Archive for Saturday, November 2, 2002

No verdict yet in brothers’ trial

Jurors done deliberating for weekend

November 2, 2002


— Behind the closed doors of a courtroom stacked with evidence, jurors deliberated all day Friday without reaching a verdict in the murder trial of two brothers accused of a nine-day crime rampage that left five people dead. Deliberations were to resume Monday.

Jurors must decide on a combined total of 97 counts against Reginald Carr, 24, and Jonathan Carr, 22, that stem from a quadruple killing, a single homicide and a separate robbery.

By late afternoon, defense attorneys gathered in the judge's library to await the verdicts. They declined to comment on the case.

The windows of the courtroom have been papered over during the deliberations. Inside are racks of clothing stolen from the closets of the quadruple shooting victims after they were shot and their naked bodies left in a soccer field.

Also available for jurors to inspect is the clothing the Carr brothers were allegedly wearing during the crimes including the brothers' undershorts where investigators found the blood of a woman raped before she was killed.

Television sets, computers, barbecue tool sets, watches, clocks and other stolen items are piled in the middle of the courtroom. Spread on the tables are stacks of notebooks filled with photos and documents. A computer has been set up so jurors can review the computer presentations lawyers used during the trial.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for four counts of capital murder for the quadruple killings. The brothers are also charged with one count of first-degree murder for the shooting of another woman in a botched robbery attempt.

To find the brothers guilty of any count of capital murder, jurors must also find that the victim was raped and/or that the premeditated killing was done in connection with the killing of others. They can also find them guilty of a lesser offense such as first-degree or second-degree murder. Or they can return innocent verdicts.

A total of 97 witnesses testified, including five for Reginald Carr. The defense for Jonathan Carr did not call any witnesses. More than 850 pieces of evidence have been admitted since trial began Sept. 9.

The most notorious of the crimes the brothers are charged with stem from the events of Dec. 14-15, 2000, when five friends were abducted from a Wichita home, forced to engage in sexual acts and to withdraw money from ATMs before they all were shot. The two women were repeatedly raped. Aaron Sander, 29; Brad Heyka, 27; Jason Befort, 26; and Heather Muller, 25, died. Befort's girlfriend, then a 25-year-old teacher, survived and ran for a mile to find help.

The Carrs also are being tried in the Dec. 11, 2000, attempted robbery and shooting of Ann Walenta, 55, who later died, and a robbery four days earlier in which Andrew Schreiber was abducted and forced to withdraw cash from ATMs.

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