With defense attorneys conceding Floyd's and Warner's involvement in the May 3, 2008 bank robbery and chase that culminated in Liczbinski's death, the jury is basically confronted with deciding the degree of homicide: first, a premeditated malicious killing; second, a killing that occurs during another serious felony; or third, an unintended killing during an assault on another person.
If the jury finds one or both guilty of first-degree murder, prosecution and defense attorneys would then present evidence about aggravating or mitigating factors about the crime or Floyd's and Warner's background in deciding if they should be executed by lethal injection or spend their lives in prison with no chance of parole.
Second-degree murder carries a mandatory life prison term and third-degree murder a prison sentence of 20 to 40 years.
In closing arguments Friday, Floyd's attorney, Earl G. Kauffman, and Warner defense attorney, W. Fred Harrison Jr., argued that neither should be convicted of first-degree murder because they did not shoot Liczbinski.
Howard Cain, 33, leader of the bank robbery scheme, shot Liczbinski was himself killed by police the same day after the three split up.
Floyd, 35, of North Philadelphia, and Warner, 41, of West Philadelphia, are charged with being part of a three-man team that robbed a Port Richmond bank branch on May 3, 2008. Liczbinski, 39, a 12-year police veteran, pursued the trio's fleeing car and was shot and killed after the suspects could not shake him.
Although neither Floyd nor Warner was the shooter, Assistant District Attorney Jude Conroy argued that both should be found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to death. Under conspiracy law, Conroy said, both participated with Cain in the armed robbery and thus are as culpable as Cain in Liczbinski's death.
Contact Joseph A. Slobodzian at 215-854-2985 or firstname.lastname@example.org.