(KMOV) -- The man who killed a University City police sergeant on Halloween night in 2008 escaped the death penalty and will serve life in prison.
After nearly 8 hours of deliberation, a 12 person jury decided Saturday morning to not give convicted murderer Todd Shepard the death penalty. Instead, the jury recommended life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The decision came around 11 a.m. on Saturday after two emotional moments in the courtroom.
First, Shepard admitted to deliberately killing University City police sergeant Michael King, then he told jurors on Friday that he was not sorry for it. Shepard said it felt good to King.
Shepard's family and his attorneys begged him not to take the stand, but Shepard insisted he
had to. The defense argued that killing Shepard would be setting an example that it's alright to kill the mentally ill.
St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch call him a cold-blooded killer and said, ""So, we know going in if they find him guilty he's never getting out of prison which is a good thing. He'll die in prison as he should, but he should be executed."
McCulloch added that he is disappointed Shepard will not be executed, but says he still feels a sense of justice.
Sergeant King's family said they are happy Shepard will be spending the rest of his life behind bars, unable to kill anyone ever again. However, the family is still disappointed with the final outcome.