Attorneys for John George Brown, the man twice convicted of the 1980 killing of a Garden Grove police officer, tried to spare him the death penalty Monday by presenting witnesses who described Brown as a man troubled by a turbulent childhood.
Two paternal uncles who had not seen Brown for nearly 30 years told jurors their nephew fled his Pawtucket, R.I., home when he was 15 to escape constant abuse from his parents.
"They never gave him self-worth," Donald Brown, one of the uncles, testified. "I don't see how anybody could be torn down as much as he was and come out all right."
John Brown, now 51, was convicted this month in the shooting death of officer Donald Reed, 27. Brown was originally convicted in 1982 and sent to Death Row, but that conviction was overturned by the state Supreme Court in 1998 because evidence had been kept from the defense.
The jury is expected to begin deliberations today on whether capital punishment should be meted out.
After their testimony, Donald Brown and his brother, Ken, greeted Reed's parents and widow. They exchanged tearful hugs.
"Who can answer the questions?" Donald Brown said to the victim's family.