Jury chooses life in prison without parole for Patterson

Ryan Patterson
Ryan Patterson
Jamie and Derrick Orman
Jamie and Derrick Orman

JACKSON, MO (KFVS) - Thursday morning jurors found Ryan Patterson guilty on all 3 counts of 1st degree murder.

Just before 7 p.m. Thursday, the verdict of life in prison without the possibility of parole for Ryan Patterson came from jurors.

The other option was death.

Formal sentencing is now set for September 19th.

After hearing closing arguments from the state and defense, jurors went into deliberations in the penalty phase around 5:30 p.m. 

Family members on both sides remained at the Cape County Court House while the jury came back with a decision on Patterson's punishment. Jurors came back with a guilty verdict on all three counts of first degree murder Thursday morning. 
Meanwhile Patterson himself remained in the courtroom.

The convicted murderer continued to talk and joke with his family from his seat. Patterson also sat only several feet away from Bruce Orman - who was seated in the gallery.

Patterson is accused of taking the life of Ormans' 15-year-old son.


Jamie Orman's sister, Kelly Hoffman, released a press release on the Murder conviction and sentencing of Ryan Patterson:

"First, off I would like to thank all the officers, investigators, courtroom workers, deputies, the major case squad, the jurors, Beth, and Mr. Swingle.  It was a combined effort that helped the case receive three 1St degree murder verdicts. Countless man/woman hours has been spent on this case. Without their hard work and dedication these verdicts would not have been possible.

I am very relieved to have the three guilty verdicts. I feel justice has been served with these guilty verdicts. It was a long and stressful trial. My promise to my sister, as I stood over her casket, was I would see the person responsible for taking their lives receives the fullest sentence possible. To no avail of my own, I cannot uphold this promise to my sister. For this, I am disappointed Patterson did not receive the death penalty.  I am a strong believer in an eye for an eye.

While I value the jurors' thoughts and consideration, in their sentencing, I only prayed he (Patterson) would receive the death penalty. It is with relief to know that, Patterson will not be on the streets again, as he now has three life sentences without the possibility of probation or parole. I do respect the jurors' decision they made in the case. However, I do believe Patterson has received some mercy for his crimes he committed. He showed no mercy for my sister and nephews and I felt he deserved no mercy with his sentencing.

I thank everyone for their countless prayers, words of encouragement, and keeping us in your thoughts.

To the Patterson Family: I understand you believe your family member Ryan is innocent, and I respect that. No one wants to be in either family position. However, after attending court this week, I do believe they have convicted the right person. While I do agree with you that other parties should receive harsher punishments."

Kelly Hoffman

Jamie's sister and Derrick and Joey's Aunt


The jury had continued to deliberate the fate of Ryan Patterson on Thursday afternoon. Now in the penalty phase of the trial, they must choose either death, or life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Jurors are hearing closing arguments from state and defense before deliberating whether or not Patterson should get the death penalty.

Around 9:45 a.m. Thursday morning, the jury brought in their verdict. Jurors announced they Ryan Patterson guilty on all three counts of first-degree murder in a triple murder trial in Cape Girardeau County.

The courtroom was silent as the judge asked spectators to not show any emotion while the jury goes through its second round of deliberations in the "penalty phase."

The jury has one of two choices: the death penalty and life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Attorneys will make statements before the jury recommendations.  The victims' families and Patterson's families will make statements as well.

"Thank you in your decision," Cape Girardeau County Prosecutor Morley Swingle said to the jury.  "You've already made sure this man will never walk the streets again."

Both families remain still and expressionless.  Patterson has shown no emotion.

Three sheriff's deputies and a member of the local police department entered the courtroom.  The judge Patterson again if he would like to testify.

Ryan Patterson is the accused gunman in the 2009 triple murder of Jamie Orman, her unborn baby, and 15-year-old son, Derrick.

Prosecutors have called the case a murder plot gone wrong. They say Michelle Lawrence, who pleaded guilty to murder charges in June, plotted along with Patterson to kill her estranged husband John for insurance money. However, John wasn't home that Tuesday morning in October and the three others died instead. Samuel 'Ray Ray' Hughes also faces charges in connection with the murders. Hughes is accused of serving as the look out.

Lawyers for Patterson say both Patterson and Lawrence knew John Lawrence was working the night-shift that evening in October. They suggest this crime could not have been a conspiracy against a man the alleged suspects actually knew was not at home.

Now the trial moves into what's called the penalty phase. In this second part of the case, the jury has two choices: They decide between the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole.

In this stage, the state and defense have the opportunity to argue the case again. Now, family members of the victims get the opportunity to take the stand.

Wednesday, Stephanie Howard, sister of Jamie Orman told Heartland News, "We want him gone. We want the death penalty."

Bruce Orman, John Lawrence, and Kelly Yates Hoffman spoke on behalf of Jamie and Derrick Orman, and baby Joey.

Bruce Orman is the father of Derrick Orman, and Derrick's brother's Jacob and Travis. Both Jacob and Travis were home when their brother Derrick was shot and killed.

"I'm not the same," Bruce Orman told the jury. "When he died a part of me died. I try to be strong for my boys. It's not the same having three bedrooms upstairs and only two boys in them."

He says the boys are different too.

"They slept with me behind a locked door for a while," said Orman. "They don't do the same things they used to. When they lost their mom, they lot a pal. They lost more than half their life."

John Lawrence also spoke about losing Jamie, and the son they shared.

"I keep thinking I'll wake up from this," said Lawrence. "It's devastating. I can't believe I'm in this."

Lawrence said he wanted the new baby to connect the families.

"I told my kids the baby would connect us all, Jamie's kids and mine," said Lawrence.

Kelly Yates Hoffman, Jamie Orman's sister, also spoke.

"We want her back," said Hoffman. "When he took her and Derrick he took so much from us."

Late Thursday morning and afternoon, the defense will call several witnesses for their side.

Patterson's family tells Heartland News they still believe he is innocent. They say they feel they are now fighting for his life."

Thursday afternoon around 2:00 p.m. jurors heard additional testimony on behalf of the defendant.

During afternoon proceedings, Robertha Ellis was first to testify. She discussed background on the family, including a history among the siblings of physical abuse.

"It was more of a beating," said Ellis. She discussed how she watched her mother being beaten by another family member.

"They took her head and ran it into the TV screen," she remembers.

"You all had learned from the frequencies of these beatings how to help clean your mother up?," asked attorney, Robert Steele.

"We had to," said Ellis. "She'd be so swollen she couldn't walk."

Ellis told the jury she and her brothers and sisters were also 'whipped' regularly with an extension cord.

"I walked in door one day and I can remember he slapped me across my back with the extension cord and it ripped the skin off my back," said Ellis.

Ellis also talked about Patterson's relationship with his two young sons. She also talked about Patterson's job at Jackson Manor. Ellis told the jury Patterson took care of his children and she feels he is a good worker.

"Since he's been locked up, who's had the children?" asked Steele. "Is there mother around?"

"Every now and then," responded Ellis.

Ellis is one of several members who will testify on behalf of Patterson in an attempt to convince the jury to spare his life.

Lawyers also called in a psychiatric expert to discuss Patterson's mental state and his boss from Jackson Manor Nursing Home.

Psychiatrists say Patterson suffers from a personality disorder. He told jurors the combination of disorders, fears, and paranoia's Patterson suffers from come together to make each other worse having a significant impact on the decision making process. Mr. Dudley testified that Mr. Patterson has hallucinations, and also that Mr. Patterson had indicated his dead twin brother sometimes talked to him.

Attorney, David Kenyon asked if Patterson did indeed commit these murders, who his mental state have had an impact.

Dr. Dudley responded, yes.

During Dr. Dudley's testimony, Ryan Patterson spoke up saying: "What if I didn't do it?"

"Mr. Patterson this is not the time to speak up," Judge William Syler responded.

Following questioning by the defense, Swingle asked several more questions regarding Patterson's state of mind at the time of the murders.

Stay with Heartland News for the latest on the trial.

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