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Wednesday, August 12, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Woods Gets His Wish For Death Sentence He Asked Jury To Give Him Death For Two Killings

Tom Sowa and Adam Lynn Staff writers

Convicted murderer Dwayne Woods got what he asked for Wednesday: the death penalty.

A nine-woman, three-man jury deliberated for a day and a half before agreeing that Woods, 27, deserved to die for the brutal murders of two young Spokane Valley women last year.

The same panel took just four hours last week to convict Woods of the beating deaths of Telisha Shaver, 22, and Jade Moore, 18.

After that first half of the trial, the jury sat dumbfounded Monday when Woods stood up and said, point-blank, he would not plead for a life sentence.

Woods insisted throughout the trial he was innocent.

Jurors needed to agree unanimously to impose the death sentence. If they had deadlocked, Woods would have been sentenced to life without parole.

The mothers of the victims, Terri Moore and Sherry Shaver, hugged after the verdict and shared a private moment.

“We’re bonded forever,” Terri Moore said later. “There’s no one else who can understand a mother’s loss than another mother.”

Wednesday afternoon, Terri Moore and her son, Chad, went to Pines Cemetery and placed fresh roses on Jade’s headstone.

They and other relatives placed a laminated headline from a newspaper next to the flowers.

Above the headline - “Jurors convict Woods of murders” - Terri Moore wrote in pen: “You did it, Jade.”

A number of witnesses testified during the trial that before she died, Jade Moore identified Woods as the man who had beaten her.

The victims were beaten with an aluminum baseball bat last April 27. Woods, who had dated Telisha’s sister, Venus, was arrested a day after the attacks.

Both Sherry Shaver and Terri Moore said they struggled through Tuesday, waiting in a court hallway as jurors talked for several hours without reaching a sentence.

“I woke up today and wondered if my heart and mind could keep on going another day without a decision,” Moore said.

Throughout the proceedings, three families had formed a tense courtroom triangle, attending nearly every hearing, more than two weeks of jury selection and 10 days of the trial.

Victims’ family members sat on one side of the courtroom gallery, the parents and sister of Dwayne Woods on the other.

They didn’t speak to the other. Glances and quick glares were all they exchanged. “I feel this is a sad, very tough day for them, too,” Sherry Shaver said of Woods’ parents.

After Superior Court Judge Michael Donohue read the verdict, Woods left the courtroom, looking briefly at his parents, Emmanuel and Janet Hunter.

Woods’ mother went up to sheriff’s Detective Mark Henderson after the sentencing and cursed him.

“Why didn’t you let those other two police officers testify that we were all in that tavern? You’re a rogue cop,” she said.

Woods’ parents declined to comment on the jury’s death penalty verdict.

The Hunters chose not to testify during the trial. A defense witness had said they were in a downtown tavern, with Woods, the morning the murders took place.

But if they testified, they could not watch the rest of their son’s trial. They opted to not testify, hoping the jury would accept the alibi testimony of the witness.

Barry Moore, Jade’s father, said he had spent the past year “in a fog.” He and his second wife, Melinda, attended nearly every court appearance, awaiting the day of a final verdict.

“I have only one thing I’d ask right now,” Barry Moore said. “I’d ask him why. It might not mean much to others. I’d just like to know.”

Spokane County Prosecutor Jim Sweetser talked with the victims’ family members after the verdict.

“I told them that we would continue offering them any counseling any of them may still need,” Sweetser said.

Police escorted jurors from the courthouse to a van that took them back to a hotel, where they had spent two nights sequestered.

News media were advised they could not take photos of jurors as they left.

Sweetser said he hoped, at a later date, to thank the jury for its conscientious work. “Justice was done,” he said.

“You can talk about justice all you want,” defense attorney Jim Sheehan. “It has to be tempered with compassion. The courts are the paradigm of justice, the model for society. If the solution there is violence, what kind of model is that?”

Sheehan said Woods thanked him as he was led out of court, handcuffed and guarded.

“He called me at the office later in the day,” Sheehan said. Though Sheehan was away, Woods left a message with Sheehan’s co-workers at the county Public Defender’s office.

“He wanted to make sure I was doing all right,” Sheehan said.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Color photo

MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: ON DEATH ROW Dwayne Woods becomes the 14th person in Washington awaiting execution. The only other person facing the death penalty from Spokane County is Blake Pirtle, convicted in 1993 of cutting the throats of two Burger King employees during a robbery.

The following fields overflowed: BYLINE = Tom Sowa Staff writer Staff writer Adam Lynn contributed to this report.

This sidebar appeared with the story: ON DEATH ROW Dwayne Woods becomes the 14th person in Washington awaiting execution. The only other person facing the death penalty from Spokane County is Blake Pirtle, convicted in 1993 of cutting the throats of two Burger King employees during a robbery.

The following fields overflowed: BYLINE = Tom Sowa Staff writer Staff writer Adam Lynn contributed to this report.

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