UPDATE: Madison Wine found guilty on all charges in murder trial

Day four of the Madison Wine murder trial the jury comes to a decision.
WTAP News @ 5- Wine found guilty in murder trial
Published: Apr. 13, 2022 at 1:52 PM EDT
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - UPDATE 4/14:

A jury has found Madison Wine guilty of all counts of murder, arson and animal cruelty Thursday afternoon in Wood County Circuit Court.

The jury members started their deliberations Thursday morning around 11 a.m. and presented their verdict to the court just before 3 p.m.

All jury members found wine guilty of two counts of first-degree murder, first-degree arson, attempted murder and animal cruelty.

Wine was on trial for killing her adoptive parents in a 2019 house fire in Davisville. Several dogs also perished in the fire.

The defense tried to make the claim wine should be found ‘not guilty because she had prior mental health defects, according to multiple psychological reports.

During opening statements earlier this week, the defense told the jury about wine’s childhood.

They presented that wine was continuously suicidal, raised by drug abusive parents, lost her father to a drug overdose, and was diagnosed with multiple mental health disorders.

The prosecution claimed in their opening statement that these crimes were premeditated and that wine knew what she was doing when she set the house on fire.

Both sides had different psychologists as expert witnesses to back up their claims.

Wine’s sentencing is scheduled for June 27 at 11 a.m.

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The third day of the Madison Wine murder trial began the session on Wednesday morning as witnesses from both sides are being brought to the stand.

The defense started the day by bringing a medical expert to the stand who specializes in mental health, specifically in adolescents.

He testified that he believes Wine has extreme trauma from her childhood, but the prosecution questioned the expert heavily on if his claims were based on his opinions, facts or if his claims were based on what he was reading from Wine’s therapist.

Fire marshal Jason Baltic then took the stand and presented pictures that he obtained from Wine’s phone and social media pages. The pictures depicted Wine in a joyful manner during softball games, school dances and other photos of Wine seemingly happy.

The defense argued that people who are experiencing severe depression can still have moments of joy.

Just before noon on Wednesday, Dr. Timothy Saar, a psychologist from Charleston, took the stand as one of the state’s witnesses.

Saar claimed that Wine exaggerated on some of her psychological tests and that there are no signs of her having delusional thinking or confusion after hearing wine’s statement to Baltic.

Saar concluded that based on their tests on Wine, she was capable of committing premeditative murder.

“I think most people who go through trauma…do they have symptoms later? They may have depression, anxiety, impaired interpersonal skills…suicide is pretty common. But I think if we are looking at the type of behaviors we are seeing here, that would be the admiralty in regards to that,” Saar said. “So, I agree with the fact that she went through trauma, I think it’s irrelevant to her actions on that day.”

Saar also said given the fact that Wine found a gas can to start the fire after she failed attempt of using a styrofoam cup and that she didn’t try to help her family get out of the burning house before calling 911 backs up their conclusion that she can be held criminally responsible for her actions.

The defendant cross-examined Saar and provided the argument that Saar didn’t interview wine himself and that he even agreed with the claim that someone in wine’s situation could unintentionally harm or kill someone due to mental illness.

In closing arguments, the prosecuting attorney asked the jury to find wine guilty of multiple accounts of murder, arson and animal cruelty.

The state is making the argument that wine’s ability to determine what is right or wrong is not hindered by any mental illness.

“After she knew her family members were asleep when she knew family pets were in the house, she went and got a can of gasoline, not only poured gasoline in the house, poured it outside the bedroom doors of her adoptive parents and a 6-year-old child,” the prosecuting attorney said.

The defense’s closing arguments focused on portraying Wine as a young person with a traumatic childhood that is incapable of understanding her actions.

“She’s now at the most suicidal moment of her life. Faced with this delusional belief, ‘I can just start a little fire in here, scare my grandparents, and get out of here,’ that’s obviously a delusional thought. Or, I’m going to commit suicide,” Wine’s attorney said.

“Juxtaposing those two options as the only thing that could have happened, that’s evidence of mental illness. That’s evidence of that mental illness impacting her ability to appreciate what’s right and wrong.”

The court will reconvene Thursday morning at 9 a.m. where the jury will begin their deliberations.

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