Jury Recommends Joseph Thomas Receive The Death Penalty
The sentence of Joseph Thomas -- the man convicted of murdering Annie McSween -- will be decided Oct. 15
After seven hours of deliberation, the jury decided the Joseph Thomas -- the man convicted of the murder, rape and kidnapping of Mentor woman Annie McSween -- should receive the death penalty.
Thomas, 28, did not react when he heard the decision.
However, the jury's verdict does not necessarily mean Thomas will be sentenced to death.
Lake County Court of Common Pleas Judge Richard L. Collins will make the final decision as to what Thomas' sentence will be 3 p.m. on Oct. 15.
Collins could also sentence Thomas to 25 years to life in prison, 30 years to life in prison or life without the possibility of parole, as opposed to the death penalty.
Thomas was convicted of aggravated murder, rape, aggravated robbery, kidnapping and tampering with evidence last Friday.
This week, jurors heard evidence intended to help them decide they should recommend for Thomas.
To that end, Lake County Assistant Prosecutors Charles Cichocki and Pat Condon presented aggravating evidence to justify the death sentence to the jurors.
Meanwhile, Thomas' attorneys -- David Doughten and Lake County Assistant Public Defender Charles Grieshammer -- offered mitigating evidence to justify giving a prison sentence.
Doughten and Grieshammer emphasized Thomas' difficult childhood.
Several family members and associates testified that Thomas was abandoned by his father, ignored by his drug-addicted mother and abused by a series of surrogate father figures.
McSween, 49, was tending bar at Mario's Lakeway Lounge in Mentor-on-the-Lake on Nov. 26, 2010 and closed the bar by herself.
Thomas, who was at the bar that night, was arrested and charged with her death after authorities found McSween's burnt clothes in a barrel behind the Mentor-on-the-Lake home where he lived at the time of the murder.
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