Jury recommends life for Ocalan who beat his son to death

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Jury recommends life for Ocalan who beat his son to death

Post  Jennie on Wed Jun 25, 2008 12:05 pm

Jury recommends life for Ocalan who beat his son to death


Convicted child-murderer Richard L. Crawford looks on as witnesses testify during the penalty phase of his trial on Monday.

A 12-person jury on Tuesday recommended a life sentence for Richard L. Crawford, the Ocala man found guilty of first-degree felony murder and aggravated child abuse earlier this month.

Jurors weighed life or a death sentence for Crawford, 33, in connection with the beating death of his 5-year-old son, Coreyon Graham. The jury - which had previoulsy convicted Crawford - began the sentencing deliberations at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday and returned with its recommendation at about 12:55 p.m.

Senior Judge William T. Swigert must give the jury's recommendation "great weight" before he imposes his sentence at a future date.

Earlier Tuesday, the 7-woman, 5-man panel listened to closing arguments from Assistant State Attorney Janine Nixon and Crawford's attorney James Tarquin as they sought to drive home their arguments for the most appropriate punishment.

"[Crawford] left him in that room to die alone," Nixon said, referring to the place in Crawford's southeast Ocala home where the state asserted the defendant fatally whipped his son with a belt on Feb. 16, 2006.

"Coreyon knew he was going to be hit, again and again, here and here and here and here," Nixon said, gesturing with her hands the wide area where Coreyon suffered bruising on his body injuries so severe the state considers them to be heinous, atrocious, and cruel.

Tarquin, on the other hand, implored to the jury to see that the beating represented one "aberration" in his client's life and that life in prison without parole would be enough punishment for his client.

"Every single day he's going to be punished for the rest of his life," he said. "We're talking about Richard Crawford's 33 years on this earth, and they want to kill him for one day."

The defense presented as mitigators Crawford's character which family members spoke positively about on Monday afternoon and his relatively young age.

(source: Star-Banner)
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