Robert: death penalty is the only way to ensure I don't kill aga - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Robert: death penalty is the only way to ensure I don't kill again

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After three days of witness testimony both side have rested their case in the sentencing trial of Eric Robert.

After hearing the emotional testimony from the family of Officer Ronald Johnson on Wednesday morning Eric Robert took his turn at the stand.

Robert testified to the court that he is most deserving of a death sentence.

"I deserve to die, Mrs. Johnson said it best I'm a coward, I killed her husband with a pipe from behind." Said Robert.

Robert's words were clear and direct as he testified to the court that he knew exactly what he was doing the day he killed Officer Ronald Johnson.

On April 12th it was a war to me, it was the staff's duty to ensure I stayed in prison for the rest of my life and it was my duty to defeat them."

Robert also hinted that this anger and hatred is something that will never leave him telling the judge, "If you were to sentence me to life I think you'll read in the future that I've killed again and that's on you."

Robert showed no emotion throughout his testimony and says the death penalty is the only way to ensure he doesn't kill another human being.

He was even so bold as to threaten the judge himself.

"Brad Zell if you stood between me and the door to freedom I would kill you, if I sat in your chair I would execute me... Do the right thing." Said Robert.

Robert has wanted death all along but that sentence has not been given.

Judge Zell informed Robert that the court does not make it's decision based on passion or a wish.

"It (the court) must take all the evidence, weigh it and make a determination in this case whether death or life is appropriate." Said Judge Zell.

Eric Robert told the court he chose against a jury trial because he did not want 12 everyday people carrying the weight of this responsibility of life or death.

That decision is now left up to Judge Zell who will announce his decision sometime in the coming days.

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