Jury recommends death penalty for man who killed 4-year-old daughter, her mother

Kristofer Garrett appears in court on August 13, 2019 (WBNS-10TV)

A jury has recommended the death penalty for a man who stabbed to death his ex-girlfriend and their 4-year-old daughter.

The Franklin County jury began deliberating the fate of Kristofer Garrett Tuesday afternoon.

Garrett stabbed to death his 4-year-old daughter Kristina Duckson and her mother, Nicole Duckson.

Garrett waited outside the Southeast Columbus home of Nicole Duckson and attacked her as she left the morning of January 5, 2018.

Family shares memories of mother & 4-year-old girl murdered in southeast Columbus

Then he chased down and stabbed their 4-year-old daughter to death. He told detectives he killed her because she witnessed him kill her mother.

Tuesday his attorneys argued Garrett was mentally ill, and the product of an abusive, neglectful childhood.

Several witnesses testified that he had never been in trouble before, and aside from these crimes, had never been violent.

"I did it and I'm sorry,” Garrett said. “I want to say I'm sorry to the family, to Mr. Duckson, especially to the parents and to the Duckson family. And I'm sorry to my family because they lost a family member as well. This is going to live with me for the rest of my life."

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"The only appropriate sentence, in this case, is a death sentence,” said Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien.

“You have the ability- each and every one of you- you have the ability to take away Kristofer's life- to take it away- without taking his life,” said defense attorney Mark Hunt. “You can take away his life without taking his life."

The jury had a range of possible sentences:

From life with no chance of parole for 25 years to life with no possibility of parole ever, to the death penalty.

Judge Chris Brown will make the final decision based on their recommendation.

He will impose sentence in a separate hearing set for Aug. 22.