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Life Sentence Asked in Greek Killing

December 1, 1999

DRAMA, Greece (AP) _ A prosecutor asked a court Wednesday to find a Greek sailor guilty of strangling and mutilating his American girlfriend and to show no mercy in his sentencing.

George Skiadopoulos is charged with killing 31-year-old former model Julie Scully, of Mansfield, N.J., on Jan. 8 and then burning and beheading her body. He faces a maximum penalty of life imprisonment without parole if convicted. Skiadopoulos has the right to appeal.

Prosecutor Giorgos Siopis asked the panel of three judges and four jurors to give the 25-year-old the maximum possible sentence.

Shortly before Siopis’ closing remarks, Skiadopoulos ended five hours of testimony by asking the court to find him guilty.

``I am not interested in the sentence, I want you to imprison me, the prison of the soul is much worse,″ Skiadopoulos said.

His defense team will present its closing arguments Monday, when the court reconvenes, and a verdict is expected later that day.

Defense lawyers have been trying to portray the defendant as a man who acted out of ``jealous rage″ and had not planned the killing near the northern Greek city of Kavala. They have also have suggested Skiadopoulos could be mentally unstable.

The court has twice rejected defense motions for the trial to be postponed so that Skiadopoulos can undergo an in-depth psychiatric examination.

A cruise ship petty officer, Skiadopoulos met Ms. Scully on a Caribbean voyage in 1997. She moved to Greece in December 1998 and left her then 3-year-old daughter with her ex-husband.

Skiadopoulos confessed to the murder, the prosecutor said. He claimed he argued with Ms. Scully over her inability to adjust to life in Greece and her possible return to the United States, according to police.

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