Cleveland: Jury begins deliberations in Anthony Sowell case

6:08 PM, Jul 20, 2011   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- The jury has started its deliberations in the trial of accused serial killer Anthony Sowell.

Sowell is accused in the deaths of 11 women whose bodies were found in and around his Imperial Avenue home in late October and early November, 2009.

The jury spent much of the day listening to closing arguments, and began their deliberations just before 4 p.m. They will meet each day from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. until they reach a verdict. Jurors will be sequestered at an undisclosed location.

The prosecution delivered a lengthy summation of the case, lasting nearly three hours, in which lead prosecutor Rick Bombik walked the jury through each of the 11 victims' stories.

The defense again stressed the lack of direct physical evidence linking Sowell to the bodies and criticized the police for their work at the crime scene. Sowell's lead defense attorney John Parker suggested that the women may have been killed elsewhere and transported to Sowell's house and backyard.

Assistant Prosecutor Pinkey Carr seized on that statement during her rebuttal of the defense's closing arguments.

"I guess he ran an all night cemetery," she scoffed. "Because people would just," she paused to knock several times on a table in the courtroom, "Hey Tone, I got another body here. Can I bury it in your backyard? Hey Tone, you think I can put this body down your basement?"

The case began in early June with three weeks of jury selection.  Testimony wrapped earlier this week after the prosecution had called more than 60 witnesses.  The defense did not call any witnesses.

One juror, a woman, had to be replaced after she was taken from the court on a stretcher after complaining of feeling faint. An alternate juror has taken her place in the deliberations.

Judge Dick Ambrose also ordered that the three remaining alternate jurors, although they would not be deliberating, would also be sequestered until final verdicts are reached.


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