Convicted killer could take stand in re-sentencing phase

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - A man facing the death penalty for killing a Cincinnati woman in 1997 could take the witness stand today.

Four members of Rayshawn Johnson's family could take the stand along with the 33-year-old convicted murderer.

One of those family members is Johnson's 14-year-old son, who was only a month old at the time of the killing back in 1997.

Rayshawn Johnson is guilty of murdering Shanon Marks back in 1997. He beat her to death with a baseball bat.

For the second time, a jury must decide if Johnson deserves the death penalty or life in prison.

He was sentenced to death in 1998, but a judge ordered him to be re-sentenced after an appeal because Johnson's attorneys did not do enough to save him, citing a past of abuse.

Throughout this trial the jury has not been told about Johnson's prior death sentence. The judge has asked the jury not to speak about the case or watch any media reports.

Johnson could to take the stand with plans to give an unsworn statement. That means he's not under oath and he can't be questioned by prosecutors. The jury should get the case late Monday or Tuesday.

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