Penalty phase begins for Megan's killer
June 8, 1997
TRENTON, New Jersey (CNN) -- Defense lawyers will try to persuade a jury that the man who raped and strangled a 7-year-old girl in the case that inspired "Megan's Law" should be spared the death penalty.
Testimony begins Monday in the sentencing phase of the trial of Jesse Timmendequas, who was convicted May 30 of raping and strangling young Megan Kanka, who lived across the street from him in Hamilton Township.
In pressing for the death penalty, prosecutors are expected to emphasize that Timmendequas -- convicted of two earlier sex offenses -- lured Megan to his home on the pretext of showing her a puppy, then attacked her. The defense is expected to present evidence that Timmendequas, 36, had been beaten and sexually abused by his own father and was neglected by his mother.
The 1994 murder led to the passage of "Megan's Law," under which the public has the right to be notified when a convicted sex offender moves into the neighborhood.
Related sites:Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.
© 1997 Cable News Network, Inc.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.