UPDATE: Life Sentence for Harvey Johnson

Harvey Johnson
Harvey Johnson


Update: 10:13 p.m.: After seven hours of deliberations a jury in Hamilton decided on a life sentence  without parole for Harvey Johnson.  The family of Kiva Gazaway expressed relief that his life was spared but also satisfaction that he would be behind bars for the rest of his life.

Update: 3:15 p.m.: Harvey Johnson took the stand on Tuesday as the sentencing phase of his trial continues.

"My attorneys told you yesterday that I would plead for my life," Johnson said. "I'm not going to do that today."

Johnson apologized to his family and Gazaway's family for not showing emotion during the trial.

"That's not my personality," he said.

Johnson also said he did not strangle Gazaway like prosecutors said, and that his words were twisted.

He did not deny that he killed Gazaway, but says he should not have been convicted of aggravated murder, because he did not intend to kill his girlfriend.

Update: 8:10 a.m. Harvey Johnson will take the stand on Tuesday, asking a jury to spare his life.

Johnson's mother took the stand Monday, pleading with the jury.

"It's so much suffering by both sides. We loved Kiva, we didn't lose just Kiva, we lose Harvey too. Both of them are in our heart. Giving him the death penalty, I just don't see it," said Shirley Brinson.

Also, the small fire that sparked an evacuation on Monday was blamed on problems with an electric motor in the basement of the courthouse.

FOX19.com will continue to provide you updates on this case as new information develops.

Update: 12:45 p.m. The power in the courthouse has been shut off on purpose so crews can make necessary repairs.

The case could resume by 2 p.m. Monday, or it could wait until Tuesday.

Everyone is allowed back in the building. No injuries are reported.

Update: 11:45 a.m. A delay in the sentencing phase in Harvey Johnson's trial.  The courthouse is evacuated due to a possible electrical fire.

Photographers in the courtroom reported the lights flashing in and out before they were required to leave the building.

FOX19.com is following this story and will update with new details.

Original story:

A man found guilty of murdering his girlfriend could find out Monday if he'll be put to death.

It took the jury about a day and a half to find Harvey Johnson guilty for the murder of Kiva Gazaway.

Monday, the same jury will decide if he should get the death penalty.

Gazaway was killed in April of 2007. Her family heard the gruesome details in court.

Johnson confessed to police that he duct taped her arms and legs then strangled her and but her body in a bathtub before dumping it in a Blue Ash ravine.

A jury found Johnson guilty on Friday of aggravated murder. That jury will decide if he should be put to death or get life in prison without parole or have the possibility of parole in 25 to 30 years.

Gazaway's daughter is relieved he's being punished.

"As soon as I got out of the courtroom, I just screamed, I just let go. I was hugging everybody telling all the prosecutors, 'thank you, thank you,'" said Jazmine Gazaway.

The aggravated murder verdict makes him a candidate for death row.

In June of last year, Johnson grabbed at a bailiff's gun in a Fairfield courtroom. He's already been convicted on charges related to that incident.