05-08-2006, 10:02 AM
Teen Found Guilty Of Murdering Grandmother
FORT WORTH - Jurors returned a swift guilty verdict Monday against a teenager accused of forcing his grandmother to write a suicide note last year and then shooting her in the back of the head.
The panel of six women and six men, which deliberated about an hour on Friday before being excused for the weekend, returned this morning and, after about 15 minutes of discussion, indicated they had reached a decision.
State district Judge Jean Boyd will sentence the 17-year-old teen — who is not being identified because he was not certified to stand trial as an adult — on Wednesday afternoon. He faces up to 40 years behind bars.
Kris Lee, 57, was found dead, along with a note that appeared to be a suicide note, inside her Lake Worth home on July 6, 2006. Prosecutors maintained that the grandson, angry because he believed she had thrown away one of his marijuana plants, beat Lee and pistol-whipped her before forcing her to write a note and shooting her in the head.
Defense attorneys maintained that Lee was troubled and took her own life — an argument jurors obviously didn’t buy. http://www.centredaily.com/mld/centr...n/14529706.htm
05-08-2006, 10:03 AM
Grandma - what big teeth you have! Muwahahaha
05-08-2006, 10:07 AM
| | Previous Report FORT WORTH — He smoked methamphetamine and marijuana in her house — even tried growing pot plants in her back yard.
He cussed her out, broke her belongings and “trashed” her Lake Worth home.
The teenager admitted to jurors Friday that he did a lot of bad things to his grandmother.
But he didn’t kill her, he said.
“I didn’t participate in any way in my grandmother’s death,” the teen testified.
The 17-year-old took the stand in his own defense during his murder trial in the slaying of Kris Lee, 57, at her home on July 6.
Jurors in state District Judge Jean Boyd’s court began deliberating the teen’s fate Friday afternoon and are scheduled to resume their discussions Monday morning.
If convicted of delinquent conduct/murder, the teen could face up to 40 years in prison. He is not being identified because he was not certified to stand trial as an adult.
According to court testimony, Lee’s body was found — along with an apparent suicide note — in her bedroom.
Prosecutors Sheila Wynn and Dewayne Huston maintain that the teen, angry because he thought Lee had thrown away one of his marijuana plants, beat her, put a gun to her head, forced her to write the note and pulled the trigger.
According to testimony, the teen and his older brother went to live with Lee several months before her death, after his mother was sentenced to a year in federal prison for allowing her husband to sell methamphetamine from her home.
The teen admitted that he and his brother basically took over Lee’s house and that she took refuge in her back bedroom.
“I tore up her house,” the teen testified. “Me and my brother fought and argued in the house and broke things. I smoked weed in front of her.”
He also acknowledged that he frequently cussed out Lee, including once when she accidentally sprayed cleaning solution on his marijuana.
On the day of her death, the teen testified, he was sleeping on the living room couch when his brother and four friends woke him and told him that a marijuana plant that he had grown was missing.
The teen admitted that he was angry and headed to the back of the house, but not to confront his grandmother, whom he loved, he said. Instead, he went to his brother’s room to get dressed for the day and joined his friends in the living room, he said.
A short time later, the teen said, he went to his grandmother’s room to let her know they were leaving and found the note. A few minutes later, he found her body between the bed and a wall.
“I just started screaming, ‘Granny, Granny,’?” the teen testified. “She didn’t move. I took off running. I don’t know why I didn’t help her. I was scared.”
The teen’s mother, who is now out of prison, testified that she wasn’t surprised at the suggestion that her mother had committed suicide. She said Lee was depressed because she believed that her late husband’s family somehow blamed her for his death 14 years ago.
During their summation to the jury Friday, prosecutors called that theory nonsense, saying that the teen and his mother were concocting lies in an effort to save him.
Earlier Friday, the daughter of Lee’s late husband testified that her father died of a massive heart attack and that the family never blamed Lee or made her feel bad about his death
“It doesn’t make any sense that Kris Lee would ever commit suicide,” prosecutor Huston told the jury.
Among other things, prosecutors told the panel that Lee was a devout follower of Jesus Christ and that suicide was against her religious beliefs. They said that on the day of her death, Lee had gone to the store to buy cough drops and dog and cat food. A rice casserole she had made for her grandsons was still warm when her body was found.
But most importantly, they said, she had a black eye, a fractured skull and a cut on her head that matched the measurements of the butt of a gun found under her body. The .32-caliber revolver had been owned by her late husband.
“She was beaten,” prosecutor Wynn said. “She was pistol-whipped, then she was beat and then she was shot. She didn’t do that to herself.”
During his summation, defense attorney Edwin Youngblood told jurors that there were numerous unanswered questions. He reminded them that there were no fingerprints found on the gun, no gunshot residue on the hands of Lee or his client and no visible blood spatter in the room.
Youngblood acknowledged that his client wasn’t a saint and that he, his brother and their friends deserved a “butt-beating.”
“I’m sure you share with me a profound distaste for the way this guy behaved to his grandma,” Youngblood said.
Still, he said, that didn’t make his client a killer.
Youngblood then walked over to the teen and put his hands on the teen’s shoulders. Together, they turned to the jury of six men and six women.
“Are these the eyes of a murderer — or do you know beyond a reasonable doubt?” Youngblood asked.
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