Verdict unanimous

It took almost two years to bring Matthew Dotson to trial for the murders of his fiancé and her son, and three days to try him. The jury needed less than an hour to convict him.

Nine women and three men found Dotson guilty Thursday afternoon of the first-degree murder of Misty Marshall, 32, and her son Day-Min, 9, just after Thanksgiving 2015.

The jury was picked Monday and Tuesday and testimony began Tuesday afternoon.

Judge Vernon Clark will formally sentence Dotson on Oct. 13. Louisiana law requires mandatory life for first-degree murder - no parole, no probation, no good time. Life is life.

Jurors found the combination of factual evidence, circumstantial evidence and scientific evidence, put on by Asst. Vernon DA Lee Hall, Jr., solid enough to convince them Dodson did the deeds.

Dotson’s counsel, Bob Noel of Monroe, a Leesville High graduate (mid-1970’s) who is among the Louisiana bar’s most distinguished defense attorneys, raised credibility issues regarding the state’s key witness — Jasmine Moses —  who said she was forced to assist Dotson in disposing of her mother’s body and to accompany him on a journey across the South or be killed. She was 14 at the time.

The defense chose not to put Dotson or anyone els on the stand. 

Noel contended some of Jasmine’s statements had “unbelievable” elements and that it was “reasonably possible someone else committed the crime.”

Hall in his closing said “I defy you (the jury) to come up with another explanation of what happened. To contend otherwise is hogwash.”

The state contended Dotson killed the mother when she discovered him molesting the son, then killed the son.