Anthony Sowell guilty of killing 11 women
A Cleveland man accused with killing 11 women whose bodies were dumped around his home was found guilty last Friday.
Anthony Sowell, 51, could face the death consequence during the penalizing stage.
Police discovered the first two bodies in 2009 after performing a search warrant for Sowell’s arrest in response to physical attack and rape charge. Over the next week, more women’s bodies were found in Sowell’s Cleveland house and buried in shallow graves in the backyard.
In closing arguments last Wednesday, where attended by the family members of the victims, the trial called Sowell a "vile and disgusting" serial killer.
But defense lawyers, who rested their case last Tuesday without calling a single witness, mocked the state’s case, describing the crime scene search as "unorganized and incomplete".
They also questioned the sincerity of some of the women who testified against Sowell, including one the state says he raped but did not kill. Prosecutor Rick Bombik spent over two hours taking the adjudicators through all the events that led up to Sowell’s arrest, and reexamined the deaths of all 11 women, detailing where and how their bodies were found.
Bombik told the jury "She (Crystal Dozier) was the first victim of Anthony Sowell," as he explained how capably she was wrapped in plastic before being buried. "I don’t know if he got lazy or ran out of material but all of the other wrappings were less sophisticated." Bombik added.
Adjudicators also had another look at some of the horrible autopsy photos and re-watched a short piece of surveillance video of a naked Sowell standing over a naked woman in the alleyway next to his house.
The adjudicators need to find Sowell guilty of worse murder, rather than the lesser charge of killing, in order for the death consequence to apply. Serious murder is defined as a crime with prior calculation and design.
"This is not complicated. Do not make it complicated; Label him for what he is: a serial killer, and a vile and disgusting one at that." Bombk told the adjudicators.
Sowell’s defense attorney, John Parker, questioned the credibility of women who testified against him, reminding adjudicators that "all of these five witnesses who came to testify have cleaned up their lives," since their run-ins with the suspect. He called the crime scene investigation incomplete and said police had never looked for another suspect.
"He deserves better. This man is an honorably discharged Marine, the 11 women who were found deserve better. You deserve better.” Parker proclaimed.