A Fayette Circuit Court jury recommended the death penalty Thursday night for Carlos Ordway of Louisville for the slayings of two men in 2007.
The jury returned a guilty verdict on two murder counts Wednesday. Other potential sentences were 20 to 50 years, life in prison, life without parole for at least 25 years and life without parole.
Formal sentencing by Judge Pamela Goodwine is scheduled Sept. 10.
Dennis Shepherd, one of two public defenders who represented Ordway, said he was "certain there would be an appeal." Commonwealth's Attorney Ray Larson declined comment, saying it was inappropriate until after formal sentencing.
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Ordway, 29, was accused of fatally shooting Patrick Lewis, 21, and Rodrieques Turner, 25, both of Louisville, while the two were inside a car on Appian Way in Lexington. Defense attorneys argued during the trial that Ordway acted in self-defense.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys were given the chance to address the jury one last time before asking them to select a penalty. Both Larson and public defender Sam Cox focused largely on Ordway's troubled childhood.
Cox told jurors of a mother who didn't love Ordway, a father who wasn't there, and an 8-year-old Ordway who slept with hammers and screwdrivers in his bed to protect himself from visions.
"He was afraid," Cox said. "He saw things."
Larson said those difficulties provide no excuse for the killings and 13 other convictions in Ordway's past involving using a gun in a crime.
"Practically all children raised in those kind of circumstances do not commit murder," Larson told jurors. "We're sorry ... but that does not give him the right to take a life, let alone two."
Prosecutors said Ordway fired a gun into a car that had crashed on Appian Way on Aug. 11, 2007. Lewis was hit five times, Turner three, Larson said.
The defense argued that the killing was self-defense, saying Turner and Lewis robbed Ordway. Ordway grabbed Turner's gun and shot the two men after one of them put a gun to Ordway's head and took drugs from him, the defense said.
Though the jury rejected self-defense, Cox asked them Thursday to consider "mitigating circumstances" when selecting a sentence for Ord way, saying the death penalty would cause his family, including his mother, sisters and children, to suffer. Larson argued otherwise.
"Carlos Ordway is a very dangerous man," he told jurors. "His reaction is always to shoot first.
"The only real appropriate penalty is death."