A judge formally sentenced a former grocery store stocker to death by injection Thursday for killing a 10-year-old girl in a bizarre cannibalistic fantasy.
McClain County District Judge Candace Blalock approved the death sentence recommended by a jury that convicted Kevin Ray Underwood of first-degree murder last month for the death of his neighbor Jamie Rose Bolin.
Underwood, 28, showed no emotion when judge handed down the sentence.
During his trial, prosecutors played a videotaped confession in which Underwood told investigators he lured the girl into his Purcell apartment on April 12, 2006, beat her over the head with a cutting board, suffocated her, sexually assaulted her and then tried to cut off her head with a decorative dagger.
Underwood told authorities he was fueled by sexual fantasies that involved torturing, raping, killing and eating his victim, although no evidence was presented that he cannibalized the girl's body.
Underwood's attorneys did not dispute that he killed the girl, and it took jurors less than an hour to find him guilty. His attorneys argued, however, that Underwood's life should be spared because he suffered from mental illness that could be helped with medication.
Defense attorneys also said Underwood was bullied as a child and suffered emotional and verbal abuse from his parents.
Jamie lived with her father in an apartment upstairs from Underwood, and her disappearance prompted a statewide search for the girl. Underwood raised the suspicions of officers at a police checkpoint and he let them search his apartment, where they discovered the child's nude body stuffed inside a plastic tub in his bedroom closet.