|Birth: ||Dec. 16, 1949|
|Death: ||Jun. 11, 1986|
Draheim convicted of second-degree murder
Kirby family shares tears, smiles over verdict in '86 death
By Katie Matvias
Lansing State Journal
DElhi Township is where park is
Moments after her daughter's killer was convicted of second-degree murder Tuesday, Muriel Kirby said she planned to go home to weep.
ROD SANFORD/Lansing State Journal
Justice: Muriel Kirby hugs her son, Joe Kirby, in Circuit Court on Tuesday after a jury found David Draheim guilty of second-degree murder in the death of Jeanette Kirby, Muriel's daughter and Joe's sister. Jurors pointed to a pattern of behavior that led them to reach the guilty verdict.
David Draheim will be sentenced for second-degree murder July 17 in Ingham County Circuit Court. He faces up to life in prison.Reaction
"I'm going to put on some music, put a candle under Jeanette and Paul's pictures, and sit there, talk to them and cry,'' she said. "I just wish that they were here.''
Paul Kirby, Jeanette's father and Muriel's husband, died in 1999 - never knowing who fatally stabbed their 36-year-old Lansing daughter in June 1986.
No one in the courtroom made a sound when Ingham County Circuit Judge Lawrence Glazer read the decision.
David Draheim, 45, of Holt, never changed his expression.
But as the verdict sank in, the Kirby family - holding hands - started to cry through smiles. The detectives and prosecutors stood, also emotional, and hugged the family.
"The jury made the right decision,'' said Joe Kirby, Jeanette's brother. "There was no question in my mind he did this.''
But Muriel Kirby said she's not satisfied with the decision.
"What he did to Jeanette was first-degree murder,'' she said. "He did it the most brutal way. I want his sentence to be just as brutal.''
Second-degree murder doesn't involve premeditation, and offers the chance of parole. But Draheim is already in prison until at least 2032 for an unrelated 1988 Ingham County sexual assault.
Draheim will be sentenced for Kirby's murder July 17.
James Lentz, Draheim's brother-in-law, said his family was surprised at the jury's decision.
"We felt the evidence would lead the jury to a different conclusion,'' said Lentz, spokesman for the family.
He wasn't sure what the family, or Draheim, would do next.
"We are going to take a breather,'' he said. "David has a lot to think about.''
Gene Turnwald, Draheim's attorney, said his client maintains he didn't kill Kirby. Draheim wants to take a polygraph to prove his innocence.
"He's very upset,'' Turnwald said. "He says he's the next best thing so they prosecuted him.''
First Assistant Attorney General Mark Blumer said he worried about getting a conviction after the jury took so long to decide. He wasn't disappointed with the second-degree murder verdict.
"We went into this case to prove he murdered Jeanette Kirby, and we did that successfully,'' he said. "This will guarantee he will never get out of prison and hurt someone else.''
The jury of three women and nine men deliberated for more than 21 hours over about three days. After the verdict was read, the Kirby family sat in the courtroom and waited for the group to get dismissed so they could thank them.
When everyone met, they hugged and cried together.
"It's been an emotional time,'' juror Jill Roth told Muriel Kirby.
Roth, a 57-year-old Lansing resident, said it was one juror who challenged everything.
"He made us all look at everything so thoroughly,'' she said. "We were almost like the detectives. We had charts on the walls and we went over every detail.''
Jury foreman Steve Kwasnik, 27, said the jury spent a lot of time looking at the time line of events and a list of pros and cons.
"For me, it was the pattern that was established," said Kwasnik, a Lansing resident. "The way he prowled around parks, he carried flex cuffs and the bondage pornography his wife found."
The jurors took three formal, anonymous votes and two or three other informal votes throughout the deliberation, Kwasnik said.
They came to a guilty verdict Monday and spent Tuesday debating between first- and second-degree murder. First-degree murder involves premeditation and no chance for parole.
"For myself, there was actually little doubt that it was first degree," said juror Ken Marable, 27. "He wouldn't go into a crime like this without knowing how it would end."
One juror who didn't support the first-degree murder verdict made deliberating stressful, Kwasnik said.
"Sometimes the conversation had gotten to a point where we couldn't say much more," he said. "So we took breaks."
Kirby was found June 12, 1986, near Riverbend Park in Delhi Township stripped with her wrists bound behind her back with plastic flexible handcuffs. The flex cuffs were key to the prosecution's case.
Marable said the matching flex cuffs were definitely the biggest factor in the jury's decision.
"I think without that, we couldn't have found him guilty," said Marable, an East Lansing resident.
He said the main difficulty was proving Draheim was at the park at the time of the murder.
Ingham County Assistant Prosecutor Sam Smith said he hopes this verdict gives the Kirby family peace after 16 years of wondering.
"The verdict is a tribute to all the hard work and persistence of the Ingham County sheriff's detectives,'' Smith said. "It took 16 years but they finally put together a case against Jeanette Kirby's killer.''
Her remains were found on june 12 1886
She was 36 years old
Paul H Kirby (1918 - 1999)
Muriel Kirby (1921 - 2006)
Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens
Created by: Ronda
Record added: Oct 10, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 16127825
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