PHOENIX - The fate of a man convicted of being the Phoenix area's Baseline Killer is now in the hands of a jury who heard from attorneys on both sides for the last time Monday.
The jurors, who convicted 47-year-old Mark Goudeau of nine counts of murder last month, began deliberating Monday over whether to sentence him to death or life in prison on each of those counts. The jury also found Goudeau guilty of 58 other charges, including rape and murder, and found that he is eligible for the death penalty.
They could decide at any time what his sentence should be.
Prosecutor Patricia Stevens told jurors Monday that they must sentence Goudeau to death because he killed nine people in an especially cruel way and showed none of them mercy before he fatally shot them in the head during his "reign of terror" in the Phoenix area in 2005 and 2006.
"He has no respect for our laws or humanity," Stevens told jurors as Goudeau sat quietly about 10 feet away. "He is deserving of justice for every life he erased."
She told jurors that the death penalty is "an expression of moral outrage."
"Sometimes defendants do things in this world so bad that they forfeit their right to live," she said. "This defendant has done that over and over again."
Defense attorney Rod Carter urged jurors to show Goudeau leniency and sentence him to life in prison, saying that he will be a model inmate and that a difficult childhood turned him into the man he is today.
"(A life sentence) is not a slap on the wrist," Carter said. "He'll never get out of prison. That's where he'll be the rest of his life.
"A death sentence is as permanent as you can get," he said. "Your decision is binding ... The choice is yours."
Two weeks ago, Goudeau forced his lawyers to stop calling on witnesses in support of a life sentence after a psychologist implied that Goudeau struggled with impotence and insecurity. He opted instead to address jurors himself against his lawyers' wishes, telling them to follow their hearts when they decide whether to sentence him to death or life in prison.
"I am no monster," he told them. "I could look in each and every one of your eyes today and tell you Mark Goudeau is no wolf in sheep's clothing."
Stevens reminded jurors Monday of Goudeau's comments and said that they should take special note that he offered no apologies to any of the victims in the case or their families.
"Not once did this defendant stand before you and comment about the horror he inflicted," she said. "Not once did he talk about what each of his nine victims endured at his own hands. He stood before you and denied responsibility."
She said jurors must ask themselves one question: Does Goudeau deserve any leniency at all?
"He and he alone decided each and every one of (the victims') fates. He and he alone decided how each of these nine would leave this world, what their last few minutes on this Earth would be like," she said. "He put them through unspeakable terror, and he ended each and every one of these lives by putting a gun to their head and executing them, and now he asks you for mercy. He asks you for mercy that he never himself showed."
Goudeau already is serving a 438-year sentence for the 2005 rape of a woman while pointing a gun at her sister's pregnant belly in a Phoenix park. Even though there already was no chance that Goudeau would be set free, prosecutors pursued the murder charges against him in an effort to get him sentenced to death.
During his five-month trial, prosecutors repeatedly referred to Goudeau as a ravenous wolf in sheep's clothing driven by a hunger to rape women and kill the ones who didn't cooperate.
Eight of Goudeau's murder victims were women, and most were left with their pants unzipped and partially pulled down. Goudeau also was convicted of eight sexual assaults during his trial, during which victims testified that he held them at gunpoint and threatened to kill them if they didn't follow his commands.
Goudeau's wife, Wendy Carr, has stood by his side throughout the trial and maintains his innocence.
After Monday's hearing, she said only: "I'd be a bit naive to expect anything less than the death penalty."
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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