US & Canada

Memphis man convicted of murdering family members

Jessie Dotson
Image caption Jessie Dotson could face the death penalty for the six murders

A man has been convicted of murdering his brother, two nephews and three others at a home in Memphis, in the US state of Tennessee.

The jury concluded Jessie Dotson had shot and killed his brother, Cecil, before going after potential witnesses in the house with a gun and a knife.

Three other children, including a 10-month-old baby, were stabbed but survived, the court heard.

Dotson, 35, could face the death penalty for the 2008 attack.

Dotson displayed no emotion as the jury, which had deliberated for less than two hours, announced its verdict.

In his testimony, he said gang members were responsible for the deaths.

Dotson claimed he had hidden under a bed during the slayings and had not reported them to the police out of fear for his life.

Blade in skull

Cecil Dotson's 11-year-old son, a surviving victim who was the key witness in the case, was found by police in a bathtub with a knife blade stuck into his skull following the attack.

The jury convicted Dotson of killing nephews Cemario Dotson, four, and Cecil Dotson, two; Marissa Rene Williams, 26, the mother of four of Cecil's children; Hollis Seals, 33; Shindri Robinson, 25; and his brother Cecil.

Defence attorney Gerald Skahan said Jessie Dotson was not happy with the verdict, but he and the defence team understood it.

The jury will begin considering on Tuesday whether Dotson, who has already served prison time for murder and was released several months before the 2008 attack, should be sentenced to death by lethal injection.

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