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Death Recommended for Child Killer

October 6, 1999

VISTA, Calif. (AP) _ A remorseless drifter who killed a 9-year-old boy in a beach restroom should die for his crime, jurors recommended Wednesday.

Brandon Wilson, 21, who slashed Matthew Cecchi’s throat, stabbed him in the back and left him to bleed to death, told jurors they should execute him because he would kill again. He smiled slightly as the verdict was read.

Wilson killed the third-grade Oroville boy in November 1998 and said he would ``do it again in a second if I had the chance.″

``My whole purpose in life is to help destroy your society. You people are here as representatives of that society. As such, you should do everything in your power to rid the world of me. Execute me,″ Wilson told jurors during testimony in the penalty phase of his trial.

The panel of six men and six women deliberated for five hours over two days before reaching the verdict. Jury foreman Gene Wick said outside the courtroom that ``if there was ever a case that deserved the death penalty, this one fit.″

Superior Court Judge John Einhorn will make the final decision at a sentencing hearing Nov. 4.

He can choose the lesser penalty, but judges usually follow the recommendations of juries, court officials said.

The same jury last week found that Wilson was sane when he killed Matthew in the restroom at Oceanside Pier, north of San Diego.

Wilson admitted during his arraignment that he murdered the boy. He said he smiled at him after following him into the restroom and then snuck up on him from behind as the boy stood at the urinal.

Wilson of St. Croix Falls, Wis., claimed he was insane at the time, driven by hallucinogenic drugs and voices from God to kill. But his videotaped confession to police, which included his gleeful re-enactment of the killing and acknowledgment that murder was wrong, helped jurors to conclude he was sane.

The jury heard testimony from the boy’s third-grade teacher and mother.

Deborah Peck of Stanford Avenue School, described how she tried to comfort the boy’s classmates and explain why he was killed.

``Third-graders always ask why and that was a question I had no answer for,″ said Peck, who called Matthew a straight-A student and an extraordinary boy.

Sharon Cecchi recalled trying to comfort her son and to give him CPR as he lay bleeding. ``I put my hand on his hair and told him, ’Hang in there baby. I love you,‴ she said.

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