June 19, 1996 in Nation/World

Man Found Guilty Of Klaas Murder

Compiled From Wire Services

Richard Allen Davis was found guilty Tuesday of the kidnap and murder of 12-year-old Polly Klaas, a crime that makes him eligible for the death penalty.

Davis, 42, listened impassively as the verdicts were read, then turned and made an obscene, dismissive hand gesture to a TV camera that was broadcasting the proceedings from inside the San Jose courtroom.

Polly’s family, including her father, had been sitting in the front row of the courtroom holding hands as the court clerk read the verdicts. B.J. Klaas, Polly’s grandmother, quietly wept.

The six-man, six-woman jury deliberated for 20 hours over five days before finding Davis guilty of all 10 charges, including special circumstance counts of kidnapping, robbery, burglary and attempting to commit a lewd act on a child. Conviction on any one of the special circumstances would have left Davis eligible for the death penalty.

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