Franklin County Jury Recommends Death for Lebanon Man - The Missourian: Local News

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Franklin County Jury Recommends Death for Lebanon Man

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Posted: Wednesday, August 28, 2013 6:32 pm | Updated: 2:58 pm, Thu Dec 26, 2013.

A jury of Franklin County citizens recommended last week that a 33-year-old man be put to death for killing an elderly couple who interrupted a burglary at their southern Missouri home in July 2010.

The jury handed up the verdict Friday afternoon at the close of a weeklong trial at the Laclede County courthouse in Lebanon.

The panel deliberated for about four hours before reaching the death penalty recommendation for Jesse Driskill, Lebanon, according to the Associated Press.

Jurors convicted Driskill last Wednesday of first-degree murder in the deaths of 82-year-old Johnnie Wilson and 76-year-old Coleen Wilson at their isolated home near Lebanon. Both were shot, and Coleen Wilson was raped before their attacker tried to burn their bodies.

Laclede County Circuit Judge Kenneth Hayden will consider the jury’s recommendation when he sentences Driskill on Nov. 5 for the two murder counts as well as forcible sodomy, forcible rape, burglary and five counts of armed criminal action.

The Franklin County jury was sequestered throughout the trial. State Attorney General Chris Koster assisted Laclede County Prosecutor Jon Morris in the trial.

Investigators, relatives of the slain couple and other witnesses testified that the Wilsons — who had just celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary — confronted Driskill when they arrived at their home near Bennett Spring State Park early on the morning of July 26, 2010.

Their bodies were found the next day.

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