Moments after being sentenced to death last night for the murder of Charlotte Murray Pace, Derrick Todd Lee left a Louisiana courtroom shouting about God and the DNA that he said law enforcement didn’t find, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports. He flashed a “V” sign with his hand as a dozen deputies closed around him. With a 12-0 verdict, jurors dismissed Lee’s claim that he suffered from mild mental retardation. “This is everybody’s night,” said Ann Pace, Murray Pace’s mother, surrounded by the loved ones of murder victims Gina Green, Pam Kinamore, Trineisha Dene Colomb, and Carrie Yoder. “It’s not just our night. We’ve all been waiting for years, waiting to get to here.”
In the end, the evidence in the case was “overwhelming,” said jury foreman Ronnie Venable. He said jurors were shocked that Lee’s attorneys didn’t call any witnesses in his defense. “Nobody ever wavered” about Lee’s guilt when they voted 12-0 to convict him on Tuesday, Venable said. “You could put it together,” he said, “like a puzzle. No doubt. No doubt whatsoever.” One juror last night wanted to review the evidence on mental retardation. Ten minutes later she voted with the group that Lee was not mentally retarded and a short time after that they voted to sentence Lee to death — unanimously, Venable said, on the first try.