Judge upholds jury's recommendation, sentences Cleveland serial killer Anthony Sowell to death

CLEVELAND - After weeks of proceedings, a Cuyahoga County judge has sentenced convicted killer Anthony Sowell to death.

Sowell, 51, was convicted last month on 82 of 83 counts for the deaths of 11 women whose remains were found in and around his Imperial Avenue home. On Wednesday, the same jury that found him guilty of murder recommended that Sowell be sentenced to death.

Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Dick Ambrose upheld the jury's recommendation, sending the convicted serial killer to death row. Sowell sat with his eyes closed during Friday's proceedings and refused to sign a form that says he is a registered Tier III sex offender.

"The court gives the defendant's expression of remorse no weight," Ambrose said during the sentencing. Ambrose said the fact that Sowell was playing video games while police pulled bodies from his home demonstrated the defendant showed no guilt. The judge set an execution date, which could change with appeals, of Oct. 29, 2012. That's the three-year anniversary of when the bodies were found.

The last Cuyahoga County jury to recommend the death penalty was in 2007, when Charles Maxwell was found guilty of killing his ex-girlfriend in front of her 4-year-old daughter.

Sowell was also found guilty of attempting to kill three other women, who testified in court during the first phase of the trial. One woman told jurors she jumped from a third-floor window at Sowell's house to escape because she was sure she was going to die there.

"The only thing I want to say is that I'm sorry. I know that may not seem like much. And I'm sorry from the bottom of my heart," Sowell said, in his guided testimony earlier this week. "This is not typical of me. I don't know what happened. I can't explain it. But I know it's not a lot, but that's all I can give."

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