TRUMBULL COUNTY Killer of two awaits sentencing
Jurors are to return to court Tuesday to begin hearing testimony in the sentencing phase of the murder trial.
By PEGGY SINKOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- A Champion man convicted of killing a mother and her 12-year-old daughter will soon learn if he'll face the death penalty.
The same jurors who on Wednesday found Stanley Adams guilty of the Oct. 11, 1999, killing of Esther Cook, 43, and her daughter Ashley will now be asked to decide if Adams should face the death penalty, life in prison without parole, or life in prison with parole eligibility after 20 or 30 years.
Judge Peter Kontos of Trumbull County Common Pleas Court said the jurors are to return to his courtroom Tuesday to begin hearing testimony in the sentencing phase of Adams' trial.
During this phase, defense attorneys Ted Macejko Jr. and Mark Lavelle will tell jurors about Adams' background and ask that he not be sentenced to death.
Guilty: The jurors found Adams guilty of two counts of aggravated murder and specifications that the murders took place when Adams was committing other crimes: kidnapping, rape and aggravated burglary.
Adams was also convicted of two counts of rape and one count each of kidnapping and aggravated burglary.
Prosecutors said Adams raped the girl and then killed her and her mother.
Macejko said he was disappointed with the jurors' verdicts.
County Prosecutor Dennis Watkins and assistant prosecutors Sarah Kovoor and Diane Barber said they were "very satisfied" with the verdicts.
"We can't comment on the evidence or anything else at this time because the trial is not over," Watkins said.
Kim and Kelly Cook, Esther's daughters, sobbed and hugged each other as the verdicts were read. Both declined to comment.
Previous conviction: Adams was previously convicted in the Aug. 6, 1999, murder and rape of Roslyn Taylor, 40, of Poland Township. He was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. Officials don't know if Taylor knew Esther or Ashley Cook.
Authorities have described Adams as a self-employed auto mechanic who lived with the Cooks for a short time.
Adams has maintained his innocence in all three slayings.