Jed Boal ReportingCody Nielsen took the stand today before jury members decided whether to give him the death penalty.
When Nielsen spoke, it was not sworn testimony, but he was basically talking about himself. He said he does believes in death penalty and if the jury sees no good in him, they should sentence him to death.
The jury is weighing the death penalty and must decide if Nielsen’s murder and dismemberment of Trisha Autry deserves the ultimate punishment.
In his final argument to the jury, the prosecutor called it a horrible evil crime and said that Nielsen is a sexual predator who must be stopped.
As Nielsen spoke to the jury for more than a half hour, he said that he never intentionally caused the death of another, but no matter how you look at it, he said, there’s a girl who’s dead.
Nielsen wavered a lot, he said that he’d give anything to change what happened, but also that the evidence against him wasn’t completely true.
To the prosecution though, it’s clear that no evidence excuses the crime.
Scott Wyatt, Special Prosecutor: “Giving the ultimate penalty will always be the most difficult thing that any jury will be asked to do. We don’t take that lightly; we don’t ask that lightly.”
Earlier in the day, members of the Nielsen family talked of Nielsen as a valuable, loving family member. That comes a day after the Autry family asked the jurors for a just punishment for the death of Trisha.
The defense reminded the jurors of potential fall-out for both families. The prosecution said it was the ultimate crime and deserves ultimate punishment.