A judge agreed with jurors, sentencing a man to death row for the brutal killing of a Mentor-on-the-Lake bartender two years ago.
PAINESVILLE, Ohio - The jury has found Joseph Thomas guilty on all counts in the murder of Mentor resident Annie McSween.
Thomas was charged with aggravated murder, kidnapping, rape, aggravated robbery and tampering with evidence.
Friday, after the verdict, Thomas stormed out of the courtroom in handcuffs answering reporters with, "I passed the polygraph test proving I didn't do this s---. [question from reporter] No, I didn't do this s----."
"I guess unless you've been there, it's hard to know exactly what they're feeling but I've seen enough of these cases to tell you that this a very hard time for them," said Lake County Prosecuting Attorney Charles E. Coulson speaking to the reaction of the victim's family.
McSween was found murdered outside of a bar called Mario's Lakeway Lounge located on Andrews Road in Mentor-on-the-Lake where she worked as a bartender on Nov. 26, 2010, the day after Thanksgiving.
The murder trial of 49-year-old Annie McSween began on Sept. 18.
Closing arguments wrapped-up Wednesday and the jury began deliberations Thursday.
Thomas was arrested in connection with McSween's murder in June 2011 by Mentor-on-the-Lake and Madison Township police.
McSween's family did not make any comments after the jury's verdict. Coulson described their response to Fridat's proceedings as, "It's like shoving something in an open wound and wiggling it around… but there is some comfort in knowing that the end is near… in the family's opinion, they're pleased with the verdict results today."
But Coulson said he did not want to comment any more on the verdict because the case is not over. Mitigation or sentencing is scheduled to take place Wednesday morning where Coulson said the jury will be provided with evidence to decide Thomas' sentence.
Coulson told NewsChannel5 the prosecution is pushing for the death penalty. He added, the minimum Thomas could face is 25-years-to-life in prison.
NewsChannel5 plans to covering Wednesday's sentencing.
Jurors have unanimously agreed the death penalty is an appropriate sentence for a man convicted of killing a Mentor-on-the-Lake bartender. On Monday, a judge makes the final decision.
A Lake County jury unanimously recommended the death penalty for Joseph Thomas, convicted of killing a Mentor-on-the-Lake bartender in 2010.
Nine defense witnesses took the stand in the sentencing phase of convicted killer Joseph Thomas Wednesday in Lake County Common Pleas Court.
The man convicted in the murder of Annie McSween will begin the penalty phase at a Lake County courthouse Wednesday morning.
The jury has found Joseph Thomas guilty on all counts in the murder of Mentor resident Annie McSween.