Lunsford Trial Day 7: Jury decides not to recommend mercy

Crime

A Lewis County jury has convicted Lena Lunsford on all four counts involving the death of her then 3-year-old daughter, Aliayah.

Lunsford was found guilty of one count of murder of a child by parent, guardian or custodian or other person by refusal or failure to provide necessities, one count of the death of a child by a parent, guardian or custodian or other person by child abuse, one count of child abuse resulting in injury, and one count of concealment of deceased human body.

The jury of 10 women and two men decided to not recommend mercy for Lunsford after deliberating for only 15-20 minutes. Lunsford will not have parole and will likely spend the rest of her life in prison. The formal sentencing will take place at a later date. Defense Attorney Tom Dyer said an appeal in the case is expected before it all wraps up.

“I know that the defendant has one planned, and there will be one, so that’ll be coming down the pike, and there’s be some post-trial motions that precede the sentencing here in June, and that’s where this thing will go,” said Dyer.

The jury heard from members of Lunsford’s family Tuesday. The family members were recommending that since Lunsford had not shown mercy on her own child that the jury should not show mercy on her.

It was a verdict supported by Craig Cole. He and his family adopted Lunsford’s children and he said he’s pleased they had the courage to come forward.

“Very proud of my girls for telling the truth, coming forward, and overcoming the fear they had of Lena Lunsford.  Just overall happy, but mixed reactions with sadness in the heartbreaking, heartwrenching story that no dad should ever have to hear,” Cole said. 

Prosecutors will hold a press conference Wednesday morning at 9 a.m.

Stay with 12 News for the latest updates on this trial. 

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