The jury in the capital murder trial of convicted child killer Brian Horn has recommended the death sentence. The jury of six women and six men from East Baton Rouge Parish deliberated for just over an hour before returning the verdict on Saturday afternoon.
The jury's decision had to be unanimous, or Horn would have been sentenced to life in prison.
Horn, 37, was found guilty on Wednesday of first degree murder in the death of 12-year-old Justin Bloxom. Prosecutors say he posed as a 15-year-old girl to entice Bloxom via text to meet up with him for sex. The boy's body was found in a wooded area off Highway 171 on March 31, 2010.
On Saturday morning, Horn's defense attorneys showed numerous pictures of Brian horn from his childhood, before asking Deborah Adshire to describe his birth and early years.
Adshire described a lengthy and difficult labor that ultimately required forceps. She described his head as "egg shaped" and bruised when she brought him home.
When asked how long after she got him home did she notice something was wrong, Adshire said it was when he was 4 or 5 months old, and that he just seemed more active than most babies.
At 5 months, Horn's mother says he was walking, which she thought was odd, since none of her friend's babies were even crawling.
She says he was a happy baby, but by the time he was 9 months, Adshire recalled that Horn was running, and that she had to use a dog's leash to keep up with him. This was around the time she says he was also shaking his crib hard enough to cause concern. That's when she says she took him to the doctor, who prescribed Thorazine. The drug is used to treat severe behavior disorders. But it made him so catatonic that he couldn't even lift his arm, so she stopped giving it to him.
Getting into the later years of Horn's childhood, Adshire recalled when she and Horn's father were arrested for selling drugs out of the home. She described a lot of yelling in the house during Horn's childhood. The couple separated twice before eventually divorcing.
She told of almost being evicted from their home because the young Horn kept setting paper airplanes on fire and sending them out the window, and using cans of hairspray to create flamethrowers.
Horn was eventually diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and prescribed various medications.
During testimony on Friday, a number of other family members, officials from the Louisiana Training Institute where he was incarcerated and allegedly sexually assaulted and one of his teachers also took the stand as Horn's defense team worked to establish Horn's difficult childhood.
During a pause in questioning on Saturday, while Horn's mother was still on the stand, Adshire could be seen looking intently at her son, whispering "I'm so sorry."
"I've thought about this for four years and what I'm going to say. First of all I want to tell Amy that I'm so sorry. Of four years I haven't been able to look in your face because I'm so ashamed. I'm so sorry I'm so sorry for Justin's grandparents. Not a day goes by that I don't think of them. I'm so sorry. I'm sorry. I want my other son Kevin to know I'm sorry he had to go through this. My pride is in my son and I love him unconditionally. I have since conception, and we failed him. I love him with all my heart."
Looking at the jury, Adshire said, "and I want to tell you I'm sorry that you have to come here and do this. All I ask is I beg for my sons life. Please spare his life. I failed him. I know I shouldn't ask, but I love him. He's had a hell of a life. I'm so sorry."
Horn could be seen wiping away tears.
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