SMITHFIELD—The death penalty or life in prison without parole, a jury will now have to make that decision for Jonathan Richardson.
On Tuesday, that same jury found him guilty of first-degree murder, sexual offense with a child, felony child abuse, and kidnapping for torturing and beating to death 4-year-old Teghan Skiba in July 2010.
It only took jurors one hour to convict Richardson on all four counts.
Overnight, Skiba supporters put up purple ribbons all around the courthouse in her memory.
Both sides will put on additional evidence and call more witnesses. The state planned to present an expert forensic pediatrician specializing in child torture.
The defense objected.
Wednesday morning, she testified for the judge without the jury in the courtroom, saying she believed Skiba was likely abused every day during the 10 days she was in Richardson's sole custody.
The sentencing phase will last through at least Monday as both sides present their case.
Then, it'll be up to the jury to decide if he'll get the death penalty.
If they don't come to a unanimous decision, he will automatically get life in prison without the possibility of parole.