PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A Washington County jury has found Jordan Clemons guilty of first-degree murder.
This morning, the defense conceded Clemons killed Karissa Kunco, but argued that he is guilty only of third-degree murder because he did not display the willful deliberate premeditation necessary for a first-degree murder conviction.
The family of Karissa Kunco left the courtroom without speaking to reporters, but were clearly relieved that this part of the trial was finished.
They listened to the first-degree murder verdict, knowing the jury rejected the argument of the defense that Clemmons was only guilty of third-degree murder because he didn’t show the willfulness or premeditation required for a first-degree conviction.
The defense called Clemons’ actions, like using her father’s debit card to buy an Xbox, erratic and not the actions of someone in their right mind.
“These are not acts of a rational mind,” said defense attorney Charles Carpinelli. “It happened in just a moment. He was doing erratic things. He was unable to perform willfulness and premeditation.”
But prosecutor Chad Schneider countered by showing the jury once again the PFA petition she filed after being beaten and the Facebook texts wherein he threatens suicide if she didn’t meet him again.
And the last known picture of her alive withdrawing $200 from an ATM the night before her body was found.
And the pink shirt she wore then and that shirt found at the scene where her body was found.
“Slicing somebody’s throat four times is willful and deliberate,” the prosecutor argued. “It didn’t have to be thought up when she picks him up. He severed the arteries till the blade hit the spine. That’s premeditation.”
Now the jury will decide whether aggravating circumstances outweigh mitigating circumstances in the penalty phase.
The jury will begin to consider life or death for Clemons tomorrow.
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