Alexandria, Va. Zacarias Moussaoui defiantly shouted "Never get my blood!" on Monday, moments after a jury found him eligible for a trip to the death house for his role in the Sept. 11 attacks.
The 12 jurors apparently accepted the government's claim that Moussaoui became key to the success of the plot by lying to the FBI in August 2001 to ensure the suicide hijackings were carried out.
Moussaoui all but put the noose around his own neck on the witness stand last week when he admitted his lies protected the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people. He also bragged that he was supposed to pilot a fifth plane into the White House on Sept. 11.
After the jury was led from the courtroom, Moussaoui yelled to the chamber full of prosecutors and Sept. 11 families, "Never get my blood! God curse you all!"
Moussaoui's almost daily outbursts were part of his erratic behavior since his capture in August 2001, including contradicting himself on whether he was part of the Sept. 11 plot.
His own lawyers and some of the prosecution witnesses depicted Moussaoui as an inept al-Qaida wannabe who was not in on the Sept. 11 planning and who annoyed his superiors so much they tried to get rid of him.
But he was a steady witness who was respectful of the judge, jury and prosecutors as he implicated himself. The jury, which deliberated for four days, apparently believed he was finally telling the truth.
Now that the jury has determined Moussaoui is eligible for the death penalty, the trial will resume Thursday to determine whether he should actually be executed.
"Your finding means we now move on to phase two, meaning you consider aggravating and mitigating factors," Judge Leonie Brinkema told the jury.
A bored-looking Moussaoui sighed heavily at the news.
Monday's court date was delayed briefly as Moussaoui loudly ranted in Arabic in a holding pen next to the wood-paneled chamber.
The stone-faced jury was led in only after he finally shut up.
The next hearing is expected to lead off with emotional testimony from relatives of those who died on Sept. 11 to demonstrate that the impact of his crimes is worthy of execution.
Moussaoui's lawyers may argue he's mentally ill and therefore should be spared. Or they'll repeat their opening argument that jurors shouldn't allow Moussaoui to complete his al-Qaida martyrdom mission by executing him.