CANTON, Ohio – A jury went back to work Wednesday morning, trying to decide whether to recommend the death sentence for a former police officer convicted of killing his pregnant girlfriend and their unborn daughter.
Jurors deliberated from Tuesday morning until their dinner break. They were sequestered in a hotel for the night and resumed deliberations Wednesday morning in the case against Bobby Cutts Jr., 30.
Cutts, in an unsworn statement that shielded him from cross-examination by the prosecutor, sobbed and told jurors Monday that he took responsibility for the June deaths of Jessie Davis, 26, and the fetus and didn't mean to kill them. The testimony came in the sentencing phase of his trial.
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Two weeks ago, prior to his convictions, Cutts cried on the witness stand as he testified that he had accidentally killed Davis with an elbow blow to the throat during a disagreement at her northeast Ohio home and dumped her body at a park in a panic.
Cutts was convicted of aggravated murder in the death of the fetus. He could receive the death penalty, life in prison without parole or life with parole eligibility after 20, 25 or 30 years.
If the jury recommends death, the judge can reduce the sentence to life, something that has happened just seven times in Ohio in 27 years.
Jurors found him not guilty of aggravated murder in the death of Davis but convicted him of a lesser charge of murder in her death.
Prosecutors told the jury that Cutts killed Davis and the unborn baby last June at her Lake Township home to avoid making child support payments for the child.
The couple's son, Blake, now 3, was found home alone and gave investigators their first clues to his mother's disappearance when he said, "Mommy's crying. Mommy broke the table. Mommy's in the rug," and later, "Daddy's mad."
For more than a week, Cutts denied knowledge of her whereabouts as thousands searched in the area. He finally led authorities to the body, wrapped in a comforter.
Cutts, who also was convicted of abuse of a corpse, burglary and child endangering for leaving Blake Davis alone, resigned as a patrolman from the Canton police department.