Stone found guilty of rape, kidnapping and other charges
LAWTON, Okla. – Aaron Stone is guilty. Comanche County District Judge Mark Smith rendered that verdict Tuesday.
Stone brutally beat and raped a Lawton family and kept them hostage for hours last February. Before the verdict, Stone, 33, took the stand and told the court his version of what happened. And that is when things got heated in the courtroom.
Stone seemed to lose it during cross examination when he began cursing. But for most of the trial, he was without emotion altogether. And when the verdict was read, he just sat there. He showed no emotion at all.
It was quite the opposite for the victims. They were overcome with emotion and tell 7News that this trial has been an awful ordeal, but now they say they can finally move forward.
"We came through that tunnel. We were in a dark tunnel and we came through it," said a family member.
That dark tunnel that family member is referring to is the horrifying day that Stone brutally beat and raped her family, threatened their 6-year-old daughter and shot and killed the family dog. That day of horror culminated in 16 separate charges. Today, Stone was found guilty on 15 of them. It was a verdict that prosecutor William Riley says he was pleased to hear
"This guy got everything he deserved. He deserved more than four life sentences including one without parole, but I was pleased," said Riley.
Riley says he was confident going in to the trial because of the overwhelming amount of evidence against Stone and the victims' compelling testimony. The prosecution's case against Stone was air-tight. And Stone certainly did not win favors with the judge when he became extremely hostile during two questions in during cross examination
When the prosecution told Stone that his testimony alleging that the sex between him and the victim was consensual was ridiculous, Stone lost it and began to curse. His defense attorney Jim Berry had to step in.
"As an older lawyer you just step back, ask a few calming questions, try to get it back on track. And that's what I did," said Berry.
Riley says Stone showed his true colors.
"It revealed to me that he indeed is the type of person who has the type of personality who could've committed these acts," said Riley.
It took the judge about 10 minutes to come back with the guilty verdicts. The victims and their family say hearing those words gave them closure.
"We know that this is taken care of now. We can move on. We can move on."
Stone received a total of 14 life sentences. Two of those are life without parole, all to be served concurrently. Berry says Stone plans to appeal.
The family member says the Comanche Nation is giving the family a new home so they will not have to live in the house where the memories of that terrible ordeal remain.