BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - It took a jury less than two hours to find Jeremy Radau guilty of capital murder. Now, they must decide if Radau will spend the rest of his life in jail or be put to death for the September 2009 murder of an elderly Biloxi man.
During the sentencing phase Thursday afternoon, Radau's father testified. Then Radau demanded his lawyer stop calling witnesses and let him take the stand.
"I may have taken a man's life, but it saved mine," Radau said.
Radau told the courtroom that part of him regrets beating Charles Pickell to death with a bat, but part of him does not regret it. Radau said if he would not have committed the crime, he never would have turned his life around and found faith.
"I can only look at it in a positive way and I can't change it," Radau said.
Assistant District Attorney Scott Lusk read the court part of a letter Radau wrote from jail, "His pain is now over and he no longer suffers no more trials and tribulations here on Earth."
Then Lusk accused Radau of trying to play God.
"Do you think he wants to spend time with his sisters?" Lusk asked.
Radau responded, "Don't you think I'd like to spend time with mine."
Lusk screamed back, "You took that from him, he didn't take that from you."
No one expected what Radau said next. It is too crude to write, but he blamed the victim for his own death, saying Pickell should not have wanted sexual favors from Radau's girlfriend.
Lusk yelled at him, "He didn't ask you to bash his head in, did he?"
Radau said, "I didn't ask him to hit me either, but he tried."
Lusk responded, "He didn't hit you."
For the first time during the trial, Radau showed some emotion, but the tears were not about the crime he committed. Instead, he was pleading for his attorney to stop calling his family to the stand.
Radau said, "If I do get life, I don't want them to wonder the rest of their lives, 'What did I say, or could I have said to save his life?'"
Radau's attorney must now decide if he will call anyone else for jurors to hear to convince them to spare his client's life. The jury is expected to decide his fate Friday.