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Death penalty for man who killed 3 cops

June 29, 2011 at 1:14 PM

PITTSBURGH, June 29 (UPI) -- A young Pittsburgh man has been sentenced to death by lethal injection for killing three police officers responding to a domestic disturbance call.

Jurors deliberated for less than two hours Tuesday before deciding on the death penalty for Richard Poplawski, 24, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported. He was convicted of three counts of first-degree murder and other charges Saturday.

Poplawski's mother Margaret, who sat behind him as sentence was pronounced, called police to her house on April 4, 2009. Officers Eric G. Kelly, Stephen J. Mayhle and Paul J. Sciullo II were shot and killed.

About 100 police officers assembled at the courthouse to hear the jury's decision on the penalty, some in the courtroom and others in another room where they could watch on television. They lined the hallway as Poplawski was led back to a holding cell.

"We take no comfort in it," Deputy Chief Paul Donaldson said of the sentence. "It cannot assuage the pain and discomfort it has caused us and the families of the three slain officers. I'm sure the three officers are resting in peace today. They too can finally find some justice."

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