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Verdict in for Serial Killer in Cleveland


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CLEVELAND - The jury has reached a verdict in the trial of Anthony Sowell, the Cleveland man accused of killing 11 women and keeping their remains around his Imperial Avenue home.

After weeks of testimony from 62 witnesses and 12 hours of interrogation video, the jury of five men and seven women was given the case at 3:55 p.m. Wednesday. The verdict will be announced at 2:15 p.m.

During his opening arguments, assistant Cuyahoga County prosecutor Rick Bombik told the jury about each of the 11 women and the five other women who got away.

"There were 11 atrocities and five near atrocities," Bombik said. "I look forward to bringing Anthony Sowell to justice. And I also look forward to bringing justice to Anthony Sowell."

Representatives from the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's office said nine of the women that were found in garbage bags or in shallow graves were partially clothed. Many of them had cloth or other ligatures around their necks, with the wrists and ankles bound.

"Strangulation is probably the strongest form of prior calculation and design," he said. "If you do it long enough, you're going to pass out. You're going to lose consciousness. If you stop, life still goes on."

But the defense continued to insist that there is no DNA and no eye-witnesses that directly tie the 51-year-old to the dead bodies found at his house in October 2009.

"Wouldn't you want to test the ligatures? Just one time!" defense attorney John Parker yelled. "This man is an honorably discharged member of the U.S. Marines Corp deserves better. The 11 women whose bodies were found, they deserve better. And you, as a jury, you deserve better. The state didn't even try."

Sowell faces 83 counts, including aggravated murder, felonious assault and attempted murder, for the deaths of 11 women: Telacia Fortson, Diane Turner, Janice Webb, Nancy Cobbs, Tonia Carmichael, Tishana Culver, Leshanda Long, Crystal Dozier, Amelda Hunter, Michelle Mason and Kim Yvette Smith. If he is found guilty, Sowell could be sentenced to death.

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