State Begins Their Argument For The Death Penalty In Case Against Derrick Laday

Monday, April 5th 2021, 5:22 pm
By: Erica Rankin


The state is seeking the death penalty in the final phase of sentencing for a man convicted of killing a man in 2015.

Derrick Laday was found guilty last week on four charges, including first-degree murder, for the death of Dennis Johnson Jr. in 2015.

Laday was visibly upset walking out of the courtroom after the jury found him guilty on all four counts. He was sentences to three life sentences for three convictions. Now, the jury must decide if the first-degree murder conviction will be a death penalty sentence.

Laday had a different demeanor on Monday in court. After representing himself for most of the trial, Laday handed over the reigns to his standby attorney to defend him.

During this final phase, the state brought forth witnesses from previous crimes Laday committed between 2007, when Laday was 15 years old, to 2015. 

Prosecutors argued the jury only needs to find one of three bill of particulars filed by the state to be true without a reasonable doubt. 

One of them being the 2015 murder of Johnson was heinous and cruel.

The victim's brother found relief in the guilty verdict handed down by the jury last week. 

The state and defense will have more witnesses on Tuesday. 

After both sides finish bringing forth their witnesses and give closing arguments, it will be up to the jury.

In order for them to hand down the sentence of death, they all must unanimously agree or the death penalty can not be an option.