Jurors reached a verdict in the double-murder trial of 29-year-old Shawn Shirck Friday afternoon.
The jury found him guilty of involuntary manslaughter, but determined he was not guilty of murder. The panel’s options had included first-degree and second-degree murder charges, but both were rejected.
The Ojai Valley man had been accused of stabbing to death an Oak View woman and her elderly mother in August 2019.
The verdict was read in Ventura County Superior Court Friday afternoon. Jurors had deliberated for about five hours starting Thursday afternoon.
The jury also found true the special allegation Shirck had used a deadly weapon during the crime, in this case a knife.
Shirck had pleaded not guilty to the murders of Margaret Dahl, 59, and her 82-year-old mother, Phyllis Porter, at the home where the women were living in Oak View.
The two women were discovered dead on the morning of Aug. 24, 2019, inside the house in the 100 block of Valley Ridge Drive owned by Shirck’s father.
Prosecutors had asked jurors to convict Shirck of first-degree, premeditated murder.
The defense, meanwhile, argued that Shirck lacked the state of mind to kill intentionally because alcohol and childhood trauma had altered his brain, leaving him unable to think logically under stress.
This story will be updated.
Kathleen Wilson covers crime, courts and local government for the Ventura County Star. Reach her at 805-437-0271 or email@example.com.
This article originally appeared on Ventura County Star: Jury reaches verdict in Ojai Valley double-murder trial