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Jury Starts Deliberations In McVay Death Penalty Case

April 14, 2014, 12:40 PM by Ben Dunsmoor

Jury Starts Deliberations In McVay Death Penalty Case
James McVay


A Minnehaha County Jury is deciding if James McVay should spend the rest of his life in prison or be given the death penalty.

McVay killed 75-year-old Maybelle Schein in her Sioux Falls home in July of 2011, stole her car and claimed to be heading to Washington D.C. to kill the president.

Monday morning, the final witnesses were called to testify and attorneys on both sides gave closing arguments.

Minnehaha County State's Attorney Aaron McGowan asked the jury to put themselves in Schein's shoes as they begin deliberating.

"The final visions before Maybelle's eyes were seeing this defendant standing over her with a Buck knife," McGowan said. "Maybelle fought the last minute and a half of her life."

But Minnehaha County Public Defender Traci Smith said that McVay is a man who suffers from delusions and a mental illness. She sasy McVay was not receiving the proper treatment when he walked away from a transitional program at the South Dakota State Penitentiary shortly before Schein's murder.

"This wasn't the plan of a rational person. Under the delusion he saw him sacrificing himself to accomplish a mission," Smith said. "He was completing the mission based on what he thought Lucifer would have him do."

Smith went on to say that McVay is not the heinous killer many believe him to be but he has become her friend in the three years since his arrest.

"Despite what the prosecution might say he is human," Smith said.

The jury of seven men and five women started deliberations at 12:30 p.m. 

As soon as a decision is in, we'll have the details on and KELOLAND News.


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