Tampa, Florida – Overcome with grief, the mother of the murdered infant at the center of the Richard McTear trial thanked a jury at the end of the penalty phase of the trial Tuesday afternoon.
"I waited and I waited for this day. I'm just happy I have justice for my son," said Jasmine Bedwell.
McTear, her ex-boyfriend, was convicted last week of throwing her son, 3-month-old Emanuel Murray Jr., from a car on Interstate 275 in 2009.
With the option of recommending death, the jury instead decided life in prison without the possibility of parole was a more appropriate punishment for his crime.
McTear's attorney released a statement following the decision on Tuesday.
PREVIOUS:McTear guilty of first-degree murder
"Over the last three weeks, two excellent prosecutors presented evidence in the case, evidence was presented on behalf of the Defendant, attorneys and the Government and the Defendant presented argument, and the Court instructed jurors on the law," wrote defense attorney Michael Peacock. "After hearing the evidence and deliberating the jury initially returned a verdict and today made a recommendation of what the sentence for Mr. McTear should be. That is our Constitution in action. That is the American System of Justice."
Here is a list of the aggravating and mitigating circumstances that the jury had to consider as it decided McTear's fate.
The aggravating circumstances that you may consider are limited to any of the following that you find are established by the evidence:
1. The defendant was previously convicted of a felony involving the use or threat of violence to the person.
"Felony battery" is a felony involving the use or threat of violence to the person.
2. The victim of the capital felony was a person less than 12 years of age.
3. The capital felony was committed while the defendant was committing, or attempting to commit, or was in flight after committing or attempting to commit burglary.
4. The capital felony was committed by a person previously convicted of a felony and placed on felony probation.
Among the mitigating circumstances you may consider are the existence of any factors in Richard A. McTear, Jr.'s character, background, or life, or the circumstances of the offenses that would mitigate against the imposition of the death penalty, including, but not limited to, evidence that:
1. He has a history of physical abuse.
2. He suffers from a recognized mental illness.
3. He has a good relationship with his children as testified to by his family.
4. He has continued contact with, and concern for his family.
5. He has demonstrated good behavior while confined in the Hillsborough County Jail awaiting trial and has acclimated to his custodial environment.
6. He will adjust well to life in prison.
7. He has been involved in church activities and possesses positive character traits as described by his pastor.
8. He came from a dysfunctional family.
9. He was emotionally detached from his father.
10. His father abused illicit drugs.
11. He was emotionally abandoned, physically abused and neglected by his mother.
12. He was violently attacked and physically wounded by his mother.
13. His mother was addicted and abused illicit drugs.
14. He witnessed his mother abusing drugs and its aftermath.
15. His mother has an extensive criminal arrest and conviction history.
16. His mother has a history of violence.
17. His mother was incarcerated several times over the course of his early development.
18. He was emotionally deficient during his developmental years.
19. He was 21 at the time of the offense and too young to appreciate the consequences of his actions. The pre-frontal cortex of the brain is not fully developed until a person is in his mid-20s.
20. He grew up in an unstable environment. He lived with his maternal grandmother, his paternal grandmother, with his mother (in-between the times she was not incarcerated), and with his father (while in the Army) for a short time.
21. He was exposed to paternal family members' use of alcohol.
22. His father was involved in the sale of illicit drugs as his form of employment.
23. He did not have a consistent stable role model during his early formative years.
24. He lacked parental guidance and protection during his early development and during his teen years.
25. He was raised in a violent and neglectful environment with parents involved in criminal behavior.
26. He suffered childhood trauma, (severe physical abuse and neglect), that compromised his development.
27. His mother's lifestyle created stress and much tribulation during his early development and formative years.
28. He witnessed domestic violence between his mother and her partners.
29. He lacked parental control and supervision during his formative and teen years.
30. He was involved in Little League baseball and was a good athlete with potential.
31. He began abusing marijuana and alcohol at age 14.
32. He has a strong spiritual and religious background. Prior to his arrest, he was involved in his church (Heart Song Church) and demonstrated a dynamic interest in the scriptures and advancing in his religious education.
33. He has continued in his religious endeavors in jail by continuing his religious studies and meeting with volunteer jail chaplains.
34. He has rehabilitation potential as seen by volunteer jail chaplains.
35. He has potential in becoming an ordained minister and religious leader within the prison system.
36. While incarcerated he has become a member of Trinity C.M.E. Church and tithing by diverting part of his canteen fund to his church.
37. He can be a positive influence and rehabilitate other inmates through his knowledge of and ability to advocate the Bible and its teachings.
38. His only stable and positive role model was his maternal grandmother.
39. He has the ability to be a loving and caring person as witnessed by his maternal grandmother and others.
40. Prior to his arrest he loved and took care of his son. Since his incarceration he is voluntarily diverting the majority of his canteen fund to help support his children.
41. The capacity of Richard A. McTear, Jr. to appreciate the criminality of his conduct or to conform his conduct to the requirements of the law was substantially impaired.
42. He has demonstrated appropriate courtroom behavior.
Previous coverage of the Richard McTear case:
- Man accused of throwing baby from car arrested
- Watch: Angry judge yells at Richard McTear
- Mom of thrown infant: State didn't do enough
- "It's a dirty game" - What does it mean?
- 500 pages of info released in I-275 baby toss case
- Mom of baby thrown from car sues DCF, Sheriff's Office
- Richard McTear found not guilty in battery trial
- Trial opens for man accused of throwing baby from car