Mary, and that there was no justification for her murder.

On September 23, 2019 McDonald was arrested for the murder of Mary Mount.
“I hope today’s sentencing helps Mary’s family heal and gives them some closure,” said State Attorney Amira Fox.

MORE: Family says the suspect has gotten away with murder for 14 years

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