Jury chooses death sentence for Memphis man

Jury chooses death sentence for Memphis man

June 11th, 2011 by Associated Press in Local - Breaking News

MEMPHIS - A jury issued a death sentence Saturday for a Memphis man found guilty of murdering the mother of his three children and then dismembering and disposing of her body.

The jury reached its decision shortly before 7:30 p.m. EST in the case against 33-year-old James Hawkins.

Hawkins' 15-year-old daughter, the prosecution's chief witness, had testified that her father repeatedly sexually abused her when she was 12 years old.

The girl said she saw her father stab and strangle 28-year-old Charlene Gaither during an argument on Feb. 9, 2008. Hawkins' two sons, ages 13 and 14, also testified against him.

It took less than two hours for the jury to convict Hawkins on Friday.

The defense called witnesses, who testified that Hawkins had an IQ of 77 and suffers from attention deficit disorder.

Hawkins' mother, Della Thomas, told the jury Saturday she did not want her only son to die.