JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - UPDATE: Michael Haim, a local man convicted of killing wife and burying her body in 1993 has been sentenced to life in prison. He has served 140 days of his life sentence so far.
The second phase of sentencing begins at 8:30 a.m. and a judge will likely make a decision for a Jacksonville man convicted of killing his wife and burying her body 26 years ago.
CLICK HERE: Watch Michael Haim sentencing live
Below are notes from the first day of sentencing:
A took the jury 90 minutes to find Michael Haim guilty in the 1993 murder of his wife Bonnie.
Action News Jax reporter Christy Turner was live in the courtroom tweeting updates.
Defense calls its first witness, Michael Haim's mother.
Defense calling its second witness, Ann Brantley. Haim's former neighbor in North Carolina.
Mrs. Brantley says her immediate response to the news was "absolute shock, dismay."
Third witness called by the defense is John Bryan, Haim's former neighbor.
Defense calls its fourth witness, Sherry Barkley. She's known Haim for 50 years. They are good family friends who grew up together. She says she considers him as a brother.
"He's just always been an upstanding guy, easygoing," Mrs. Barkley says. pic.twitter.com/Ifq9nj5UqG— Christy Turner (@ChristyANJax) May 17, 2019
Fifth witness for the defense is Michael Haim's aunt. She say he was "very respectful" as a young boy and never saw him act violent.
Defense calls Joanne Phillips to the stand, the sixth witness during the sentencing hearing. Her husband worked with Haim's father. She says he was like a son.
Defense call its seventh witness, Rosemary Walker. Haim's family moved into her neighborhood when he was 6 years old. Says she watched Michael grow up.
Next witness for defense is Mr. Godwin.
Haim's wife is testifying on his behalf during his sentencing hearing. They've been married since Oct. 13, 2013.
"I have never been afraid of Michael." The wife of #MichaelHaim is testifying on his behalf during his sentencing hearing. They've been married since 10/13/13. @ActionNewsJax pic.twitter.com/mjAUBqUd2Q— Christy Turner (@ChristyANJax) May 17, 2019
Aaron Fraser, Bonnie's son gives victim impact statement. He asks the court to give Michael Haim, his father a life sentence.
"I always knew my mom was buried, I just didn't know where." Aaron Fraser, #MichaelHaim and Bonnie's son, is giving his victim impact statement. Says he's dealt with depression and suicidal thoughts. @ActionNewsJax pic.twitter.com/saTMG2IMRk— Christy Turner (@ChristyANJax) May 17, 2019
"I’ll never know what it’s like to live a normal life." Aaron Fraser said he hopes one day Michael will "tell the story how Bonnie died to fill in the blanks." pic.twitter.com/fwZcDh7yQf— Christy Turner (@ChristyANJax) May 17, 2019
Investigators said Haim killed Bonnie and then buried her in the backyard.
The jury also found Haim guilty on three of four aggravating factors, which must fit into the following criteria:
- The crime was committed in front of a family member
- The crime was committed during the commission of a tampering w/ evidence
- The crime was committed in a heinous/atrocious/cruel manner
- The crime inflicted severe/emotional trauma on the victim, Aaron, & the victim’s family
Haim continued to deny having any part of Bonnie's death -- even after the guilty verdict.
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