Serial killer's defense argue physical, mental abuse

Killer burned bodies: 'The fire purifies'

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The re-sentencing of a convicted Cincinnati serial killer got back underway Wednesday morning.

For a second straight day, Kirkland's defense team played recorded testimony of Dr. Joseph Wu, a brain expert and psychiatrist.

Wu showed images of Kirkland's brain and pointed out abnormalities. He said it probably happened from injuries and abuse he suffered as a child.

Kirkland's attorney said his client will, at some point, make a statement to the jury.

Monday, Jurors heard the remainder of Anthony Kirkland's recorded police confession.

In all, Kirkland, 49, has killed five women and girls and burned their bodies.

He was convicted of killing his uncle's girlfriend, Leona Douglas, in 1989 and served a 16-year prison term.

After his 2003 release, Kirkland killed two young teenagers and two women before he was caught a short distance away from his final victim, Esme Kenney, 13. He raped and strangled her at the Winton Road reservoir in March 2009.

In a rare moment of possible remorse during the interrogation, Kirkland wanted to send a message to Esme's dad and her mom, Linda Kenney.

"I had no reason or had no right to hurt that child," he said.

The other victims are Casonya Crawford, 14, Mary Jo Newton, 45 and Kimya Rolison, 25.

Krikland admitted to choking Newton from behind in a van by Eden Park, stating she said death wouldn't be a bad thing, and dumped her body in Avondale. He then told investigators he burned her body in daylight.

"Fire purifies. It is, well no not purifying, it's also like a proper burial," he said.

Jurors on Friday began listening to Kirkland's 9-hour confession to Cincinnati police as he recounted killing Esme, a seventh-grader, after she ran into him while jogging around Winton Road reservoir on March 7, 2009.

She accidentally knocked his beer out of his hand and apologized, but he kicked and punched her, he told Detective Keith Witherell, according to the recording.

Esme ran away from him, and he chased after her. She tripped on a small fence and kept apologizing to Kirkland.

Kirklannd repeatedly beat and kicked Esme and would go on to brutally rape and murder her, ignoring her pleas to let her go.

He strangled her to death with his bare hands and then a rag and then set her lower body on fire.

Kirkland is back in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court for sentencing in the deaths of Casonya and Esme after the Ohio Supreme Court overturned his death sentence in 2010 due to statements Deters made during closing arguments.

Serial killer gets 2nd chance at life

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters seeking the death penalty again.

Kirkland's lawyers are asking for a life prison term without possibility of parole.

They plan to argue he was physically and mentally abused as a child resulting in post-traumatic stress disorder and he repeatedly tried to get treatment.

Judge Patrick Dinkelacker told the court he expects two more days of testimony and that the jury could get the case at some point after Monday.

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