THE COURT: Pleased to have the jury panel back this morning.
Ms. Caldwell, how is your foot?
JUROR CALDWELL: It's fine. Thank you.
THE COURT: Doing okay?
JUROR CALDWELL: Yes, sir.
THE COURT: We've reached the point, members of the jury, where the attorneys are going to be making their final arguments as to this sentencing phase. Please give them your full and complete attention as they make these final arguments. Please again remember that you should -- if they misstate a portion of the evidence or if your recollection is different from theirs, then the Court will instruct you that you should not be bound by what they say but take your own recollection of the evidence when you begin your deliberation as to this phase of the case. Mr. Panosh will have the opening argument, then the final two arguments will be made by counsel for the defendant.
Mr. Panosh, you may address the jury.
MR. PANOSH: It is now my responsibility to stand before you and ask each of you to impose the death penalty in this case. It is my responsibility because the law requires it. As I told each and every one of you at jury selection, this is not a matter of personal preference. I stand before you not because I want to but because the law requires me to. You must follow the law also. It is your responsibility to determine what punishment is appropriate in this case, not upon personal preference, not upon your feelings, but solely upon the evidence you hear in this second phase.
Ronnie Kimble's guilt has been established. He has been found guilty of first-degree murder beyond a reasonable doubt. That job is over. It is finished. It is completed. This is not the time that you are required to go back and revisit or reexamine that evidence. You may, however, consider the evidence from that first phase in determining whether or not there are aggravating and mitigating factors. You may consider that evidence to determine if it supports aggravating and mitigating factors.
As I said to you in jury selection, the law is very specific. It talks about aggravating and mitigating factors. As a representative of the State, there are eleven aggravating factors in the law that
applies to every murder case. In this particular case, there are only two aggravating factors that I can talk to you about. Because in this argument in this phase of the case I can only talk to you about the aggravating factors.
I cannot go on at length and tell you what a wonderful person Patricia was, about her accomplishments in the church, her accomplishments in life, because the law presumes that every victim is equal. I cannot tell you that the defendant is deserving of the death penalty because she went out and preached the word of God. That's not an issue. The law presumes that every victim is the same. You may only pass upon the aggravating and mitigating factors that apply to her death.
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, as I told you in jury selection, the first thing that you must consider is whether or not there are at least one aggravating factor, and you must find beyond a reasonable doubt the existence of one of those aggravating factors. If you should find there are no aggravating factors, you would skip the rest of this and vote for life.
Life would mean that the defendant would go to prison; that he would be in prison without parole for the rest of his life. And the State would do everything
in its power to keep him in prison.
MR. LLOYD: Well, objection, Your Honor.
THE COURT: Overruled.
MR. PANOSH: In that prison, he would have the privileges of every other prisoner: recreational facilities, gymnasiums, television, adequate food, mental -- medical and dental care. And that would indeed be punishment. But I submit and contend to you that when you look at the facts in this case, the way Patricia died, when you look at the aggravating factors in this case, life imprisonment with those benefits is not appropriate.
The State is submitting two aggravating factors. The first aggravating factor is that at the time that the defendant killed Patricia and in that course of conduct he committed an arson. Arson is a serious felony. It is not just a felony against the property that is burned. It is a felony -- a serious crime against our society. Because anytime a dwelling, a house, is set on fire, there are well-meaning professional people who come there and risk their lives just like Mr. Faulk, Mr. Vickery, and Mr. Fields.
Remember what they told you? They got there, and that the fire was so intense they had to strap on backpacks and masks. The fire was so intense that they
entered that kitchen door -- the heat was so intense, excuse me, they were forced to leave. I believe it was Mr. Fields who said that even though it was so intense and he couldn't see anything, he went to that back window and broke out that window and crawled in as far as he could to try to find the victim. Well-meaning, professional people. Like all these firemen you see in this photograph put their lives in danger. Because Ronnie Kimble decided that he would burn up the evidence of his crime. That's an aggravating factor.
That aggravating factor by itself is sufficient to call for the death penalty in this case. Because he had no regard for the lives of these people who he knew would come; we all know are going to come. When there's a fire, the fire people will come, the rescue people
will come. And they will put on those backpacks and their equipment, and they'll go into heat that you cannot imagine and put their lives on the line. And that's an aggravating factor that calls for the death penalty in this case.
Find that aggravating factor, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, because it exists.
The second aggravating factor is pecuniary gain. As I told you in jury selection, a murder is committed for pecuniary gain if the defendant when he commits it
has obtained or intends or expects to obtain money or some other thing that can be valued in money either as compensation for committing it or as a result of the victim's death.
Ronnie Kimble decided that he would end this woman's life, not for money but for the promise of money. And I don't care if it was $2, $2,000, $200,000 or 30 pieces of silver, that is an aggravating factor that calls for the imposition of the death penalty in this case.
How can you value a human being's life? What value do you put on your life? Any man who decides that he will end someone's life for filthy money deserves the death penalty. Our law requires it. Each of you in your own mind knows that that circumstance in itself requires that he die.
And this is not a matter of personal preference on your part or my part. The law requires it. When our society comes to the point when someone can put money on our heads and our lives are worth a stack of green bills, we're in trouble. We cannot allow that to happen.
Those are the two aggravating factors, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, borne out by the evidence and I submit you should find. I submit that when you find
them, you must then go on and consider whether there are mitigating factors.
There are two phases to the mitigating factors. First, you must find the mitigating factor exists and then you must weigh it against the aggravating factors and determine whether the mitigating factors outweigh the aggravating factors or if in fact the aggravating factors are sufficient to outweigh the mitigating factors.
You'll be told that the defendant has no prior criminal history, and you must find that because that is conclusively shown. He has no prior criminal history. So there will be at least one mitigating factor that you must find. And that means that you will have to go on to this third step and weigh the aggravating and mitigating factors.
As I said to you before, you must find that statutory mitigating factor that he has no significant history. And then later on you must weigh it.
Ask yourself -- this man went to this woman's house. To Patricia's house. He faked a burglary. He hid in a bathroom. He hid in that bathroom with this deadly weapon. He had to be there for some period of time. He had to be there sitting waiting for Patricia to come home. And when she came home, he focused that
beam on her head. He sent that bullet crashing through her skull. Took her life.
This fifty cent piece of metal killed her instantly. Ask yourself does it matter that he has no criminal history? Is that sufficient to outweigh that aggravating factor that he did this for money? Is that sufficient to outweigh that aggravating factor that he did it placing those firemen's lives in jeopardy committing that arson? And I submit and contend to you when you weigh those factors, you'll find that it is not sufficient. And although you must find that mitigating factor that he has no prior criminal history, that's insufficient to outweigh the aggravating factors.
You must consider the mitigating factor that Ronnie Kimble acted under the domination of his brother Ted.
They are submitting to you that Ronnie Kimble acted under the domination of his brother Ted. Should you find that? I think you should, because that is exactly what happened. We all know that's what happened. Ronnie was the man that was going to get the money. Ronnie is -- excuse me. Ted was the man who was going to get the money. He was convincing Ronnie to do it. But remember, ladies and gentlemen of the jury,
the defendant took that witness stand and for about a day and a half he said I am not close to my brother. When I finally asked him, I said do you believe your brother is responsible for this crime, he said I have my suspicions. And when I tried to pin him down, he said no, my brother is not responsible for this crime. So they want you to find that this is a mitigating factor, but the defendant takes the stand and denies it.
Should you find it, find it. It is consistent with the evidence. But then weigh it. Weigh it against the fact that he sat there in her home in ambush waiting for her to come home. That he cold-bloodedly killed her. And then he doused gasoline on her and her possessions and set them on fire. Weigh it against the fact that this was a plan that existed for probably weeks and months with his brother. Weigh it against the fact that he put those firemen in danger when he committed that arson. And weigh it against the fact that this was done for money. The promise of money. And I submit to you that mitigating factor is insufficient to outweigh those aggravating factors.
Next, they're going to ask you to find that he served his country as a corporal in the Marine Corps and was an excellent marine. And in fact there was testimony by at least one person, I believe two, that
said he was an excellent marine.
But ask yourself, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, have you seen the paperwork? Normally, when a marine comes out of the Marine Corps, he's got separation papers, he's got medals and ribbons and awards, things to say he was an excellent marine. Have you seen that?
You've heard the testimony of Father Soutiere who was obviously his friend, his mentor, and who liked him a lot, who said he was a good marine. And Natalie Kelly who said that I considered -- I was kind of a mother figure to him. And she felt that he was an excellent marine.
If you want to find it, find it. But what does that mean? Do you think it means one bit of difference to Patricia Kimble as that bullet was crashing through-her skull that the man who was firing it was an excellent marine?
Weigh it. Dismiss it. It's not sufficient to meet the test of outweighing the aggravating factors.
Ronnie Kimble -- you'll be told that this is a mitigating factor. Ronnie Kimble taught Sunday school and was a positive influence on younger children in that church.
There's testimony, so probably you should find
it. But have you seen one child that came in here and said Ronnie Kimble helped me in my life? Ronnie Kimble was a good teacher. Ronnie Kimble was a good role model for me. The people that testified to that were his father's friends. And, of course, they have some direct knowledge. And those folks are good folks. Hardworking people. And they earnestly believe in Ronnie. But don't forget, they also earnestly believed in Ted.
Ted and Ronnie fooled those people. Ted and Ronnie were killers, our killers. Just because they could fool those older women at that church doesn't mean it's a mitigating factor that can support life imprisonment without parole.
If you find it necessary to find that mitigating factor, then find it. But in the weighing process, it means nothing.
Ronnie Kimble initiated in his youth -- had shown initiative in his youth by starting his own lawn care business.
Find it. Again, what difference did it make? At some point after he had that lawn care business, he decided to take a woman's life for filthy money. How could that possibly -- how could the fact that he had a lawn care service at one time, how could that outweigh that aggravator? It cannot. It should not. And if you
find it, find that it has no weight.
Ronnie Kimble did a good job in the chaplain's office.
Well, that's the same evidence. If you decide to find it, find it. Give it no weight. Because it means nothing to Patricia. It means nothing to Patricia's family. It means nothing to this crime. It does not outweigh those aggravating factors.
You'll be told to find or determine whether he was responsible for James Dziadszek quitting drinking and becoming a more active member of the church.
Well, if you think that's appropriate, find it.
But what does that have to do with this case? Does that outweigh the aggravating factors you've heard? Because you must find that the mitigating factors outweigh the aggravating factors if you're to impose life imprisonment without parole. And if you find that the mitigating factors are insufficient to outweigh the aggravating factors, then you would go on to this fourth step and consider death.
You'll be told to determine whether or not Ronnie Kimble was deprived of an active and normal father in his early formative years due to his father's alcoholism and absence from school -- from home. Excuse me.
I guess there's evidence to that. But does that justify his conduct? Does that justify what he did? Is that the kind of mitigating factor that outweighs the aggravating factors of the arson and the murder-forhire?
If you have to find it, find it. But it has no weight.
Ronnie Kimble had learning problems.
I don't doubt that. There are thousands of children -- millions of children who have learning problems. Do they commit murders? Do they kill someone for money?
If you think there's evidence to support that factor, find it. But in the weighing process, it means nothing to this case.
Ronnie Kimble's mother was 18 and his father was 20 when he was born and their youth made his upbringing not as effective as it would have been had his parents been older and more mature.
I submit to you there's no such evidence. Yes, they were married in their early age. Yes, they had those children in their early age. But you heard
Mr. Kimble say I brought them up in the church. I sent them to Christian schools. I taught them right from wrong. I certainly taught them they could not murder
I submit that factor is not worth finding. Ronnie Kimble was an active and willing participant in his church.
Well, at some point he was, and if you need to find that, find it. But again in the weighing process, it means nothing when it's compared to the aggravating factors.
Ronnie Kimble was honest in his work dealings with those he worked for.
I agree there's evidence to that. That when he was young doing his lawn care service, doing his yard service, he was honest. But weigh that against the aggravating factors and it means nothing.
Remember, a mitigating circumstance is a fact or group of facts which do not constitute justification or-excuse for a killing or reduce it to a lesser degree of crime than first-degree murder but which may be considered as extenuating or reducing the moral culpability of the killing and making it less deserving of the extreme punishment that other first-degree murderers receive.
For these mitigating factors that they have submitted to you to have any weight at all, you must find that it reduces his moral culpability. That these
mitigating factors somehow say it just isn't as serious a crime because these things existed.
MR. LLOYD: Well, objection, Your Honor. That's not what the instruction says.
THE COURT: Take your own recollection of the instructions, members of the jury, when the Court gives them to you.
MR. PANOSH: Considered as extenuating or reducing the moral culpability of the killing. These mitigating factors, if you find them, do not reduce his moral culpability.
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, as I said to you before, I cannot talk to you about how precious Patricia's life was, because you must base your decision based upon these two aggravating factors. The defense, though, they can come up and say to you that Ronnie Kimble's life is precious. They can ask you to spare his life. And if they do that, if they tell you that life is precious and that Ronnie's life is precious and if they beg you to spare his life, then I want to remember you -- remind you that Patricia's life was precious too. She wanted to live and breathe and be with her family and preach the word. Her life was precious too. And that man sat there in her home waiting for her as the seconds ticked by; as the minutes
ticked by. If life was precious, that was the time for him to remember it. That was the time for him to put that gun away and save her life.
They can argue to you that Ronnie's life is precious. They can argue to you that you should not send him to the death penalty. They can tell you all about how horrible it's going to be when they scrap him to a gurney and put a needle into his arm and inject him. They can tell you all those things to try and convince you not to kill him. But I submit and contend to you he signed his own death warrant when he accepted that money or accepted the promise for that money. He signed his own death warrant when he took this gun, this gun that Ted always carried, and took it to Patricia's house. He signed his own death warrant when he decided to fake that burglary and he lay there waiting for her. - He signed his own death warrant when he put that bullet through her skull and ended her life. He signed his own death warrant when he burned her body in the evidence.
You are here to enforce the law. Ronnie Kimble chose to commit those murders -- commit that murder, commit that arson, and in doing that he forced you to be here and you must now follow the law.
Because when you follow the law, I submit and contend to you, you will, you must find that those two
aggravating factors completely and totally outweigh any mitigating factors. And you must go on to this last phase, and you must find beyond a reasonable doubt that the aggravating circumstances you found are sufficiently substantial to call for the imposition of the death penalty when considered with the mitigating factors found by any one of you. Even if just one of the 12 of you finds one mitigating factor, you must consider that mitigating factor in this final weighing phase, and you must decide that the aggravating factors are sufficiently substantial to call for the imposition of the death penalty.
I speak now for Patricia. Because she cannot speak for herself. I tell you that any living human being who could take this woman and purposely and intentionally for the promise of money turn her into this must die. He must die. Because the aggravating factors say he must die. Because the mitigating factors cannot outweigh what he did.
This is not a matter of personal preference. You must follow the law. You must listen to the evidence. You must find those two aggravating factors. And he must die because we cannot allow people to take any of our lives for money.
THE COURT: At this point, members of the jury,
we'll take about a ten-minute recess to kind of let you refresh yourselves before the final two arguments. Please again remember not to discuss this case among yourselves or allow anyone to talk to you about the case or talk about the case in your presence.
THE COURT: Court will be in recess ten minutes, Sheriff.
Published August 15, 2006. Report broken links or other problems.
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