Jury could reach verdict Monday in Wake County man’s triple murder trial

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The fate of a Wake County man will be in the hands of a jury on Monday morning.

Deliberations will continue for Jonathan Sander. He’s accused of murdering three of his neighbors — Sandy, Stephanie, and Elaine Mazzella.

On Friday, prosecutors presented evidence to show that Sander committed the murders — including video fo Sander describing how he did it step-by-step.

One of the more intense things that happened during closing arguments on Friday was when prosecutors fired several rounds of blank shotgun cartridges to show how Sander had to pump the gun to shoot each one of the shells that they say killed three members of the Mazzella family.

His Mossberg 800 holds eight shells at a time which means he had to reload in order to shoot through a door three times and then hit the victims with seven shells.

Sander’s attorney didn’t deny that he did it, but said he wants jurors to focus on why Sander did it.

Attorney Jon Manning spoke for more than an hour and told the jury that tensions and anger fueled his client’s actions. He asked them to remember the angriest they’d ever been and said that that memory would be important to remember as they try to understand Sander’s mindset.

“It doesn’t have to be in lack of passion, it just has to be that he understood what he was doing. He can describe the feeling. He hated them. It’s not rage in this case, it’s revenge,” said Manning.

Jurors deliberated for about an hour on Friday before heading home for the weekend.

If they convict Sander of murdering the Mazzellas then sentencing will start on Tuesday. He could be sentenced to death.

If Sander is found guilty and sentenced to death then he would be the second Wake County man given the death penalty in just two months.

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