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Jury Decides Mundt's Fate

By: Patrick Newton
By: Patrick Newton

Nine months to the day after seven-year-old Brittany Hendrickson was found dead in Noble County the defense and state wrapped up closing statements in the final phase of the trial. That was at 11:00 Thursday morning.

Now, the jury must decide if the state met the burden of proof needed to give Fred Mundt the ultimate sentence.

State's Attorney Heather Gosslin explained the legal definition to sentence someone to death in Ohio. The aggravating circumstances of the crime must outweigh any mitigating circumstances in the case.

The state argued that those mitigating factors presented by the defense, things like alleged childhood abuse and low intelligence do not hold up.

They say Fred Mundt knew what he was doing was wrong, but did it anyway. Defense Attorney Andy Warhola tried to convince the jury that the death penalty is not meant for people like Fred Mundt.

The jury actually has four options; life with possible parole in 25 years and life with parole in 30 years. Frankly, no one really expects either of those.

What we are really waiting to hear is if Fred Mundt will get the other two options; life in prison without parole or execution by the state of Ohio for the crime of raping, beating, kidnapping and as the state put it in their closing statement Thursday morning, stuffing seven-year-old Brittany Hendrickson down a well and dropping rocks on her until she stopped screaming.

WTAP's Denise Alex is in Caldwell and we will pass along any decision as soon as it comes down.


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