The sentencing hearing for James Worley happens today. Worley was convicted of murder in the death of Sierah Joughin and the jury recommended a sentence of death. Today the judge will hand down the final sentence.
On July 19, 2016 Joughin went for a bike ride with her boyfriend in a rural area of Fulton County, Ohio. At the end of the ride the two parted ways. When Sierah didn’t make it home her mother filed a missing persons report. Local law enforcement officials began their search for the young woman.
Investigators found their first break in the case, Sierah’s bicycle, in a nearby cornfield. The abandoned bike was found alongside a motorcycle helmet, blood stains, and signs of a struggle. These clues would lead the police to the shallow grave off of County Road 7 where Sierah’s body was found with her hands bound behind her back. She died of asphyxiation.
Local Delta resident, James Worley became the focus of the investigation after he admitted to being in the area where the bicycle was found. Worley claimed his motorcycle had broken down when he rolled it into a near by cornfield and discovered the the abandoned bike. Investigators became suspicious of the 57-year-old when they observed fresh scratches and bruising on his arms and legs.
But it was the search of Worley’s property that shocked this Ohio town. While searching his property, investigators found a hidden room inside the barn. The room contained a carpet-lined freezer, handcuffs and restraints, and blood stains on the walls and floor. Investigators seized multiple pairs of women’s underwear, handguns, a shock collar, and rope.
Worley was convicted of abducting a young woman riding her bike in 1990 and was released after serving 3 years in prison.
Watch the hearing in the player above courtesy WTOL
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