Jury Finds Salvi Guilty of Murder

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BOSTON: After nine hours of deliberation in two days, a Massachusetts jury found abortion clinic gunman John Salvi guilty of two counts of murder in the first degree and five counts of assault with intent to commit murder. Conviceted in a state that does not have a death penalty, Salvi will be sentenced to a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole. Salvi was charged with murdering Lee Ann Nicholson, a receptionist at Preterm Health Services, and Shannon Lowney, the receptionist at Planned Parenthood, both in Brookline Mass. The defense had argued Salvi was insane, a delusional schizophrenic, when he killed the two abortion clinic workers and wounded five other people in back to back shootings. Prosecutors contended that Salvi planned the murders, buying two guns and practicing at a local target range before the shootings. On Saturday, Judge Barbara Dortch-Okara turned down a request by the defense to allow Salvi to testify without submitting to cross-examination. Defense attorneys requested to put Salvi on the stand Wednesday to rebut testimony by a prosecution psychologist who testified that Salvi was sane. A day earlier, Salvi had indicated he did not wish to testify. The judge denied the defense request, believing Salvi would just use the opportunity to expound about his beliefs in a worldwide, anti-Catholic conspiracy. Since the case involves an insanity defense, legal experts believe that Salvi's testimony would be relevant. The conviction will be appealed, and experts believe the fact that Salvi was not allowed to testify might work in his favor.