A Bay County jury has found Judy Gsell guilty of first degree felony murder and robbery in the death of her elderly husband.
Gsell strangled and robbed 80-year-old Raymond Gsell at their home in January because he would not give her money to buy crack cocaine.
During his closing statement, prosecutor Larry Bashford said “She asked for money, he refused. But that wasn’t good enough. She wanted it, she took it. And in the process, she took his life.”
Judge Elijah Smiley sentenced Gsell to the mandatory life in prison and another 15 years on the robbery charge. He also ordered her to pay a $25,000 fine.
Before the sentence was handed down, a family friend read a letter from Martin Gsell, Raymond's son. In it, Martin says "you portrayed yourself as a victim in this which tells me you're worthless to society. I hope you die alone in prison and are haunted by my father's face as you killed him every single day. Hell is waiting for you, please hurry."
Dawn Ross, who testified she snapped Raymond's neck because he was gurgling on his own blood and then stuffed his body in a freezer, will spend 40 years or less in prison. She pleaded guilty and testified for the prosecution.
Gsell and Ross choked him into submission, then Ross broke his neck. Sometime
during the attack, Gsell took cash and bank cards from him and later used the money to buy
more drugs and alcohol.
A verdict has been reached. We will bring it to you as soon as it's read.
The defense rested without presenting a single witness. Jury deliberations are underway.
Judy Gsell will not take the stand in her own defense.
Gsell is accused of killing her husband and then stuffing his body in a freezer.
The prosecution rested just after noon, after presenting 17 witnesses.
Gsell's attorney asked the judge for an acquittal after the prosecution rested saying they did not prove their case. But the judge has denied that request.
Closing statements will begin this afternoon.