Updated Oct 18, 2012 - 12:42 pm
Arizona man to be sentenced in murder of Utah deputy
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- Prosecutors say a man who pleaded guilty to fatally shooting a Utah sheriff's deputy would kill again if given the chance and has expressed no remorse.
Jonathan Moser's comments came on the first day of a sentencing hearing Thursday for Scott Curley in Coconino County Superior Court. Moser urged a judge to give Curley natural life in prison for the 2010 death of Kane County Deputy Brian Harris.
Curley also pleaded guilty to burglary, theft and aggravated assault charges in an agreement with prosecutors last month, avoiding a trial.
Defense attorney Brad Bransky asked that Curley be eligible for parole after 25 years. He says Curley had delusions beliefs and shot Harris in what he believed was self-defense on a battlefield.
The hearing is scheduled through Friday.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
Scott Curley faces up to life in prison when he's sentenced this week in the fatal shooting of a Utah sheriff's deputy in 2010.
Curley already had acknowledged his guilt to authorities and mental health experts before formally pleading guilty last month in the death of Kane County Deputy Brian Harris, and to charges of burglary, theft and aggravated assault in an agreement with prosecutors. In doing so, he avoided a weekslong trial and prosecution on pornography charges in a second case.
Harris' family and colleagues will have an opportunity to testify Thursday and Friday during the sentencing hearing in Coconino County Superior Court in Flagstaff.
Authorities say Harris had been tracking Curley, who was wanted for burglary, when he was ambushed along the Arizona-Utah border. Curley fled into the wilderness following the shooting and was captured four days later near Kanab, Utah.
Curley had described the shooting consistently, saying he hid under a tree and intentionally fired an assault rifle at someone who didn't listen to his demands to freeze. He told one mental health expert that he'd be a fool not to take a plea agreement because "I'm guilty," although one hadn't been offered to him at the time.
The case was scheduled to go to trial earlier this month, after a judge ruled that he was competent. The prosecution and defense had agreed that Curley was mentally ill, with his own attorney saying Curley was intent on proving psychotic beliefs, but they disagreed on whether he could aid in his defense.