Killer's childhood focus of 'Megan's Law' case
Witnesses say no sign Timmendequas was abusedJune 17, 1997
Web posted at: 2:08 p.m. EDT (1808 GMT)
TRENTON, New Jersey (CNN) -- Prosecutors prepared Tuesday to present more evidence that convicted child killer Jesse Timmendequas was not abused as a child.
The prosecution is seeking the death penalty for Timmendequas, 35, convicted May 30 in the 1994 kidnapping, rape and murder of 7-year-old Megan Kanka.
On day seven of the sentencing hearing, Sgt. Dean Raymond of the Mercer County Prosecutor's Office returned to the witness stand.
On Monday, Raymond testified he had interviewed several people who knew Timmendequas and his family in childhood. None of the people interviewed, said Raymond, saw any signs of abuse in the Timmendequas household.
Further, Raymond testified that some childhood friends said Timmendequas' sister Linda and brother Paul told them their father was either dead or had left the family in 1963.
The defense has argued Timmendequas and his brother were sexually and physically abused as children by their father. The father has denied the allegations in published reports.
Timmendequas lived across the street from the Kanka family in Hamilton Township, New Jersey. Megan's killing sparked a heated debate in the community because no one was informed that Timmendequas was a convicted sex offender.
Megan's death led to passage of state and federal versions of "Megan's Law," which requires that citizens be notified when sex offenders move into their neighborhoods.
Timmendequas knew what he was doing, witnesses say
Also on Monday, prosecutors called a forensic psychiatrist to the stand to rebut defense experts who testified last week that Timmendequas is a borderline mentally retarded pedophile who "is unable to control his urges."
Psychiatrist Robert Sadoff testified that confessions Timmendequas gave to police after Megan's murder show he was in control of his actions, was not "panicked," and knew fully what he was doing and what the consequences were.
Under questioning by Mercer County prosecutor Kathryn Flicker, Sadoff told the jury the confessions show "purposeful intent" by Timmendequas to keep from getting caught in the crime.
"He was aware of the consequences," Sadoff testified, "that if she got away, he would go to jail. I think that's pretty logical."
In his statements to police, Timmendequas admitted to choking Megan with a belt to keep her from running out of his room, putting a plastic bag over her head to keep her from bleeding on the rug, and planning how to get her body out of the house without anyone noticing.
Victim's parent to make statement
The prosecution also may call another psychiatrist or psychologist on Tuesday to further bolster its argument that Timmendequas purposely killed Megan.
The jury also is expected to hear from one of Megan's parents, who will make a victim impact statement on either Tuesday or Wednesday.
Timmendequas also has the right to make a statement to the jury to plead for his life and to show remorse. The defense has yet to reveal whether he will do so.
The jury is expected to begin deliberations later this week after testimony and statements in the penalty phase have ended.
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