A jury has imposed the death penalty on convicted police killer Richard Poplawski. The 24-year-old shot and killed Pittsburgh officers Paul Sciullo II, Stephen Mayhle and Eric Kelly as they responded to a domestic dispute call in April 2009. It took the jury pulled from Dauphin County just two hours to come to the unanimous decision.
Jurors sentenced Poplawski after hearing tearful testimony from 10 surviving family members. Members of Poplawski's family and former teachers spoke on the shooter’s behalf in an effort to convince the jury that life in prison was the proper sentence. The jury had to decide if the mitigating factors in the shootings tipped the scale toward the life sentence or if the aggravating circumstances rose to the level that the death penalty should be used.
By state law, the verdict and sentence will automatically be appealed.