07/28/2010

Two convicted in Pa. cop's death

Both could face the death penalty at sentencing

By Maryclaire Dale
Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — A jury on Wednesday convicted two men of first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of a police officer, and both could face the death penalty at sentencing.

Jurors found 41-year-old Levon Warner and 35-year-old Eric Floyd guilty on all counts in the May 3, 2008, shooting death of Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski following a bank robbery in the city's Port Richmond neighborhood.

The jury will next decide whether the men should be sentenced to death.

Authorities said Floyd and Warner helped rob the bank and were in the getaway car when a third man, Howard Cain, got out and shot the pursuing Liczbinski. Cain later died in a shootout with police.

The defense had argued that Warner and Floyd did not share in the intent to kill the sergeant.

Floyd watched most of the trial on closed-circuit television. He had been removed from the courtroom during jury selection after punching his defense attorney. He took the stand briefly last week, testifying he was asleep at the time of the officer's killing and denying any involvement in the shooting or the bank robbery.

Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey attended much of the four-week trial. He had his arm around Liczbinski's widow when the verdict was announced and moved to pass a box of tissues to one of Warner's sobbing relatives on the other side of the courtroom.

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