Jurors deliberating punishment in Donovan Richardson death penalty trial

January 23, 2018 GMT

After hearing closing arguments to decide if Donovan Richardson should be executed or spend the rest of his life in prison for a double murder in 2014, jurors were given the case shortly before 3:30 p.m. Tuesday to begin their deliberations.

The panel deliberated for about 90 minutes before court was adjourned for the day. Jurors are expected to resume their deliberations Wednesday morning at the Wake County Courthouse.

The Wake County jury on Friday found Richardson guilty of murdering Arthur Lee Brown, 78, and David Eugene McKoy, 66, on July 19, 2014 at their home on Howard Road. Richardson is one of three men accused in the crime. On Monday, prosecutors presented witnesses to testify how the murders shocked the neighborhood, while the defense put Richardson’s sister-in-law on trial. She told the jury about Richardson’s difficult upbringing.

But prosecutors argued Tuesday that Richardson deserves the death penalty.

“Arthur Brown was shot in his own bed, and he was hit twice in the heart,” prosecutor Matt Lively said.

“This case I submit to you is everyone’s worst nightmare,” prosecutor Howard Cummings said. “You will be deciding as 12 jurors from this county what the conscience of this community is.”

Gregory Crawford pleaded guilty in May 2016 to charges of first-degree murder, robbery with a dangerous weapon and burglary in connection with the slayings. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Kevin Britt was charged with two counts of first-degree murder, robbery with a dangerous weapon and burglary. He has not been sentenced yet, but he did plead guilty to being an accessory to murder. He also testified against Richardson during his trial.

Jurors found Richardson guilty on all counts, which included two charges of first-degree murder, robbery with a dangerous weapon and burglary.

Defense attorneys pointed out despite Richardson’s conviction under the felony murder rule, another co-defendant, Greg Crawford, actually shot Brown’s roommate, David McKoy.

“We know that Donovan Richardson did not shoot David McKoy, period,” said defense attorney Rick Gammon. “Ladies and gentlemen, this is simply not a death penalty case. The state has not met its burden.”