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'Sorry' killer's life in the jury's hands

  • Story Highlights
  • NEW: Ex-cop's death penalty case now up to the jury
  • Bobby Cutts Jr. faces the death penalty for murders of girlfriend, unborn child
  • He apologized for killlings, and asked jurors to spare his life
  • Same jury that found Cutts guilty is hearing penalty phase of trial
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(CNN) -- A jury deliberated for most of the day Tuesday without deciding whether or not to spare the life of a former Ohio police officer who killed his pregnant girlfriend and tearfully asked them for mercy.

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Bobby Cutts Jr. weeps openly as his mother describes his childhood during a sentencing hearing.

Jurors deliberated for six hours and 20 minutes on Tuesday. They resumed deliberations Wednesday morning at the Stark County Courthouse in Canton, Ohio.

Possible sentences include death by lethal injection, life in prison without parole, 30 years to life or 25 to life.

Jurors were instructed to begin by considering the least severe sentence and work their way up the verdict sheet.

In closing arguments Tuesday, prosecutor Dennis Barr told jurors he had provided sufficient evidence that Bobby Cutts Jr., 30, deserved to die for the murders of Jessie Marie Davis, and their unborn daughter, Chloe.

"He took an oath to serve and protect all people," Barr said, pointing at Cutts. "But he did not serve and protect. He destroyed life. He took an innocent child who did not even have a chance to take a breath outside his mother's womb." Video Watch the prosecutor's closing »

Defense attorney Fernando Mack urged jurors to spare Cutts' life, saying the death penalty should only be imposed on "the worst of the worst."

"It should be abundantly clear that death is not an appropriate," Mack told jurors. "The state wants you to do the very same thing that they criminalize. Unlike Bobby, this is something you will have to live with for the rest of your life. This sentence should be used sparingly."

On Monday, Cutts tearfully apologized to Davis' family and asked the jury to spare him.

"It was a nightmare that will continue to haunt me for the rest of my days," said Bobby Cutts, Jr., 30, reading from a prepared statement at the penalty phase of his murder trial.

"Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I'm asking you to spare my life."

Cutts was convicted on February 15 of the murder of girlfriend Jessie Marie Davis and the aggravated murder of the unborn girl Davis had planned to name Chloe.

Chloe's slaying, which jurors found occurred during the commission of another crime, makes Cutts eligible for the death penalty

"To imagine that I was responsible for the death of Jessie, the mother of my children and my unborn daughter, is beyond any words that I can express," Cutts said. "Words cannot bring them back, nor can they erase the pain I've caused, but I want to apologize." Video Watch Cutts' tearful apology »

He thanked Davis' family for taking care of the other child he had with Davis. Blake was 2 at the time of his mother's murder in June 2007.

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"I pray that you find peace and you someday find room for forgiveness," he said.

Earlier, Cutts' mother, Renee, Jones, had told jurors, "I don't know what I would do without him." She described Cutts as a former honor student who loved his job as a police officer.

"He was my firstborn, my only son," Jones testified tearfully. "He means so much to me," she continued. "He used to call me three, four times a day." Watch Cutts react as his mother pleads for his life Video

Cutts' punishment is being decided by the same jury of six men and six women who found him guilty. All the jurors are white; Cutts is African-American.

Cutts' sister, father and one of his school teachers also testified.

Judge Charles E. Brown ordered jurors to return early Tuesday for attorneys' closing arguments. When they arguments conclude, jurors will begin their deliberations.

If jurors do not agree on the death penalty, Cutts could receive a possible sentence of life in prison without parole or become eligible for parole in 20, 25 or 30 years.

Jones, was the first witness called to the stand by the defense. She said her son was a good youngster who was active in sports, Scouts and his church.

"I never had any trouble out of him," she said as Cutts teared up at the defense table. She said Cutts' relationship with his father deteriorated after the parents split.

A former teacher described Cutts as a social child given the nickname "Gobble" by his classmates. He was helpful in class, often volunteering to pick stray crayons up from the floor.

His father testified that he gave Cutts the nickname "Gobble" because as an infant he resembled " a little Butterball turkey." He said Cutts was a "gifted child" in school.

He blamed himself for the break up of his marriage, saying his drinking and gambling contributed to it.

Cutts' own personal life was rocky, according to testimony. Davis was nine months pregnant when she disappeared in June 2007. Her body was found in a northeastern Ohio park after a 10-day search that brought national media attention

He is Blake's father, as well as the father of the unborn girl, Chloe.

According to testimony, Cutts, 30, rolled Davis' body in a comforter and dumped it in a park, leaving toddler son Blake in the house alone at the crime scene in a soiled diaper.

"Mommy's in the rug," Blake told police, according to testimony.

During the guilt phase of the trial, Cutts sobbed on the witness stand as he admitted killing Davis and Chloe. But Cutts insisted that their deaths were an accident.

"I didn't mean to hurt her," Cutts testified, clasping a handful of tissues. "This isn't real," he said he kept telling himself.

Prosecutors discounted Cutts' story, claiming he buckled under the financial pressure of child support, killed the mother of his child and then created a cover story to try to get away with it.

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On the stand, Cutts said he went to pick up his son, Blake, and became agitated when Davis, 26, wasn't moving fast enough to get the boy ready. He said he tried to leave her house, but she grabbed him to keep him from leaving, and he accidentally elbowed her in the throat.

Cutts told the jury he performed CPR on Davis and then tried to revive her with bleach. When he realized Davis was dead, Cutts said he panicked and put her in the back of his truck, so Blake wouldn't have to see his mother. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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