by Steven Ertelt
February 25, 2008
Canton, OH (LifeNews.com) — An Ohio jury heard testimony on Monday about what kind of sentence it should give Bobby Cutts, the former police officer found guilty of killing his pregnant girlfriend and her nine-month-old unborn child. Cutts was found guilty of killing his pregnant girlfriend Jesse Davis and her baby Chloe and could face the death penalty.
The case is one of the latest to draw the nation’s attention to violence against pregnant women and how they are frequently targeted because of their pregnancy.
During testimony on Monday, Cutts’ former wife told jurors his daughter still sees him in jail and they should not give Cutts the death penalty because of their relationship.
The jury is expected to render its decision on Tuesday and it can choose between a life sentence in prison or the death penalty and they must unanimously agree on the death sentence before Judge Charles Brown considers the penalty.
The prosecution is not expected to call any witnesses while the defense has asked several family members, former partners on the police unit and a psychiatrist to testify for Cutts.
Cutts himself is expected to testify on his own behalf later today or tomorrow.
The jury found Cutts guilty of aggravated murder in the death of Chloe and guilty of a lesser murder charge related to Davis’ death.
During the trial, Cutts sobbed on the witness stand as he admitted killing Davis and Chloe, though he claimed their deaths were an accident and he didn’t mean to harm them. Prosecutors contended Cutts strangled Davis because of disagreements about child support and financial issues.
When investigating the 26 year-old Davis’ home, authorities found overturned furniture and bleached spilled on the floor, likely to cover up the blood loss resulting from the attack. Officials eventually found Davis’ body Saturday in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, with the body of her dead daughter Chloe still inside her.
Cutts had been charged both for the murder of Jesse Davis and Chloe under an Ohio unborn victims law that allows a second charge when an unborn child is killed. The law is similar to the one used to prosecute Scott Peterson in the deaths of his wife and unborn son Laci and Conner.
Ohio’s law says that, at any stage of a pregnancy, if an "unborn member of the species homo sapiens, who is or was carried in the womb of another" is killed, it is aggravated murder, murder, voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, negligent homicide, aggravated vehicular homicide, or vehicular homicide, depending on the circumstances.
The Ohio law was adopted in 1998 and similar laws are in effect in 36 states with 26 of them that protect mothers and their babies throughout pregnancy.