Anthony Pardon speaks on second day of sentencing phase

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The sentencing phase of the Anthony Pardon trial has entered its second day.

Pardon, a registered sex-offender, was convicted last week of kidnapping, raping and murdering Rachael Anderson in 2018.

Anderson’s body was discovered in her east side apartment, on the day after her 24th birthday. 

In the sentencing phase, jurors will consider whether to recommend the death penalty for Pardon.

On Tuesday, one of Pardon’s attorneys, told jurors how his upbringing and adult life contributed to his decision to kill Anderson.

“You’re going to hear that this man from an abused, dysfunctional, chaotic childhood went from that dysfunction at 16 and spent the rest of his life in prison,” said Isabella Dixon.

Pardon made a statement to the jury, not under oath. He told stories about how nearly 40 years in prison impacted his life. He also told stories about how his father beat him and how that shaped him into the man he is today.

“Another time he beat me so bad with a pool stick I got the scars on my back, a piece of the pool stock and lodged in my back it’s because my grandmother and them were so scared of my father, when we got to the hospital they told everybody that I fell on a stick and that’s how it happened, but everybody else seems like it just got worse and worse and worse,” said Pardon.

Jurors also heard testimony from Pardon’s mother, sister, cousin and one of his elementary school teachers.

His mother and sister, who asked not to be identified, both told jurors Pardon grew up in an abusive home surrounded by drugs and alcohol. “It was a lot of chaos, alcohol, and fighting all through our lives,” his sister said.

The day ended with Dr. Bob Stinson, a psychologist who evaluated Pardon after he was arrested, beginning his testimony.

Stinson continued testifying, on Wednesday. He discussed the impacts of Pardon’s childhood and adult life in prison, on the 55-year-old’s mental health.

Pardon, who was previously convicted of attempted murder, aggravated robbery and rape, served decades in prison, prior to raping and murdering Anderson.

“He saw people get beat up,” said Stinson, of Pardon’s time in prison. “He saw people get sexually abused. He himself was beaten up. He himself was raped in prison. He was stabbed in prison, so he clearly experienced these traumatic events, even if we don’t think about the trauma from his childhood.”

Stinson said Pardon developed post traumatic stress disorder and depression, while also having panic attacks.

Additionally, he said Pardon dealt with the aftermath of multiple concussions .

“The depression and PTSD have been going on for a long period of time, largely untreated, so they persist to this day,” he told the jury.

Twice, Stinson told jurors he is not surprised Pardon is the subject of a capital murder case.

“I’m not shocked that we had a tragic ending — that we had a negative outcome,” he said. “Of course, any capital case is shocking. From my perspective as a psychologist, when I look at everything I reviewed with you all, I can’t be surprised that we had a negative outcome.”

In his opening argument, O’Brien argued nothing should prevent the jury from recommending the death penalty.

“He very well understood, the evidence shows, what he was doing,” he stated. “He was robbing, raping and hogtying Rachael Anderson on her birthday.” 

Pardon is expected to address the jury, in this phase of the trial.

Several of Anderson’s family members and friends are at the courthouse, as they have been during the duration of the trial.

They have yet to publicly comment on this case.

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