Olsen Found Guilty of Capital Murder

Christian Olsen has been found guilty of capital murder.

Jurors -- eight women and four men -- deliberated for less than an hour before reaching their verdict Wednesday afternoon.

The decision came after a short list of defense witnesses was called in about two hours time in the morning, followed in the afternoon by closing arguments.

Thursday, the punishment phase of the trial will begin. The state is seeking the death penalty.

In its statements to the jury, the defense did not deny the evidence that Olsen killed 68-year-old Etta Jean Westbrook in June 2007. Lawyers did, however, say the only thing jurors would need to consider was whether there was intent to kill. If so, the defense said what Olsen did was not capital murder.

For much more on the day's proceedings, click over to the Live Blog section for Steve Fullhart's up to the second coverage.

In its closing, the state claimed intent was clear, that Olsen borrowed a baking pan from Westbrook the day before, that he returned the pan the next day, and that he brutally attacked Westbrook in her home, striking her 25 times in the head with a metal spike and strangling her for about two minutes.

Olsen then took Westbrook's credit card and spent $1,400 around town, as shown in surveillance videos earlier in the trial.

After a flurry of mostly recalled witnesses testifying to everything from the crime scene to the interview where the defendant confessed to murder, the defense rested its quick case after starting it around 9 a.m.

By just after 10:30 a.m., the jury was instructed to return to the 361st District Court at 1 p.m. for their instructions and the closing arguments.

Olsen is also accused of killing one of the women he was living with on the same street as Westbrook. Geraldine Lloyd's body was found buried in the backyard just a couple of weeks after Westbrook's murder. However, authorities believe she had been killed in January 2007, half a year prior to Westbrook.

The state has said during this punishment phase, they will present details from the Lloyd allegations to the jury, though the cases are separate, all in an effort to convince jurors Olsen should be put to death.

Lloyd's daughter, Kelly Sifuentez, is also accused of murdering Lloyd. Sifuentez, 42, and Olsen were dating.


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