Caronna guilty; Victim's mother, son relieved by verdict

Caronna guilty; Victim's mother, son relieved by verdict

(WMC-TV) - After deliberating for just two hours, the jury came to a unanimous decision that Joe Caronna is guilty of murder.

Caronna was sentenced by the judge to life in prison for the first degree murder of his wife, Tina, in 2008.

Tina's mother, Clara Murphy, spoke with Action News 5 immediately following the jury's verdict. She said she did not like Joe Caronna from the very day she met him.

"From day one, that's why he didn't like me, he said I was the devil, well, he's gonna meet the devil," she told Action News 5 live during the 4 p.m. news.

Murphy described what the trial has been like for her.

"It's been bad, you know, I can't sleep at night because you never know how the jury is going to find it but the prosecution did an excellent job. And they proved the point, they proved that he was a liar, a cheater, and that he never loved my daughter," said Murphy.

Tina's son, Todd Gray, was relieved by the verdict.

"It's been long, longest two weeks of my life. Thank you for this. We all knew it and thank you for the verdict," he said.

He also wanted to thank everyone for their support.

"Tons of support, so many people here that love us, praying for us, think about us, and I appreciate everything they've done for us."

Action News 5's Nick Kenney has been in the courtroom since the trial began Wednesday, October 24.

Today, the defense and prosecution made their closing arguments. The jury reached its verdict in just a few hours.

Throughout the trial, the prosecution told the jury Caronna killed his wife to keep her from revealing he had taken advantage of his clients.

The defense claimed the Bartlett Police Department botched the investigation into the murder of Caronna's wife, Tina.

"It was a hard case. But we believe Joe was guilty and were fighting to speak for Tina when she couldn't speak for herself," said Prosecutor Danielle McCullum.

Tina went missing on October 25, 2008. Her body was found stuffed in the back seat of her pick-up truck two days later.

Prosecutors say her husband, Joe, smothered her with a plastic bag because she was about to find out he was a liar, philanderer, and thief.

Caronna's defense attorneys could not be found after the trial, but they have already filed a motion for a new trial.

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