A Stone County jury on Friday issued a sentence of life in prison for Nathaniel Freeman of Onia after finding the 56-year-old guilty of murder in the first degree in the shooting death of his wife, Dora Cary Freeman.
Dora Freeman, 46, died Sept. 23, 2019, in an incident at the Freeman residence on Lee Hill Road during which Nathaniel Freeman was also shot.
The jury of 10 women and two men returned the verdict and sentence last Friday at the conclusion of a trial that had begun on Wednesday.
Prosecuting Attorney Eric Hance, assisted by deputy prosecutors Daniel Haney and Eric Bray, called 20 witnesses for the state over two days, at which point defense attorney James Hensley entered a motion for a directed verdict.
The motion was denied and the defense rested its case without calling a witness.
The jury deliberated about one hour to arrive at the verdict of guilty.
The sentencing phase began with victim impact statements with witnesses from both the prosecution and the defense.
It took two hours to decide on sentencing after being given the choices of not less than 10 years nor more than 40 years in prison, or life.
See the complete story in the March 23, 2022 issue.
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