Jury Recommends the Death Penalty for Emilia Carr
In a 7-5 decision, a jury has recommended that 26 year-old Emilia Carr receive the death penalty.
Emilia Carr was convicted Tuesday of kidnapping and first degree murder against Heather Strong in 2009.
Heather Strong's mother, Carolyn Spence said she is content with the jury's recommendation.
"I finally have some relief and closure for that," Spence said. After listening to witnesses and attorneys during two weeks of trail, she said the death penalty sentence is justified.
The prosecution made their final statements to jurors Friday afternoon.
State attorney, Brad King used duck tape- a tool used to tie Heather Strong's arms to a chair the night she was killed- to illustrate the terror Strong must have felt.
"When you see it in the real-life, that's when they can actually begin to understand what Heather Strong went through, what her emotions were, what she felt while she was being taped up and held, and a bag put over her head," King said.
Defense Attorney, Candace Hawthorne said Carr was in shock and did not expect the jury's recommendation, thinking people would listen to her story. During the defense's address to jurors before the sentence was delivered, Hawthorne asked the jury to use mercy and consider her client's abusive past and a lack of physical evidence- still alluding that Co-defendant Joshua Folgham is culpable of the murder.
Carr's mother and sister were in the courtroom when the jury's decision was announced. Carr's mother, Maria Zayas said she now must deal with the loss of a daughter, adding Carr had goals and a future.
Although Strong's mother said she is happy about the jury's recommendation to put Emilia Carr to death, she said she feels pain for Zayas.
"I pray that her family will be with her and she'll be strong through this," Spence said.
Judge Willard Pope will decide whether or not to follow the jury's recommendation of the death penalty next month, with a sentencing hearing on February 22nd.
According to Defense Attorney, Candace Hawthorne, if Carr is sentenced to life, a court of appeals in Daytona Beach, FL will hear the case. If Carr is sentanced to death by Judge Pope, then, she explained, her appeal will go to the Supreme Court.
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