• Boyfriend charged with murdering pregnant woman

    By: Tom Dees , Lauren Coleman


    DESOTO COUNTY, Miss. - It's been nearly three months since Aretha Otis laid her younger sister to rest. 

    She said her death is still hard on the family. 

    "It's a sad situation that we all have to go through this and its sad that her three children have to grow up without her," Aretha Otis said. "But I will be there for them." 

    >>Family speaks out after pregnant woman found next to burning car 

    Lashanda Otis was found dead on May 1 in DeSoto County. 

    She was found shot in the head next to a burning vehicle. 

    She was two months pregnant and partially burned. 

    On Wednesday her live-in boyfriend Mario Stevenson was booked into the DeSoto County Jail. 

    He is now charged with capital murder in her death. 

    The sister said she thought Stevenson was responsible for the murder. 

    "From my understanding it was for the insurance money," Aretha Otis said. "Because he had an insurance policy out on her. I don't know why it took multiple people to do it. I'm not understanding that." 

    >>Man charged with murder of pregnant woman found dead next to burning car

    Stevenson is the second person to be charged with Otis' murder. 

    Demario Dansberry who was arrested in May is also charged with Capital Murder. 

    Family said Stevenson and Dansberry are friends. 

    "Maybe they planned on sharing the insurance money or something," Aretha Otis said. "I really don't know." 

    Family members told FOX13 this isn't Stevenson's first run in with the law. 

    Aretha Otis said Stevenson served ten years in jail for a similar crime. 

    "When he was locked up for the past couple years it was told that him and his sister did the same thing to her husband," Aretha Otis said. "But except the fact that they thought he was dead, but he wasn't he was alive." 

    In May, FOX13 obtained an incident report that showed Stevenson went to a precinct and reported Otis missing, just a few hours after she was already found dead. 

    The sister said she had her suspicions about the missing persons report. 

    She said Stevenson never attended the funeral or helped with any of the arrangements. 

    "We didn't have no type of communication," Aretha Otis said. "He didn't let me see my niece. He didn't contact us at all. The only time he contacted us was for the death certificate." 

    And Otis said the arrests help to bring closure for the family. 

    "I just want justice to continue to be served," Aretha Otis said. "Whether he gets the death penalty or whether he just stays in jail for the rest of his life. Justice will get served." 

    Sources previously told FOX13 two other Memphis men were arrested along with Stevenson. 

    No official comment has been made regarding additional arrests. 

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