TAMPA, Fla. — After deliberating for nearly 12 hours, a jury found Nicole Nachtman guilty of murdering her mother and stepfather in 2015.
Nachtman was convicted of two first-degree, premeditated murder charges. Her defense unsuccessfully argued the former Florida State University student was insane at the time of the killings.
The decision early Saturday morning followed two weeks of jury selection and testimony.
Immediately following the verdict around 1 a.m. Saturday, the judge sentenced Nachtman to two life sentences in prison to be served concurrently. She expressed little emotion throughout the entire proceeding.
Nachtman, who was 21 at the time, was accused of shooting and killing her mother and stepfather, Myriam and Robert Dienes, in their Carrollwood home on Aug. 20, 2015. She originally claimed she was at the university in Tallahassee when the murder happened, but the school told detectives her FSU ID had not been used in the previous seven days.
The defense made the case Nachtman's mental illness had deteriorated as a result of her stunted personality and the abuse she supposedly suffered at the hands of her mother. But the prosecution claims it was only Nachtman's father who was abusive.
Nachtman's own brother, Joseph Carey, testified she had admitted to the shootings to him over the phone.
Friday afternoon, the prosecution and defense teams delivered their closing arguments in front of the jury and the jury was sent for lunch and deliberation a little before 1 p.m.
The verdict came almost exactly 12 hours later.
At times, it appeared the jury was struggling to reach a consensus.
Several hours into deliberations, the jury sent a written request for an official mental health diagnosis of Nachtman or a possible "DSM-5" detailing her diagnosis.
However, the judge denied that requesting because "the DSM-5 was not introduced into evidence," telling jurors to "rely on your memory of the testimony regarding mental health diagnoses.”
Prosecutors later in the evening expressed concern the jurors were getting tired. The judge, however, responded he was going to let the jury deliberate until they told him they were through. A verdict came a short time later.
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