Jury Says Guilty In The Raymond Johnson Trial

Thursday, June 25th 2009, 1:26 pm
By: News On 6

By Ashli Sims, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- The jury says guilty on all counts in the Raymond Johnson murder trial. 

Johnson was accused of setting a house on fire to cover up the murders of a Tulsa mother and her baby.  Now that he's been convicted, Raymond Johnson could be sentenced to death for two counts of first degree murder and first degree arson. 

The jury began deliberations shortly after noon on Thursday.  They reached their verdict around 2:30 p.m.  The sentencing phase of the trial began immediately after the guilty verdict was announced, then recessed for the night at about 4:30 p.m.

The defense called no witnesses in the trial but made two arguments in the defendant's defense during its closing. Raymond Johnson did not intend to kill the baby daughter of his girlfriend Brooke Whitaker in the slayings that took place almost two years ago to the day.

The defense said that Johnson claims he did not pour gasoline over baby Kya, but that the gasoline may have come from Brooke Whitaker's body as she attempted to save her baby.

The prosecution countered that argument, saying that Whitaker was hit at least 24 times and was too badly injured to be walking around carrying her child.

Raymond Johnson confessed to the slayings on video tape, and the defense also argued that the confession may have been coerced by the police. The prosecution claimed that there was no evidence to support that argument.

06/22/2009 Related Story: Closing Arguments Set In Double Murder Trial

Jurors will have three options for sentencing Johnson.  He can be sentenced to death.  They could opt for a life sentence without the possibility of parole.  Or, jurors may sentence him to life with the possibility of parole.