Jurors hear testimony from friends and family of James Worley, c - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Jurors hear testimony from friends and family of James Worley, case expected to be given to jury Wednesday

FULTON COUNTY, OH (WTOL) -

The members of the jury learned more about the man found guilty of kidnapping and murdering Sierah Joughin.

This is part of the sentencing phase in the case of The People vs. James Worley. 

The jury has to decide which punishment they feel Worley should receive after killing Sierah. One of the punishments is the death penalty. 

On Tuesday Worley's attorneys are called witnesses to give the jurors a look into their client's past, dating back to his childhood.

The jury spent most of the morning listening to a taped interview with James Worley's sister, who now lives in Los Angeles. She described her brother as mild-mannered, who had a typical childhood despite their father being abusive towards their mother.

She said she was in absolute shock when she found out her brother was arrested for murder.

The court also heard Worley described as an "oddball" and "weirdo" most of his life, who had several failed businesses as an adult.

The defense also called three friends of Worley to testify.

The first friend, who has known Worley for at least 30 years, said that it appeared that he "went off the deep end," but did not elaborate on what that meant.

The second friend described Worley as weird and having a crazy side, while the third friend, who also knew Worley for at least 30 years, said that he wasn't surprised when he learned that Worley was the subject of a criminal investigation.

The defense also questioned a statement made to the FBI by the third friend that stated "it was just a matter of time before Worley snapped." The friend testified that he felt that way by just being around Worley. 

The defense then called a criminal psychologist, Dr. John Fabian, to the stand who began his nearly three-hour testimony with how he views the case.

"I do look at this as a sexually motivated offense and I do look at this as a murder," he told the courtroom.

Dr. Fabian then explained Worley's childhood and how his life-long isolation, both emotional and physical, possibly influenced Worley's actions. 

“In my opinion he was most likely aroused by the criminal offense with Ms. Joughin," said Dr. Fabian, "He certainly exercised power, control, domination over the victim it the way she was dressed. The bondage, gag also suggest that he humiliated and degraded the victim.”


Worley's attorney Mark Berling said given Worley's age, there's no sense in sentencing him to the death penalty. 

"Mercy, I believe, is what we're asking. He's 59 years old. There would be no point really in issuing the death penalty based on the life of appeals these days. I don't think he would ever live to see the death penalty imposed. That being said, I would ask for life imprisonment without the possibility of parole and allow him to die in prison," Berling said.

Sierah's mother also posted on the Justice For Sierah Facebook page before court got underway Tuesday.

She said she would be fine with Worley getting life in prison without parole, as justice has been served. She also thanked the jury and acknowledged how difficult their job has been.

Court will continue Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. The judge said the case is expected to be in the jury's hands by noon.

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