Man Found Guilty of Murder, Aggravated Assault

Staff Report
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - The punishment phase for one man found guilty of murder and aggravated assault began on Friday.

That's after a Midland jury returned a verdict of guilty for 21-year-old Stephen Whitworth.

Whitworth, along with 24-year-old Paul Lee, were accused of beating a man to death and stabbing his girlfriend.

Detectives say the couple was invited to hang out with the men in Midland County. We're told they were driven to South County Road 1210.

Deputies say 25-year-old Christopher Easley was beaten to death with a bolt cutter and died at the scene. His girlfriend was cut on the throat, stabbed, and left for dead.

But she survived and was later found running along the road covered in blood, trying to flag someone down for help.

The punishment phase began on Friday. During testimony heard in the punishment phase, Whitworth's mother whispered something to the jury while she was stepping down from the stand.

She was escorted from the courtroom for her actions and the jury was told to disregard anything she said.

Whitworth also testified during the punishment phase and continued his innocence.

The jury did begin deliberating Whitworth's punishment but decided to recess until 9 a.m. Monday morning.

The other man, 24-year-old Paul Lee, will go to trial on April second.

Stay tuned to NewsWest 9 and for the very latest.