Will a Wake County man be the first to get the death penalty in a decade?

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Donovan Richardson waits to see whether he will receive life in prison or the death penalty.

Deliberations will resume Wednesday morning in the sentencing phase of the capital murder trial of a Wake County man.

Donovan Richardson was convicted last week of the murder of 78-year-old Arthur Brown.

Brown was shot to death in his home near Fuquay-Varina during a burglary in the summer of 2014.

Prosecutors said Richardson also supplied the gun that killed Brown's roommate, 66-year-old David McKoy.

On Tuesday, in closing arguments of the sentencing phase of Richardson's trial, prosecutors tried to persuade jurors to sentence Richardson to death.

Prosecutor Matt Lively recounted some of the crime, saying about the shooting of Brown, "He shoots him three times - once in the hand and twice in the chest, through and through, through the headboard of his bed. Arthur Brown was shot to death in his own bed."

Defense attorney Rick Gammon told jurors that sparing Richardson and sentencing him to life without parole would not be showing mercy.

"The final chapters of his life up until his final breath will be written from a jail cell. And now I ask you, and some would argue, where is the mercy in that?" Gammon asked.

A Wake County jury hasn't handed down a capital punishment sentence in more than a decade.

Since that 2007 death penalty verdict, eight people were convicted of murder in capital cases in Wake County but jurors rejected the death penalty in all of those cases opting instead for life in prison without parole.

If Richardson is spared his would be the ninth case in a row tried without a death sentence.

So Tuesday, a prosecutor reminded jurors that they are the conscience of the people of Wake County.

"You will be deciding as 12 jurors from this county what the conscious of this community is, what is significant, what is of importance, what is weight, what is gravity," Howard Cummings told the jurors.

The 12 men and women deliberated about 90 minutes before calling it a day.
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