Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Death penalty sought for accused deputy killer

If Broward State Attorney Mike Satz has his way, accused cop killer Michael Mazza will be put to death if he is found guilty.

Satz told Judge Paul Backman on Monday that he would seek the death penalty as punishment for Mazza, who allegedly shot and killed Broward sheriff's Deputy Paul Rein on Nov. 7.

Mazza was in court for a status hearing on two unrelated robbery charges.

The state alleges Mazza plotted for months to ambush Rein and kill the 76-year-old to avoid a possible life sentence for armed robbery.

Mazza broke free from the harness that secured his wheelchair as Rein drove him from jail in Pompano Beach to the courthouse in downtown Fort Lauderdale. Rein stopped the van to fix it when Mazza overpowered him, took his gun and shot him.

Rein was found on the side of the road with a gunshot wound and died a few moments later.

Mazza said in a videotaped confession that he acted in self-defense.

A trial is expected later this year, and Mazza is expected back in court on April 28 for another status hearing.

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