Update: Witnesses testify in sentencing phase of Moberly murder trial

3 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 3:15:00 PM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
By: Shelby Lofton, KOMU 8 Reporter and Kasia Kerridge , KOMU 8 Digital Reporter
loading

HUNTSVILLE – The sentencing phase of the trial for a convicted murderer began Friday.

Jeffrey Nichols was convicted Thursday in the 2013 murder of Carmelita Kaser, 92, in Moberly on Easter Sunday. Jurors will now determine whether to recommend the death penalty or a lesser sentence.

As the sentencing began, witnesses were called to testify about Nichols and Kaser. In the opening statements, the prosecution talked about how Nichols did not know or “have beef” with Kaser.

“Carmelita was a giver, and these guys were takers,” prosecuting attorney Kevin Zoellner said.

In response, Nichols' defense attorney talked about his client's childhood full of “abuse and neglect.”

“The state of Missouri did nothing about it. Now the state of Missouri wants to take his life,” the attorney said.

Nichols' name was changed to Jeffrey Jay, or JJ, Nichols when he was adopted. His biological mother struggled with addiction and lived in poverty.

“JJ’s early life was nothing short of horrendous,” Nichols' attorney said.

He emphasized to the jury that because they do not know Nichols personally, they should evaluate him based on his personal history, not his criminal background.

Phylis Self, Kaser’s daughter, was the first witness to testify. She said her mother was a Bible-believing and faith-practicing woman who loved to give. Self’s statement - that her mother “knew right from wrong” - was met with enthusiastic head nods among family and friends present.

Mark Rodgers, a corrections officer at the Marion Country Sheriff’s Department, said Nichols was “not compliant” during a 2015 incident while he was in jail. He testified Nichols was aggressive after being ordered to stop speaking to female inmates.

During Sgt. Kevin Coates’ testimony, the prosecution showed video evidence of Nichols assaulting another inmate. He testified that Nichols “warned” him this would happen.

The jury watched a two-hour video interview recorded by the Moberly Police Department. In it, Nichols cried when the officers told him he was charged with murder. He shares his recollection of the night Kaser died. He said he only had a pistol, pointed the gun at Kaser and told her to be quiet and asked for her money. Nichols then said Christopher Lewis began stabbing her with a knife.

Nichols was stoic during most of the testimony.

The trial will continue into the weekend, and is expected to finish by June 27.

More News

Grid
List
MARIES COUNTY - At the City of Belle Fair, officers arrested a sex offender carrying a stun-gun Wednesday night. ... More >>
2 hours ago Thursday, July 19 2018 Jul 19, 2018 Thursday, July 19, 2018 4:47:00 AM CDT July 19, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A man who was shot to death on Sunday after shooting three Kansas City police officers... More >>
10 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 8:33:33 PM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
MANSFIELD (AP) — The Missouri State Highway Patrol says a trooper who was shot in southwest Missouri has been released... More >>
10 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 8:28:02 PM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The white former interim police chief of St. Louis is alleging discrimination based on race in... More >>
10 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 8:20:28 PM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Japanese beetles are swarming mid-Missouri in the tens of thousands, wreaking havoc on gardens, crops and trees. ... More >>
10 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 8:18:00 PM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump will visit Missouri next week to deliver his first address as president to the annual... More >>
10 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 8:13:07 PM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - On Wednesday, Governor Parson issued an executive order putting nearly half of the counties in Missouri under... More >>
10 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 8:12:00 PM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Missouri state representative has unblocked a critic from her Twitter account after he sued. ... More >>
10 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 8:10:32 PM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A Kansas City-area woman has been charged with letting men rape her 2-year-old daughter. Twenty-five-year-old... More >>
13 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 5:12:46 PM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
HARRISBURG - A town rocked by tragedy continues to heal after the man responsible for the car crash that killed... More >>
14 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 4:57:00 PM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
MILLER COUNTY - Deputies arrested a man following an investigation into alleged sexual abuse, and charges were filed in the... More >>
14 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 4:05:32 PM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Different sides reacted Wednesday to the Missouri Supreme Court's ruling in favor of a wind energy project.... More >>
15 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 3:37:00 PM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Democratic Party filed an appeal to the ruling from a Cole County judge dismissing a... More >>
16 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 1:59:00 PM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
FULTON - In the span of one month, law enforcement responded to nine car crashes on Route F between Boone... More >>
17 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 1:40:00 PM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The man who caused the crash which left a Harrisburg teacher dead pleaded guilty Wednesday. Brandon Brill,... More >>
18 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 12:34:00 PM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
SANTA ANA, CALIFORNIA (AP) — Wet and muddy from their trek across the Mexican border, immigrant children say they sat... More >>
20 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 10:50:00 AM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- The 12 members of a youth soccer team and their coach who spent more than two weeks trapped... More >>
22 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 8:24:00 AM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Missouri program aimed at connecting stroke, heart attack and trauma patients with the best care... More >>
22 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 8:17:00 AM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 72°
7am 73°
8am 75°
9am 76°
10am 78°