Donald Hartung sentenced to 3 consecutive life sentences

Northwest Florida

PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — UPDATE (4:15 p.m.): A jury has sentenced Donald Hartung to three consecutive life sentences in prison.

It took the jury only one hour to reach a verdict.

Hartung, 63, was convicted last week of murdering his mother, Bonnie Smith, and two half-brothers, John and Richard.

Original story

Jurors will soon hear closing arguments from the state and defense team of Donald Hartung about why he does or does not deserve the death penalty.

Hartung, 63, was convicted last week of murdering his mother, Bonnie Smith, and two half-brothers, John and Richard.

Prosecutors say Hartung beat Bonnie and John Smith in the head with a hammer. They say Hartung shot Richard. He slit all their throats.

The state says Hartung deserves the death penalty because he planned to kill three people and then killed them viciously.

The defense has argued Hartung has a brain disease that could have made him act out violently.

During the penalty phase, the 12 jurors will need to vote unanimously on the death penalty. If they do, the recommendation will go to the judge. If all the jurors do not vote on the death penalty, then Hartung will get a mandatory life sentence.

A verdict could come sometime Friday.

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