Judge sentences Kirkland to death

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - A Cincinnati judge has accepted a jury's recommendation to impose the death penalty on a man convicted of killing two teenage girls.

Anthony Kirkland will be put to death for the murders, rapes and robberies of 14-year-old Casonya Crawford and 13-year-old Esme Kenney.

Family members of Casonya Crawford were in the courtroom during the sentence and addressed Kirkland.

Glaring back at each of them, Kirkland never flinched, but did say he was sorry to the families.

One of Crawford's aunts, Phyllis Moore, looking directly at Kirkland, told him she will never have forgiveness for the man that prevented her from seeing her baby niece graduate high school.

"They call you a monster, I don't know what to call you, there's no words for you," said Moore.  "For what you did, you deserve to die, but I want you to die like those two(Casonya and Esme)…I want you to die slowly."

The Kenney family was not in court, but did write letters to the court that were not read aloud. However, Esme's iPod and watch have been returned to her family. Those items were found on Kirkland when he was arrested in March of 2009.

Although Kirkland will never be released from prison, he will register as a tier three sex offender for his crimes against the two young girls.

Kirkland is schedule to be put to death by lethal injection on Sept. 30 of this year, but appeals will likely delay that execution.  Special death penalty attorneys has already been assigned to Kirkland's appeal.

One member of the jury returned hear Judge Charles Kubicki's decision.  She told reporters that now she can move on.

"I'm happy for the families, and my family, so that no one has to fear him," said juror number nine.

The jury convicted Kirkland two weeks ago. Kirkland told jurors he was evil and "a monster" before they said earlier this month that he should be executed.

Judge Kubicki could have sentenced him to life in prison.

Kirkland was to be tried for four deaths but pleaded guilty to murdering two women before his trial started.

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