Fate of man accused of kidnap, murder now lies in hands of jury

Fate of man accused of kidnap, murder now lies in hands of jury
(Source: WTOL)

FULTON COUNTY, OH (WTOL) - The loved ones of Sierah Joughin, along with the rest of Fulton County community, wait the verdict in the capital murder trial of James Worley, whose fate lies in the hands of a jury of 12.

Worley is the man standing trial for the kidnapping and murder of 20-year-old Sierah Joughin.

In the State's closing arguments, it was argued that the evidence and testimonies throughout the trial proved Worley's guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

The prosecution also reviewed key pieces of evidence for the jury that included DNA evidence of both Sierah and Worley's blood in the three different crime scenes that they identified; the cornfield where Sierah was attacked, the north barn on Worley's property where she was held captive and the cornfield where her body was buried.

The prosecution argued that it had proved through evidence and witness, beyond reasonable doubt that Worley is guilty for Sierah's murder.

“So defendant takes Sierah to his barn. He dresses her up and ties her up and lives out his pornographic fantasy. Then what does he do then? He murders her and tries to hide what he did," said Scott Haselman, a Fulton County Prosecutor.
According to the defense, that is not the case.

The defense argued flaws including an unidentified man's DNA found on Sierah.

In addition, the defense brought up something new in the courtroom, an eyewitness who allegedly saw another man at the same time Sierah went missing in the cornfield.

“What does she see a few rows in the corn? A man in red shorts around that time, same area. A man in red shorts. What don’t we have? We don’t have red shorts for James Worley. It wasn’t James Worley," said Merle Dech, Worley's defense attorney.

The defense said it's these flaws in this case that creates doubt that James Worley is guilty.

If convicted, Worley could face the death penalty. The jury did not reach a verdict Monday evening, so they will be sequestered at a local hotel for further deliberation.

Stay with WTOL 11 as the jury continues it's deliberation.

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