A JURY HAS FOUND KEVIN UNDERWOOD GUILTY OF
FIRST-DEGREE MURDER IN THE KILLING OF A 10-YEAR-OLD GIRL AS PART
Jurors on Thursday heard a soft-spoken man describe in a videotaped interview how he lured a 10-year-old-girl into his apartment, killed her and sexually assaulted and mutilated her body.
Kevin Ray Underwood, who could be executed if convicted of murdering Jamie Rose Bolin, told FBI agents two days after she disappeared in April 2006 that he hit her over the head with a wooden cutting board while she was watching television and playing with his pet rat.
Agents asked Underwood what the girl said after he hit her.
"That's something that's haunted me forever since it happened," he said. "She started yelling, I'm sorry,' which I'm like, What is she sorry for? She didn't do anything wrong. It's me. I'm the one that should be sorry.'"
Underwood, 28, showed no emotion while the confession was played. One of his attorneys, Matthew Haire, held his head in his hands and looked at the ground.
Prosecution and defense attorneys rested their cases in the trial, which began Monday.
The defense did not present a case or dispute that the former grocery store stocker killed Jamie, a neighbor of his in Purcell, a small community 40 miles south of Oklahoma City. Defense attorneys said they planned to argue during the trial's penalty phase that he doesn't deserve to be executed for the crime.
In the FBI interview, Underwood said he regretted hitting Jamie as soon as he did it, but that by that point it was too late.
"I was sick to my stomach that I was doing this," he told agents Craig Overby and Martin Maag. "I was literally, physically sick."
He said he smothered the girl with his hands, sexually assaulted her lifeless body, draped the corpse over the bathtub and began sawing her neck with a decorative dagger, nearly cutting her head off.
He said the killing was part of a fantasy fueled by macabre Internet pornography. He said his plan was to kill and eat his victim.
"It started off as cannibalism ... I wanted to know what it tasted like, and just the thought of eating someone was appealing to me," Underwood told the agents.
Two days after the girl's disappearance, authorities grew suspicious of Underwood after stopping him and his father at a police checkpoint near the apartment complex. After a short initial interview, he allowed investigators to search his apartment, where they found the girl's nude body stuffed into a plastic tub inside his bedroom closet.
A forensic pathologist testified that Jamie was asphyxiated and had been sexually assaulted. Dr. Inas Yacoub said she was unable to determine if the girl's injuries, including the deep gashes to the neck, occurred before or after her death.
In the videotaped interview, Underwood said his fantasies involving cannibalism began about the time he started taking the antidepressant Lexapro. Defense attorneys plan to call witnesses during the penalty phase of the trial who will testify that Underwood often appeared detached from reality and was using the drug.
Underwood also said he had spent hours standing in the doorway of his apartment, watching children who played in the apartment complex courtyard.
"I had pretty much planned all along to probably get a kid, just mainly because they'd be easier to grab and easier to get rid of afterwards, smaller, and you know, put up less of a fight," he told the agents.
At the end of his videotaped confession, Underwood appeared to become tired and then became physically sick.