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Prosecution rests its case in capital trial of man charged in slayings of 11 Cleveland women
CLEVELAND (AP) ' The prosecution rested its case Monday in the trial of a man charged with killing 11 women and dumping their remains around his house and yard, showing jurors a video of him telling police he could not identify the victims.
"I don't know. I don't know," Anthony Sowell, 51, said repeatedly in a police interrogation video played for jurors over a three-day period ending Monday morning.
The detectives who questioned Sowell two days after officers began finding bodies in his home and backyard pressed for any details, such as ages or names that might identify the women or how they died.
"What made her wind up in a bag," an officer asked about a woman at one point.
Sowell responded that he couldn't get into that.
The officers coaxed Sowell to take responsibility as a man for what happened, with one belittling Sowell's ability to remember where he stripped copper from houses for resale but couldn't remember what happened to the women.
After the prosecution rested, the judge sent jurors home and told them to return Tuesday morning for the start of Sowell's defense.
Sowell has pleaded not guilty and could face the death penalty if convicted.
The final prosecution witness was homicide Detective Lem Griffin, who participated in Sowell's interrogation. Griffin told assistant prosecutor Pinkey Carr that Sowell voluntarily participated in the interrogations on the day of his arrest Oct. 31, 2009, and two days later.
In the videotaped interrogations played for jurors, Sowell repeatedly said he couldn't remember what happened.
Asked at one point whether he had strangled women, he said, "Maybe I did." At another point, Sowell told officers, "I had to be me" and "I guess I did that."
Defense attorney John Parker pressed Griffin on how much police training he had on dealing with the mentally ill. Griffin testified that he couldn't remember whether training sessions at the time included information on how to recognize psychosis.
The women vanished one by one through September 2009, the month before Sowell's arrest. Police say they were lured with drugs and alcohol.
The bodies were found over several days after officers went to Sowell's house to investigate a sexual-assault complaint.