Slaying trial to open in Pittsburgh officer deaths

June 20, 2011 - 6:44 AM

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The man accused of killing three Pittsburgh police officers during a three-hour standoff two years ago is set to stand trial.

Opening statements are scheduled to begin Monday morning in the trial of Richard Poplawski. He's charged with killing officers Paul Sciullo II, Stephen Mayhle and Eric Kelly as they responded to a call about a domestic dispute at his mother's home in April 2009.

Prosecutors want to use comments Poplawski allegedly made on an online radio show about how he'd "make the history books" by going on a killing spree that included police officers. The judge says he'll rule on the comments during trial.

A Dauphin County jury is being brought to Pittsburgh to decide Poplawski's fate. Prosecutors will seek the death penalty if he's convicted of first-degree murder.