A US Marine from Baltimore has been found guilty of killing his ex-girlfriend, who was tied up, beaten, stabbed in the neck, strangled and dumped outside a local high school last year.
Christopher Rather, 23, was convicted on Monday of second-degree murder in the June 2018 death of 20-year-old Jasmine Pierce-Morris. He was acquitted of first-degree murder, which involves premeditation.
Rather’s defense attorney, Paul Batchelor, said during the trial last week that investigators mishandled evidence and set out to blame the ex-boyfriend for the slaying.
Christopher Rather, 23 (left), was convicted on Monday of second-degree murder in the June 2018 death of 20-year-old Jasmine Pierce-Morris (right)
Pierce-Morris' body was found in a kneeling position, with her head resting in a pool of blood on, the bleachers at Reginald F Lewis School of Business and Law High School
A woman walking her dogs came upon the body and alerted the authorities
But prosecutors accused Rather of killing Pierce-Morris because she was seeing someone new.
They revealed her last text message to a friend, saying she was meeting Rather, who was her junior prom date, at the football field.
It said: 'Soooo, Chris wanted to talk to me today right. I’m meeting him at this football field. I think this goin be our last conversation. He told me he was leaving, might be going to California or Hawaii. Imma find out when he get here but ain’t that good news?!?'
Jurors deliberated for two days before convicting Rather, reported The Baltimore Sun.
The defendant bowed his head upon hearing the guilty verdict, while Pierce-Morris's family members present in the courtroom cried and hugged each other.
The 23-year-old faces 43 years in prison when he is sentenced on October 8.
Pierce-Morris left home to go work a night shift at an Amazon warehouse on June 11, 2018, but never made it.
Her mother filed a missing person report when Pierce-Morris failed to come home.
On June 12, 2018, at around 11.30am, Dana Keller was walking her dogs by the bleachers at Reginald F