WARREN - With a team of three defense attorneys already conceding guilt in the capital murder case of Louis Mann, strategy now focuses on how his lawyers will try to keep him off death row.
Defense attorney Greg Meyers told potential jurors Thursday that following testimony and after Mann presumably is found guilty of murdering his parents two years ago, jurors will hear mitigation evidence through a psychological expert.
Meyers said the mitigation evidence - designed to outweigh aggravating circumstances presented by prosecutors - will include substance abuse on the part of the 33-year-old father of two, who was found with crack cocaine when he was arrested after the murders.
Trumbull County Sheriff’s Deputy Bob Clark escorts Louis Mann, accused of killing his mother and father in 2011, back to the Trumbull County Jail following a hearing in Common Pleas Court Thursday afternoon.
Tribune Chronicle / R. Michael Semple
In addition, Meyers said there will also be allegations of sexual abuse within the Mann family.
''We're not here to blame the victims in this case. We're going to explain why some things happened,'' he said. ''These sorts of experiences can be intense.''
If convicted, Mann faces the options of life without any chance of parole; parole after either 30 or 25 years; or the death penalty.
Mann is accused of strangling his mother with a clothesline and shooting his father and beating him to death with a flashlight on Sept. 30, 2011.
Philip J. Mann Sr., 59, died from blunt cranial trauma and multiple gunshot wounds to the head. Frances M. Mann, 53, died of ligature strangulation.
Investigators found the couple's bodies in the living room of their Jefferson Street S.W. home, where they were letting Louis Mann stay four days after he was released from jail on other charges.
Mann told authorities that killing his father first had followed 30 years of pent-up rage.
Police from Warren and Howland arrested Mann in a Capri Motel room in Howland with a woman he picked up the day before and drugs found in the room.
Thursday, Meyers along with defense attorneys Matt Pentz and David Rouzzo and assistant prosecutors Chris Becker and Gabe Wildman seated a jury of eight men and four women along with three alternate jurors, who all went through detailed questioning over the past two weeks.
This morning, the panel was to hear opening statements from both sides before prosecutors planned to call a group of Warren police officers and detectives to explain their roles in the case.
With the defense not expected to call any witnesses, the jury should deliberate on the question of innocence or guilty by next Thursday and, if Mann is convicted, the mitigation phase of the trial would being the next week.
Mannn confessed to the murders and detectives captured the admissions on video tape, which shows Mann in tears at one point and at another point asking a detective for a hamburger.