We've posted on dad JAMES MAMMONE III before, who is currently on trial for a triple murder involving his two young children and his former mother-in-law.
WARNING: the news account below in not for the faint of heart. It includes a lot of gory detail on how these two young children struggled for their lives and the injuries that were inflicted upon their little bodies. Frankly, despite being the hard-boiled crime blogger than I am, I started to get pretty nauseated even glancing at some of the passages. With utter predictability, Dad blames the mom and "the divorce" for his horrific crimes. Naturally. It's never your fault when you're a vicious killer, right?
Admitted Triple Murderer's Fate in Hands of Jury
Dave Nethers Fox 8 News Reporter
CANTON, Ohio - Closing arguments were delivered Thursday in the capital murder trial of James Mammone III, who admitted to police that he stabbed to death his 3-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter and then shot and beat to death his former mother-in-law on June 8, 2009.
Mammone entered the courtroom smiling, escorted by deputies. Through three days of horrific testimony about the viciousness of the crime and evidence that included recordings of his stunning confession, Mammone has shown no emotion.
Assistant prosecutor Chryssa Hartnett opened closing arguments on Thursday reminding jurors of the viciousness of the gruesome crimes.
With respect to the murder of his children, Hartnett reminded jurors of testimony that the children were fighting back as their own father was repeatedly stabbing them with a butcher knife.
"He did so with such force that he cut into their vertebrae," Hartnett told the jury, showing them photos of the children's wounds that had previously been entered into evidence. "It's not pretty, I know, but he went through the child's neck, all the way to the back. She is struggling. She's moving. He even cut into the car seat. That's the force he was using."
Prosecutors reminded jurors that the children had wounds on their hands that demonstrated they might have been asleep when Mammone began stabbing them, as he told police in his recorded confession, "but they weren't for long."
"He had to go through her hand and he had to go through James' hand," Hartnett argued. "I submit to you, ladies and gentlemen, Macy got these wounds because she fought hard. She almost amputated her index finger, cut the tendons of all of the other fingers. That's not just a brush against (the knife)."
Jurors were reminded of testimony and recorded confessions that prosecutors argue clearly demonstrate the crime was carefully planned, including the statement Mamamone made to police after his arrest -- "I stabbed them more times than I thought I would have to."
As graphic and disturbing as much of the evidence over three days has been, prosecutors explained to jurors, "There is nothing gratuitous about our presentation. It is the reality that this man seated before you left in his wake on June 8, 2009."
Jurors were also reminded of text messages Mammone sent to his ex-wife Marcia Eakin on the night of the murders, telling her "the children are painful reminders of what I have lost myself" in their divorce.
"Their love is only a sort of pain," Hartnett argued, adding that Mammone's motive was to kill them to ease his own pain. "But it was about Marcia, causing her as much pain as he could."
She reminded jurors about Mammone's confession in which he admitted killing her mother, 57-year-old Margaret Eakin "because she was my wife's best friend. (She) helped with the children. It was a major blow to my ex-wife."
As they had throughout the entire trial, defense attorneys in their closing statements did not challenge any of the testimony or the evidence.
Defense attorney Derek Lowry contested only a firearms specification to one of the seven charges. He also reminded jurors that Mammone was cooperative with police after his arrest, answering all of their questions.
Responding to that, prosecutor Dennis Barr angrily countered, "Give him credit for being truthful and cooperative? He is arrested with the bodies of his two young children strapped in their car seats. What is he going to say? You can't give him credit for that."
Prosecutors called the crimes "cold and calculated," adding he committed unthinkable acts.
"Now we simply ask that you hold the state of Ohio to its burden of proof," Barr said. "The evidence in this case, though simple, is direct and powerful."
Barr concluded closing arguments by saying, "Macy and James were killed by prior calculation and design. The evidence proves it beyond a reasonable doubt. That was our burden. We have done our job."