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GUILTY VERDICT: Triple Homicide Trial

Jessica Cuffman • Nov 4, 2013 at 7:16 PM

UPDATE 5:13 p.m. — Guilty, on all counts.

After about 4 1/2 hours of deliberation, the 12-person jury found Curtis Clinton, 42, guilty of five counts aggravated murder, three counts rape, one count aggravated burglary, and on all accompanying specifications.

The penalty for the aggravated murders includes the possibility of the death penalty.

The same jury who heard the criminal trial will return for the mitigation phase Nov. 12, to hear evidence and make a recommendation as to whether Clinton should be sentenced to death.

UPDATE 12:07 p.m. — The jury is out.

After about two hours of closing arguments Monday morning, Erie County Common Pleas Judge Tygh Tone read the jury their lengthy instructions, sent them to deliberate and ordered them sequestered until they deliver a verdict in the triple homicide case against Curtis Clinton.

Clinton, 42, accused of killing Heather Jackson, 23, and her two children, Celina, 3, and Wayne Jr., 20 months, faces the death penalty if he's convicted.

He also is charged with aggravated burglary, the rape of Celina the day she was killed, and the rape of a 17-year-old Clyde girl about five days before allegedly committing the homicides.

During closing arguments, Erie County prosecutor Kevin Baxter recapped the testimony of the witnesses who took the stand and the 160 pieces of evidence the jury will be able to review.

Whatever doubt jurors have, whatever other plausible explanations Clinton's attorneys asked them to consider, there's once piece of evidence that can't be explained away: The sample recovered from Celina's genitals that matched Clinton's DNA, Baxter said.

The jury will decide Clinton's guilt on five aggravated murder charges, three counts rape, one count aggravated burglary and about a dozen accompanying specifications — including those that would state his crimes could merit the death penalty.

If Clinton is found guilty, the jury will likely break for a week before returning to hear the second phase of the trial, called mitigation, where they would determine whether or not he deserves to suffer capital punishment.

Click HERE for continued coverage of the Triple Homicide

To see complete coverage from the first day of the trial, click HERE

To see complete coverage from the second day of the trial, click HERE

To see complete coverage from the third day of the trial, click HERE

To see complete coverage from the fourth day of the trial, click HERE

Watch the live coverage from today's trial in the player below

— Due to graphic testimony, viewer discretion is advised —

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