Cop Killer Gets Death Sentence

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The man convicted of killing a police officer will die for his crime. That was the sentence handed down Thursday afternoon in Northampton County court.

Jurors deliberated for two and a half hours then sent Geroge Hitcho Junior to death row for the shooting death Freemansburg Police Officer Robert Lasso in August of last year.

Once the verdict was read Hitcho's mother burst into tears.

Hitcho then made a statement to the judge saying, "Now you know why I wanted a change of venue.  Make sure you say goodbye to my mother for me."

Kelly Yerger, one of Hitcho's friends, gave a statement on behalf of the Hitcho family.

"We are so deeply sorry no words can express our sadness to the Lasso family. All our lives have been changed forever. We are heartbroken and we grieve along side of the lasso family," Yerger said.

Before the verdict was reached the jury listened to two hours of closing arguments.

The prosecution arguing Hitcho willingly, deliberately and intentionally shot Officer Lasso.

The defense said Hitcho was under extreme emotional distress and suffers from brain damage caused by head injuries from earlier motorcycle accidents, but the jury decided death.

"I did speak to the family members and they were all very appreciative of the work done by the state police and my office. They know we put in a 100 percent into this case," said Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli.

"Unfortunately we thought it would go the other way. We respect the decision. We did feel we had strong mitigators and we had a lot of medical evidence to show there was a reason as to why this happened. We thought it mitigated against a death sentence," said defense attorney Michael Corriere.

"I would have testified, but was told not to. By looking at my son's face, I know he was on something other than two beers. My son is not a cold-blooded killer," Hitcho's mother Linda Christy said in a statement.