SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A jury in Lackawanna County has reached a verdict in the murder trial of a Scranton man.
Just before 5pm, the jury found Joseph Thornton Guilty as Charged in the death of Stephanie Tyminski at the Valley View Housing Complex in December of 2014.
It took jurors just under 2 1/2 hours to reach their verdict — which was guilty on all charges.
For the victim’s family, this has been a long road to justice…one with questions about the suspect’s mental health and suitability to actually go on trial.
Family members of murder victim Stephanie Tyminski hugged in the courthouse – just moments after jurors found her killer guilty.
“It’s taken four years but this day means the world to us…”
-Lorraine Tyminski, Victim’s Aunt
Joseph Thornton was found guilty of first-degree murder, tampering with evidence, and witness intimidation for killing Tyminski at the Valley View Terrace Housing Complex in December 2014.
Prosecutors say he brutally beat the 29-year-old and then staged the scene by putting her body in a bathtub and trying to clean-up evidence
Thornton was not present for any of the trial. On several occasions, he told the judge he would be disruptive.
He was also not present with the verdict was read just before 5:00 pm.
Before this trial even began, a judge ruled that Joseph Thornton was competent to stand trial.
Today his attorney actually asked that he “not” be brought into the courtroom for the verdict – out of fear for his own safety.
The D.A. agreed that there could be a legitimate security issue.
Because of the first-degree murder conviction, Joseph Thornton will face a mandatory sentence of life in prison.
The judge did not immediately set a date for that to be imposed.