Hutto receives death penalty - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

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Hutto receives death penalty

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Court in session Saturday Court in session Saturday
Hutto was in the courtroom Monday after twice being kicked out by Judge Bill Gowan during the first six days of the trial. Hutto was in the courtroom Monday after twice being kicked out by Judge Bill Gowan during the first six days of the trial.
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The sentencing phase of the James Hutto trial has concluded with the jury sentencing the convicted killer to death.

It took the jury less than an hour to decide Hutto deserved to die for brutally killing 81-year-old Ethel Simpson in 2010.

Both the prosecution and the defense rested Tuesday afternoon in the death penalty phase of Hutto's trial and just as closing arguments were getting underway, the killer lashed out with yet another distasteful display to be dismissed from the courtroom.

As closing arguments began, Hutto asked the judge if he could be dismissed to his cell rather than sit in the courtroom. When the judge refused, Hutto intentionally flipped the middle finger, a tactic we have seen by the killer in earlier days of the trial, in the prosecutor's direction and shouted "f*** you!"

Hinds County District Attorney Robert Schuler-Smith says, "That's the first time I've seen someone conduct themselves like that in a trial openly in front of a jury in front of everyone.  I've never seen that conduct before."

Defense attorney Andre de Gruy said, "It's a different experience to be fighting the prosecution and my client and the fight's not over.  Were going to appeal the case."

Hutto was removed from the courtroom as closing statements concluded.

Monday, Simpson's family took the stand, describing their lives after her death.

Prosecutors argued Hutto should receive the maximum sentence because of a prior sexual abuse conviction in Alabama.

Defense attorneys, however, were hoping that testimony from his estranged wife and children would have encouraged jurors to spare his life.

Prosecutors called witnesses and presented their case of aggravating factors, which they believed should sway jurors to opt for the death penalty. One of those factors was that Hutto was convicted previously of sexual assault in Alabama.

Hutto was in the courtroom Monday after twice being kicked out by Judge Bill Gowan during the first six days of the trial. On Monday, Hutto told the Judge, "I'm ready. Take me to Parchman."

Defense attorneys called Hutto's estranged wife and children to the stand late Monday afternoon.  Hutto's wife Katherine testified that Hutto's behavior began to put a strain on their marriage after the conviction.

It took the jury about an hour to convict Hutto in the 2010 murder of Ethel Simpson over the weekend. Jurors were brought in from Oxford to hear the case.

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