Local News

Jurors Break For Day In Sentencing Phase Of Edwards Trial

Posted March 26, 2004

— Jurors deliberating the fate of a convicted murderer will pick up Friday where they left off.

Andre Edwards was found guilty Monday in the first-degree murder of Ginger Hayes nearly three years ago.

Prosecutors said Edwards kidnapped Hayes and her baby from a Greenville parking lot. They say he then raped Hayes and beat her to death with a 30-pound tire rim in a Nash County remote field. Hayes' son, Nicholas, survived despite being diagnosed with severe sunburn after he was left in the field.

On Thursday, prosecutors showed the jury pictures of Nicholas with his mother. They also showed photographs of Hayes' body at the crime scene. Members of Hayes' family have said Edwards deserves the death penalty for the crime.

"This man dying for killing my daughter won't bring her back, I don't want to see anyone go through the pain that I've been through," said Walt West, Hayes' father.

Defense attorneys are asking jurors to allow Edwards to spend the rest of his life in prison because he was an abused as a child by his mother. Attorneys said Edwards suffers from severe mental disorders and that he admitted his guilt.

"Nothing can be accomplished by executing him," defense attorney Sam Dixon said.

Jeremy Hayes, Ginger's husband, was not present in court Thursday. Family members said he had a family emergency, but they would not elaborate further.

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