HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Stephen Marc Stone has been found guilty in the capital murder trial of the deaths of his wife, Krista, and 7-year-old-son, Zachary. It has been six years since the killings.
Tim Gann, Chief Trial Attorney in theMadison County District Attorney's office, said, "There were times we didn't even know if we were going to get here or not. And the fact that we are here, that we have this result, we could not be more happy."
But the defense felt the opposite Tuesday.
Larry Marsili, defense attorney, said, "Anytime you get a verdict back like this it is going to be disappointing." He added, "As a defense team that's really all you can do is put forth your case and put in in front of the jury. Obviously, we would have liked for it to go a different way."
But both sides recognize what a dark time this has been.
Stone's trial was originally delayed because of concerns about his mental state. But in opening statements on Jan. 31, prosecutor Tim Gann said Stone has no history of mental illness. Instead, Gann said there was evidence that the marriage was suffering. He then went on to describe the day of the killings.
Defense attorney Larry Marsili opened his statements by saying he doesn’t dispute that his client did, in fact, do everything that Gann mentioned in his statements. Marsili says the part of the case that is under dispute is about what was going on in Stone’s mind.
On the second day of the trial, jurors heard Stone tell police in a recorded interview that he fatally choked his wife and son, because something had “broken” inside of him. After the killings, Stone told police, he felt “free.”
The defense continued its case Monday arguing Stone is not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect. That would mean Stone was not in a state of mind to know right from wrong at the time of the murders.
The jury returned Tuesday morning to hear closing arguments on day four of Stephen Marc Stone’s murder trial.
"This family has been through an unimaginable event. It has drug out over these years. They are strong. They are steadfast," Gann said.
Stephen Marc Stone will face the same jury again Wednesday as witnesses come before the court to argue whether he should get the death penalty or life in prison.
His defense team is trying to spare his life.
"Our goal at this point specifically is to save a life at this point. It has already been a tragic situation. There are already two deaths involved in this," Marsili stated.
In the penalty phase of the case, a jury and ultimately the judge will have the final say.