Jury recommends death in Mentor-on-the-Lake murder

10:57 PM, Oct 4, 2012   |    comments
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PAINESVILLE -- Convicted murderer Joe Thomas swiveled from side to side in his chair as a jury recommended he be put to death for his crimes. 

The jury spent six hours deliberating a proper punishment for Thomas. Back in November of 2010, Thomas attacked Mentor-on-the-Lake bartender Annie McSween. 

McSween was brutally raped, beaten and then stabbed to death in the parking lot at Mario's Lakeway Lounge. McSween was just getting off of work.

Her family was in the courtroom Thursday as well. 

One of those family members said they are satisfied with the verdict. 

Thomas appeared before the court earlier Thursday. Instead of asking for mercy, he advised the jury to do what they had to do. 

Each of the 12 jurors agreed Thomas should be put to death. Lake County Prosecuting Attorney Charles Cichocki explained, "justice was done today, for Joe Thomas and, hopefully, for the family. We offer our sincerest apologies."

The ruling the jury made Thursday was only a recommendation.  The judge can either uphold the death penalty or remove the death penatly at sentencing. 

A final decision will be made by Judge Richard Collins Jr. on Oct. 15.


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