Judge weighs whether to give death penalty in girl's slaying

AP News
Posted: Jan 24, 2017 11:02 AM

GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi judge has begun examining evidence and hearing testimony into whether a man should receive the death penalty after he admitted to sexually assaulting a 5-year-old girl and hanging her by using her socks.

News outlets report that Harrison County Circuit Court Judge Lisa Dodson reviewed crime scene photos and autopsy photos of the child Monday as she decides whether to sentence Alberto Garcia to death or life without parole for the 2014 killing of Ja'Naya Thompson. Testimony resumes Tuesday.

The 32-year-old Garcia pleaded guilty Jan. 18 to capital murder.

The child's body was found in an abandoned trailer in July 2014.

Garcia had implicated Julian Gray, a neighbor. A grand jury found insufficient evidence to indict Gray.