Polly Klaas’ killer enraged her family even as he was being condemned to death Thursday with a wild claim that the 12-year-old girl’s last words were that she had been molested by her father.
Marc Klaas shouted obscenities, lunged at his daughter’s killer and was hustled out of the courtroom. Polly’s grandmother wailed aloud and wept, leaning against her husband in shock.
Richard Allen Davis was sent to California’s death row at San Quentin Prison for killing Polly after kidnapping her from a slumber party in the bedroom of her Petaluma, Calif., home Oct. 1, 1993. A search for the girl ended when Davis led police to her body in December.
Moments before his formal sentencing, the 42-year-old career criminal criticized his investigators and lawyers in a rambling speech.
Then, Davis started talking about the one charge he always has denied steadfastly - that he had tried to sexually molest Polly.
“The main reason I know I did not attempt any lewd act that night,” Davis said, “was because of a statement the young girl made to me while walking up the embankment: ‘Just don’t do me like my dad.”’
Spectators gasped and a long-drawn-out moan of “Ohhhh!” echoed in the courtroom. A close friend of Marc Klaas’, San Jose City Attorney Mike Groves, shouted, “Burn in hell, Davis!” and then Klaas jumped toward the killer.
Prosecutor Greg Jacobs, who said he was “nauseated” by Davis’ allegation, said no such claim ever had been leveled before during the case, nor is there any evidence to support it.
Davis’ defense attorney, Lorena Chandler, slumped in her chair, obviously distraught, her faced buried in one hand.
The accusation was reminiscent of Davis’ contemptuous action in court the day he was found guilty, when he thrust both middle fingers at a courtroom camera.
Outside the courtroom, Klaas called Davis’ statement a “vile and sinister and evil act” and said he had expected trouble from the “gutless coward.”
“I brought him down,” said Klaas, who wants to be present when Davis is executed. “He knows that as well as everybody else. We have been pursuing the death of Richard Allen Davis for three years. I’m his worst nightmare.”
After Davis’ outburst, Superior Court Judge Thomas Hastings confirmed the death sentence which the trial jury had recommended Aug. 5. He could have reduced it to life in prison without parole, but he said Davis’ conduct Thursday made sentencing him to death “easy.”