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Killer ex-cop gets 57 to life after jury spares him

  • Story Highlights
  • NEW: Judge gives Bobby Cutts Jr. the maximum life sentence
  • Jury recommended life, with no parole eligibility for 30 years
  • Cutts Jr. convicted of murdering girlfriend, unborn child
  • He apologized for killings and asked jurors to spare his life
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By Mallory Simon and Ann O'Neill
CNN
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(CNN) -- Jurors spared the life of a former Canton, Ohio, police officer who killed his pregnant girlfriend and tearfully asked them for mercy. A judge then sentenced him Wednesday to 57 years to life in prison.

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Bobby Lee Cutts Jr. stared straight ahead as the jury announced its recommendation to spare him.

Bobby Lee Cutts Jr., 30, will be 87 by the time he becomes eligible for parole.

He stared straight ahead as the jury of six men and six women recommended that his life be spared.

He and his lawyer teared up as the jurors were polled about their decision. Video Watch Cutts react »

Judge Charles E. Brown added to the sentence, taking other counts into consideration after hearing victim impact statements from the parents and sisters of victim Jessie Marie Davis.

She was 26 and nine months pregnant when she disappeared last June. Her body, and that of her unborn child, were found 10 days later at a state park in northeastern Ohio.

Whitney Davis, Jessie's sister, directed her anger and grief at Cutts. "You got rid of someone that was an inconvenience. I hate you." Video Watch Davis' family lash out at Cutts »

She continued: ""You used and manipulated her over and over and still you sit there and you are not crying. I don't believe that you are sorry for what you did. I believe that you are sorry that you got caught up in all your lies. I don't know that you would know the truth."Watch sister tell Cutts she hates him Video

Cutts took off his eyeglasses as Davis' father, Ned, addressed him: "Don't even look at me."

"Your honor he violently murdered her," the anguished father continued. "Five-foot-four, nine months pregnant, that baby could have been delivered."

And, tears rolled down Cutts' face as Davis' mother, Patricia Porter, spoke of her grief. "There are mornings I have to cover her picture up, when I can't get out of bed."

She continued, "I serve an amazing God, Bobby. A God that forgives and heals and restores people. And all I know today is that I do forgive you, and I know it is only through him that I am able to do that."

But she turned the other cheek: "I may not have family to go home to after this, but I pray that you make a way for him to get out of there and begin a new life, and to be able to hold his son."

Porter, who is raising Blake, told Cutts the child "knows what you did. You would not believe the stories he has told us."

When his time came, Cutts offered no statement, no testimonials to his character.

On February 15, the same jury found Cutts guilty of murdering Jessie Davis and their baby, who was to be named Chloe.

It was Chloe's death that made Cutts eligible for the death penalty. Jurors convicted him of two counts of aggravated murder -- for terminating a pregnancy and taking her life during the commission of a felony.

All the members of the jury are white, as was Davis. Cutts is black.

Cutts, who has maintained Davis' death was the result of an accidental elbow to the neck, asked the jury to spare his life and offered a tearful apology at his sentencing hearing Tuesday. Video Watch Cutts' tearful plea »

"Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I'm asking you to spare my life," he said. "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 added, reading from a handwritten statement.

"Words cannot bring them back, nor can they erase the pain I've caused, but I want to apologize," he said.

Cutts' lawyer, Fernando Mack, had urged jurors to recommend the lowest available penalty -- 25 years to life -- to allow him to play a limited role in his other children's lives.

Mack acknowledged that many of the jurors might still be angry with Cutts for leaving his 2-year-old son, home alone for more than a day while his mother lay dead in a field.

But sentencing Cutts to death hurts Blake even more, he argued. "That is still Blake's father, like it or not. The prosecutor here wants you to kill Blake's father, so now he'll have no parents."

Stark County Assistant Prosecutor Dennis Barr attacked Cutts' character and his sincerity on the stand. A police officer should have known better, he said.

"Bobby Cutts took an oath to serve and protect," the prosecutor argued. "But on June 14, 2007, Bobby Cutts did not serve and protect. He destroyed."

According to testimony, Cutts 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.

Prosecutors charged during the trial that Cutts buckled under the financial pressure of additional child support, killed Davis, and then created a cover story to try to get away with it.

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After the sentencing, prosecutors -- no longer restricted in their comments by a gag order -- told reporters Cutts led authorities to Davis' body, but no deal was made in return.

Davis' father, Ned Davis, told reporters, "Our family, in one sense, was fortunate that we had some legal resolution because I know along with this, there are families out there that don't ever get an answer. It doesn't make it any less painful, but at least this part of it is resolved." E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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