3 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015 UPDATE:
The jury returns from a second round of deliberations in the Thomas Carter trial. After returning a guilty verdict on Thursday morning, they went back to discuss whether or not Carter should receive mercy during the sentencing phase. The jurors came back with a recommendation of “No Mercy.” Carter will be sentenced on Oct. 6 at 9 a.m.
11:30 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015 UPDATE:
After only two and half days, a jury chosen to hear the case of Thomas Carter has returned a verdict. That verdict was read at around 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015.
Carter was accused of attacking a woman on the White Oak Rail Trail in Oak Hill in June 2014. The jury determined Carter was guilty on all charges, which included, Kidnapping, First Degree Sexual Assault, First Degree Sexual Abuse and First Degree Robbery.
Witnesses will take the stand again following a lunch break. That is determine if Carter will be given mercy with regards to the kidnapping charge.
ORIGINAL STORY: After it took five hours to select a jury the trial for Thomas Carter is officially underway. Opening statements began with the defense and Fayette County Prosecutor Larry Harrah describing the alleged assault in such detail it made your skin crawl.
“Who would think walking on a trail, something like this would happen,” Tawanna Warner said.
Warner has been the counselor for the alleged victim in this case since the alleged incident occurred, and this is the first case she’s ever had to deal with this kind of assault.
“I’ve also had to get her through counseling, she’s been going through group, I’ve also had to attend some of her doctors appointments with her because she didn’t want to go by herself,” Warner said.
Carter’s lawyer gave his opening statement asking for a fair trial from the jury, but preparing the victim for this trial, Warner said, has been the toughest part.
“She’ll have to face the victim again um so it’s very difficult dealing with victims like this, they’re fragile and also their wounds are on the inside so you don’t see how it affects the person,” she said.