CLARION, IA – It took several days of deliberation, and at one point last week, it looked as if the jury was close to not agreeing on a verdict.
But today a decision has been made. The jury found north Iowa teen Noah Crooks guilty of the second degree murder of his mother last year.
Right before Judge James Drew read the jury’s verdict; Noah’s attorney turned to him and asked the 14-year old if he was nervous. Noah simply shook his head no.
Seconds later Noah was found guilty of second degree murder and not guilty of attempted sexual assault.
After more than 18-hours in a deliberation room, the jury reached a verdict.
Noah crooks is guilty of second degree murder of his 37-year old mother Gretchen Crooks.
Noah’s attorney William Kutmus walked up to the crooks family after the verdict was read and said this is a good verdict.
“Second degree murder in effect what that means is that they held there was a diminished capacity on a count of his mental illness and that precluded him from having pre-meditation and specific intent,” said Kutmus.
Noah will now be transferred to juvenile court. He will receive treatment until he turns 18-years old and at that time…
“He will come back before the same court; they will make a determination of whether he should be discharged at that time or whether he should be sentenced at that time, whether he should be supervised at that time,” said Mitchell County Attorney, Mark Walk.
Which means until he is legally an adult he’ll be in custody. After that, there’s no way of knowing what will happen to him.
Although neither side got the verdict they wanted, both attorneys feel that justice was served.
“There’s no winners actually, there are just no winners, under these facts,” said Kutmus.
“Our system was set up not to convict a guilty person, but to make certain that we never convict a person who’s not guilty. So anytime a jury reaches a decision, justice was served. We may not always agree with it but justice was done,” said Walk.
This was obviously a very difficult decision for those 12 jury members. When the judge was dismissing the jury after the verdict was read one jury member was crying as she was leaving the courtroom.