Jury sentences James McVay to death by lethal injection - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Jury sentences James McVay to death by lethal injection

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A jury has sentenced James McVay to death by lethal injection for the 2011 killing of Maybelle Schein.

On Monday, Minnehaha County state's attorney Aaron McGowan began closing arguments asking the jury to consider Maybelle Schein's final hours on earth and what kind of person she was.

He talked about how Schein was a hospice nurse who spent her lifetime devoted to serving and caring for others.

But McGowan reminded the jury how McVay stabbed Schein nine times before slitting her vocal cords in one final blow to silence her forever.

McGowan said she never had a chance to say goodbye to her loved ones.

And he points out this past Friday would have been Schein's 78th birthday but instead of her friends and family celebrating with her, they were listening to McVay's testimony in court about how he killed her.

McGowan asked the jury to issue a verdict of death, adding that it's the right thing to do for McVay's punishment and the protection of society.

McVay's defense lawyer, public defender Traci Smith, began closing arguments asking the jury to consider its moral choice. Smith even added that she's not ashamed to say McVay has become her friend, and she is his advocate.

Smith told the jury the state has tried to downplay McVay's mental illness.  Smith added McVay understands the wrongness of his actions but that he believed he was fulfilling Lucifer's orders.

The defense told the jury that McGowan wants the death penalty but it believed the state did not present enough evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that McVay poses a future threat.

McGowan began his rebuttal by stating the case is not about him, it's about bringing closure to Maybelle Schein's family.

McGowan ended his statements with a photo of Schein with her two dogs.  He said he did not want to show the jury how she was at her death, but instead as she were in life.

McVay admitted he killed Schein as part of his plot to assassinate President Obama. He plead guilty but mentally ill to the crime.

Last week, the jury determined McVay was eligible for the death penalty.

Stay with KSFY and KSFY.com for updates on the trial.

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