by: Ross Cavitt Updated:
COBB COUNTY, Ga.,None - A Cobb County man who was convicted in a double murder is fighting to dodge the death penalty.
On Monday, a Cobb County jury took just 30 minutes to find Joshua Drucker guilty of four counts of murder. His sentencing hearing began at 11 a.m. Tuesday.
Drucker, 33, killed Andrew Robertson and Lora Nikolova in April 2004. Lawyers for both sides did not dispute that Drucker pulled the trigger, but prosecutors painted Drucker as a cold-blooded, drug-addicted killer while the defense team told jurors the killings were an accident and possibly a crime of passion.
Drucker’s lawyers pushed for a voluntary manslaughter verdict, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years if convicted, but prosecutors have asked the jury to decide on a punishment of death, or a life sentence.
“We know that there is a killer among us. He sits right here,” Cobb County Assistant District Attorney Ann Harris said in closing arguments.
Drucker’s attorneys said he was settling a score with Robertson because he supplied drugs to Drucker’s younger sister. Drucker’s sister, Amanda, overdosed on those drugs and suffered brain damage that left her confined to a wheelchair.
“This was not a sudden irresistible passion about Amanda. This was just an angry young man. He’s angry at anyone who crosses him. He’s angry at anyone who doesn’t agree with him,” said Harris.
“He has been agitated. He has been provoked. He has been whipped up about what has happened to his sister,” said defense attorney Joseph Vigneri.
Following closing arguments, Drucker begged Cobb County Judge Robert Flournoy for a mistrial because his lawyers did not call witnesses he believed could sway the case. Drucker claimed the prosecution also intimidated witnesses. Flournoy denied his request.