Capital Trial Update 8-8-11

There are two death penalty trials underway in North Carolina right now.

In Wake County, prosecutors are seeking capital punishment for Joshua Stepp, who is accused in the 2009 death of his stepdaughter.  Although Stepp has acknowledged injuring the child, he asserts that his actions did not amount to first-degree murder.

In Moore County, jurors are hearing evidence in the trial of Robert Stewart.  Stewart has admitted to a 2009 shooting that left eight people dead.  However, Stewart asserts that his mental state at the time of the killings was such that he should not be convicted of first-degree murder.

4 Responses to Capital Trial Update 8-8-11

  1. Lizzie says:

    Is there a theory as to how or why Stepp’s stepdaughter died if not at his own hands?

  2. deathwatch says:

    I believe the legal theory would be that the defendant took actions which resulted in the victim’s death, but which did not amount to first-degree murder (which requires premeditation and deliberation or that the killing occurred in the course of another felony).

  3. anastasia says:

    The step-daughter was a ten month old baby, who died as the result of Stepp’s rape.

  4. deathwatch says:

    According to the autopsy, the girl died of head trauma. See here.

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