The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

September 18, 2013

GUILTY - Stewart convicted on all counts in murder of Bill Basilone



Stewart appeared unrepentant as sheriff’s deputies led him out of the courtroom, and he appeared to glare at the Basilones as he was returned to jail.

“I’m satisfied with the verdict. I’m very pleased,” Kochems said afterward.

“It’s just sad for everybody,” Goodwin said.

“It’s sad for the Basilones,” he said of the case.

Goodwin and assistant public defender Autumn Johnson mounted a vigorous defense of Stewart, arguing against Kochems and assistant district attorney Lauren Hackett as they attempted to introduce the trove of evidence in the case.

Prosecutors initially wanted to use evidence of Stewart’s connection to a spree of other robberies he and Devine Campbell are alleged to have committed in November and December 2011. Campbell, 19, faces the same charged in the Basilone slaying but will be tried separately.

Those cases weren’t mentioned during the trial because St. John ruled they couldn’t, but he did allow the testimony of a jailhouse snitch that Goodwin termed “corrupt and polluted.”

Stewart wore a white open-collared, long-sleeved shirt in his final hours in front of the jury.

“I will not testify,” Stewart told St. John before the jury was called in to hear closing arguments.

The courtroom was the fullest that it had been at any point in the trial. One side of benches was filled with Basilone’s friends and family members and on the other side, members of Stewart’s family and a few friends, along with the defense lawyers for Campbell.

As he searched for the words to sum up the case for the jury, Goodwin said it was challenging to succinctly make sense of the case.

“I had the feeling of being overwhelmed,” he told the jury.

Then he thought of the jurors who’d listened to three full days of testimony and the members of Basilone’s family who were forced to relive that day.

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