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Jury deliberates in serial killing trial

July 20, 2011 at 7:34 PM   |   Comments

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CLEVELAND, July 20 (UPI) -- A jury in Cleveland Wednesday began deliberating the fate of Anthony Sowell, accused of killing 11 women whose bodies were found at his home.

The case went to the jury in the late afternoon after prosecution and defense attorneys delivered their closing arguments, WTAM-AM, Cleveland, reported

One juror became ill during the afternoon and was taken from the courtroom on a stretcher by paramedics. She was sitting upright and appeared alert, WKYC-TV, Cleveland, reported

One of the four alternates took her place for the deliberations, the TV station said.

Assistant Cuyahoga County District Attorney Rick Bombik denounced Sowell as "vile and disgusting" while the suspected serial killer's attorney, John Parker, laid out the possibility someone else had done the killing and left the bodies at Sowell's home, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer reported.

Saying Sowell had been on "a hell-bent mission" to kill the women, Bombik reviewed evidence for the jury and showed photographs of the victims and materials found at the scene, and excerpts from Sowell's video statement. All the victims but one were found naked.

Parker contended the victims were killed elsewhere.

"We know where the bodies were found, but we don't know where they were killed," Parker said.

He challenged the credibility of women who said Sowell raped them and described his client as a nice man and former Marine, The Plain Dealer said.

The defense had rested Tuesday without calling any witnesses.

At more than $600,000, Sowell's case is the most expensive publicly funded defense in the county's history.

Defense lawyers spent thousands of dollars on two experts to analyze the forensic work of Cleveland police, but neither testified. Most of the expenses are expected to be used in the penalty phase if Sowell is convicted.

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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