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Anthony Bernard Juniper - Virginia Death Row
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    Anthony Bernard Juniper - Virginia Death Row




    Summary of Offense:

    Born on November 23, 1971 and sentenced to death in the City of Norfolk on April 1, 2005.

    Anthony B. Juniper was sentenced to death for four capital murders committed on January 16, 2004, in Norfolk: Keshia Stephens; her brother Rueben Harrison III; and two of her daughters, Nykia Stephens, 4; and Shearyia Stephens, 2.

    Juniper and Keshia Stephens had been having a rocky relationship for two years. A witness who drove Juniper to Keshia’s second-floor apartment said she later heard the two arguing, with Keshia saying, “’I told you I’m not seeing anybody but you.’”

    The witness said as she drove from the apartment she heard four booms that she believed were gunshots.

    The first police officers on the scene found the apartment door kicked in. Nykia’s body was lying across her uncle’s on the bed in the master bedroom. Shearyria’s body was lying across Keshia’s body on the floor beside the bed.

    Keshia was stabbed in the abdomen, then shot three times in the torso and grazed by a fourth bullet. Sheryia was shot four times, including once the head, while in her mother’s arms.

    Nykia was shot once behind the left ear and the bullet left her body through her chest. Rueben Harrison was shot three times, including one bullet that hit his pelvis and ricocheted into his abdomen, liver, heart and lung.

    All of the bullets were fired from the same 9mm semi-automatic handgun that was never recovered. A knife blade found at the scene had a thumbprint matching Juniper’s and DNA on the knife and a cigarette butt found at the scene also matched.

    A witness saw Juniper in the apartment with a white substance on his face and holding an automatic pistol. A Hampton Roads Regional Jail inmate testified that Juniper said he committed the murders and that he killed the children so there would be no witnesses.

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    Lawyer for suspect in 4 slayings asks to disqualify prosecutor

    BY MICHELLE WASHINGTON
    THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT

    NORFOLK — An attorney for a man accused of capital murder in the deaths of four people has asked that the city Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office be disqualified from trying the case.

    A hearing has been set for Thursday for arguments on B. Thomas Reed’s motion to disqualify Commonwealth’s Attorney John R. Doyle III and his office in the case of Anthony B. Juniper.

    If a judge agrees with Reed, another prosecutor’s office would be appointed to try the case.

    Juniper, 32, is accused of killing his ex-girlfriend, 27-year-old Keshia Stephens; her daughters, Nykia, 4, and Shearyia, 2; and Stephens’ brother, Ruben E. Harrison III, 19.

    They died Jan. 16 in Keshia Stephens’ apartment on Kingston Avenue.

    In Reed’s motion, filed in Circuit Court on Monday, he said Doyle represented Juniper on the appeal of a conviction for escape without force.

    That conviction could be used as evidence of “future dangerousness” in prosecutors’ arguments for the death penalty if a jury should convict Juniper of the capital murder charges, Reed argued.

    Doyle said he had no recollection of Juniper’s earlier case and it had not affected his decisions in prosecuting the case.

    Doyle said court documents showed Juniper was convicted of the escape charge and given a 30-day suspended sentence.

    Doyle said he would research case law and seek an informal opinion from the Attorney General’s Office about whether he should proceed with the prosecution.

    He also said that he told Reed and Juniper’s other attorney, Cynthia Garris, that he would not introduce the escapew it hout-force conviction as evidence because of his past representation of Juniper.

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    Judge rejects request to take prosecutor off murder case

    A judge Thursday denied a defense lawyer’s request to disqualify the city commonwealth’s attorney from prosecuting the case of a man charged with four deaths.

    Anthony B. Juniper, 32, is accused of killing his ex-girlfriend, 27-year-old Keshia Stephens; her daughters , Nykia, 4, and Shearyia, 2; and Stephens’ brother, Ruben E. Harrison III, 19. They died Jan. 16.

    B. Thomas Reed, one of Juniper’s lawyers, sought to disqualify Commonwealth’s Attorney John R. Doyle III because he represented Juniper about 10 years ago, defending him when he appealed his conviction on a charge of escape without force. Juniper pleaded guilty to the charge.

    After reviewing his file and old notes, Doyle said, he knew of no confidences that Juniper shared with him that would change the current case.

    Doyle also said he would not use the misdemeanor conviction as evidence during the sentencing phase of the trial, should Juniper be found guilty of capital murder.

    Circuit Judge Everett A. Martin Jr. ruled that Doyle and his office could continue to prosecute the case, which is set for trial in January.

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    January 5, 2005

    Opening statements due today in quadruple slaying

    Lawyers will give opening statements and begin presenting evidence today in the capital murder trial of Anthony B. Juniper, who is accused of killing four people.

    Juniper faces the death penalty if convicted. It is the first time Commonwealth’s Attorney John R. Doyle III has sought the death penalty since he took office in 2000. Only one person tried and sentenced in Norfolk has been executed since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976.

    Juniper, 33, is accused of killing his sometime girlfriend, Keshia Stephens, 27; her brother, Ruben E. Harrison III, 19; and her daughters Nykia, 4, and Shearyia, 2. All four were found dead the afternoon of Jan. 16 in Stephens’ apartment on Kingston Avenue.

    Keshia Stephens had been shot three times in the stomach, and stabbed there as well. Harrison had been shot three times in the legs and buttocks. An autopsy report said one of the bullets ricocheted off his pelvis and tore through his liver, a lung and his heart.

    Both girls had been shot in the head. Their bodies were found on top of Stephens and Harrison.

    Jury selection in the case lasted until nearly 7 p.m. Tuesday. Lawyers selected three alternates as well as 12 regular jurors, because the trial is expected to last more than three weeks.

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    January 6, 2005

    A mother’s “last touch,” and then 4 slayings

    Jan. 16, 2004 was a nightmare in broad daylight at a Kingston Avenue apartment, prosecutor Karen Burrell told jurors Wednesday.

    Inside, four people lay dead – Keshia Stephens, 27; her brother, Ruben Harrison III, 19; and her daughters, Nykia, 4, and Shearyia, 2.

    They had been executed, Burrell said, by Anthony Bernard Juniper.

    Juniper, 33, could face the death penalty if convicted of capital murder. He has pleaded not guilty.

    During her opening statement, Burrell said Juniper and Stephens had had a stormy relationship for about a year.

    “He was jealous, controlling, he constantly accused Keshia of cheating on him,” Burrell said.

    In January they were no longer together, Burrell said, and Stephens had moved into the apartment with four of her six children. She sent the two older girls to school with a friend that morning, hugging them before sending them down the stairs.

    “That was the last touch they ever felt from their mother,” Burrell said.

    Juniper got a ride to the apartment to collect some of his belongings, Burrell said. He found Stephens at home with Nykia and Shearyia, who were naked because they were about to get in the bath. Nykia had written on her little sister with a marker. Harrison slept on the couch.

    Juniper and Stephens began to argue, Burrell said. Juniper refused to leave with the woman who had driven him to the apartment. As the woman left, she heard gunshots.

    Later that afternoon, police responding to a call of a burglary in progress found the door broken in and the television blaring. Inside, officers found the bodies of Stephens, her daughters and Harrison in a bedroom. The children lay on top of the adults.

    Stephens had been shot three times and stabbed with such force that a knife blade sank nearly 5 inches into her stomach. Harrison had been shot three times from behind.

    “Nykia, 4, had her brains blown out,” Burrell said. “Shearyia was shot four times. One was a shot to the head.”

    Juniper left behind evidence including a fingerprint on a knife blade found next to Stephens’ body, DNA on a knife handle found in the same place and DNA on a cigarette butt found on the broken pieces of the door, Burrell said.

    One of Juniper’s attorneys, B. Thomas Reed, said Juniper had been to Stephens’ house many times and could have left a fingerprint or DNA behind on another visit.

    Juniper loved Stephens’ children, Reed said. He cooked and cleaned for them, bought them toys and registered the older girls for school using his mother’s address.

    “The evidence will prove Anthony Juniper is the last person you would expect to harm these children,” Reed said.

    Lawyers began calling witnesses Wednesday, including the police officers who found the bodies and the paramedic who pronounced them dead.

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    January 8, 2005

    Dramatic testimony given in Norfolk shooting case

    Tyrone Mings walked down the block to his neighbor Keshia Stephens’ apartment. A friend had called and said there was a commotion there. Gunshots.

    Mings saw the door kicked in as he walked up the stairs. He stepped over pieces of the door and saw Anthony Juniper standing inside, cocaine on his face, a gun in his hand.

    "Where’s Keshia?" Mings asked.

    "In the room", Juniper replied.

    Mings walked to the bedroom at the rear of the apartment. He saw a man and a baby on the bed. They didn’t reply to his calls.

    Mings returned to the living room. "I didn’t see Keshia", he said.

    "She’s between the bed and the dresser", Juniper replied. He paced, kept walking to the window.

    Mings returned to the bedroom and called to Keshia.

    No answer.

    Then he left the apartment, went home and called the police.

    Mings testified this at the end of a day filled with dramatic testimony in Circuit Court during the capital-murder trial of Anthony Bernard Juniper. Juniper, 33, is accused of killing his ex-girlfriend, 27-year-old Keshia Stephens; her brother, Ruben Harrison III, 19; and her two daughters, Nykia, 4, and Shearyia, 2. The crimes happened Jan. 16, 2004, in Stephens’ apartment on Kingston Avenue.

    Juniper, who has pleaded not guilty, faces the death penalty if convicted.

    Mings told jurors that he watched outside his apartment until police came. The officers stayed a few minutes, looked around and left.

    Officers who testified earlier this week said when they arrived, they could not find the person who made the call, nor Stephens’ apartment, which was up a stairway at the back of the building.

    When Mings saw the first couple of officers leave, his girlfriend called police again. This time he met the officers on the street. He told them about the victims inside but not about Juniper. Mings had seen Juniper and others pull away in a car driven by a woman.

    “I feared for my safety,” Mings said when asked why he didn’t tell police about Juniper.

    Prosecutors called Renee Rashid, who testified that she drove Juniper to Stephens’ apartment that morning and later drove him away.

    Rashid said Juniper asked for a ride to Stephens’ apartment to get some of his things. Rashid went inside while Juniper unhooked a DVD player from a television, she said.

    Then she went to talk to Stephens’ daughters, who were waiting for their mother in the bathtub. The older girl had written on her sister with a marker.

    Rashid said she could hear Stephens and Juniper talking in the bedroom. It sounded as if Stephens was trying to reassure Juniper, she said, but then the other woman’s voice started to rise.

    “There’s nobody but you. I’m not seeing anybody but you,” Stephens said.

    Rashid interrupted, speaking to Juniper.

    “Ant, let’s go. I told you I had things to do.”

    Rashid said she headed for the front door. Juniper was behind her. She heard the door shut and thought that Juniper had followed her down the stairs. Her back was turned when she heard a boom, as if the door had been kicked in. She ran down the stairs to her car.

    “Did you look back to see what Anthony was doing?” Commonwealth’s Attorney John R. Doyle III asked her.

    Her voice broke as she answered.

    “No, sir, I didn’t.”

    She rolled down the window once inside her car.

    She heard Stephens crying, repeating her reassurances to Juniper. Rashid honked the horn. Juniper hollered back to her.

    “Go ahead,” he said.

    As Rashid pulled away from the curb, she heard a quick succession of booms.

    “It sounded like gunshots,” she said.

    She drove to Juniper’s mother’s house, where he was living. His friend, Keon Murray, was there. They asked her to drive back to Stephens’ apartment, where they picked up Juniper and drove away.

    Prosecutors called Murray to testify.

    He took the stand reluctantly and then tried to invoke the Fifth Amendment, which protects a person from giving testimony that could incriminate himself.

    “I can’t do this,” Murray told the judge, swearing.

    When jurors had left the room, Doyle assured Murray that he would not be charged with any crime based on his testimony.

    Murray testified, mumbling sometimes, when jurors returned. The impact of his words hushed the courtroom. Juniper had called him from Stephens’ apartment.

    “He was saying, ‘They gone,’ ” Murray said. “He killed them.”

    B. Thomas Reed, one of Juniper’s attorneys, tried to tear apart testimony from the three witnesses. None came forward to police immediately with the full truth of what they knew. Rashid did not tell police about her part until more than a week after the killings, after she had contacted a lawyer and after she had been told that if she cooperated she would not face a misdemeanor charge of being an accessory after the fact to murder.

    Reed objected to Murray’s testimony on the grounds that the witness had no lawyer to advise him of his rights. Murray told a court-appointed investigator working for Reed that he never heard from Juniper that day and knew nothing about the crimes.

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    Inmate testifies that defendant confessed to Norfolk killings

    Over a game of chess in a jail medical ward, Anthony Juniper confessed to another inmate that he had killed Keshia Stephens , according to testimony on Monday.

    Juniper, 33, is standing trial for murder in the deaths of Stephens, his 27-year-old exgirlfriend; her brother, Ruben E. Harrison III, 19; and her daughters, Nykia, 4, and Shearyia, 2. The four were found dead last January in Stephens’ apartment on Kingston Avenue. If convicted, Juniper faces the death penalty.

    Juniper’s chess partner, Ernest Smith, testified while wearing the black-and-white stripes of the Norfolk City Jail. He said he met Juniper in the Hampton Roads Regional Jail, where they were both being held in October.

    As they played chess, Smith testified, he asked Juniper if he had killed Stephens.

    “He said he killed Keshia and killed the kids because he didn’t want to leave witnesses,” Smith testified. “He said he couldn’t sleep at night because he was seeing Keshia in his dreams.”

    B. Thomas Reed, one of Juniper’s defense attorneys, tried to show that Smith told police about the conversation simply to get time deducted from his sentence for two robbery convictions. Smith disagreed.

    “It didn’t even matter to me,” Smith said. “As long as this man go down, I don’t even want reconsideration” of the sentence.

    Jurors also heard from the medical examiners who performed the autopsies on the four victims. Shearyia’s body was found on top of her mother’s. Wounds on her legs seemed to line up with wounds on Keshia’s stomach, suggesting that the woman had been shot while the child was on top of her, the medical examiners testified.

    Prosecutors also used foam mannequins pierced with knitting needles to demonstrate the bullets’ trajectories through the victims.

    Shortly after noon, they rested their case.

    After a recess for lunch, Reed asked Circuit Judge Everett A. Martin Jr. to strike the evidence. Several of the prosecution’s witnesses had discrepancies in their testimony, Reed said, and could not be believed.

    Martin refused to strike the evidence. Reed then said he and his co-counsel, Cynthia Garris, would not present evidence for the defense. Juniper will not testify. He rose to confirm that decision to Martin.

    After that, Martin excused jurors while lawyers prepared jury instructions. Closing arguments will begin today.

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    January 12, 2005

    Man guilty in murder of 4

    Jurors found Anthony B. Juniper guilty of killing four people, including two young children, in a Kingston Avenue apartment last year.

    Now jurors must decide Juniper’s sentence: life in prison without parole or death.

    Jurors deliberated about 2 hours Tuesday before returning guilty verdicts on all charges: four counts of capital murder, four weapons charges and a count of armed burglary.

    Juniper’s ex-girlfriend, 27-year-old Keshia Stephens, was one of the dead. She had been shot three times and stabbed in the stomach. Her youngest daughter, 2-year-old Shearyia, was found on top of her, her mother’s hair in her hands. Shearyia had been shot in the head. Bullet wounds on the girl’s legs showed the bullets that killed her mother hit the child first, according to testimony.

    Stephens’ brother, Ruben E. Harrison III, 19, had been shot three times from behind. Police found the body of another of Stephens’ daughters, 4-yearold Nykia, draped over Harrison’s body. Nykia, too, had been shot in the head.

    The shootings happened Jan. 16, 2004, in Stephens’ apartment on the 1400 block of Kingston Ave.

    On Tuesday, prosecutor Philip G. Evans II reviewed his case for the jury: DNA, fingerprints and eyewitness testimony linked Juniper to the crime scene.

    One witness said he saw Juniper inside the apartment that day with a gun in his hand, cocaine on his face and the bodies of the four victims in Stephens’ bedroom.

    Another witness said Juniper had confessed his crimes on the telephone shortly after the killings. A fellow jail inmate said Juniper confessed to him during a game of chess.

    “All of that is an arrogance to say, ‘I’m not going to be held responsible,’” Evans told jurors. “Hold Anthony Juniper responsible for the truth of what he did.

    He did take the life of Shearyia Stephens while she clung to her mother. He did take the life of Nykia Stephens. Return a verdict of guilty of all charges, because that is the truth of what happened.”

    One of Juniper’s defense attorneys, B. Thomas Reed, tried to pick apart the testimony during his closing. None of the witnesses who placed Juniper at the scene or who heard his confessions came forward immediately, he said.

    Some of them were in jail and may have had something to gain, such as a reduction in sentence, from testifying against Juniper. Forensic analysts could not show when Juniper left the DNA and fingerprint in the apartment, Reed said; it could have been from any of Juniper’s numerous visits there.

    “There is no question the evidence rises to the level of suspicion of guilt. There may be no question that it rises to the probability of guilt,” Reed said. “But has the commonwealth gone beyond a reasonable doubt?”

    Juniper showed no emotion throughout much of the trial.

    Ruben Harrison Jr., the father of Stephens and Harrison, spoke in the hallway outside the courtroom after the verdict.

    He has been caring for his daughter’s four surviving children since her death.

    “It’s upsetting, knowing somebody that took half my family from me, basically destroyed the rest of the people who are still here,” he said. He worries about what he will tell the children as they get older.

    As a Christian, he said he cannot hope that jurors impose the death penalty.

    “Even something as tragic as this, the way I live is God having the final say-so,” he said. “My belief and my faith is that whatever decision is made, I’ll accept.”

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    April 2, 2005

    Judge hands down death sentence

    Anthony B. Juniper was formally sentenced to death on Friday.

    Juniper, 33, was convicted in January of killing his exgirlfriend, 27-year-old Keshia Stephens; her brother, Ruben E. Harrison III, 19; and her daughters, Nykia, 4, and Shearyia, 2. The four were found dead in January 2004 in Stephens’ apartment on Kingston Avenue. The jury recommended Jan. 18 that Juniper be put to death for the murders.

    Juniper seemed to want the hearing to be over as quickly as possible. For most of it, he slumped in his chair, handcuffed and shackled. Three deputies lined up behind him, another sat to Juniper’s left.

    Commonwealth’s Attorney John R. Doyle III called no witnesses, nor did Juniper’s lawyers, Cynthia Garris and B. Thomas Reed.

    Reed asked Judge Everett A. Martin Jr. to set aside the death sentence, saying life in prison would be the more severe punishment.

    “Mr. Juniper made a jailhouse confession, and he said he’s having nightmares ” about the killings, Reed said. “If the goal is to impose the ultimate penalty, define that as the penalty that hurts the most. He would be required to sit in that little room and contemplate what has happened, complete that series of nightmares.”

    Juniper’s case was the first in Doyle’s tenure as Norfolk’s chief prosecutor in which he sought the death penalty. He said jurors made the right decision.

    “The death penalty is not lightly to be sought, not lightly to be imposed,” he said. “The ultimate penalty, the maximum penalty, is the appropriate penalty.”

    Ruben Harrison Jr., the father of Stephens and Harrison, watched the proceedings. He declined to comment after the hearing.

    When Martin asked Juniper if he wished to make a statement, Juniper spoke briefly.

    “Handle your business,” he told the judge.

    The hearing took about 15 minutes. Martin appointed Andrew Protogyrou to review Juniper’s case for appeal to the state Supreme Court.

    Martin set an execution date of Jan. 16, but that is probably a formality as the appeals process goes forward.

    “May God have mercy on your soul,” Martin said.

    Deputies immediately surrounded Juniper, who swore softly on his way out of the courtroom.

    Juniper maintains his innocence, Reed said, but his client had been resigned to the death sentence from the beginning of the case.

    Reed and Garris had each worked on more than a dozen capital murder cases. Juniper’s was the first in which their client received the death penalty.

    “I wish he had done more to help us in his defense,” Reed said.

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    June 1, 2005

    Death penalty in quadruple killing a first for both sides

    A year of work culminated in one moment for the lawyers who tried Anthony B. Juniper – the moment when jurors recommended that Juniper be put to death for the murders of four people.

    The jury’s decision marked two firsts.

    It was the first time Commonwealth’s Attorney John R. Doyle III had sought the death penalty since taking office.

    And it was the first time defense lawyers B. Thomas Reed and Cynthia Garris, who each had defended more than a dozen men against the death penalty, saw a client sentenced to the ultimate punishment.

    Now that Juniper has been sentenced, all the lawyers involved can talk about his case outside the courtroom.

    For the prosecutors, the year of preparation reinforced their belief that seeking the death penalty against Juniper was just. For the defense lawyers, the months leading up to the trial, and the trial itself, led to frustration with a client who would not help them, even to help himself.

    Juniper, 33, was convicted in January of four counts of capital murder for killing his ex-girlfriend, Keshia Stephens; her brother, Ruben E. Harrison III; and her two small children, Nykia, 4, and Shearyia, 2. The crime happened in Stephens’ apartment on Kingston Avenue in January 2004.

    Three Norfolk prosecutors tackled the case – Karen Burrell, Philip G. Evans II, and Doyle. Their work began almost the same day as the crime.

    “Right away you know it’s a capital offense, killing a child, killing another person,” Doyle said. “You have four counts of capital murder.”

    Capital murder charges do not always mean that prosecutors will seek the death penalty. In a 2003 case, Doyle opted to accept the defendant’s guilty plea. Adrian O. Robinson abducted two nuns from Georgia, brought them here, and killed and decapitated one of the women. He was sentenced to life in prison plus 20 years and six months, with no possibility of parole. The plea meant he would not face trial or the death penalty.

    In Juniper’s case, Doyle said, seeking the death penalty was warranted.

    “You have to be confident and comfortable with the decision that you’re doing the right thing,” Doyle said. “If you’re unsure, you better re-examine.”

    As the months passed, prosecutors’ confidence in their decision grew. Juniper’s violent history with Stephens and her children emerged during interviews with witnesses. During the trial, prosecutors called witnesses who testified that Juniper hit Stephens. She had once called police to her home because Juniper used duct tape to bind and gag her.

    “The revelation continued to grow as to how much of a horror the victims had lived in before their lives were taken,” Evans said.

    In some ways, the prosecutors became counselors.

    Burrell dealt most closely with Stephens’ family, although some could not talk to her because they were still too angry about the killings. Some could not bear sitting through the trial, listening to the details. Ruben Harrison Jr., father of the adult victims, came every day.

    “He was clear on wanting the system to work,” Burrell said.

    Doyle handled the questioning of Renee Rashid, who testified that she drove Juniper to Stephens’ house that morning. She played with Stephens’ daughters briefly, then left. She heard shots as she pulled away.

    “She knew she was the last person to be with the little girls, to make them laugh,” Doyle said. “She was haunted.”

    She was also scared. She had to testify in front of Juniper, and had to sit through a tough cross-examination.

    “Nothing like this has ever happened to her before,” Doyle said. “She had a lot of courage.”

    The trial itself lasted more than two weeks, each day a grueling succession of witnesses. Burrell’s work with the family made her feel more strongly about the picture she wanted to paint with her opening statement. Evans handled a day and a half of forensic evidence, and guided weapons experts, DNA analysts, and medical examiners through dense, wordy reports. Doyle questioned Rashid and gave the closing argument.

    After the jury found Juniper guilty, all three waited tensely for the sentence.

    “I was feeling kind of …” He paused. “I’m not sure how to describe it. A moment of reckoning.”

    For Doyle, he knew he would respect whatever decision the jury made.

    “At the end of the day, what the jury decides I can accept,” he said. “That’s the system.”

    Reed and Garris knew almost immediately that Juniper’s case would be hard to defend.

    “I was thinking, ‘This is going to be a bad one,’” Garris said.

    They had that mountain of evidence to contend with, along with Juniper’s attitude.

    “He’s probably the most difficult client I’ve ever had to deal with,” Garris said. “He did very little to help himself.”

    He often complained about the conditions of his incarceration, rather than discussing his case, Reed said. “He felt he was singled out” inside the jail, Reed said, “almost like an animal in a zoo.”

    Both Reed and Garris said Juniper hesitated to provide details that could have helped in his defense. “I couldn’t help him if he wouldn’t talk to me, trust me,” Reed said. “From his perspective I’m just another stranger in the room with a profound impact on his life.”

    Reed and Garris had worked together on capital murder cases before, and knew they could rely on each other. Dozens of motions needed to be filed with the court. They hired an investigator to help provide the answers Juniper could not or would not.

    Their past work served them well. Garris had defended John R. Hefelfinger on a capital murder charge when he was accused of dismembering and decapitating a 12-year-old girl in 1999. When she first looked at the crime scene photos, she said, her eye would twitch.

    “I looked at the pictures two to three times a day until I stopped doing it,” she said. “I knew if I did it, it would bother a jury.”

    Reed knew that prosecutors would consider making a “worst of the worst” argument to jurors.

    “They would make the argument that we need not have the death penalty if we don’t apply it in this case,” Reed said. “I’d think every day ‘How do I stop Jack Doyle from making that argument?’”

    Finally, they had to decide on strategy. Juniper insisted on a vigorous defense, Reed said. It made Reed’s job more difficult. “If you have a client that the commonwealth has serious, overwhelming evidence against, it would be easier to defend him if the client accepts responsibility and shows remorse,” Reed said. “In the absence of an expression of remorse you don’t give a judge or the jury any reason to impose a life sentence.”

    After Reed and Garris attended a seminar on death penalty cases, they decided to concentrate their efforts on the second phase of the trial, in which the jury determines what sentence to impose.

    “That’s a hard sell,” Reed said. “It could be interpreted as we think he’s going to be convicted, or we think he’s guilty.”

    Reed agreed to do the majority of cross-examination during the trial, so that if jurors found Juniper guilty, Garris could ask them to spare his life.

    As the trial drew closer they both found themselves mentally running through the case.

    “All I did was think about Anthony Juniper,” Garris said. “In the middle of the night, you just end up obsessing, going over checklists.”

    They also had to work to protect themselves. One appeal tactic for people sentenced to death is to attack the effectiveness of their lawyers.

    During the trial, Garris and Reed continued to contend with Juniper’s attitude. He frequently seemed sullen, almost angry. He slumped in his seat, sometimes moving to address Garris.

    His lawyers said Juniper went into the trial resigned to its outcome. “I yelled at him to stop it,” Garris said, “that it wasn’t a done deal, that the jury hasn’t decided.”

    Jurors took about two hours to make the decision.

    “By the time the jury came back I had prepared myself for it,” Garris said. “Maybe because I had obsessed so long.

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