Defense rests in quadruple murder trial

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — The defense in a quadruple murder trial began and rested its side of the case Tuesday in Newport News.

John Ragin, 38, is charged with the first degree murder of his wife, 32-year-old Army Sgt. Crystal Ragin, and capital murder in the stabbing deaths of her three children: 15-year-old Sierra, 11-year-old LaKwan and 6-year-old Rasheed. He also faces four charges of unlawful stabbing and arson for trying to burn their Old Courthouse Way apartment down afterwards, on August 18, 2011.

On Tuesday, five witnesses briefly took the stand and their testimonies indicated Crystal Ragin, who was stationed at Fort Eustis, had taken out a protective order against her husband. She later confronted him at a gas station, but before the order was served she and her children were found dead.

Ragin was arrested days later in South Carolina. A published report states a forensic scientist testified Ragin’s DNA was found under his wife’s fingernails and his blood in several areas of the apartment.

Ragin did not want to testify in his own defense before his side rested its case. Prosecutors wrapped up their side of the case on Friday.

Closing arguments in the trial are scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday. When closing arguments are complete, the jury will deliberate. If the jury finds Ragin guilty of capital murder, it will then hear additional testimony before deciding on a life or death sentence.

The trial is in it’s third week.

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