Jurors will consider death penalty in murder of women

BRUNSWICK, Ga. - A jury in Brunswick has convicted Stacey Ian Humphreys of murder in the 2003 slayings of two Cobb County real estate agents.

Mr. Humphreys faces the death penalty for killing 33-year-old Cyndi Williams and 21-year-old Lori Brown after robbing them at their Powder Springs sales office on Nov. 3, 2003. Both women were found stripped naked and shot in the back of the head.

The jury of 10 women and two men spent about 4 hours deliberating before reaching a verdict. Jurors will begin the sentencing phase of the trial today.

Jurors on Tuesday saw bloody crime scene photos of the two Cobb County real estate agents as a prosecutor told them Mr. Humphreys did it "for one of the oldest reasons in the book - he killed for money."

Prosecutor Eleanor Dixon ended her closing argument by standing just a few feet from the defendant's courtroom seat and pointing a finger straight at his face. Mr. Humphreys, with one hand on his chin, averted his eyes.

"That man sitting right there brutally shot these two women in their workplace, and his only thought was for himself," Ms. Dixon said.

"To take their money, to take their ATM cards, so he could make a truck payment."

Prosecutors presented testimony from more than 50 witnesses over the past week. Ms. Dixon argued 34-year-old Mr. Humphreys, who had been paroled in 2002 after serving prison time for theft, needed money to keep up with payments on his Dodge Durango.

She said Mr. Humphreys had staked out Ms. Williams and Ms. Brown's office the day of the slayings. They were alone when he held them hostage with a handgun, made them undress and forced them to give him the access codes to their bank cards, she said.

Ms. Dixon read from a transcript of an interview Mr. Humphreys gave to police after his arrest: "I could have made them undress to get them to cooperate. I read something about that in a magazine - the way to control women in a robbery."

Police arrested Mr. Humphreys after a high-speed chase in Wisconsin, where he fled four days after the slayings. They found a 9mm Ruger handgun in his rented Jeep. Mr. Humphreys told investigators he didn't remember committing the crime, but believed he was guilty.

"I know I did it," Ms. Dixon read from Mr. Humphreys' police interview transcript. "I know it just as well as my own name."

Jimmy Berry, Mr. Humphreys' attorney, called no defense witnesses during the trial.

Mr. Berry told jurors that Mr. Humphreys' police interview shows him rambling and confused. He said Mr. Humphreys would suffer memory lapses.

When police asked him about the slayings, Mr. Berry said, Mr. Humphreys replied: "The harder I try to remember, my mind just goes to thinking about something else."

DEVELOPMENTS

THE LATEST: Stacey Ian Humphreys was convicted of murder Tuesday. He faces the death penalty in the slayings of two Cobb County real estate agents, whom prosecutors said he killed for their money.

WHAT'S NEXT? The sentencing phase of the trial will begin next, and jurors will decide whether to sentence the 34-year-old to death or life in prison.

- Associated Press