Franklin County Jury Hands Down First Death Sentence Since 2003

Sep 11, 2019

Kristofer Garrett, who was found guilty of murdering his ex-girlfriend and 4-year old daughter, was sentenced to death by a Franklin County jury on Wednesday.

The 26-year-old was convicted of aggravated murder in the stabbing deaths of Nicole Duckson and their daughter, Kristina Duckson.

Garrett told detectives he killed his ex-girlfriend Nicole and then killed 4-year old Kristina because she witnessed him kill her mother.

Garrett’s attorney Bob Krapenc says the jury in the case struggled with the young age of the victim.

"It’s hard for a jury to look past that and look at mitigating evidence," he says. "They just see that a child was needlessly murdered and they believe the ultimate penalty is appropriate for that kind of act."

Krapenc argued there were mitigating factors having to do with Garrett's upbringing, lack of prior record and mental health issues. 

"Things along those lines that we thought were important and might serve to outweigh the aggravating circumstances of this event," he says.

Prosecutor Ron O'Brien said he agreed with the verdict. 

"I believe both the jury and the judge reached right conclusion based on the evidence that was presented,” he says. 

This verdict was the first time since 2003 that a Franklin County jury has sentenced someone to death.

Gov. Mike DeWine paused all executions in Ohio after a federal court said the state's lethal injection method was unconstitutional. But an appeals court on Wednesday overturned that decision, opening the door for the process to move forward.