Jurors began deliberations Wednesday on whether to recommend a death sentence for Damon Lundgren, son of cult leader Jeffrey Don Lundgren, who was sentenced to death last Friday.
The seven-man, five-woman jury began deliberations shortly after prosecutors and defense lawyers delivered brief closing arguments.The jury has the option of recommending death in the electric chair, life with no parole for at least 30 years or life with no parole for at least 20 years. Common Pleas Judge Paul Mitrovich will then rule on the jury's recommendation.
Lundgren, 19, was convicted of aggravated murder and kidnapping for helping his father kill a family belonging to the cult in April 1989 at the cult's farm in Kirtland.
Unlike his father, who delivered a five-hour defense of his actions at his sentencing hearing last week, Damon Lundgren Tuesday pleaded for his life.
"I don't want to die," he said. "I would like to continue to live. I would like a chance to make up, if I can, for some of the things my father has done."
Assistant County Prosecutor Joseph Gurley said in his closing argument Wednesday there was no question the aggravating circumstances outweigh the mitigating factors, a question the jury was deciding.
"He said he doesn't want to die; he wants to live his life," Gurley said. "Certainly, that statement could be applied to every one of the Averys."
In his closing argument, defense lawyer Charles Cichocki repeated defense contentions that Damon was under his father's influence.
"Now, whatever role you found Damon had (in the slayings), you know who was the principal offender," he said. "That was Jeffrey Lundgren."
Noting Damon had been beaten by his father since he was 3 years old, he said the younger Lundgren would not have had anything to do with the killings if he were not being dominated by his father.