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Poplawski Trial: Accused Gunman Says Slain Officer Was 'Brave'

Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl attends the trial of the man charged with killing three city police officers, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

A Pittsburgh Police officer testified Friday that Richard Poplawski praised the bravery of one of the officers he's accused of killing while he was being treated at a hospital after a gun battle at his home, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Officer Thomas Duffola testified that Poplawski, while under guard at UPMC Presbyterian in Oakland, described Officer Stephen Mayhle as "brave today" and said Mayhle also shot him in the chest during the shootout that morning at Poplawski's home in Stanton Heights.

The officer also testified that Poplawski acknowledged to his hospital guards that, had he not been wearing a bullet-resistant vest, Mayhle "could have ended it all" by shooting him during the gun battle, according to the Post-Gazette and Tribune-Review.

Also Friday, Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl attended the trial's fifth day to show support for city police, according to the newspapers and KDKA-TV.

Poplawski is accused of killing Officers Mayhle, Paul Sciullo II and Eric G. Kelly and injuring two others on April 4, 2009 when they responded to an argument between Poplawski and his mother at their home. Prosecutors, who rested their case Friday, are seeking the death penalty in the trial, which continues Saturday and next week before Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey A. Manning.

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