Jury recommends death in Thanksgiving Day murder case

Annie McSween
Annie McSween

LAKE COUNTY, OH (WOIO) - A Mentor-on-the-Lake jury has recommended the death penalty for the man convicted in the brutal 2010 murder of a popular bartender.

The death penalty phase of the case wrapped up Thursday morning and the jury came back with its recommendation later that evening.

It took a jury just 10 hours to convict Joseph Thomas on Sept. 28 on all counts in the murder of Annie McSween.  She was killed the morning of Thanksgiving in 2010.

McSween, 49, was leaving her shift at Mario's Lakeway Lounge in Mentor-on-the-Lake when she was attacked behind the building.  Cops say she ran to a nearby home to get help, and frantically knocked on the windows.  Too scared to answer McSween's cries, the homeowner called 911 instead.

Meanwhile, the killer dragged McSween's badly beaten body away from the house, and she died.

Thomas was not arrested until June 2011, months after McSween's murder.

A sentencing date has not been set.

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