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Jury recommends death penalty for Hosier

Jury recommends death penalty for Hosier

October 26th, 2013 in News

Jurors took almost three times as long to recommend that David Hosier be executed as they took to convict him for killing Angela Gilpin, 45, on Sept. 28, 2009.

The nine-man, three-woman jury from St. Charles County - which had deliberated for just more than an hour Wednesday before convicting Hosier, 58, of the first-degree murder charge - deliberated the death penalty question Friday for about two hours and 45 minutes.

The jury Wednesday also found Hosier guilty of armed criminal action, burglary and felony possession of a weapon.

Angela's family said Friday afternoon they were pleased "with the jury decision of guilty on all counts."

Although declining to be interviewed, the family said in a statement: "This death penalty decision for sentencing is the only correct action and is supported by the family. And justice is served.

"We're just sorry it has taken four years to happen."

Cole County Prosecutor Mark Richardson, Public Defenders Donald Catlett and Janice Zembles, and Hosier's two sisters all declined to comment on the guilty verdict or death penalty recommendation.

The bodies of Angela Gilpin and her estranged husband, Rodney Gilpin, 61, were found about 3:25 a.m. on Sept. 28, 2009, lying in the open doorway of her apartment in the 1100 block of West High Street.

Boone County Medical Examiner Carl Stacy - who did the autopsies of both bodies at Cole County's request - testified Wednesday that Angela Gilpin was shot six times, including two shots to her head, and Rodney Gilpin died from three shots in the chest, and also had been hit in his elbow.

Although separated, prosecutors and family members said four years ago the Gilpins had been trying to reconcile their 21-year marriage.

Prosecutors said that angered Hosier, who had developed a romantic relationship with Angela during the separation.

Richardson told jurors during this week's trial that Hosier waited in the hallway outside Angela's apartment - knowing she left about 3 a.m. each day for her job as manager of the Wardsville Bee Line Convenience Store - and "sprayed them both with bullets" from a 9 mm Sten submachine gun he had assembled from a kit.

Missouri law required the same jury that convicted Hosier on Wednesday to decide whether his punishment should be execution or life in prison without the possibility of probation or parole - the only choices the law allows.

The law also requires that decision to be based on the jurors' determination of "aggravating" circumstances in the crime supporting the death penalty, balanced with "mitigating" circumstances about the crime or the defendant pointing away from execution.

"When he takes the lives of others, he forfeits his own," Richardson said in his closing argument, before the punishment decision was turned over to the jury.

Earlier in his closing, Richardson said: "A life sentence in this case would truly be a grant of mercy. ... This defendant is not deserving of your mercy - he is deserving of justice."

But Zembles countered in her closing arguments: "David Hosier is going to die behind the (prison) walls - that was guaranteed when he was convicted of first-degree murder. ... With life without parole, he's never getting out."

Before the lawyers' closing arguments, Hosier's older sister - Kay Schardein, 65, a former Jefferson City resident who moved from Missouri more than 20 years ago - talked about her family's excitement when David was born in 1955.

"We were just really glad, so excited it was a boy," she told the jury.

The Hosiers lived in Logansport, in north-central Indiana, and were a "very close, happy family" that did many things together, Schardein reported, including camping at a nearby lake - until David was 16.

That's when their father - Glen Hosier, a veteran Indiana State Police detective - was shot in the head while trying to arrest a murder suspect on April 13, 1971, and lingered in a coma for 13 days before dying in an Indianapolis hospital.

During that time, she said, David disappeared from the family home for several days, and was found walking along the nearby Eel River, carrying a gun.

Zembles noted in her closing argument that Hosier and his mother, Martha, now 87, never talked about Glen Hosier's murder and death, and its effects on their lives.

But he clearly suffers from depression, she said, pointing to a Fulton State Hospital diagnosis in July 1986, after Hosier was there for a month: depression recurrent, with psychotic features.

After his 1993 Indiana conviction for kidnapping, handcuffing and beating a former girlfriend, Zembles added, the judge in that case recommended psychiatric treatment.

But Hosier never got that treatment.

Still, she argued, Hosier hasn't been a danger to people except for women with whom he'd had a relationship, then felt they had rejected or wronged him.

But Richardson said Hosier's November 1992 assault on Nancy Miller in Logansport was a "serious" assault, an "aggravating" circumstance supporting the death penalty.

"She doesn't know how many times he hit her," Richardson reminded the jurors.

And, when a sheriff's investigator questioned Hosier about that assault after his arrest, Hosier said the beating "was Nancy Marshall's fault (because) she and another lady in a phone call were laughing at him."

Hosier's serving six years of an eight-year sentence in Indiana "didn't change his conduct," Richardson said, pointing to Hosier's pulling a gun on a friend in 2007, when asked to move from their farm south of Logansport and, two years later, killing the Gilpins.

A death sentence "helps our society (and) keeps our society safe," he told the jurors.

Hosier's attorneys have 25 days to file a motion for a new trial, and other post-trial motions.

Formal sentencing on all the convictions will be scheduled later.

Earlier coverage:

Jury recommends death penalty