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  1. #1
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    Jesse Dean Driskill - Missouri Death Row


    Johnnie and Coleen Wilson





    A jury from Franklin County will decide the fate of a man accused of murdering an elderly couple in Laclede County two years ago.

    Jury selection began Wednesday in Franklin County Circuit Court and the panel was expected to be picked by Friday afternoon.

    A total of 150 county residents were called up for the jury selection process, according to Circuit Clerk Bill D. Miller.

    Jurors who are selected will be taken to Lebanon, Mo., for the duration of the trial.

    Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Jesse D. Driskill, 32, of Lebanon, who is accused of killing Johnnie Wilson, 82, and his wife, Coleen Wilson, 76, July 26, 2010, during a burglary at their rural home in western Laclede County, according to published reports.

    Driskill is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of first-degree burglary, one count of forcible rape, one count of forcible sodomy and four counts of armed criminal action. He pleaded not guilty to the charges on Sept. 27, 2010, according to The Lebanon Daily Record.

    The Missouri attorney general’s office is assisting in the prosecution of Driskill. Attorney General Chris Koster was present during jury selection this week.

    http://www.emissourian.com/local_news/county/article_34806ca8-0c82-56fc-9ea3-904dc507fa37.html

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  2. #2
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    Opening statement: Killer shot 82-year-old despite offer of cash, wife sexually attacked, shot, both suffocated

    Johnnie, 82, and Coleen Wilson, 76, who are retired, were at their Laclede County home for the weekend to celebrate their anniversary.

    According to the prosecutor in the capital murder trial that opened this morning, the couple caught Jesse D. Driskill trying to steal something outside the rural and remote home.

    When confronted, prosecutors say they will prove, Driskill ordered the couple inside, where he demanded money. Johnnie offered the $5 or $10 he had, Laclede County Prosecutor Jon Morris said this morning, but was shot anyway.

    Then Driskill turned to Coleen, raped, sodomized and shot her, Morris said.

    When she didn't stop moving, according to the prosecutor, Driskill put a bag over her head. He then suffocated Johnnie with another plastic bag, Morris said.

    Driskill is also accused of trying to burn their bodies before stealing the couples vehicle and fleeing.

    The defense attorneys for Driskill did not not offer an opening statement.

    Driskill appeared in court in a too-large white shirt. He also appeared to have a new tattoo — a crown of thorns around his head.

    Morris is being assisted on the case by Missouri Attorney Chris Koster, who is taking over questioning after the first break in the trial.

    Prosecutors are trying to prove murder, rape and burglary charges against Driskill.

    The slain couple were well-known in the Lebanon community and especially at their church — Bennett Springs Church of God. It was their 59th anniversary on the Sunday before the Monday they were killed.

    Authorities found the Wilsons’ bodies covered with blankets, on July 26.

    The Wilsons retired to Laclede County after spending much of their life in Springfield, where Johnnie had worked as a clerk at a hardware store.

    When they returned to Laclede County, Johnnie built them a house on the property where he was born.

    T.J. Brown, pastor at Bennett Springs Church of God, said in a 2010 news story that the Wilsons joined the church in September 2003 and were active members who attended every Sunday, often in the morning and evening.

    Johnnie was a quiet man with a sense of humor, Brown said, and he was very concerned about the youth of the church.

    Coleen, 76, was a volunteer librarian in Lebanon, and she enjoyed garage sales and the church's ladies' breakfast, he said.

    "Coleen always had a smile on her face," Brown said, "She sent birthday cards to people in the church. She did that all on her own."

    Coleen also liked to sing and would occasionally sing at church, he said.

    Driskill, 33, has a lengthy criminal record, with his first felony conviction in 2000 for stealing and second-degree burglary. He had been released from prison 49 days before the Wilsons were slain.

    He could face the death penalty if convicted of first-degree murder.

    http://www.news-leader.com/article/2...yssey=nav|head
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  3. #3
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    Murder trial begins in south-central Missouri

    Witnesses began testifying Monday in the capital murder trial of a southwest Missouri man accused of fatally shooting an elderly couple in their home — in a case that drew wide media attention and prompted Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster to make an unusual dip into courtroom prosecution.

    Jesse Dean Driskill, 33, faces first-degree murder and other charges in the 2010 shooting deaths of Johnnie Wilson, 82, and Coleen Wilson, 76, whose bodies were found in their home north of Bennett Spring State Park in July 2010.

    Driskill, of Lebanon, could be sentenced to death if convicted.

    The first witness Monday was a family member who described crawling through a window and seeing Coleen Wilson's feet sticking out from blankets that were smoldering.

    Koster, who is assisting Laclede County prosecutor Jon Morris, presented evidence from two law enforcement officers and a deputy coroner in early testimony Monday.

    Driskill has pleaded not guilty and is represented by two assistant public defenders.

    A probable cause statement said the Wilsons were found covered in blankets and a fire had been set in the home. Their missing vehicle was later found burning along a road. The couple had celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary a day before they were killed, and were described as loved and respected in their small town as the case drew wide news coverage.

    Koster's participation in the trial is unusual but not unprecedented since he became attorney general in 2009. He also worked with Jasper County prosecutor Dean Dankelson in a Medicaid fraud case, in which a dentist pleaded guilty in 2009.

    Koster prosecuted a Jackson County murder case in 2010, and a year later represented the state in the sentencing of a Fredericktown police officer and Boy Scouts leader who pleaded guilty to 22 counts related to sexual abuse of minors. In 2011, Koster represented Missouri in an effort to stop the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' plan to breach the Birds Point levee in southeastern Missouri, and he argued another case before the U.S. Supreme Court.

    Koster, a Democrat, told The Associated Press in April that he is making preparations to run for governor in 2016. He previously served in the state Senate and was the Cass County prosecutor from 1995 to 2005.

    http://www.sfgate.com/news/crime/art...ri-4742686.php
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  4. #4
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    Jury begins deliberations in Mo. murder case



    Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster says prosecutors have provided proof beyond a reasonable doubt against a man charged with killing an elderly Laclede County couple in 2010.

    Koster presented the final closing argument Wednesday in the trial of 33-year-old Jesse Driskill on 10 charges, including two counts of first-degree murder. The defense questioned the credibility of the state's witnesses and the believability of the DNA evidence.

    Driskill could face the death penalty if he's convicted of killing 82-year-old Johnnie Wilson and 76-year-old Coleen Wilson at their rural home near Bennett Spring State Park in south-central Missouri.

    Jurors are from Franklin County and began their deliberations Wednesday afternoon.

    The trial began Monday, with Koster assisting the Laclede County prosecutor in presenting evidence and questioning witnesses.

    http://dailyjournalonline.com/news/s...ment_form=true
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  5. #5
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    DRISKILL GUILTY ON ALL COUNTS



    A jury found Jesse D. Driskill guilty on all counts in his double-murder trial Wednesday afternoon.

    The jury deliberated for about three and a half hours, then filed back into the courtroom just before 4 p.m. today.

    Driskill is on trial for the murders of Johnnie and Coleen Wilson, 82 and 76, respectively, in July 2010.

    Now the same set of jurors will determine Driskill's sentence during the second phase of the trial, which is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Thursday.

    Driskill left the courtroom after seven of the 10 guilty verdicts were read. His attorneys returned a few minutes later, saying Driskill had waived his right to be present as the rest of the verdicts were read.

    http://www.lebanondailyrecord.com/ar...9bb30f31a.html
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    Family of victims brings jurors to tears



    Sara Kessinger never believed in guns, but now she carries one. Slight sounds in the night will throw her into a panic. She hasn’t slept for three years.

    She worries about the effect the trauma and grief of July 26, 2010, had on her unborn child.

    Jesse D. Driskill did that to her when he brutalized and murdered her grandparents, she told a jury Thursday.

    The penalty phase of Driskill’s trial began Thursday and is expected to wrap up before noon today in courtroom A at the Laclede County Government Center. Then the 12 jurors from Franklin County will decide whether Driskill will spend the rest of his life in prison or will be put to death for his crimes.

    Driskill was convicted Wednesday of all 10 counts against him, including two charges of first-degree murder. He was arrested in the early morning hours of July 27, 2010, after telling his friends how he killed an elderly couple in their remote home in the woods and raped the old woman. Prosecutors said he related the tale “like he expected a hero’s welcome.”

    Dead are Johnnie Wilson, 82, and his wife, Coleen Wilson, 76. Still living are the three people who found their bodies — their son, John Wilson; his daughter, Sara Kessinger; and her husband, Caleb Kessinger. All three took the stand Thursday to relate how deeply they had been hurt.

    http://www.lebanondailyrecord.com/ne...9bb30f31a.html
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  7. #7
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    Jury says death for Driskill, who killed Laclede County retirees, raped wife

    A jury has recommended that a man convicted earlier this week in a double homicide should get the death penalty.

    Jesse Dean Driskill, 33, was found guilty of murder earlier this week in the deaths of 82-year-old Johnnie Wilson and his 76-year-old wife, Coleen, at their Laclede County home in 2010.

    In addition to two counts of first-degree murder, Driskill also was found guilty of forcible rape, forcible sodomy, first-degree burglary and five counts of armed criminal action.

    Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster took the unusual step of personally assisting in the case.

    “If the death penalty is not reserved for a 33-year-old, 18-time convicted criminal, raping and sodomizing, torturing and killing a 76-year-old woman and her 82-year-old husband over five dollars, then we should all ask ourselves why in the world we have this law at all,” Koster said in a news release.

    Koster's direct involvement in the courtroom is atypical but not unprecedented. During the trial, he presented evidence and offered a final argument before jurors began deliberating. Koster is working with Laclede County Prosecuting Attorney Jon Morris.

    Authorities say the couple were covered by bedding, a fire was set and their vehicle was found ablaze along a road. Prosecutors said both were shot and that Coleen Wilson died from a gunshot wound and that Johnnie Wilson died from asphyxiation by a plastic bag in his throat.

    “If Johnnie and Coleen were here, they would tell you that they weren’t done with their living. Johnnie would tell you he still had flowers to bring Coleen. And Coleen would tell you there would soon be a new great grandson that she so very much looked forward to meeting,” Koster said.

    Following the completion of the penalty phase of the trial on Friday, jurors deliberated for approximately four hours before recommending the death penalty on the two murder in the first degree convictions.

    Formal sentencing on all of the verdicts by Laclede County Circuit Presiding Judge Kenneth Hayden is scheduled for 2 p.m., Nov. 5.

    http://www.news-leader.com/article/2...der-sentencing
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  8. #8
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    Wilson family speaks exclusively to KSPR about Driskill death penalty

    A Laclede County jury recommended the death penalty for 33-year-old Jesse Driskill. Earlier this week the same jury found him guilty of ten felonies including two murders and rape. Driskill attacked and killed 82-year-oldJohnnie and 76-year-old Coleen Wilson in their rural home near Lebanon three years ago.

    Their son and his two children have never spoken publically about the crime before, and to be honest, they didn't want to speak Friday. But they did, so that it's the wilsons and not Driskill people remember.

    Although Driskill was sentenced to die today, this story isn't about him. It's about the people he killed.

    "Just happy people, volunteered from everything from their church to the library," Sarah Kessinger remembers. "I don't think I'd ever seen my grandmother angry, really angry, never a cross word."

    John wilson and his two grown kids Sarah Kessinger and Andy Wilson still don't understand how someone could torture and murder their parents and grandparents and they likely never will.

    "He never did say sorry or admit to his guilt except to his friends that he bragged to three years ago when he did, he never even took the stand on his own behalf," John tells us outside the Laclede County courthouse late Friday afternoon.

    It was John and Sarah who found the Wilsons' burnt bodies in the home they loved on the land where Johnnie grew up. That was horrible enough but how it happened was revealed at the trial.

    "The new things I learned are just stuck in your mind now and it was even more horrific than I had ever imagined, the things that were done to them, the way they spent their final moments," Sarah says. Tragic final moments that came too soon.

    The couple had just celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary the night before, they were almost completely moved out of the house in the woods and in with Sarah's family in Highlandville. They were thrilled their only granddaughter was four months pregnant.

    "Three grandbabies have come into their lives since they've been gone," one from Andy, now two from Sarah.

    This isn't a story about the man sentenced to die today. John, Sarah and Andy don't even say his name; they call him "the defendant."

    This is a story about the people he killed and the people they left behind that keep the Wilsons alive.

    "I just had a little baby who we named Wilson," Sarah says, smiling.

    Before the trial the prosecutor asked the family if they wanted to pursue the death penalty. None of them had strong feelings about capital punishment before but all agreed it would be appropriate in this case. Still, Friday night they're not sure how they feel.

    The jury only made a recommendation today. It took them about four hours. A judge will choose whether to accept that recommendation November 5th.

    http://articles.kspr.com/2013-08-23/...nalty_41442310
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  9. #9
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    New [23-08, 19:31] scottktmrider: UPDATE::: for anyone following this trial .my wife called me they sentence him to death she said he showed no emotion this guy is why we have a death penalty .save the tax payer money
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    [22-08, 22:01] scottktmrider: does anyone have an up date on the jesse driskill trial in Lincoln co. mo.? it is in the pentaly phase. my wife is on the jury and i have been following the case the best i can since we live in another county than the trial
    Sorry scottktmrider I just saw these posts in chat. Thanks for the information. I'd love to hear your wife's take on the trial.
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  10. #10
    I would not want to ask her at this time .the trial has really taking a toll on her .They showed all the crime scene and autopsy photos the first day and after that she said she couldn't sleep or eat all week She said that if she had it to do all over again she would not do it because it impacted her so much .
    .she told me all the details so if anybody wants to know any details I can answer them.another big thing was his attitude in court .he showed no sympathy he acted like it was all a big joke
    Last edited by scottktmrider; 08-24-2013 at 10:55 PM.

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