Jury says Huntsville man who murdered daughter should get death penalty

A judge will take the jury's recommendation and make the final decision on his sentence.

Posted: May 28, 2019 4:52 PM
Updated: May 28, 2019 6:38 PM

A jury is recommending the death penalty for Lionel Francis, who last week was found guilty of murdering his daughter.

A judge will take the jury's recommendation and make the final decision on his sentence.

Sentencing is scheduled for July 25.

Francis was found guilty on Friday in the trial for the May 2016 death.

Police say Francis got into a fight with the mother of his 20-month-old daughter, Alexandria Francis, leading him to shooting the young girl in the head. He was arrested and charged with capital murder.

Francis has said he accidentally fired his gun when his daughter tried to hug him while he was cleaning the weapon.

Prosecutor, Tim Douthit, said when Francis shot the toddler in the head, it was evil and not an an accident.

"The toughest part for me to get over and for the jury to get over was just the acceptance that somebody could be so evil in this particular case," Douthit said.

The jury deliberated for about four hours before returning their verdict that the shooting was intentional. As Francis left court, he was emotionless and shrugged his shoulders when WAAY 31 asked him about the jury's verdict.

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