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Polly Klaas Kidnap-Murder Trial In Jury’s Hands

June 12, 1996

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) _ Prosecutors dismissed as ``unreasonable″ a defense theory that the death of Polly Klaas was the result of a burglary gone wrong and a jury began deliberations in the case against Richard Allen Davis.

``It’s out of our hands,″ said Polly’s father, Marc Klaas, moments after the judge finished his instructions to the jury. The panel deliberated for about 45 minutes before retiring for the night.

Deliberations were to resume this morning.

Davis, 42, was charged with killing Polly after kidnapping her from her bedroom at knifepoint as she played with two other girls during a slumber party the night of Oct. 1, 1993. Her mother was sleeping in a nearby room.

Davis confessed and led police to Polly’s body on Dec. 4, 1993.

On Tuesday, defense attorney Barry Collins told jurors that Davis went to Polly’s house in Petaluma to steal, not to kill and then lost control because he was on drugs.

``The tragedy that occurred afterwards was exactly that,″ he said.

Prosecutor Greg Jacobs told jurors it did not make sense to portray Davis as an inept burglar. ``Please reject his unreasonable interpretation of the evidence,″ he said.

Jacobs said that evidence proved that the 12-year-old’s death was the well-laid scheme of a sexual predator.

``All the facts of this case show that the defendant carried out a longstanding fantasy,″ and was not _ as he claimed to police _ ``toasted″ on drugs and alcohol, Jacobs.

Prosecutors say aggravating circumstances make Davis eligible for the death penalty _ burglary, robbery, kidnapping and attempted lewdness on a minor. In California, a jury must conclude that a murder is accompanied by at least one such ``special circumstance″ for it to be a capital crime.

If Davis is convicted of first-degree murder and one of the special circumstances, a second trial would be heard by the same jurors, who would recommend either life in prison without parole or death. A judge would later pass formal sentence.

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