(WJLA) - Last August, Monetta Jo Strickland went for a job on this path in a St. Mary's County Park. Days later, police found her bludgeoned body buried under leaves at the bottom of a ravine.
In the months since, her family has barely begun to heal.
"it has been a tool took a hard toll on everyonenever got to see her at the funeral and all. Says Michael Jordan, Strickland's uncle.
Jordan and all of Strickland's other relatives are looking forward to the trial, hoping it will bring a sense of closure to the family.
Registered sex offender John Quade Jr. was locked up on first-degree murder charges almost one week after Strickland's death. During just a day-and-a-half of testimony, prosecutors laid out their case that Quade was hunting a victim of an assault on the Three Notch Trail when Strickland jogged by. They argue Strickland fought back before Quade killed her with the bloody rock found near the body.
However, the defense attorney claims for some reason that Strickland started a fight with Quade and though he killed her, it was only a case of second-degree murder.
For Strickland's family, that theory is hard to hear - after all, at the time of her death, the registered nurse was engaged to be married, and had everything to live for in her future.
At approximately 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Quade was found guilty of second-degree murder, and not guilty of first-degree murder nor felony murder. He was also found not guilty of manslaughter.