Jury to decide on punishment for convicted cop killer - New York News

Jury to decide on punishment for convicted cop killer

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William Woodard (WAGA-TV file Photo) William Woodard (WAGA-TV file Photo)
DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -

A DeKalb County jury heard the state make its case for giving a convicted cop killer the death penalty on Monday.

Woodard was convicted last week in the murders of Eric Barker and Ricky Bryant Jr. Woodard claimed he shot them in self-defense after the officers confronted him at an apartment complex where they were working off-duty security jobs in 2008.

Judge Dan Coursey told the jury they had three options to consider when it came to punishing convicted cop killer William Woodard.

"Death, life in prison without parole, or life imprisonment," said Coursey.

Assistant DeKalb District Attorney Dan Geary told the jury that "he [Woodard] did what he wanted to do, when he wanted to do it, and it didn't matter who or what got in his way."

Prosecutors then called a series of witnesses, mostly law enforcement officers, to testify about Woodard's history of arrests dating back to his high school days in the 1990s. Two officers talked about his arrest on charges he threatened a high school girlfriend and her mother with a gun, reading from the victim's account in the arrest report.

"William goes into my room, turned over my pocketbook.  I ask what was he doing.  William doesn't say anything.  William goes into the hallway, pulls his gun out and I run into my cousin's room saying don't shoot me," read Lt. Shannon Slade of DeKalb County police.

Attorneys also asked Woodard's mother to stop photographing lawyers and those coming in to testify, saying the practice intimidated those headed to the witness stand.
 
"I did inform her in Mr. James' presence, not to do anything that would be disrespectful or intimidating," said defense attorney Dwight Thomas.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys are having psychologists examine Woodard to determine more about his mental.

Testimony in the penalty phase is expected to continue on Tuesday.

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