Brazos County jury finds William Hudson guilty in less than 30 minutes

By  | 

BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - A Brazos County jury took about 15 minutes to find William Hudson guilty of capital murder.

The jury started deliberating just after 10:00 a.m. Tuesday. The defense made no opening statements. Closing statements took about an hour.

The punishment phase of the trial started around 11:00 a.m.

Clay Falls has been inside the courtroom and live blogging.Click here to follow along and catch up on today's happenings.

The victims ranged in age from six to nearly 77-years-old. And it was all because of a dispute over 15 acres of land.

"Is is true that you have reached a unanimous verdict,?" asked Judge Mark Calhoon.

The defense rested their case when the trial resumed Tuesday morning not calling any witnesses. After the jury reached a verdict the punishment phase started. After seeing significant evidence including DNA and surveillance video tying William Hudson to the murder of Hannah and Carl Johnson a Brazos County Jury came back after a short deliberation.

"We the jury find the defendant William Mitchell Hudson guilty of the offense of capital murder," read the judge. Carl Johnson, and his daughter Hannah died of blunt force trauma in Carl's Airstream Trailer. Carl had also been shot.

Hudson is accused of killing six people who'd gone camping in Anderson County on some new land a victim, Thomas Kamp had purchased.

The defense rested Tuesday morning and then the punishment phase started. The jury heard recorded jail phone calls from the defendant continuing to say it wasn't his fault. Witnesses testified Hudson was obsessed with land his family had taken care of and it had been recently sold.

Prosecutors say he attacked the six after going out to see them at their property near his home. Cindy Johnson, Carl's wife was the only survivor. She testified Hudson was responsible for the murders.

Family members of the victims were relieved by the verdict. Right now there is a gag order on the case so we weren't allowed to interview them.

We also heard from the mother of two of the victims. During the punishment phase Carina Lujambio lost her sons Austin and Nathan Kamp. She talked about an exchange she had with Hudson during a pre-trial hearing. Then we heard a jail phone recording of Hudson talking about that incident.

Next prosecutors will make their case why Hudson is an ongoing danger and deserves the death penalty. The defense will argue why life in prison is a better choice.

The punishment phase will continue at 9 Wednesday morning.