PHOENIX (AP) — A prosecutor in metro Phoenix's Serial Shooter case said in her closing argument Tuesday that the main suspect carried out the shootings for fame and kept news clippings of the crimes as "trophies."
Prosecutor Laura Reckart told jurors that Dale Hausner had an elaborate plan to "kill, maim, destroy and terrify."
The 36-year-old is charged with killing eight people and attacking 20 others in a series of random nighttime shootings in 2005 and 2006.
Reckart said everything about Hausner points to his desire for notoriety — a job in boxing photography, a hosting gig for a cable TV show, and a role in a local commercial for a law group. She said articles of the shootings and a videotape of "America's Most Wanted" about the killings found in Hausner's apartment were trophies, "his celebrity-status symbols."
"The articles show the motive behind the plan — fame, notoriety," she said. "He wanted to be renowned, a legend, a pioneer."
Prosecutors allege that Hausner attacked people and animals from his car in a conspiracy that occasionally included his roommate, Samuel Dieteman, and his brother, Jeff Hausner. Prosecutors plan to seek the death penalty against Dale Hausner if he is convicted.
Dieteman, who pleaded guilty in two of the killings and could face the death penalty when he is sentenced, testified against Hausner last month, saying the two of them had driven around metro Phoenix shooting people from a car.
Jeff Hausner has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and aggravated assault in one of the assaults connected to the case.
Defense attorney Ken Everett declined to comment Tuesday. He is expected to begin his closing argument Wednesday.
Hausner has denied any involvement in the attacks and testified in his own defense for several days during the nearly six-month-long trial. Defense attorneys have said that the real killer is Dieteman and that he testified against Hausner to avoid the death penalty.
Hausner said he couldn't have carried out the crimes because he was at his girlfriends' houses, shopping at the grocery store, driving in another part of the metro area or taking care of his sick daughter. He testified that news clippings about the attacks that were found in his apartment reflected his interest in the shootings and nothing more.
In court on Tuesday, Reckart meticulously went over evidence found in Hausner's and Dieteman's apartment, a garbage bin and in Hausner's car, including guns and spent shells.
She said a map marking the locations of some of the killings found in Hausner's apartment "revealed his favorite hunting ground."
"It is not happenstance the defendant's fingerprints were found on this map nor is it an accident that this map was found in the trash with mail belonging to the defendant," she said. "It is not coincidence, because ladies and gentlemen, the defendant committed these crimes."
Reckart said police wiretaps that recorded conversations between Hausner and Dieteman also prove that Hausner carried out the killings.
The Serial Shooters case was one of two serial murder investigations that put the Phoenix area on edge for months during the summer of 2006.
Police attributed another 23 attacks, including nine slayings, to an assailant dubbed the Baseline Killer. Mark Goudeau was convicted of two sexual assaults authorities link to the Baseline Killer and still faces trial on the murder counts.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.