It took a jury just more than three hours of deliberations to find 24-year-old Richard Poplawski guilty in the 2009 killings of three Pittsburgh police officers. The verdict came after a week of testimony where jurors heard gruesome details of the shootings of officers Eric Kelly, Paul Sciullo, and Stephen Mayhle.
Poplawski was found guilty of first-degree murder in all three killings. He was also found guilty of 25 other lesser crimes.
The officers were responding to a 911 call from Poplawski’s mother who said she and her son were arguing in the home they shared. When officers arrived, Poplawski opened fire and held police at bay for hours. The trial now enters the penalty phase in which the jury will hear evidence about Poplawski’s mental state, background and other factors before determining if he will receive the death penalty or life in prison without parole.
The jury was selected from Dauphin County and brought in to hear the case. The jury has been sequestered since being brought to Pittsburgh.
The defense never called a witness but did use its closing arguments to hint that Poplawski’s mother Margret was not involved. The mother has never been charged but was in the home throughout the standoff.