Serial killer Anthony Sowell awaits turn to take the stand - WNEM TV 5

Serial killer Anthony Sowell awaits turn to take the stand

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Testimony in the Anthony Sowell murder trial began Friday with the cross-examination of psychiatrist Dr. George Woods.

Prosecutors are laying a groundwork to show Dr. Woods is a hired gun who is forwarding an anti-death penalty agenda. Woods says he has testified in over 100 death penalty cases - always on behalf of defendants and never for the prosecution.

Prosecutors asked why MRI's or other tests weren't done on Sowell to confirm the theory that he has a brain defect. They then asked about Dr. Woods' analysis of Anthony Sowell and hint he simply believed what Sowell told him without checking. The exchange got somewhat contentious.

In a 1990 prison questionnaire Sowell filled out, he talked about his loving relationship with his mother. Prosecutors believe this counters any suggestion that he was abused as a child. He also said, "my father is the best." Sowell filled in an open ended statement that began, "most women" with the ending "just tell lies."

After Woods' testimony, a mitigation specialist will testify followed by an expert on military records.

Court wrapped up Friday without jurors hearing from the Cleveland Strangler himself, Anthony Sowell. He could take the stand as soon as Monday.

Sowell was convicted of murdering eleven women and burying their bodies in and around his Imperial Avenue home. The same jury that convicted him must now decide whether Sowell serves life in prison, or is put to death. 

It has been an emotional week in court, as Sowell has broken down a number of times while family and friends have taken the stand in his defense.

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