LIMA — A jury found Ross McWay guilty of aggravated murder Thursday afternoon. The judge immediately sentenced him to life in prison without parole.
McWay faced charges up to aggravated murder in the Jan. 15 death of Lima resident Wendy Jeffers. Deliberations began Thursday afternoon in Allen County Common Pleas Court.
The eight men and four women who comprise the jury were not charged with deciding the guilt or innocence of the defendant. McWay’s role in Jeffers’ death had already been established, and defense attorney Steve Chamberlain during his closing arguments again told jurors that “my client caused the death of Wendy Jeffers; that’s what he did.”
Chamberlain, however, attempted to persuade jurors that the aggravated murder charge was not applicable to his client due to the absence of “prior calculation of design and purpose” in his actions surrounding Jeffers’ death. Chamberlain said jurors instead should find his client guilty of the lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter.
Jurors were instructed by Judge Jeffery Reed that a lesser charge of murder was also an available option for their consideration.
Testimony in the trial wrapped up Thursday morning, and attorneys gave their closing arguments following a lunch break. Jurors received the case at approximately 3:15 p.m.
Read more about this story in Friday’s The Lima News and later today on LimaOhio.com.