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article imageJury convicts farmer of killing two men, feeding them to pigs

By Megan Hamilton     Apr 23, 2015 in Crime
Medford - It only took an hour of deliberation for a jury in Oregon to convict a woman of killing two handymen, then feeding their corpses to her pigs.
The jury found Susan Monica guilty of murdering two men, dismembering them, and feeding them to her pigs.
Describing her as a "cold-blooded killer," Circuit Judge Tim Barnack immediately sentenced Monica to a minimum of 50 years in prison, The Associated Press reports.
Monica, 66, sat quietly while jurors in the Jackson County courtroom read unanimous verdicts of two counts each of murder and abuse of a corpse, The Mail Tribune reports. Charged in the shooting deaths and dismemberment of Stephen Delicino, 59, in the summer of 2012, and Robert Haney, 56 in September 2013, the murders took place more than a year apart.
The men were allegedly fed to her pigs and the rest of their remains were discovered in January 2014, on the 20-acre farm in rural Wimer, located in southern Oregon. Throughout 18 grueling hours of videotaped interviews and her six-day jury trial, Monica never took responsibility for the men's deaths and told authorities she was afraid her pigs would be killed if she reported the deaths, per The Mail Tribune.
"You shot two people and fed them to your pigs," Barnack said. "I don't know how else I can put it. You valued pigs more than you value people."
"It may sound harsh, but you are a cold-blooded killer," he said.
Throughout the duration of the case, Monica's stories about how she shot the two men went through several reincarnations, ABC News reports. Her stories never matched the forensic evidence, Allan Smith, senior assistant deputy district attorney, told the jurors in his closing arguments.
At various times, Monica claimed that Delicino shot himself repeatedly in the head, or that she shot him in self-defense and he was eaten by her pigs before she buried his remains on her farm, Smith told jurors.
ABC News reports that Monica told officials that Haney disappeared in the summer of 2013 and added that she found him being disemboweled by the pigs a month later, and that she shot him to ease his suffering. Later, she questioned whether he was alive when she shot him.
Defense attorney Garren Pedemonte argued that there wasn't any concrete evidence to rebut Monica's claims that she shot Delicino in self-defense or to show that Haney was alive when Monica shot him. Part of his remains were discovered in plastic bags in her barn.
Veronica Vance, a State Police forensic anthropologist, testified that Haney's legs were chopped off with an ax. She also said there was evidence to show that the thigh bones had been gnawed by an animal.
What she said she couldn't determine is whether the ax blows came before or after his death. Delicino, she said, suffered three or four gunshot wounds to the head, but there was no evidence to prove or disprove the self-defense claim.
On Monday, a woman who met Monica in the Jackson County Jail, testified that the woman signed a birthday card in jail and added the phrase "from the sweetest murderer in Jackson County, " The New York Daily News reports.
Jordan "Janae" Farris, who is serving time for a probation violation stemming from a burglary conviction, said that Monica also confided that she shot one of the men, Robert Haney, 56, with a shotgun and fed him to her pigs.
"I got chills from the birthday card," Farris, 23, said.
The April 9 birthday greeting came a few days after Monica told her about the killing, Farris said. An 11th-hour witness, she told her story to jailers last week.
Monica responded that she signed the card in accordance with the charges she was facing, ABC News reports.
She could have awaited sentencing, but asked for it to be imposed as soon as the jury was dismissed, The Mail Tribune reports.
"It doesn't seem to matter," she said.
Turning to Haney's family, she said:
"I couldn't bring myself to call you simply to say, 'Hey, your father has finally showed up. Come get him out of my pig pen. I couldn't do it.
While the judge addressed the jury before deliberations started on Tuesday, Monica stood up, raised her hand and asked for one more chance to show jurors how, she claimed, she shot Delicino, ABC News reported.
"I'd like to demonstrate how I shot him for 10 seconds," Monica said.
At first, Barnack ignored her, but when she put her hands in the air, in the same fashion as she did in her earlier testimony, and said, "I held the gun like this," he ordered her back to jail and sheriff's deputies escorted her away.
The case will be appealed while Monica is incarcerated, The Mail Tribune reports.
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