Sentencing continues for man convicted of killing his wife and her three children

Posted at 7:47 AM, Apr 01, 2014
and last updated 2014-04-01 10:51:28-04

In Newport News, sentencing continues for the man who killed his wife and her three children.

As part of the sentencing hearing - prosecutors introduced new details about John Ragin's past yesterday to the jury that wasn't allowed during his trial.

The 38-year-old has killed before.

Life or death for John Ragin?

That's what a Newport News jury must decide after finding the 38-year-old guilty of stabbing and killing his wife Crystal and his three stepchildren last week.

Yesterday - jurors learned Ragin has killed before.

Ragin was 15 years old when he shot and killed his best friend in South Carolina.

While serving his 15-year sentence for manslaughter - Ragin met his future wife Crystal, who worked as a prison guard.

"When his eyes first connected to my eyes, I said to myself then there's something wrong with him. There's something not right about him."

Crystal's sister Shelby Hancock spoke exclusively to NewsChannel 3 about how their mother warned Crystal about marrying the convicted killer.

"She told Crystal over and over and over and Crystal would always say, oh Ma, he wouldn't do nothing like that."

But over the years, Crystal and John's marriage turned abusive.

The day before the murders, Crystal got a protective order against John - making a 911 call when she ran into him at a gas station.

Crystal: "He's standing right by my truck. I can't get in my truck."

John Ragin: "She lying. Stop lying. Crystal."

Hours later - John Ragin stabbed and killed Crystal and her three children - 15-year-old Sierra, 11-year-old Lakwan, and 6-year-old Rasheed.

Prosecutors played a video to the jury, showing Ragin at a 7-Eleven where they say he purchased the gasoline he used to pour on the bodies of his family.

He then set their apartment on fire - and took off to South Carolina with the only child he and Crystal shared.

"Crystal felt like there was a possibility he could do something to her, that he could hurt her, she felt that way, but she was absolutely certain that he would not hurt her children."

The jury is expected to begin sentencing deliberations later today or tomorrow as soon as the prosecution and defense have both finished calling all of their witnesses.

Click here for all of our coverage on the Ragin trial.