Thu. 3:16 p.m.: Jury convicts man accused of Warren woman’s death
COLUMBUS — A Franklin County jury convicted Anthony Pardon of the murder of Warren-native Rachael Anderson just before 3 p.m. today.
Anderson, 24, was found dead by Columbus police on Jan. 29, 2018, inside a closet of her apartment on Allegheny Avenue after coworkers at Shaw-Davis Funeral Homes called police to report she had not arrived at work and they could not reach her by phone.
Anthony Pardon, 55, was tried on charges of aggravated murder, aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery, kidnapping and rape. The trial began Feb. 4 in Franklin County Common Pleas Court before Judge Stephen L. McIntosh.
Prosecutors cited DNA evidence on appliance cords used to tie the victim up and on her bound and gagged body, which authorities said was found in a bedroom closet of her apartment. An autopsy concluded she had been strangled and stabbed in the back of the neck.
Defense attorney Larry Thomas argued that the prosecution case was based on “speculation” and dismissed DNA and cellphone evidence as inexact and not providing conclusive proof. Thomas conceded that surveillance video and cellphone evidence showed Pardon using the victim’s stolen credit cards.
Pardon is eligible for the death penalty. The jury is expected to convene 9 a.m. Tuesday.