COLUMBUS (WCMH) —A jury has found a man guilty in the murder of a 24-year-old woman.
Anthony Pardon was convicted on all charges against him.
Pardon was convicted of five counts of aggravated murder, one count of aggravated burglary, one count of kidnapping, one count of rape and one count of aggravated murder.
The registered sex-offender is accused of raping, torturing and murdering Rachael Anderson, in 2018.
Anderson’s body was discovered in her east side apartment, on the day after her 24th birthday.
The trial now moves on to the death penalty phase, where the jury will recommend whether or not Pardon should be executed for the crimes. The sentencing phase begins Tuesday.
Several members of Anderson’s family were present for the verdict reading. Anderson is originally from Warren, Ohio.
Prosecutors, in their closing argument on Wednesday, detailed their case in which they say cell phone records and DNA evidence prove Pardon is the murderer. They also argued Pardon was one of the individuals who used Anderson’s debit card, after she was killed.
“He kills her after and while he trespasses in her own home, her place of safety, the place where she sleeps, the place where she eats, the place where she comes home to relax — her own home, ladies and gentlemen,” said Franklin County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Amy Van Culin.
Pardon’s attorney argued the state never conclusively proved Pardon killed Anderson, and that no witnesses testified, with certainty, that his DNA was found on her body, or in her apartment.
“There’s no direct evidence in this case that Anthony Pardon did anything other than use some credit cards,” said Larry Thomas, one of Pardon’s attorneys.
Prosecutor Ron O’Brien responded to Thomas’s closing argument.
“As I sat there and listened to Mr. Thomas, I wondered if he was in the same courtroom as me for the last two weeks,” O’Brien said. “He said the state’s case is based on speculation and he asked you to set aside any bias on those gruesome, horrible and terrible photographs that we had to show you. We want you to base your decision on the cold hard facts.”