DERIDDER, LA.(KPLC) -After nearly five hours of deliberation, the jury is still out in the first degree murder trial of Terry Clarkson. The prosecution and defense made their closing arguments earlier this morning...Clarkson may not have pulled the trigger but the jury finds that he is guilty of the second degree murder of Jac Mayeux in October 2007-- A man who prosecutors say was murdered so three men, including Clarkson, could steal from him.
Though James Ramsdell, now serving life in prison, is the one who fired six shots into Mayeux, the jury apparently agreed with prosecutor Richard Morton that he too was guilty of murder, though not first degree. Morton is pleased. "Terry Clarkson was one of a team of three people that went over and murdered and robbed Jac Mayeux and under the law he's considered a principal, same as a perpetrator. It's the same as if he had pulled the trigger himself and murdered Jac Mayeux."
The jury did decide Clarkson was not guilty of conspiracy to commit murder. But they did vote guilty on armed robbery, aggravated burglary, theft of firearms and theft of property worth more than $500. "Mr. Mayeux had been conducting an estate sale. Mr. Mayeux had actually be assisting him, working for him at the sale. I believe, we believe he had knowledge that Mr. Mayeux had made money from the sale," said Morton. "The motive was robbery."
Morton hopes the convictions will be of some comfort to the family of Jac Mayeux. "It was a close knit family. They've suffered mightily. I hope they get some relief, some sense of justice at least with this jury verdict at this time."
Clarkson's defense team worked to attack the credibility of the state's key witness Darrell Bruce-- who was, at age fifteen, the youngest of the three. Crimes against him are as yet unresolved.
A sentencing hearing will be held at 1:30 p.m. April 5th and Clarkson's actual sentencing is set for 10 am on April 14th. Second degree murder will bring mandatory life in prison but Clarkson will also be sentenced on the other charges for which he was convicted.