Guilty verdict in Franklin murder trial

A Cincinnati area man has been found guilty of murder for the stabbing death of Terry Hall Jr. in Franklin last summer.

The jury deliberated about nine hours over two days before returning the verdict against Robert White on Thursday afternoon.

Judge Tim Tepe sentenced White, 40, of Madeira, after the verdict was read to a mandatory prison term of life in prison with parole consideration after 15 years.

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White had no expression when the verdict was read. His family, who was seated behind him, cried quietly. They declined to comment when leaving the courtroom

When the judge asked him if he had anything to say before sentencing, White answered, “No, your honor,”

Wende Wysong, Hall’s sister, stepped to the podium and sobbed as she told the judge about her brother.

“Terry was not perfect, but he was a good man,” Wysong said. She noted his role in the family was that of protector.

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Hall loved anything that would get him outdoors, including hunting and fishing, she said.

“Really he loved life,” Wysong said.

“Terry was taken from us by an act of unnecessary violence. Terry mattered to us, and the family will be praying for you," she said to White.

Hall was stabbed 10 times on Aug. 27, 2017, at a Rooks Lane home where White sometimes stayed with his girlfriend, Nicole Checkawitz.

Dual defenses were presented by Whites’s legal team: One that he acted in self defense, and the second that he acted in a fit of passion or rage, which would meet the elements of a lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter, which the jury also considered.

The jury was instructed by the judge, however, that fear alone was not enough to incite a sudden fit of passion or rage.

MORE: Neighbors describe day of heavy drinking before fatal stabbing

In closing arguments, prosecutors said White took his actions to another level and did not have to kill Hall, who was unarmed.

“He was angry and he purposefully killed Terry Hall. And because he was still moving, he continued to stab Terry Hall,” Warren County Assistant Prosecutor Derek Faulkner said in closing arguments.

White took the stand in his own defense telling jurors he grabbed the knife to defend himself against Hall who had a chair and was angry. What said he continued to stab Hall when he fell because he was enraged by past run-ins with the man.

White has been in jail in lieu of a $500,000 bond since the night of the fatal stabbing in 2017.

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