Juror in Ricky House Jr. trial speaks out about case

Juror in Ricky House Jr. trial speaks out about case
James Cook, Juror #4
James Cook, Juror #4

POSEY CO., IN (WFIE) - For the first time, one of the 12 people who decided the fate of Ricky House Jr. reveals what it was like to be a juror in a case that made national headlines.

A Posey County jury found House guilty on all 16 counts, ranging from rape to kidnapping and criminal confinement.

"An interesting case, but no piece of cake."

That's how James Cook, Juror #4, describes Ricky House's trial.

Cook talked with 14NEWS exclusively to give us a glimpse of what it was like to make a life-changing decision after six days of trial.

"We'll never see anything again around here," Cook said.

Cook says he and the 11 other jurors and one alternate took Ricky House's trial very seriously.

"It was long, but it was definitely a good experience," he added.

The prosecution worked to prove House repeatedly raped Joelle Lockwood and locked her in a cage inside a trailer.

Hundreds of pieces of sometimes graphic evidence, and testimony from more than a dozen people, made for some uncomfortable moments.

"Some of the pictures were... I wouldn't force that on any female, definitely any child, it was awful," he told us.

According to Cook, the most important testimony came from Kendra Tooley, who is also accused in this case.

Tooley told the jury what happened to Lockwood wasn't consensual.

"We had to hear every single word that she said from that point on," Cook told us.

When it came time to deliberate, Cook says the tough part was looking at the charges that read "armed with a deadly weapon."

At one point, they even asked the attorneys and judge to give a definition.

"A person does not necessarily have to have the gun on them and pointed at an individual to be armed," said Prosecutor Travis Clowers.

Cook told us all of the jurors were in agreement at the end of the trial.

"We know he did it," Cook said.

And Cook says he's confident they did the right thing.

House is set to be sentenced October 14th.

The prosecutor is pushing for life in prison.

House's defense attorney tells 14NEWS they plan to file an appeal.

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