Another Bexar County Jury Rejects the Death Penalty

Earlier this week, a “death-qualified” jury in Bexar County (San Antonio) rejected the death penalty for James David Morrison, who was convicted of capital murder in the deaths of Krystle Moten and her mother Laura Moten in 2009.  Both women were related to Morrison’s ex-girlfriend Candice Moten, who survived the shooting but miscarried her unborn baby, who she named Angel.

The jury spent less than two hours determining that Morrison did not pose a future danger to society, which is the first question on the jury instructions.  Morrison was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

According to the San Antonio Express-News, the trial  spanned five weeks of jury selection and more than three weeks of testimony (“Jury rejects death sentence,” October 23, 2012).  In the punishment phase, Morrison’s attorneys presented mitigating evidence, “including testimony by video deposition Monday from a retired Gary, Ind., police officer who found Morrison, as a baby, in a gas station trash can in 1979.”

Read more from the Express-News.

This is the fourth case since 2009 in which a Bexar County jury has rejected the death penalty; it is also the fourth jury rejection statewide to date in 2012.  In August, a Bexar County jury rejected the death penalty for Lorenzo Thompson, who was convicted of the 2010 capital murder of Vanessa Pitts, an Air Force basic training graduate he had robbed at a gas station.  In that case, the jury also determined that Thompson did not pose a future danger.