Cop-killer Poplawski guilty on all counts

June 26, 2011 at 9:46 PM

PITTSBURGH, June 26 (UPI) -- Stanton Heights gunman Richard Poplawski was convicted on three counts of first-degree murder for the shooting deaths of three Pittsburgh police officers.

Allegheny County prosecutors will seek the death penalty for Poplawski, 24, after his Saturday conviction, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported Sunday.

"He had to face his accusers. We are pleased with the decision of the jury," Deputy Chief Paul Donaldson said. "We are happy that they have officially recognized Richard Poplawski for the deaths of Paul Sciullo, Stephen Mayhle and Eric Kelly."

The three officers were killed April 4, 2009, after responding to a domestic violence call at Poplawski's Stanton Heights home.

The jury of five women and seven men deliberated for less than 4 hours in reaching their verdict on the sixth day of the trial.

"I think the jury worked very hard to come to this decision, one they obviously felt was appropriate based on the evidence," defense attorney Lisa Middleman said. "To ask a jury to render a verdict other than first-degree murder when the victims are three police officers would have been an unreasonable expectation."

The penalty phase begins Monday.

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