PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The family of Richard Poplawski, the man accused in the deaths of three police officers, was in the courtroom Saturday as closing arguments were presented to the jury.
As they walked away from the Allegheny County Courthouse, Poplawski’s mother and great aunt did not want to talk about jury deliberations in his murder trial.
“I’m hoping that we can save his life,” said Poplawski’s great aunt.
Poplawski’s mother, Margaret, owns the Stanton Heights home where the shootings took place on April 4, 2009.
Pittsburgh attorney Robert Del Greco calls the case a textbook indefensible first-degree murder trial. He’s not surprised that it took six days for the trial to reach the deliberations phase.
“It didn’t surprise me that the defense really lacked witnesses in this matter, which I think tends to prove or validate the strength of the Commonwealth’s case,” said Del Greco.
The jury is now deciding if Poplawski should be found guilty or not guilty in the murders of Pittsburgh police officers Eric Kelly, Stephen Mayhle and Paul Sciullo II.
Although Del Greco doesn’t expect deliberations to last long, he admits that the panel has lots to consider
“There’s a lot of exhibits, over 500 exhibits, and they’re going to have to go through certain things, but this is not a who-dun-it,” Del Greco added. “So, their deliberations are going to be whether or not this is a willful, intentional and premeditated murder; and frankly, I don’t expect them to be out in an inordinate amount of time.”
If Poplawski is found guilty, the victim’s families will testify during the sentencing phase, which Del Greco says is like a new trial. He says victim impact statements are very important.