DALLAS (AP) - A jury has convicted a Dallas County man of capital murder in the stabbing deaths of his wife and her two young sons.
The jury deliberated 10 minutes today before pronouncing Robert Sparks guilty of the 2007 killings of 30-year-old Chare Agnew and her sons -- 10-year-old Raeqwon Agnew and 9-year-old Harold Sublet.
County officials were notified in court today that Sparks swallowed 12 antidepressant pills overnight in an apparent attempt to kill himself. After being treated at a hospital, Sparks returned to the courthouse, where he was examined and pronounced competent to stand trial by a psychologist.
The events delayed the start of closing arguments by two hours.
In a 911 call after the killings, Sparks said he killed his wife and the children, adding that he had also tied up two teenage girls and left them in the closet. Authorities later said he raped the stepdaughters.
Sparks' lawyer said there was never any doubt Sparks killed his family, and that he plans to argue Monday for life in prison instead of a death sentence.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)