The fate of 19-year-old Steven Demund McKnight will likely be in jurors’ hands later today.
The panel must decide what kind of punishment McKnight deserves for breaking into an 83-year-old man’s home, roughing him up and robbing him of $90. He faces anywhere from probation to life in prison.
McKnight, an admitted gang member with a lengthy juvenile record, has admitted his wrongs, apologized to the victim and asked the jury for mercy.
Jurors will take that into consideration.
Meanwhile, the victim, Sandy Thompson, is frail and blind in one eye. He was sharp and witty on the witness stand, but the home-invasion terrified him, he said, and changed him forever.
That also will weigh heavily on jurors’ minds.
Tarrant County District Attorney Joe Shannon, age 70, is personally trying this case, partly because he wants to see what a jury thinks about home-invasions, a fast-growing crime in Tarrant County and beyond.
How serious will they take it? How much times does a home-invasion robber deserve?
The trial resumes at 1 p.m. today. Maybe we’ll get an answer sometime after that.
- Melody McDonald