John Badgett was sentenced to death by the State of North Carolina for a murder. According to court documents John Badgett would stab to death Grover Arthur Kiser during what prosecutors say was a robbery. John Badgett would tell the court that Grover Arthur Kiser attacked him first and it was self defense. John Badgett would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death
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Though John Scott Badgett claimed it was self-defense, a judge sentenced him to death Thursday for killing Grover Arthur Kiser.
Badgett admitted in court that he had problems controlling his anger and a history of assaulting people. But he said he wasn’t angry with the jury, which recommended the death sentence over life in prison without parole.
“I just want the jury to know that I have no ill feelings toward them,” Badgett said before Judge John O. Craig III of High Point sentenced him.
Despite the brutality of his younger brother’s murder and his doubts about the defendant’s honesty, Marvin Kiser of Randleman, said he felt sorry for Badgett.
He said some of Badgett’s testimony earlier this week about his tragic childhood hit home and reminded him of his and his brother’s difficult upbringing.
“I feel for Mr. Badgett,” Kiser said Thursday after the trial. “As he was testifying, I was fighting back tears because I felt for him, especially when he was talking about his childhood. It brought back memories of my childhood. It bothered me.”
The jury deliberated Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning before delivering their sentencing recommendation about 11:30 a.m.
Afterward, they waited outside the courtroom to give Marvin Kiser their sympathy and tell him they hoped the verdict and sentence gave him some closure in his brother’s death. A tearful Kiser thanked them for their time
“I’m sorry you had to go through this,” he told them.
Badgett confessed to killing Grover Kiser, 55, in the victim’s home about Nov. 20, 2002, by stabbing him the neck. Badgett said Kiser woke up that night, flew into a rage and threatened him.
He said he killed the man out of fear. Defense attorneys said Kiser had a history of mental illness, including five involuntary commitments for psychiatric care.
But prosecutors said that the homeless Badgett killed Kiser during a robbery after the victim let him come in out of the cold and gave him food. They contended that Badgett carefully selected his target: an eccentric older man living alone.
Badgett said he stabbed Kiser as the man came at him. But the prosecution’s take on the evidence was that Badgett attacked Kiser from behind. They argued that he grabbed the man’s hair, reached around and stuck a pocket knife 3 inches into the victim’s throat.
Although Badgett said he left the house and took nothing the night he killed Grover Kiser, he said he later returned and took items from the victim’s home where the body was decomposing on the kitchen floor.
Prosecutors argued that Badgett not only robbed Kiser the night of the murder but also returned later to steal more items.
The stolen property included money, coin collections, a flashlight and Kiser’s pickup. Some of the items were used to get crack, witnesses said.
Asheboro police discovered Kiser’s body on Nov. 30, 2002.
Upset with prosecutors’ claims about the slaying, Badgett took the stand during the sentencing hearing on Tuesday to defend the confession he gave police in December 2002. Badgett also told the jury that when he was 2 his grandfather shot his father to death during a family fight, and that he was frequently abused by an alcoholic stepfather.
Badgett told jurors he had a problem with uncontrollable anger and a history of assaults dating to 1987, when he said he hit a man in the head with a bar stool.
During the sentencing phase of the trial, jurors also heard about a similar slaying that Badgett committed in Asheboro in 1992.
Charged with murder, he pleaded guilty to the reduced offense of manslaughter and served about five years in prison.
A psychiatrist, Elizabeth Pekarek, testified Tuesday that she diagnosed Badgett with “intermittent explosive disorder,” a rare condition characterized by outbursts of anger and aggression with little provocation.
Badgett had an outburst Wednesday during closing arguments, when he accused Assistant District Attorney Andy Gregson of lying and shouted an obscenity. Badgett chose to leave the courtroom for the rest of Gregson’s summation.
With Badgett’s sentencing, the number of defendants from Randolph County on death row increases to seven. He is the second man sentenced to die this year. In March, Jason Wayne Hurst received the death penalty for the murder and robbery of Daniel Lee Branch.