Saturday, September 19, 2009

Anthony Todd Ghormley - Registered Sex Offender - Guilty of Attempted Murder

"I beat the hell out of (them)," he said to a friend on the phone. "You should see the bat. I bet you anything I'm on the news. I want you to know I did this. I want someone to know the truth."
Ghormley’s criminal history includes rape, incest, kidnapping, aggravated assault and DUI. He is a registered sex offender.

The face of Anthony Todd Ghormley remained stoic Friday as he stood listening to the jury forewoman read off charge after charge. By the end, a total of seven guilty verdicts were returned against the man, who now faces as many as 255 years behind bars for savagely beating three women with a baseball bat.
The jury in Ghormley's case deliberated for about five hours Thursday and about an hour Friday morning before handing down the verdict -- finding him guilty of two counts of attempted first-degree murder, three counts of aggravated assault, one count of especially aggravated kidnapping and one count of especially aggravated burglary.
The verdict was handed down exactly two years from the date Ghormley's charges stem from — a Sept. 18, 2007, incident during which Ghormley beat his now ex-wife Karen Vandyke, Vandyke's cousin Candy Bussey and her grandmother Gaynell Head with an aluminium baseball bat. Ghormley then held Head hostage for several hours, at one point bragging to a friend on the phone about the incident while it was still ongoing, before surrendering to police.

Ghormley did not react throughout the reading of the verdict, and he watched the jurors intently while Senior Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood asked each one individually if the verdict read was the one he or she agreed to.

As the trial was coming to a close Friday, and after the jury had left the room, Ghormley asked Blackwood through his attorney Kevin Shepherd if he could address the court outside the presence of members of the Blount County District Attorney General's Office. Blackwood allowed the request, and after a few minutes of muted whispering with his client, Shepherd told Blackwood that his client was requesting to put him on the witness stand for questioning. Shepherd told Blackwood that he would not submit to questioning unless the court ordered it, and after Blackwood said he would not, Ghormley again asked to address the judge.

Wearing a white T-shirt and striped pants from the Blount County Jail, Ghormley claimed he had not been allowed access to certain documents by his attorney.

"I can't even get a copy of my indictment," he said before Blackwood cut him off and ended the exchange.

"That's enough," Blackwood said, then addressing bailiffs in the court. "Take Mr. Ghormley out."

As part of the guilty verdicts, the jury assessed fines totaling $180,000 on the charges, and Blackwood set a Nov. 19 sentencing hearing -- if his sentences were to run consecutively for each charge, Ghormley faces as many as 255 years in prison.

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