A Charlotte man accused of murdering his in-laws learned Thursday that prosecutors plan to seek the death penalty against him.

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Smith is one of very few defendants who has faced the death penalty in Mecklenburg County in the last several years. The last time a defendant received the death penalty was in 2009. Michael Sherrill was sentenced to death for raping and killing a woman before setting her home on fire.

Defense attorney Eben Rawls said death penalty cases take a tremendous amount of time and effort to prosecute.

Smith’s attorney said his client blacked out and doesn’t remember what happened.