Yosemite killer Cary Stayner was sane when he murdered three tourists in 1999. A jury made that finding today. Next, it will decide whether he gets a death sentence. Jurors took less than four hours to reject the defense claim that the former motel handyman was crazy and unable to understand what he was doing, or that it was wrong to murder the tourists to Yosemite National Park. The same jurors convicted Stayner last month of murdering Carole Sund, her 15-year-old daughter, Juli, and their 16-year-old Argentine friend, Silvina Pelosso. The three were staying at the lodge where Stayner worked outside the park.
Jurors now will begin the penalty phase of the case against Stayner, who already is serving a life sentence for murdering park nature guide Joie Armstrong. Prosecutors said proof of Stayner’s sanity was in his confession to the FBI, in which he detailed his methodical and elaborate efforts to cover his tracks. Prosecutor George Williamson said Stayner’s efforts to cover up the crimes showed a consciousness of guilt, which was a direct sign he knew the crimes were wrong.