Judge warns Anthony Kirkland to cooperate during resentencing

Judge warns Kirkland: Cooperate at resentencing
Posted at 1:24 PM, Jul 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-23 16:35:27-04

CINCINNATI -- Jury selection for the resentencing of serial killer Anthony Kirkland is underway, but the judge lectured Kirkland Monday after he was reportedly uncooperative before court.

Kirkland didn't like the food he was being served for breakfast, and that led to him being physically restrained, according to authorities. Judge Patrick Dinkelacker told Kirkland that deputies would shackle him in court if he was not cooperative.

"I do need to make it clear this trial will go on with or without your cooperation," Dinkelacker said. "Hopefully, it will be with your cooperation as it has been for the most part, other than the incident this morning."

Kirkland said he wanted to make a statement, claiming that he "didn't initiate this." The judge urged him to talk with his attorneys first, and after a brief discussion Kirkland decided not to say anything on the record.

He has already been wearing a stun cuff in court, which allows a deputy sitting nearby to administer an electric charge if things got out of hand. 

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There were still 79 potential jurors in the pool as of Monday morning. Tuesday has also been earmarked for jury selection, and it's likely a jury could be seated by midday Tuesday.

Once in place, the jurors will decide if Kirkland should be sentenced to death or life in prison for killing 13-year-old Esme Kenney and 14-year-old Casonya Crawford. 

RELATED: Victim's grandmother says she wants to watch serial killer Anthony Kirkland die

The prosecution is trying to prove Kirkland's crimes are so egregious he should die. The defense is trying to tip the scales toward life in prison based on mitigating factors. Both sides questions 15 potential jurors Monday who said they would always vote for a death penalty or never vote for it.

Thirteen of the 15 were excused after the questioning.  A total of 12 jurors and four alternates will be chosen to hear testimony.

Kirkland was already serving a 70-year sentence for killing two women when he received the death sentence in 2010 for killing the girls, but an appeals court decided that Kirkland should be resentenced because of a comment Prosecutor Joe Deters made during the sentencing.

Deters criticized that decision in a recent interview with WCPO, calling it "total nonsense."

"Frankly, I think he is a monster," Deters said. "He killed five girls, two of which were 13 and 14 years old respectively, and if the death penalty is not applicable to Anthony Kirkland, I don't know who the person would be that should get it."

Kirkland's sentence was tossed, but the conviction stands. The jury being seated now will just decide a sentence.

Check back for updates.