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Cop Killers Spared Death Penalty Due to Hung Jury

Cop Killers Spared Death Penalty Due to Hung Jury

Eric DeShann Floyd (top left) and Levon T. Warner were convicted of murder but spared the death penalty in the killing of Philadelphia Police Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski.

Philadelphia Inquirer via YellowBrix

August 18, 2010

PHILADELPHIA – Two convicted killers of a Philadelphia police officer were spared the death penalty today after a jury deliberating the men’s fate declared it was deadlocked.

Eric DeShann Floyd, 35, and Levon T. Warner, 41, – two bank robbers whose partner killed Police Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski – will serve life in prison without parole in the May 3, 2008 shooting of the 39-year-old officer.

The jury of seven men and five women was unable to reach a unanimous verdict. Just before 3:30, the jurors returned to the courtroom. The Forewoman announced they were deadlocked and that further deliberations would not help.

Some jurors were red faced, shaking their heads from side-to-side as if angry. Liczbinski’s widow sat grim faced as she wiped away her tears.

Warner’s mother and wife also cried on hearing the news.

The jurors appeared to have struggled with the decision whether to impose the death penalty on Floyd and Warner even though neither was the shooter. Using conspiracy law, the jury on July 28 found Floyd and Warner guilty of first-degree murder, determining that both were as culpable as coconspirator Howard Cain, who shot Liczbinski as he pursued their car after a Port Richmond bank robbery.

Cain, 33, was killed by police in a confrontation later that day.

After speaking privately with the jurors, who were then dismissed and left the Criminal Justice Center, Judge Renee Cardwell Hughes moved immediately to sentence Floyd and Warner.

In addition to the life sentence without parole for each, which she was required to impose by law because of the deadlock, Hughes tacked on consecutive sentences for robbery, conspiracy and gun counts on which the jury also convicted the pair.

Floyd was sentenced to life plus 90 to 180 years; Warner, who was not involved in a carjacking with Floyd, got a sentence of life plus 67.5 to 125 years.

This means that should the legislature ever grant parole to people convicted of first or second degree murder, and if some parole board recommended parole for either, they would then have to serve the consecutive sentences.

The judge also warned both that she would oppose any commutation of the sentences by some future governor: “I will oppose it until I draw my last breath.”

Hughes had choice words for each. To Floyd: “You are unredeemable, a coward of the lowest order.” By disguising himself during the robbery as a woman in full Muslim garb, the judge said, “you chose to disrespect the faith you claim to uphold.” She said that people “cross the street to avoid Muslim women because of you.”

Of Warner: “I don’t understand you, I really don’t, because you’re not stupid and I don’t believe you have brain damage. But I don’t know why you made the choice you did. I don’t know why you chose to walk away from Denise Monroe, a woman who loves you and four children you are responsible for, and take up with these people.”

In deciding the men’s sentences, the jurors followed a complicated process to determine whether the aggravating factors in Liczbinski’s shooting warranted the death penalty, or whether they were mitigated by Floyd and Warner’s actions during the crime and their backgrounds, resulting in life prison terms.

The relevant aggravating factors: the premeditated killing of an officer on duty, endangering the public while committing a murder, and the pair’s long histories of violent crimes.

Among the mitigating factors: the pair’s confessions and their deprived childhoods in environments of alcohol and drug use, crime, and emotional and physical abuse.

  • Car6_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    Good job to the judge, R.I.P. to the officer!

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 4 years ago


    Another sample of erosion of respect for police officers, fire fighters, and their families by cheap judicial work by judges, juries and prosecutors willing to make plea deals too soon for willful and intentional acts of murder. I say if you ride with your friends who want to commit such horrible acts, be prepared to accept the consequences of prison life. RIP Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 4 years ago


    So not only did they rob the law enforcement community of one of our finest, but now these subhumans get to have free meals, free television, free medical care, free electricity/gas/water, for the rest of their lives, all on the public's dime... Way to go jury.

    However, Judge Hughes did an excellent job, and should preside over all future cop killer cases.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 4 years ago


    That jury let down every person in the United States. When Cop Killers are allowed to live because people feel they should be shown "mercy" because they had a horrible childhood, they disrespect our laws and our citizens.

    These men made decisions that lead to the death of a Peace Officer. When one Peace Officer is shot, we are all shot. These men committed an act so aggregious that they have forfeited the right to live.

    Shame on that jury for their aggregious act of allowing those disgusting low lifes to continue to steal the air from the rest of us.

  • Lion_cub__masai_mara__kenya_max50


    about 4 years ago


    Damn good job Judge, I wish like hell the jury had given you the go ahead but you managed well enough... I hate it that i will be supporting this pieces of trash for the next couple of decades, at least we don't have to support the one that actually shot.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 4 years ago

    The killing of a PO, during the course of a forcible felony should be a mandatory death penalty by law. The jury was hung because it wasn't their son, father, brother etc. killed.

  • 063_max50


    about 4 years ago


    The worst part of this is these two piece of shit cowards will now enter prison as heroes!!! Why oh why can't every cop killer do something stupid upon capture so that justice will be served in the street, sparing us the taxpayers and more importantly sparing the families.
    Rest in Peace Sgt. Liczbinski. You will always be remembered for your courageous service. My prayers are with your family, friends and colleagues. Sgt. Liczbinski........NEVER FORGOTTEN.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 4 years ago


    It sux! Personally, I think that any person who kills a peace officer should automatically be given the death penalty...

  • 1126071119_max50


    about 4 years ago


    I love our country but have to pause and say, "Only in America." To the family, friends, and comradies of Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski, my you all find some solitude in your hearts and minds....

  • Police3_max50


    about 4 years ago


    tgbus really f~€< up

  • God_bless_america_max50


    about 4 years ago


    There shouldn't even have been a question of punishment. Kill an officer, AUTOMATIC death penalty.......

  • 21_max50


    about 4 years ago


    I do not believe that justice was served, Good work by the judge but an unacceptable show of pity by the jury. They are nothing but useless killers who will now be fed and housed on the taxpayer dollar, I pray that they suffer hell on earth for their crimes and if my dollar will buy it I will get out the checkbook.

  • Badge__hat_max50


    about 4 years ago


    No sentence less than death is acceptable. Justice was not served, although the Judge did all she could after the jury failed to impose a death sentence. Though these two POS may have escaped in this life, in the next they will most certainly suffer the just and well deserved punishment of cold blooded murderers.

  • Pug_max600_max50


    about 4 years ago


    Don't "hung" the Jury. You have it backwards. Trial canceled because of a hung criminal not needing your services.

  • P1010076_max50


    about 4 years ago


    >>I think the jury screwed that up it should have been the Jury hung them

    That's what I thought the title read at first...but no, as LAWMAN said, they now have a free meal ticket for life.

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