KINGMAN, AZ - Jury deliberations are scheduled to begin Monday in the penalty phase of a trial for a man convicted of first-degree murder in the 2009 stabbing death of the 18-year-old daughter of his ex-girlfriend.
The Kingman Daily Miner reports that lawyers made closing arguments Thursday in the penalty phase of 54-year-old Darrell Bryant Ketchner's trial.
Jurors who have already convicted him of first-degree murder will decide whether Ketchner is sentenced to the death penalty or life in prison with no possibility of parole for fatally stabbing Ariel Allison and injuring her mother, Jennifer Allison, by shooting her in July 2009. Jennifer Allison is the mother of three of Ketchner's children.
Both sides agreed that Ketchner committed the crimes.
Defense lawyer David Shapiro says prosecutors said Ketchner's actions truly were horrendous, but asked jurors not to seek an eye for an eye.
He said the death penalty devalued human life and that killing Ketchner would not change the fact that Ariel Allison is gone. "Death was ugly when Darrell Ketchner engaged in it, and death is ugly when the government engages in it," he said.
Prosecutor Megan McCoy said Ketchner deserves the death penalty not only for the brutality of his crimes, but for other things he did in the weeks and months leading up to the murder of Ariel Allison and the shooting of Jennifer Allison. She pointed out Ketchner repeatedly threatened to "slit Jennifer's throat" if she filed for child support. He threatened to kill every member of their family if she didn't let him have custody.
Six months before the incident, he was arrested for domestic violence.
When Ketchner was allowed to address the jury, he looked directly at members of his extended family who sat in the gallery rather than speak to jurors.
He stared at Ariel Allison's mother and others. "I want to apologize to the Allison family. They are honestly the best family I ever had," Ketchner said.