Jury to Decide on Death Penalty in Waring Murder Trial
Posted July 6, 2007 5:45 a.m. EDT
Updated July 9, 2007 10:59 a.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — Jurors on Monday will begin deliberating the fate of a man convicted of fatally stabbing a Raleigh woman two years ago.
Superior Court Judge Paul Gessner sent the jury home for the weekend Friday following closing arguments in the sentencing phase of Byron Waring's murder trial.
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against Waring, who was convicted of first-degree murder on June 28 for the Nov. 8, 2005, stabbing death of Lauren Redman, 22.
Police said Redman was stabbed more than 20 times inside her Raleigh apartment before managing to crawl outside and ask for help before she died.
"Lauren Redman was taped, and she was tortured," Assistant District Attorney Doug Faucette said. "(She was) taped up and tortured, tortured physically and tortured psychologically."
Shortly after his arrest, Waring confessed to the crime on audio tape, part of which Faucette played in court Friday.
"I looked at (Redman), and then she looked at me," Waring said on the recording. "She said, 'Please don't kill me.' She said she was about to die anyway. The last words she said to me was: 'Can I please get some water?' I said no."
"Just how disturbing are these facts?" Faucette then asked. "Is this an ordinary murder or was the brutality of this case particularly disturbing?"
Defense attorneys said Friday that Waring's troubled childhood led to his violent behavior.
"The evidence that we've tried to present to you in the second phase of the trial and the evidence you heard is the story of Byron's life," defense attorney Ann Groninger said.
Waring also told police Redman allegedly owed money to George Sasser, her former roommate. Waring said he and another man, Joseph Sanderlin showed up at her apartment to collect on the debt. Waring said Sanderlin raped Redman, and then they both stabbed her.
Sanderlin, who is also charged with murder, will go on a trial later. Sasser is charged as an accessory after the fact.
No Wake County jury has handed down a death sentence since 2001.In that case, Fernando Garcia was sentenced to die by lethal injection for the beating death of Juliann Bolt in the clubhouse of the Cameron Lake Apartments in 2000.
The deliberations come as questions about the death penalty are tied up in the legal system. Court battles over a doctor's role in the lethal injection process have stopped executions since January.