Penalty Phase Set To Begin In Bridgeport Murder Trial

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) _ A Connecticut jury is scheduled to begin hearing evidence on whether a man should get the death penalty for killing two adults and a 9-year-old girl in Bridgeport.

The penalty phase of the trial of former Trumbull resident Richard Roszkowski is set to start Tuesday in Bridgeport Superior Court. The jury has only two choices: lethal injection or life in prison.

The 48-year-old Roszkowski was convicted in 2009 of capital felony and murder for fatally shooting his 39-year-old ex-girlfriend, Holly Flannery, her 9-year-old daughter, Kylie, and 38-year-old Thomas Gaudet in 2006. Police said Roszkowski stalked Flannery after she broke up with him and falsely believed she and Gaudet were romantically involved.

The 2009 jury decided Roszkowski should be put to death, but a judge overturned the sentence because of an error made during jury instructions and ordered a new penalty phase.

Last month, the Polish government unsuccessfully sought to block the penalty phase and urged a judge to impose a life prison sentence, because it considers Roszkowski a dual citizen and there is no death penalty in Poland. Roszkowski’s parents were Polish.

Connecticut abolished the death penalty for murders committed after April 24, 2012, but it still applies to 10 men on death row and prosecutors are seeking it for Roszkowski.

Roszkowski’s public defenders also objected to a new penalty phase, noting the state Supreme Court is still deciding whether the state’s repeal of the death penalty in 2012 violates the constitutional rights of death row inmates.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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