`Baseline Killer' Penalty Phase In Homestretch As Goudeau Again Calls It Quits

The jurors may be deciding if Mark Goudeau should go to death row sooner than anticipated, thanks to yet another turn of events in the penalty phase of the recently convicted serial killer's trial. 

The `Baseline Killer,' convicted late last month of nine murders and dozens of other violent crimes stemming from a spree in 2005-06, told a judge yesterday that he doesn't want anyone from his family to testify as mitigation witnesses in his defense.

Before going further into what happened yesterday, we should remind readers about our story, "Waiting For Goudeau," in the current issue of New Times.

Check it out!    

Goudeau in an earlier hearing had rejected his attorneys' attempts to present possible mitigating evidence in his favor, telling Superior Court Judge Warren Granville that his defense team had been "blowing smoke up my ass for going on five years."

But Goudeau subsequently changed his mind, and the mitigation portion of the penalty phase began late last week with testimony from a psychologist about the 47-year-old Phoenix man's difficult upbringing and family dysfunction.

The psychologist spoke of Goudeau's late father, who apparently impregnated several women in his neighborhood over time, adding to the 13 or 14 children he had with Goudeau's mother. (This testimony gave rise to some layman's analyses among court watchers, i.e. that Mark Goudeau wasn't as good at the art of seduction as was dear old dad, so instead he simply killed and/or sexually assaulted his many victims).

Yesterday morning, Goudeau was listening in to a second mental-health expert testifying in his defense when he said something to his lead attorney, Randall Craig. Seems that Goudeau had heard more than enough, and didn't wish to continue with any more "mitigation."

Goudeau politely confirmed his intentions to Judge Warren Granville. 

That mean subject to change during today's hearing scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m., that the jurors won't be taking testimony as previously thought from wife Wendy and two of Goudeau's sisters. (We really wanted to see true believer Wendy on the stand, but whatever.) 

If so, the 12-person panel may be retiring to deliberate Goudeau's fate on the nine first-degree murder convictions much sooner than was anticipated. If they do decide to spare his life, the nine murder sentences will be tacked on to the 438-year prison term that the serial killer/rapist already is serving for the 2005 sexual assaults of two south Phoenix sisters.

Safe to say that Mark Goudeau is going to die in prison, by the government's hand or not.

Judge Granville, by the way, will be handling the sentencing phase of the other 58 felony convictions in this case--rapes, kidnappings, armed robberies, and so on. In Arizona, jurors, not judges, decide the sentence (life or death) in capital cases. 

We are finishing a yarn on other matter today, but will try to sneak away from the PC and head down to court for the 10:30 hearing.