EUREKA A Kansas jury on Thursday recommended the death penalty for a man accused of killing a sheriff who was serving an arrest warrant.
Scott Cheever, 26, was convicted Tuesday of capital murder in the 2005 shooting death of Greenwood County Sheriff Matt Samuels.
He is the 11th person sentenced to die under the state's 1994 capital punishment law, according to the attorney general's office.
After hearing evidence in the penalty phase, the Greenwood County jury deliberated for only two hours before finding aggravating circumstances justifying the death penalty. The circumstances include a previous assault conviction and the finding that he killed the sheriff to avoid arrest.
Sentencing was set for Jan. 23.
Samuels was shot Jan. 19, 2005, while serving arrest warrants on Cheever for allegedly stealing firearms from his stepfather and not reporting to his parole officer.
Cheever showed no obvious emotion when the verdict was read, but a woman in the courtroom burst into tears. Members of Samuels' family also showed no visible response.
During testimony before the sentence recommendation was announced, Cheever said he had become a Christian in the past six months. He said he met with ministers while he was confined to the Sedgwick County Jail and began studying the Bible.
Cheever also apologized to Samuels' family.
"I feel like a piece of crap," Cheever said. "I'm sorry. I'd do anything to take it back. You say sorry, and it's like when you run into someone's car, you say, 'Oh, I'm sorry.' This is not like that."
Cheever said he was sorry he took a father away from Samuels' children and a husband away from his wife.
Cheever also was found guilty Tuesday of four counts of attempted capital murder against two deputies and two state troopers, one count of manufacturing methamphetamine and one count of criminal possession of a firearm.
He admitted killing Samuels at a house in Hilltop, but testified he was high on methamphetamine at the time. His public defender, Tim Frieden, argued that his client's actions weren't premeditated.