Monday, May 10, 2010

"I did not do it."

Jury Recommends Death For Mark Pickens
From the original article appearing at WCPO Channel 9 on Wednesday May 5th 2010
Convicted triple murderer Mark Pickens sentenced to death.CINCINNATI - A Hamilton County jury has recommended that convicted killer Mark Pickens should get the death penalty for killing a young mother and two children.

The jury says 20-year-old Pickens deserved the death penalty for each of the three murders. Pickens was convicted of the shooting deaths of 19-year-old Noelle Washington, her 9-month-old son, Anthony Jones III, and 3-year-old Sha'Railyn Wright, a young girl who Washington was babysitting.

The June 1st 2009 shooting deaths of his ex-girlfriend and the two children happened inside an apartment on West 13th Street in Pendleton near Over-the-Rhine.

During the sentencing phase of his triple-murder trial Pickens testified on his own behalf saying: "I am terribly sorry, ... that Noelle, Anthony and Sha'Railyn were killed...I did not do it. I would not hurt anyone like that."

Noelle Washington and 9-month-old Anthony Jones.3-year-old Sharailyn Wright
Noelle Washington, her 9-month-old son Anthony Jones and 3-year-old Sharailyn Wright murdered in June of 2010.

This incredulous response, seen as a complete denial of all responsibility of the rape and murders to cover up that crime, caused Washington's family members present at to storm out of the court room in light of the overwhelming evidence and verdict of Pickens' guilt that had already been established during the trial. Family members were outraged at Pickens denial. When they returned they were warned by the presiding Judge not to interrupt the trial further.

Jurors also heard from from Pickens' mother, Truvena Griffin, about his tough childhood. She begged the jury to spare the life of her first-born son.

After hearing all testimony, jurors deliberated for 14 hours over the span of two days before reaching a guilty verdict.

Police said that Pickens committed the murders because Washington had gone to police and reported that Pickens had raped her.

Detectives say Pickens was also upset that Washington was continuing to have a relationship with the father of her baby and the fact she was planning to move out of town to start a new life in Nashville, Tennessee.

Key evidence in the case that led to Pickens' conviction were the phone records showing the contact between the two leading up to the time of the murder, statements from friends that said Washington was worried that Pickens might take action after she accused him of rape and graphic photos of the crime scene were shown during the week-long trial.

Mark Pickens was officially sentenced to death for three counts of murder the morning of Friday June 4th 2010.

Mr. Pickens, inmate number A635147, is currently awaiting his execution date in Ohio's Death Row at Lucasville aka "Luke" at Chillicothe Correctional Facility in South Eastern Ohio. The projected date of his execution is between 2027 and 2030.

References:
WCPO Channel 9, Jury Recommends Death
WCPO Channel 9, Pickens' Sentencing Interrupted
WLWT, No Defense Witnesses Called In Pickens Case
Youtube, Video: Pickens Verdict
FXIX, Video: Judge Imposes Death Penalty For Pickens