LOUISVILLE (AP) — A Jefferson County jury has recommended the death penalty for a Louisville man convicted of raping and killing a woman in 1983.
The Courier-Journal reports it is the first time in nearly a decade that a Jefferson County jury has recommended sending a defendant to death row.
Jurors on Friday found Larry Lamont White guilty of murder in the death of Pamela Armstrong, a 22-year-old mother of five who was raped and shot twice in the head on June 4, 1983. The panel returned on Monday to determine a sentence.
During the hearing, prosecutors presented evidence of other crimes White committed, including two other slayings. All three women were shot in the back of the head.
Prosecutors Mark Baker and Andrew Beckman described the slayings as “genocide” during the brief hearing.
“Hallelujah, God,” Armstrong’s family said as the judge read the jury’s sentence.
Defense attorneys said the inclusion of the previous convictions “created an unfair playing field.”
“On Monday last week, I’m sure they already had their minds made up,” defense attorney Darren Wolff said. “He was guilty of those two, he was guilty of this one.”
Wolff said the conviction and sentence would be appealed.
Final sentencing was set for September.
Rodshina Armstrong, who was 6 years old when his mother died, said he has struggled with her death since she left their home in 1983 to pick up food stamps and never returned.
Since then, he said he’s had trust issues, wondering if the people he meets on the street might be responsible for her slaying.
“I don’t have to fight anymore,” he said after the sentencing. “The fight is over. I finally have peace. I thank God.”