It took a jury 35 minutes to reach its verdict in the capital murder trial of George Hitcho Junior.
A Northampton County jury found Hitcho guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting death of Freemansburg Police Officer Robert Lasso.
Lasso’s Family was emotionally overwhelmed when the verdict was read.
“My brother is a hero. He was a hero to us before the police community,” said Jessica Hawk, Officer Robert Lasso’s sister.
Hawk was one of several family members and friends of the fallen police officer who were in the courtroom hoping justice would be served, and for the family and friends it was.
A jury found Hitcho guilty of shooting Officer Lasso in August, 2011 when Lasso was responding to a domestic dispute between Hitcho and a neighbor.
Throughout the trial, the defense argued Hitcho thought the officer was someone trying to break into his home, and thought his life was in jeopardy and fired the gun in self-defense.
However, the prosecution argued Hitcho willingly and deliberately shot officer Lasso.
“The fact is this police officer was shot in the back of the head, and I think most people use common sense. You see, a police officer coming onto property has a right to investigate, not causing any harm to this individual, and he was shot in the back of the head with a shotgun,” said John Morganelli, Northampton County District Attorney.
The jury will be back on Monday to decide whether Hitcho will be sentenced to death or get life in prison.
The district attorney said there will be more testimony before the jury decides Hitcho’s fate.