Last updated: July 25. 2013 4:39PM - 148 Views
By - flewis@civitasmedia.com - 740-353-3101



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Kara Garvin was spared the death penalty by a Scioto County jury Wednesday night after jurors deliberated for seven hours in determining the fate of the woman convicted of killing three members of a Franklin Furnace family.
On two of the aggravated murder counts, the jury gave Garvin life without the possibility of parole. Those counts involved the deaths of Juanita Mollett and Christina Mollett.
In the aggravated murder conviction in the case of Edward Mollett, the jury gave Garvin life without parole for at least 25 years.
In addition, Judge Howard H. Harcha III, gave concurrent sentences pertaining to aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary, and a gun specification, totaling 7 years, to be added to the 25 years in the concurrent aggravated murder convictions, making Garvin ineligible for parole for 32 years just on the Edward Mollett charges.
I think they (jury) were measured in their sentence. No one likes life without the possibility of parole, but it certainly is a better option than death, defense attorney Charles Chuck Knight told the Portsmouth Daily Times after the jury was dismissed.
Knight then spoke about the court case.
I still have considerable misgivings about the way a verdict was reached against Kara in that case. When you talk proof beyond a reasonable doubt it doesnt result from a questionable identification, and no physical evidence. And thats exactly what they had in this case, Knight told the Times. They had a murder weapon, that was the cause of death and no indication that Kara Garvin ever used it. They had a boy who said there was someone with black hair who committed these crimes, and yet Kara did not have black hair at the time of the crimes. That to me is not proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
Knight said he feels there were considerable errors in the record, not just in sentencing, but in the way the discovery was handled the failure of the Scioto County Sheriffs Department to fully investigate the crime. The rush to judgment. They had their defendant 20 minutes after the crime, Knight said. I find that incredible in todays world of law enforcement; and certainly not one that is complimentary to the Sheriffs Office of Scioto County. Its a drug crime. I dont think anybody thought it wasnt a drug crime. And to indicate this was anything other than a power grab for the Oxycontin business in Scioto County, Ohio, is a misunderstanding of the facts in this case.
Knight then mentioned other names that had come up during the course of the trial.
There is no question that Paul Balmer was involved, yet hes not charged. Theres no question (Ray) Rodriguez was involved. He is not even talked to. Theres little question that Amanda Moody was involved, and her DNA was neither examined, as to its presence on the murder weapon, Knight said.
Garvins mother was surrounded by TV cameras in the hallway outside the court room, but took the time to talk to the Times about her immediate feelings after the sentencing.
Its hard not to feel bitter and angry with some of these people, and Im trying not to, Audrey Dotson said. I dont know how they reached the decision that they did, obviously, but I thank God that they at least gave her life and not death. And that we can appeal. And she still has the chance to have a good life with her daughter, and serving God, both in prison and out. And thats what were going to cling to that hope.
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