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State chief justice rebukes DA's office over evidence in 2009 killing of 3 Pittsburgh officers

Pennsylvania's chief justice says prosecutors offered potentially inflammatory evidence against a man sentenced to die for killing three Pittsburgh police officers and should have been reined in by the judge overseeing the case.

Attorneys for Richard Poplawski (pahp-LAW'-skee) want him to get a new trial in the deaths of officers Paul Sciullo (SHOO'-loh) II, Stephen Mayhle (MAY'-lee) and Eric Kelly. During oral arguments Wednesday, Chief Justice Ronald Castille said prosecutors should not have been permitted to show jurors the officers' funeral videos.

Castille said the trial judge should have limited what prosecutors showed the jury. Prosecutors argued the evidence against Poplawski was overwhelming.

Poplawski was convicted in 2011 of killing the officers when they responded to a domestic dispute call at his mother's home April 2009.

It's not clear when the court will rule.

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