Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Christa Worthington

The Decision

Several more witnesses testified before closing arguments were finally heard from both sides. The prosecution once again contended that the evidence undeniably proved McCowen was the sole culprit in the murder. The defense argued that the investigation was botched from the start and that a lot of evidence remained untested, leaving the possibility that there may have been another person involved in the crime. Finally, on November 7, 2006, jurors deliberated on the case. After breaking through a temporary deadlock and the dismissal of one juror for talking to her jailed boyfriend about the case during deliberations, a verdict had been reached.

Christa Worthington
Christa Worthington

On November 17, 2006, more than a week after deliberations began, the jury announced to the court that they found McCowen "guilty" of robbery, rape and the first degree murder of Christa. Tears immediately sprung into McCowen's eyes as other family members from McCowen's and Christa's family wept. Christa's cousin Mary said in a statement, "This is about a little girl losing her mother in the most heinous way imaginable. It is about the loss of a loving, vibrant woman. There will never be closure, because Christa is never coming back to us," Russ reported.

McCowen had told the judge that he did not murder Christa although he felt "sorry for the victim's family," and that he "never meant for this to ever take place." He was further quoted as saying, "Throughout this whole trial I sat and would think to myself, 'Why me?...I am an innocent man in this case.' " McCowen was eventually sentenced to life in prison with no parole at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction in Walpole, Massachusetts. His lawyers are expected to launch an appeal for a retrial.

Christopher McCowen
Christopher McCowen

Dominic Dunne's Power, Priviledge and Justice

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