Jurors now know that Bobby Cutts Jr. killed his pregnant lover, and as soon as this afternoon, they will begin deliberating over whether her death was an accident or the result of a former cop's fit of rage.
Closing arguments were delivered in the trial, a day after Cutts stunned the courtroom by sobbing through a surprise confession that he killed Jessie Davis with a blow to her throat June 14.
Assistant prosecutor Dennis Barr discounted Cutts' testimony, describing instead a man growing increasingly desperate under the weight of financial pressure. "He knew he was suffocating Jessie, he was strangling Jessie, he was killing that baby inside of her," Barr said.
Cutts' defense attorney Fernando Mack, while acknowledging his client's poor decision-making the day Davis was killed, countered that the jury had not seen a single witness testify about the cop's financial concerns. The medical examiner, Mack said, did not determine that Davis had been strangled.
Mack cautioned jurors against deciding Cutts' fate based on emotion rather than reason. "Don't let this prosecutor ride on facts that inflame your passions," Mack said. "Be upset about it. Set it aside and really try to figure what happened in that home."
Cutts, 30, told the jury that he swung his elbow at Davis during a confrontation in her bedroom when she refused to allow him to leave her home. The blow to her throat, which he testified happened after she bit his finger, knocked her back, killing her as their 2-year-old son, Blake, slept, he said.
Cutts, who as a cop had emergency response training, said he performed CPR and then searched for rubbing alcohol to use as a smelling salt to revive the woman. When he couldn't find any, he said, he retrieved a bleach container and tried bleach, knocking the container over and spilling bleach on the floor. Davis did not respond.
"This can't be happening," Cutts recalled thinking as he wrapped her body in a comforter. "This is not real. This is a bad dream."
Cutts testified that he went to friend Myisha Farrell's house without calling police with his lover's dead body in the bed of Davis' truck. He said he initially was going to have Ferrell watch Blake but instead, drove around in a panic, came to a dirt road and pulled into a wooded area where they dumped the body. Ferrell already has testified that Cutts showed her how he choked Davis with his arm.
Nine days later, after taking part in a search that drew national attention and more than 1,000 volunteers, Cutts led authorities to her body.
In his tearful, two-hour testimony with his defense attorney, Cutts said he was so intent on making the whole scenario go away, that he even called Jessie Davis.
"I'm like, is it real? Did it happen?" he said. "What if I call Jessie? Will everything be all right?"
Veteran defense attorney Ron Kuby, who is not involved in the case, told ABC News that Cutts sounded sincere. "He appeared to be incredibly sorry," he said.
But during the cross-examination, assistant prosecutor Dennis Barr zeroed in on why Cutts, a police officer in Canton, Ohio, would not call 911 immediately -- especially when the unborn child, who was to be named Chloe, could have survived with immediate medical attention. The suspect, now facing an aggravated murder charge and the possibility of the death penalty, said he could not figure out how to use Davis' cell phone.
Then, Barr asked, "You run down and get your phone and call 911?"
"No, I did not," Cutts said.
Barr also invoked a detail that seemingly contradicts Cutts' testimony that the child slept through the deadly confrontation. When police arrived at Davis' condo, they found Blake alone. Police said he told them, "Mommy's in the rug."
"How does Blake know his mommy's in the rug?" Barr asked. Barr withdrew the question after defense attorneys objected.
Ohio prosecutors have built a case around Cutts' character, arguing that he was under intense pressure in his personal and financial life as he struggled to support children from multiple mothers.
Ultimately, Kuby said, he thought a jury would have a hard time finding Cutts not guilty. "Usually, when you've done something awful, you pause and reflect. You call for assistance," he said. "What an innocent person does not do is wrap up a body and dump it and spend the next week searching for it. Those actions are so utterly inconsistent it will be hard for a jury to accept it."