WARREN - Testimony wrapped up Friday morning in the mitigation phase of the Louis Mann murder trial, with Mann taking the stand to tell jurors that before he killed his parents, he was a ''druggie, a loser and a bad father.''
''What I did was a monsterous thing. I've seen the pictures during the trial,'' Mann said, referring to crime scene photos from the family home on Jefferson Street S.W. where he bludgeoned his father and strangled his mother.
''But I'm not a monster. I'm a human being,'' Mann said.
Mann, 33, gave an unsworn statement, which allowed him to speak directly to jurors without opening himself up to cross-examination by prosecutors. He said such things as, "I'm sorry," "I live with it every day," "I'm now a convicted killer,'' ''I'm still in shock."
Without reading from a prepared statement and without shedding a tear, Mann, who is on trial for his life, said he never intended to kill his mother and father in order to rob them.
Prosecutors already proved Mann strangled his mother, Frances M. Mann, 53, with a clothesline and shot his father, Philip J. Mann Sr., 59, with a .22 caliber rifle after beating him to death with a flashlight Sept. 30, 2011.
Convicted murderer Louis Mann took the stand Friday in an attempt to convince a jury to spare his life.
He drained his parents' bank account of $1,400 and spent it on drugs, a prostitute and motel rooms before he was arrested within two days and confessed to the murders.
The defendant said the last two years have been the longest period of time he has been sober since he was 16 years old.
''A lot of people might get up here and manufacture feelings. I'm speaking from the heart,'' he said. ''I tend to hide my emotions.''
He told jurors he would respect any decision they decide whether it is death or life in prison without parole.
''I'm never going to be free. I'll be in a cell 23 hours a day until I get executed,'' he said.
Mann also said he's not a ''holy roller'' but he reads the Bible everyday and inmates have started looking up to him since he's started leading Bible studies in the jail.
Mann's new mission as a jailhouse preacher was reinforced by Trumbull County Jail Chaplain John Russell who also testified Friday.
''Inmates believe Louis more than they believe me,'' Russell said. ''He's taken up a leadership role in the jail.''
''He's got a powerful story to tell. They listen. His story is compelling,'' he said.
''Louis is very remorseful, prays about it all the time. He's completely repented in a religious and a social sense,'' Russell said. ''He told me how he'll never see the outside of prison walls again. Never drive a car. Never eat the foods he wants and never hold his 12-year-old daughter in his arms.''
On Thursday, Mann's attorneys put Dr. Howard Fradkin, a renowned expert on male survivors of sexual abuse, and Dr. Bob Stinson, a forensic psychologist, on the stand in hopes of convincing jurors to spare Mann's life.
Rebuttal testimony included Philip Mann Jr., Louis Mann's half-brother.
The 39-year-old Geauga County man said he was aware of Mann's brushes with the law and that his father and step mother had to keep their prescription drugs in a locked bank bag so Louis wouldn't steal them.
He said when he was young he and Louis often bathed together, but never with their father as Louis claimed was how his father molested him.
The jury of eight men and four women will return Monday morning to the courtroom of Trumbull County Common Pleas Court Judge W. Wyatt McKay to hear closing arguments. They will decide whether to recommend that Mann receive the death penalty, life in prison without parole or parole possibility after 25 to 30 years.
McKay reminded the group to bring an overnight bag in case they are sequestered. However, the judge told them they may be deliberating into the evening hours if need be.