Kirkland asks jury: "Please spare my life"

Anthony Kirkland on the stand Tuesday
Anthony Kirkland on the stand Tuesday

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Serial killer Anthony Kirkland took the stand in court Tuesday, asking a Hamilton County jury to spare his life.

"I don't blame you if you kill me, I don't deserve to live, but please spare my life," said Kirkland.

The same jury convicted Kirkland last week in the murders of Esme Kenney and Casonya Crawford. He already pled guilty to killing Mary Jo Newton and Kimya Rolison.

The eight women and four men on the jury have two options for Kirkland – life without parole or death row.

Kirkland appeared in court Tuesday morning wearing a yellow jumpsuit, symbolizing he was on suicide watch. He was convinced to put regular clothes on over the jumpsuit.

Prosecutors did not present any evidence or witnesses during this phase of the trial.

The defense called one witness, Dr. Scott Bresler, a psychiatrist with the University of Cincinnati. Dr. Bresler called Kirkland a psychopath, saying he exhibits numerous traits involved with that label.

Dr. Bresler also stated that Kirkland has a personality disorder and suffers from anti social behavior, all stemming from what he called an "abusive childhood at the hands of his violent and sadistic father."

Dr. Bresler spent numerous hours interviewing Kirkland, his mother and two younger sisters.

"Anthony's sisters were abused by Kirkland's father and Anthony at a young age of 13," said Bresler.

After a short break, Kirkland took the stand, reading an unsworn statement to the jurors.

"I couldn't stop the rage and the anger, could not make the bad Anthony go away," he told the jury. "I could not tell the police why I did it, because I don't know why. They say I'm am evil, a monster, and they are right. Ever since I was little, everyone hated me, even my mom hated me. I don't expect forgiveness, I deserve to die."

Prosecutors have been pushing for the death penalty, giving jurors a complete picture of the brutality of Kirkland's crimes - they heard the murders described by relatives of the victims and Kirkland himself, and before the trial started, they visited the crime scenes of each of the murder victims.

The defense is trying to erase those images to save Kirkland's life.

The jury is expected to be given its very long and detailed instructions Wednesday morning, and deliberations will begin.

Copyright 2010 FOX19. All Rights Reserved.