Jury in Richter trial can consider many options

Jury in Richter trial can consider many options
Fernando and Sophia Richter (Source: Tucson News Now)

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Closing arguments began Wednesday in the trial of the Tucson couple accused of imprisoning and abusing three young girls for years.

Fernando and Sophia Richter are accused of abusing and holding Sophia's three daughter's captive in filthy conditions in their homes in Pima and Pinal counties for two years.

After the closing arguments, the jury will begin deliberating.

Deliberations could take a while because there are six counts against Sophia Richter and eight against Fernando Richter.

All have lesser included charges. That means the Richters can be found guilty of less serious charges.

• KIDNAPPING: The jury can find either or both Richters guilty of the lesser included charge of false imprisonment.

• CHILD ABUSE: The jury can find either or both Richters guilty of reckless child abuse or negligent child abuse.

• AGGRAVATED ASSAULT: Only Fernando Richter is facing these charges. He has two counts against him. The jury could find him guilty of that or simple assault or disorderly conduct. Disorderly conduct is a Class 6 felony because a weapon (knife) was allegedly used.

If found guilty on any of the charges, sentencing would happen at least 30 days later.

Fernando Richter still faces a Pima County charge relating to the assault of a police officer.

The Richter's still face charges in Pinal County because Catalina, where the Richter's lived for most of two years the girls were allegedly in captivity, is in Pinal County.

Previous Coverage

• DAY 1: Richter trial breaks for weekend, will continue Tuesday

• DAY 3: Middle sister takes witness stand

• DAY 4: Neighbors reflect on day girls escaped

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