FORT WORTH, Texas, June 23 (UPI) -- The jury that found a Texas man guilty of killing his father-in-law and pregnant wife has begun hearing evidence on whether he should die for his crimes.
Jurors reached a quick verdict Wednesday, convicting John Hummel of murder after slightly more than an hour of deliberations, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. The penalty phase of his trial began immediately.
The bodies of Joy Hummel, 34, Jodi Hummel, 5, and Clyde "Eddie" Bedford, 57, were found in the family's burning house in Kennedale in December 2009. While evidence was presented about Jodi's death, it was not part of the indictment for the trial.
Prosecutor Miles Brissette described the crime as "very personal," saying Hummel tried to cut his wife's throat with a knife and then used a baseball bat, Japanese sword and dagger. The prosecution said Hummel, 35, a former Marine, wanted a new life.
"That monster ... went one by one, room by room, and snuffed out their lives," Brissette said. "He went with the same bloody bat and walked through a very small house and killed his father-in-law. And with the same bloody bat, he went back through the house and killed his daughter."