Cincinnati.Com » OH Courts
Last Updated: 12:10 pm | Tuesday, May 4, 2010
By Kimball Perry • firstname.lastname@example.org
• May 4, 2010
A convicted triple murderer told jurors they erred in finding him guilty and asked them today that he not be executed.
"I did not do it," Mark Pickens said in an unsworn statement today to jurors. "I wouldn’t hurt anyone like that, especially children."
One of the victims’ family members in the audience was so upset at Pickens’ denial that she stormed out and slammed the courtroom door.
But the same jurors already found he did.
They convicted Pickens, 20, last week of three counts of murder, weapons charges and rape, setting the stage for today’s mitigation phase where jurors were asked to decide if Pickens should be sent to Death Row or spend life in prison.
"I feel worse for my mother than me. She cried all the time. She cannot believe this happened. Neither can I ... I'm so scared," Pickens told jurors. "I know you believe I did this but I didn’t. I beg you please don’t take my life."
If they don’t send Pickens to Death Row, jurors have three other sentencing options:
-25 years to life in prison.
-30 year to life.
-Life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Pickens gave an unsworn statement – he did not swear to tell the truth before he took the stand – so prosecutors couldn’t question him about the crimes.
Pickens’ mother, Truvena Griffin, also testified asking, jurors to resist recommending her son be killed.
“I love my son and I ask you to spare his life,” Griffin said.
Assistant Prosecutor Katie Burroughs asked jurors to recommend death because Pickens killed three people – his sometime girlfriend Noelle Washington, 19; her 9-month-old son, Anthony Jones III, and; Sha’Railyn Wright, a 3-year-old Washington was watching the night of May 31-June 1 in her Pendleton apartment.
Pickens shot Washington in the back of her head as she held her infant, shot the infant in the forehead and then shot the 3-year-old, who was covering her head with her hand, in the hand, the bullet passing through into her brain.
Pickens killed the trio because he was mad that Washington reported to police the day before that he raped her.
The jury returns at 12:30 p.m. to begin penalty deliberations.