Prosecution makes final argument in murder trial of ex-patrolman

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By JOE MILICIA

Associated Press Writer

CANTON, Ohio (AP) -- A former police officer intentionally killed his pregnant lover to get out of child support payments, a prosecutor told jurors during his closing argument Tuesday.

Defendant Bobby Cutts Jr. had testified on Monday that he accidentally killed Jessie Davis with an elbow to her neck as he was trying to leave her house.

However, Assistant prosecutor Dennis Barr told the jury on Tuesday that Cutts' story makes no sense. Barr said Cutts wanted Davis and her fetus dead because of mounting debt and child support for a fourth child.

"He knew when he was suffocating Jessie, when he was strangling Jessie, he was killing that baby inside her," Barr said.

Cutts has pleaded not guilty to charges including aggravated murder in the deaths of Davis and her fetus. If he is convicted he could be sentenced to death.

Defense attorney Fernando Mack opened his closing argument by conceding that Cutts must take responsibility for dumping Davis' body in a park and leaving his 2 1/2-year-old son home alone for more than 24 hours.

But Mack said those actions don't prove Cutts committed aggravated murder.

"They don't even come close," he said.

He pointed out that no witnesses testified that Cutts had been complaining about child support payments or about Davis' pregnancy.

Mack also reminded jurors that the medical examiner could not determine the cause of Davis' death and that a key witness, Cutts' friend Myisha Ferrell, didn't testify that Cutts strangled Davis.