Lenamon attempted to persuade the jury that Bannister wasn't in control of his actions that night due to drug use.
On all the recorded interviews and conversations entered into evidence, Bannister never admits to the murders. The same jury that convicted him will now be tasked with deciding whether Bannister should be sentenced to death or a term of life in prison without the possibility of parole. Bannister is one of seven Marion County defendants facing the death penalty.
After eight and a half hours of deliberation split over two days, a jury on Wednesday found James Edward Bannister, 37, guilty of four counts of first-degree murder and one count of arson in the deaths of Cor Derica Hill, 6, Cor Darrian Hill, 8, Jocalyn Gray, 27, and Bridget Gray, 52. Brown, Bridget Gray's brother, said the verdict provides "big closure" for the family. Assistant State Attorney Robin Arnold and Bannister's defense attorneys Terry Lenamon and Tania Alavi declined to comment.
After shooting them each once in the head, Bannister set the house their bodies were in on fire Aug. Jocalyn Gray was Bannister's girlfriend at the time and they had one child together. The Hill children lived at the burned-down house with Bridget Gray, who was dating their father, Willie Hill. .embed-container .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed An hour before the verdict, the family gathered in a small witness room where they stood in a circle, held hands and prayed.
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