Share this topic on FacebookShare this topic on MySpaceShare this topic on Del.icio.usShare this topic on DiggShare this topic on Twitter

Author Topic: Scott Paul Varner Sentenced to Death in The 2005 CA Murder of Jeanette Mariedth  (Read 2054 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

heidi salazar

  • Guest
Penalty phase begins in Varner trial

The death penalty phase of Scott Paul Varner’s murder trial began today, said Shasta County District Attorney Jerry Benito.

On Oct. 22, a jury convicted Varner, 28, of first-degree murder and other related charges in connection with the 2005 strangulation of Jeanette Renee Mariedth, whose body was dumped near Whiskeytown Cemetery.

The death penalty phase of the trial is expected to last through the end of the year, Benito said.

http://www.redding.com/news/2009/oct/29/penalty-phase-begins-varner-trial/

heidi salazar

  • Guest
Varner's death penalty may go to Shasta County jury next week

A Shasta County jury soon may decide whether to recommend that a 28-year-old Redding man should die for the 2005 murder of a 35-year-old Redding woman.

Closing arguments are expected to be delivered Tuesday in the death penalty phase of Scott Paul Varner's murder trial.

The guilt phase of Varner's murder trial - which began in early August after a nearly two-month jury selection process - ended on Oct. 22 with the jury convicting Varner of first-degree murder and other related charges in connection with the November 2005 strangulation death of Jeanette Renee Mariedth, whose body was found dumped near Whiskeytown Cemetery.

That conviction paved the way for the trial's penalty phase, which began on Oct. 29.

The death penalty trial is Shasta County's first since Paul Gordon Smith was sentenced to death in 2002 for the April 1998 torture-murder of a 20-year-old Washington woman.

Varner was convicted of murdering Mariedth after targeting her for robbery.

His accomplice, Joanna Lorraine Peterson, now 21, pleaded guilty in November 2008 to second-degree murder in exchange for a 15-year-to-life prison sentence.

Peterson was ineligible for the death penalty because she was 17 at the time of the slaying. She could have received life in prison without the possibility of parole had she been convicted at trial. She testified against Varner and has yet to be sentenced.

During closing arguments in the guilt phase of Varner's trial, Deputy District Attorney Kelly Kafel described Varner as a cold and calculating killer who tortured and strangled Mariedth as she begged for her life.

"He chose to kill her," Kafel said. "He broke the bone in her neck while she begged and prayed."

But one of Varner's two defense attorneys, John Webster, called upon jurors to reject a first-degree murder conviction for his client, saying Varner did not intend to kill Mariedth and that he suffers from severe brain damage, along with a long history of drug abuse.

That brain damage, which was only exacerbated by methamphetamine use, seriously impaired his client's judgment and reasoning, Webster said.

He also attacked trial testimony provided by Peterson, saying she is a liar and could not be trusted or believed.

"You can't trust a word that comes out of her mouth," he said. "Do we put people to death based on perjured testimony?"

http://www.redding.com/news/2010/jan/08/varners-death-penalty-may-go-to-shasta-county/?partner=yahoo_feeds

heidi salazar

  • Guest
Jury recommends death penalty for Varner

A Shasta County jury unanimously agreed this afternoon to recommend the death penalty for a 28-year-old Redding man convicted of murdering a Redding woman in 2005.

Scott Paul Varner, who stared straight ahead and showed no visible reaction as the jury’s verdict was read, is to have a sentencing date set on Jan. 21 — his 29th birthday.

A death penalty sentence carries with it an automatic appeal.

The seven-man, five-woman jury was given the case about 4 p.m. Tuesday after attorneys delivered lengthy closing arguments.

It resumed its deliberations about 9 a.m. today and its verdict was reached shortly after 1:30 p.m.

The same jury convicted Varner in October of first-degree murder and other related charges in the strangulation death of 35-year-old Jeanette Renee Mariedth of Redding.

Deputy District Attorney Kelly Kafel, who met with jurors outside the courtroom following their decision, hugged several.

“Thank you so much,” she said, telling them that the seven-month trial was one of the longest — if not the longest — in Shasta County history. “You guys sick of this place, or what? I get paid for being here.”

Jury foreman Richard Heath of Redding said later that recommending the death penalty for Varner was not done lightly.

“That was the main theme,” he said. “Who are we to decide if someone lives or dies? It is the hardest decision I ever made.”

Varner and his former co-defendant, Joanna Peterson, kidnapped Mariedth from her State Street home in November 2005 after targeting her for robbery, police and prosecutors have said.

They forced Mariedth at knifepoint to drive them in her 1999 Chevrolet Cavalier to several locations where they used her money to buy fast food and other items before she was beaten and strangled and her body dumped near Whiskeytown Lake.

They were later arrested after burglarizing her apartment.

Peterson, now 21, testified during the guilt-phase of Varner’s murder trial that he punched and strangled the terrified woman, but also admitted that she did nothing to stop him.

“She was kicking and fighting for air,” Peterson testified at trial as she recounted the final moments of Mariedth’s life. “She was asking him not to kill her and pleading for Jesus.”

Peterson pleaded guilty in November 2008 to second-degree murder in exchange for a 15-year-to-life prison sentence. She was ineligible for the death penalty because she was 17 at the time of the slaying, but she could have received life in prison without the possibility of parole had she been convicted at trial.

She has not yet been sentenced.

During her closing arguments on Tuesday, Kafel urged jurors to recommend the death penalty for Varner, who was described as an evil psychopath and merciless killer who gave no second thought to the nightmarish murder Mariedth.

“It (the death penalty) is what he has earned and deserved,” she said, noting that Varner’s long and violent criminal history includes rape, arson, assault and attempting to kill a paraplegic.

“Mr.Varner is a brutal man,” she said. “He chooses to hurt people because he doesn’t care. What I can tell you is that Mr. Varner is evil.”

But Varner’s two defense attorneys, John Webster and David Osborne, pleaded with jurors to spare his life and to sentence him to life in prison without parole.

Osborne, noting that Varner suffers from brain damage, said his client was neglected and severely abused as a child and turned to drugs at a young age as an escape from his troubled life.

Varner’s death penalty trial was the first in Shasta County’s first since Paul Gordon Smith was sentenced to death in 2002 for the April 1998 torture-murder of a 20-year-old Washington woman.

http://www.redding.com/news/2010/jan/13/varner-gets-death-penalty/?partner=yahoo_feeds

heidi salazar

  • Guest
Convicted killer facing death penalty has sentencing reset

A Shasta County man convicted of murdering a Redding woman in 2005 won’t be sentenced until April 13.

Scott Paul Varner, who is facing the death penalty, was due to be sentenced next week.

But his sentencing was put off today until next month at the request of his defense attorneys, electronic Superior Court records show.

Varner was convicted by a jury in October of first-degree murder and other related charges in the strangulation death of 35-year-old Jeanette Renee Mariedth of Redding. That same jury recommended in January that Varner receive the death penalty.

Varner and his former co-defendant, Joanna Peterson, kidnapped Mariedth from her State Street home in November 2005 after targeting her for robbery, police and prosecutors have said.

Peterson, 21, pleaded guilty in November 2008 to second-degree murder in exchange for a 15-year-to-life prison sentence, but she has not yet been sentenced. She was ineligible for the death penalty because she was 17 at the time of the slaying.

http://www.redding.com/news/2010/mar/18/convicted-killer-facing-death-penalty-has-sentenci/?partner=yahoo_feeds

heidi salazar

  • Guest
Man convicted of 2005 murder could get death sentence today

A Shasta County man convicted of murdering a Redding woman in 2005 may be sentenced today to die.

But it doesn't appear that he will be in attendance when his sentence is imposed.

Scott Paul Varner, who is facing the death penalty, was convicted by a jury in October of first-degree murder and other related charges in the strangulation death of 35-year-old Jeanette Renee Mariedth of Redding. That same jury recommended in January that Varner receive the death penalty.

Varner, 29, and his former co-defendant, Joanna Peterson, kidnapped Mariedth from her State Street home in November 2005 after targeting her for robbery, police and prosecutors have said.

Peterson, 21, pleaded guilty in November 2008 to second-degree murder in exchange for a 15-year-to-life prison sentence, but she has not yet been sentenced. She was ineligible for the death penalty because she was 17 at the time of the slaying.

Varner, who was in Shasta County Superior Court Monday afternoon, confirmed that he did not want to be present at today's sentencing and signed as waiver giving up his legal right to be in attendance.

He did not say why he did not want to be present for his sentencing.

Judge Willuiam Gallagher is to impose sentencing after considering a defense motion seeking a new trial for Varner.

http://www.redding.com/news/2010/apr/13/man-convicted-2005-murder-could-get-death-sentence/?partner=yahoo_feeds

heidi salazar

  • Guest


A Shasta County man convicted of a brutal murder in 2005 has been sentenced to death. Scott Varner received the sentence from the judge on Tuesday.

He was found guilty in October of killing Jeannette Mariedth in the 2005 slaying. The jury recommended the death penalty for Varner.

He and Joanna Peterson allegedly hijacked Mriedth's car and made her stop at several places to buy things like food. They then forced her to drive to the Whiskeytown Cemetery.

Varner wrapped a plastic bag around her neck, hit her in the face, and strangled her. They dumped the body in the cemetery.

A preliminary hearing for Peterson will be held in the future.

Varner will be taken to San Quintin within the next 10 days. The appeals process has already started.

http://krcrtv.com/node/6362

heidi salazar

  • Guest
Related case

Woman to stand trial in murder

A Redding woman who played a key role in the capital murder trial of a man sentenced to death in April for strangling another woman in 2005 has been ordered to stand trial for the same murder.

But Joanna Lorraine Peterson, 21, won’t be facing the death penalty if she’s convicted of murdering 35-year-old Jeanette Renee Mariedth of Redding.

Peterson, who was in Superior Court on Friday for a hearing, agreed to have her trial date set on Oct. 8.

Peterson accepted a plea bargain in 2008, pleading guilty to second-degree murder in exchange for a prison sentence of 15 years to life for her role in Mariedth’s violent death.

But Peterson’s plea bargain was tossed out last month by Superior Court Judge William Gallagher after it was determined that she lied on the witness stand during Scott Paul Varner’s capital murder trial.

Telling the truth during testimony was a condition of Peterson’s plea bargain.

Specifically, Peterson claimed that she touched — but never wore — a pair of white gloves that were found in Mariedth’s car after her death.

But an extensive analysis of the gloves found her DNA inside at least one of them.

Varner, 29, and Peterson kidnapped Mariedth from her State Street home in November 2005 after they targeted her for robbery, police and prosecutors have said.

Police say the two forced Mariedth, at knife point, to drive them in her 1999 Chevrolet Cavalier to several locations where they used her money to buy fast food and other items before Varner beat and strangled her with a plastic bag then dumped her body near Whiskeytown Cemetery.

Varner and Peterson were arrested after they burglarized her apartment, police said.

Peterson, who is ineligible for the death penalty because she was a juvenile at the time of the murder, faces life in prison without parole if convicted of first-degree murder.

Bob Maloney, Shasta County assistant district attorney, has said that although Peterson lied on the stand during Varner’s trial, the jury that convicted Varner and recommended the death penalty for him was well aware of the perjury claims against Peterson during the trial.

But the jury convicted him anyway, he said.

http://www.redding.com/news/2010/sep/10/woman-to-stand-trial-in-murder/?partner=yahoo_feeds