Ex-cop sentenced to life in prison

February 27, 2008 1:18:38 PM PST
A former police officer was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison with a chance of parole after 57 years for killing his pregnant lover and their unborn child. Jurors spared Bobby Cutts Jr. the death penalty in the most serious charge, an aggravated murder count in the death of the fetus.

Stark County Common Pleas Judge Charles Brown Jr. rejected a defense request to merge the sentences against Cutts, 30, but he could have allowed parole eligibility earlier.

Cutts had sobbed on the witness stand when he claimed the death of 26-year-old Jessie Davis from an elbow to the throat last June was an accident during an argument. He said he dumped her body in a park in a panic. He returned to the witness stand after his conviction to ask jurors to spare his life.

Prosecutors argued that Cutts killed Davis and the nearly full-term baby at her home in northeast Ohio to avoid making child support payments.

The couple's son, Blake, then 2½, was found home alone and gave investigators their first clues to his mother's disappearance when he said, "Mommy's crying. Mommy broke the table. Mommy's in the rug," and later, "Daddy's mad."

During statements before sentencing, the victim's mother, Patty Porter, wept as she told the judge she was risking her family's disapproval but wanted Cutts to be sentenced in a way that would allow him to be free at some point to share life with his son, Blake, now 3.

"I hope and pray I can raise him to forgive you," she said. "He knows what you did. You would not believe the stories he's told us."

"I do forgive you," Porter told Cutts, drawing tears from members of his family.

For more than a week, Cutts denied knowledge of her whereabouts as thousands searched in the area amid blanket national cable TV coverage. He finally led authorities to the body, wrapped in a comforter.