Wednesday, December 08, 1999

Hands placed on girl's throat

Murder suspect: 'I got very angry'

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HAMILTON — The day after returning his engagement ring, Jill Sexton told Christopher Hubbard she wanted to break up with him. “I got very, very angry,” Mr. Hubbard said on the witness stand Tuesday in Butler County Common Pleas Court.

        He said after he pushed his 18-year-old girlfriend down on a love seat in his mother's apartment, she went into the kitchen and returned with a knife.

        “She told me I would never put my hand on her again,” he said. “She came at me with the knife.”

        Mr. Hubbard, 20, of Hamilton, said he put his hands around her throat.

        “She fell to the ground, and the next thing I knew she wasn't breathing,” he said. “I never meant for it to happen.”

        Mr. Hubbard's testimony came on the second day of his murder trial. He was the only witness offered by defense attorney Greg Howard.

        Mr. Hubbard is charged with the March 22 murder of Ms. Sexton, who was a senior at Hamilton High School. He admitted that after he killed her, he drove her car to his aunt's trailer in Decatur, Tenn., with Ms. Sexton's body hidden on the floor of the back seat.

        Two days later, he was arrested at a hospital in Tennessee. He was being treated for self-inflicted cuts on his neck and wrists when police found Ms. Sexton's body in the car.

        After the prosecution and the defense present closing arguments today, the case will go to the jury.

        The prosecution attacked Mr. Hubbard's contention that Ms. Sexton had threatened him with a knife.

        Under cross-examination by Assistant Prosecuting Attorney John M. Holcomb, Mr. Hubbard admitted that he had not told his mother, his aunt or hospital personnel that he was attacked by Ms. Sexton.

        Mr. Hubbard said he put the knife she used under a seat in her car. But Hamilton Police Detective Sherry Marcum said she had thoroughly searched the car and found no knife.

        He said he didn't kill Ms. Sexton in self-defense.

        “It just happened,” he said.

        After Mr. Hubbard denied telling Ms. Sexton in February that he would kill her if she left him, the prosecution called his mother, Debbie Hubbard, as a rebuttal witness.

        She said that in February at her apartment, she saw her son lying on top of Ms. Sexton, pressing the side of her face into the bed.

        Mrs. Hubbard said she pulled him off her and told him if he ever touched her again, she would see that he went to jail.

        When Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Rick Hyde asked her what Mr. Hubbard said while pressing Ms. Sexton's head into the bed, she replied, “He said, "I'll kill you.'”

        “If?” Mr. Hyde said, urging her to finish the sentence.

        “Wait a minute,” she replied. “I don't remember.”

        After Mr. Hyde showed her a written transcript of her statements at an April preliminary court hearing, Mrs. Hubbard admitted that her son said he would kill Ms. Sexton if she ever left him.

        Mr. Hubbard cried on the witness stand as he talked about telling his mother that he had strangled Ms. Sexton.

        He said he had been arrested March 20 for DUI and feared he would go to jail. He said on the morning of March 22, Ms. Sexton said she wanted to break up with him because he might go to jail.

        “She said she didn't want me sitting in the jail worrying about where she was going and who she was with,” Mr. Hubbard said.


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