Victim impact statements describing the human cost of Eric Tirado's crime were submitted today to a Howard County jury that will decide his fate.
Tirado, 27, a police academy dropout facing a possible death sentence, was convicted a week ago of first-degree murder in the shooting death of Maryland State Police Cpl. Theodore D. Wolf.
The prosecution, after introducing a pre-sentencing report and statements from the parents and widow of the murdered state trooper, today concluded its case in the penalty phase.
The jury will be able to review the statements during their deliberations, but apparently will not hear direct testimony from the trooper's survivors.
"The verdict of death is the only appropriate sentence in this case," said prosecutor Michael Rexroad.
The defense, which is expected to call to the stand several TC relatives of Tirado, a Bronx, N.Y., resident, will begin tomorrow.
In the victim impact statements, which were not read in open court today, the trooper's widow, Virginia, speaks of the pain she and her three sons endure each day.
"I speculate on the pain he must have felt as he sat there dying and how long a period of time elapsed before it was finally over," she said in a portion read in court yesterday.
"I speculate on what his last thoughts might have been, and I know that I will never know the answers to these questions."
Tirado was convicted last Thursday of first-degree murder, robbery with a deadly weapon and use of a handgun in a felony.
He could be sentenced to life without parole.
Wolf was shot twice in the face as he sat in his cruiser on Interstate 95 near Jessup in March 1990.