Jury recommends death in 2016 killing of Huntsville retiree

April 15, 2022 GMT

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — Madison County jurors who convicted a man of capital murder in the slaying of a NASA retiree in 2016 recommended Friday that a judge sentence him to death.

While lawyers for Warren Hardy, 32, asked the jury to show mercy, arguing that mental problems played a role in his actions, the jury voted to recommend capital punishment for the killing of Kathleen Lundy, 72.

The final decision will be up to Circuit Judge Chris Comer because the killing happened before the state abolished a previous law that gave judge’s to accept or reject jurors’ sentencing recommendation, WHNT-TV reported. A sentencing hearing was set for Aug. 25.

Hardy was accused of shooting Lundy to death while stealing her car outside her home. Authorities said the killing happened after the man had abducted his estranged girlfriend’s daughter and stepfather, who both got away before Hardy went looking for a vehicle to steal.

Prosecutor Tim Gann asked jurors for the death penalty by arguing that Hardy didn’t have to kill Lundy to take the vehicle.