Jury in cop killing adjourns for weekend

PHILADELPHIA - November 20, 2009

The jury will be back on Monday so the sentencing phase of this case can continue.

Lawyers for 23-year-old /*John Lewis*/ told the jury his age and other mitigating factors are reason to spare his life after they convicted him of the Halloween 2007 murder of Officer /*Chuck Cassidy*/.

Prosecutors say the evidence and Lewis' criminal history mean the death penalty is appropriate. Lewis will not testify on his own behalf.

Jurors found Lewis guilty of first-degree murder on Thursday. Lewis shot the veteran officer when he interrupted an armed robbery at a Dunkin' Donuts.

Cassidy died the next day. Authorities captured Lewis six days after the shooting at a homeless shelter in Miami.

Cassidy's widow, Judy, took the stand on Friday and told the jury her husband of 26 years was the consumate loving family man who worked endless overtime hours to provide for her and their 3 children.

"We didn't have much, but we had it all," she said.

Frequently Judy Cassidy glared at defendant John Lewis as she went through her impact statement, looking directly at Lewis when she noted her husband never fired his gun during 25 years on the force.

In the 750 days since the murder, she said, it is hard to celebrate holidays.

"For Chuck's birthday, we got to his grave. My children, they were robbed. What happened was senseless."

John Lewis' mother, Monique Dyches, a city corrections officer, took the stand to ask for mercy for her 23-year-old son. She said his father was murdered when he was just five years old.

"I'm sorry, I truly am, that the Cassidy family has to go through this," she said.

Lewis' grandmother, Bernetha Glover, told the jury she knows he's remorseful, and suffered from not having a strong male figure in his life.

She asked the jury not to send her grandson to death row.

"To take a life is not going to bring one back. All I want is justice to be served. He's got to pay, we know that. But don't take his life."

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