Jury recommends death penalty for Eriese Tisdale - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Jury recommends death penalty for Eriese Tisdale

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UPDATE: A jury has recommended the death penalty for Eriese Tisdale who was convicted of murdering St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Gary Morales.

The vote was 9 to 3.

The judge will now decide whether Tisdale should spend the rest of his life in prison, or be put to death. 

Tisdale’s family did not make any statements following the verdict. As it was read Tisdale teared up while looking back at his family before being escorted from the courtroom.

Gary Morales' widow and his brother say the verdict was what they've wanted and hoped for in the two-and-a-half years since the deputy’s death.

They said nothing will bring him back but the recommendation is a  start to help put the tragedy behind them.

Prosecutor Tom Bakkedahl addressed recent violence against law enforcement officers in the U.S. and hopes this death recommendation might prevent even one other person from committing a violent crime against a law enforcement officer.

EARLIER:

A jury is deliberating a sentence recommendation for Eriese Tisdale who was convicted of shooting and killing a St. Lucie County law enforcement officer 2 1/2 years ago.

The panel could recommend life in prison without parole or the death penalty for the murder of Sgt. Gary Morales.

The state began closing arguments Friday morning by outlining reasons jurors should consider the death penalty.
  
Those reasons included his prior felony convictions, the fact he killed a law enforcement officer, and that he did it to avoid arrest.

The defense said Tisdale came from a broken home, lost his moral compass and didn't have many positive male figures in his life.

Closing arguments lasted all morning.

The judge then gave the jury instructions and dismissed them for lunch and to begin deliberations.

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