Lubbock Jury Decides Fate of Capital Murderer - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/24/02

Lubbock Jury Decides Fate of Capital Murderer

It took the jury exactly two hours to make its life or death decision. In closing arguments, the state once again pointed directly at Vaughn Ross, telling the jury the evidence proved his guilt and there should be no question what his sentence should be.

The jury had to answer three questions about Ross:

  • Would Ross pose a future threat to society?
  • Did he intend to kill the victims?
  • Are there any mitigating circumstances?

The state said the answers were clear, but the defense claimed Ross had no reason to die, and wanted him sentenced to life. Members of the victims' families have been in the court room since the trial began, there was no visible reaction from the Birdsall or McVade families when the sentence was read. They did, however, take a minute to speak to the media when the trial ended.

"I don't think anyone has the right to take someone's life, period, but I do think that justice was served," said Liza McVade, Viola's sister.

"As far as the trial goes, I'm glad it's over. It's been a long year and a half for myself and my family, and I think justice was done," said Douglas Birdsall's brother, Roger Birdsall.

Vaughn Ross' mother did take the stand on Tuesday. She was very emotional, and told the jury they would be making a huge mistake. She was not in the courtroom when the death sentence was read. Ross, himself, remained stoic as he had throughout this seven day trial.

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