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JURY TO BEGIN DISCUSSING SENTENCE FOR BLANCHARD

A jury was expected Tuesday to begin deliberations over the fate of convicted killer John Blanchard.

Prosecutors argued Blanchard, 52, deserves the death penalty because he raped his ex-wife Patricia as he killed her. The jury has three choices in sentencing Blanchard: death, life in prison without parole or life in prison with parole.Defense attorney Jerry Mooney said in closing arguments early Tuesday that Blanchard did not deserve the death penalty.

"Does a good person kill his wife? Yes, sometimes they do. These people (prosecutors) want you to execute this man because of what happened over 24 hours one day out of 52 years," he said.

Mooney said Blanchard could be rehabilitated and be a positive influence on society.

Both of Blanchard's children, ages 12 and 13, testified last week that they did not want their father to die. They also said they still loved him and wanted to have a relationship with him. The jury is expected to begin deliberations early Tuesday afternoon.