Jury Recommends Death Sentence For Killer Of 9-Year-Old Girl

(AP Photo/Stephen J. Coddington, pool)

Miami (AP) -- Jurors have recommended the death penalty for a man convicted of kidnapping, raping and murdering nine-year-old Jessica Lunsford.

The jury by a vote of 10-to-2 recommended that John Couey be executed after deliberating for just more than an hour.

The ultimate decision regarding Couey's sentence will be made in several weeks by a judge, who is not bound by the jury's recommendation.

Couey was convicted last week of taking Jessica from her bedroom to his trailer in 2005, where he raped and killed her. The third-grader's body was found about three weeks after she disappeared in a grave outside Couey's trailer.

Copyright 2007 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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