Madison County judge hands down death sentence for the first time in 11 years

Madison County judge hands down death sentence for the first time in 11 years

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Thursday morning, a Madison County Judge sentenced convicted killer Lionel Francis to death. This comes two months after a jury found him guilty of capital murder in the shooting death of his 20-month-old daughter, Alexandria.

This is first time in a decade a Madison County judge handed down the death penalty. Benito Alabrran was the last person to receive the death penalty back in 2008. He was found guilty of killing Huntsville police officer Daniel Golden.

A jury voted 11-1 to give Francis the death penalty, the judge upheld their decision.

Francis walked in silence to the courtroom, escorted by several officers. He showed no emotions while he listened to both sides argue their case.

A Madison County judge has sentenced Lionel francis to death for the shooting and killing his 20 month old daughter
A Madison County judge has sentenced Lionel francis to death for the shooting and killing his 20 month old daughter (Source: WAFF)

Tim Douthit, Assistant District Attorney for Madison County, tells WAFF 48 the punishment fits the crime. “It’s not a happy situation, justice doesn’t always make you feel good, but this was justice."

Bruce Gardner, Francis’ attorney, was not surprised by the judges decision. “It was not surprising, but it’s still very very humbling and disappointing.”

Gardner asked the judge to relieve him of his duties as Francis’ attorney as Francis begins the appeal process.

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