The Missouri Supreme Court has upheld the death sentences of a Lebanon man convicted of the murders of a Laclede County couple in 2010.
Jesse Driskill is sentenced to death for murdering 82-year-old Johnnie Wilson and his wife, 76-year-old Coleen, in their home north of Bennett Springs State Park, in July of 2010. The couple had been celebrating their 59th wedding anniversary.
A trial court found that Driskill killed Johnnie Wilson by stuffing a plastic bag down his throat and had killed Coleen Wilson by shooting her after sexually assaulting her.
Driskill asked the Supreme Court to throw out his death sentences, saying he wasn’t able to participate in his trial because of anxiety attacks. He claimed the court should not have proceeded with his murder trail when he chose to appear by video conferencing because of his disorder.
He also argued the trial court shouldn’t have allowed the jury to hear the testimony of three relatives of his victims or to see photographs of his victims.
The Supreme Court says Driskill was found competent to stand trial by two experts before the trial, and the trial court monitored his behavior during it. It said he never objected that he was denied his right to be present when appearing by video. It also said the photos and victim’s relatives’ testimony was okay under the constitution.
The Court ruled 5-2 to let his death sentences stand.