LAWTON, OK (KSWO) –The jury that found Thorsten Rushing guilty of killing his father and brother has announced their decision when it comes to how Rushing should be punished.
Life without the chance of parole.
The jury reached that decision at a sentencing hearing, in which several of Rushing's family members took the stand on his behalf. The state was pushing for the death penalty. The jury also had the option of putting Rushing behind bars for life with the chance of parole.
Rushing was filled with tears at the announcement that he would spend the rest of his life in prison.
Wednesday morning, the defense asked several family members to take the stand to plead for mercy during the sentencing phase. Rushing cried for the first time during the trial while listening to his family members plead for his life. Many, including Thorsten's mother, grandparents, his uncle, Uwe's first wife and a family friend, asked the jury to have mercy on Thorsten, saying they'd already suffered enough loss.
Uwe's first wife, Manuela Lane, told jurors that Uwe was abusive to her when they were married, saying he was possessive, controlling and a racist. When Uwe's parents and brother took the stand, they said Uwe had never been abusive, just hard to live with.
In defense attorney Stephen Jones' closing remarks, he told jurors that he believed this was four generations in the making, and a time bomb waiting to go off.
Assistant District Attorney Mark Stoneman gave his final remarks to the jurors before deliberation. He referred back to Ethan Thompson's testimony of when Stefan was shot in the face, Thompson said Stefan groaned and brought his hands to his face. Stoneman said Stefan suffered and died in agony and that the death penalty is what Thorsten deserved.
Jones and Stoneman asked the jury to carefully consider everything that was presented to them. The jury deliberated for about two hours before returning with a decision.
Stoneman says a lot of hours were put in from the men and women who worked the case, and they are happy with the outcome and respect the jury's decision.
"Lt. Justin Thorne of the Lawton Police Department, made Thorsten Rushing a promise," Stoneman said. "He said, 'I will do everything I can to find who's responsible for this, and bring them to justice.' And the verdict yesterday, and the sentence today shows that Lt. Justin Thorne along with Det. David Schucker and all the men and women of the Lawton Police Department kept that promise."
Schucker was the lead detective on the case. He said the entire process was especially difficult, since the defendant was so closely related to the victims---making it hard to console the family.
"We're used to being encouraging and supportive of the victim's family," Schucker said. "But at the same time we were putting away, you know, arresting another son, and trying another son for this crime. So it was difficult for everybody involved."
Formal sentencing will be August 12 at 11 a.m. at the Comanche County Courthouse.