YUMA, Ariz. - The jury in the La Mesa Murder trial found Preston Strong eligible for the death penalty.
Jurors found a total of four aggravating circumstances proven beyond reasonable doubt for each of the victims.
The prosecution hasn't been allowed to share information about Strong's previous conviction in the murder of Yuma Doctor Santinder Gill until today. The court didn't want the jury to be influenced and assume he's already guilty.
The jury ruled that Gill's murder is one aggravating circumstance that makes Strong eligible for the death penalty, a previous murder conviction.
The other three qualifiers are the fact that the murders involved children, multiple victims and the prosecution argued they were cold and calculated.
The jury was sent to deliberate and decide if at least one of the four aggravators listed is present in Strong's case.
Strong appeared in court wearing his jail inmate uniform, despite having the option of wearing his civilian clothes.
Gill was murdered on November 1, 2007. Strong was convicted for the murder on November 16, 2012. He was given two life sentences.
On Monday, May 1st, 2017 at 9:00 AM the case enters the final stage of the proceedings beginning with the defense's presentation of mitigation, followed by the State's presentation in aggravation, and jury deliberations on the ultimate question of whether the defendant should be sentenced to life or death.