A Cuyahoga County jury recommended the death sentence for convicted serial killer Anthony Sowell.

On July 22, the same jury found Sowell guilty on 82 of 83 counts, including aggravated murder, rape, kidnapping and abuse of a corpse. Prosecutors said Sowell lured the women into his house with drugs and alcohol, then strangled them. The remains of 11 women were found, some wrapped in plastic bags, around his Imperial Avenue home in October 2009.

It will be up to Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Dick Ambrose to make a final decision. He could still give Sowell life in prison without the possibly of parole when sentencing takes place on Friday at 9 a.m. Sowell stood emotionless in courtroom with is hands cuffed in front of him while the verdict was read.

As Sowell was escorted from the courtroom by Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s deputies, family members applauded and cried. Assistant prosecutors Rick Bombik and Pinkey Carr shared hugs with several the victims’ relatives.

The 51-year-old Cleveland man was also convicted of raping two other women and attacking another. One woman told the jury, Sowell slapped her across the face and said “Bitch, take your clothes off,” before brutally raping her.

During the mitigation phase, the defense called more than 20 witnesses, including the defendant himself, to make a case against the death penalty.

“The only thing I want to say is that I’m sorry. I know that may not seem like much. And I’m sorry from the bottom of my heart,” Sowell said, during his guided and unsworn testimony. “This is not typical of me. I don’t know what happened. I can’t explain it. But I know it’s not a lot, but that’s all I can give.”

While Sowell’s sister and his former prison cellmate gave reasons why they love the man who killed 11 women, other people painted a different picture of Sowell.

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