Cincinnati.com reports that a judge in Hamilton County, Ohio has sentenced a serial killer to death. Anthony Kirkland was convicted of raping, killing and burning two teenage girls. His attorneys tried to argue for a life sentence without parole. Judge Patrick Dinkelacker disagreed and said Kirkland has no regard for human life without explanation for his actions.
Kirkland was previously already serving life sentences for the murders of Mary Jo Newton, 45, and Kimya Rolison, 25, in 2006. He served a 16-year sentence for the murder of Leona Douglas, 28, in 1989. The victims in this most recent case were Casonya Crawford, murdered in 2006, and Esme Kenney, murdered in 2009.
He was released in 2003 for the 1989 murder, then proceeded to kill the other four women until he was captured in 2009.
A previous sentence called for his execution for the murders of the two teenagers, but the Ohio Supreme Court overturned it. The court had the opinion that the prosecutor made prejudicial statements in closing when he said that Kirkland was already serving life terms for other murders.
The death penalty was once again sought during a two-week hearing with a new jury. Defense attorneys argued that Kirkland was abused as a child and was often unaware of what he was doing due to PTSD.
The death sentence was returned after just 2.5 hours of deliberation.
*Photo credit Liz Dufour/The Enquirer