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Deputies, sister-in-law testify against Longo.

Byline: Bill Bishop The Register-Guard

NEWPORT - Of all the inmates in the 11-year history of the Lincoln County Jail, none showed more determination than Christian Michael Longo to break through their laminated glass and plastic cell window, jail deputies testified Thursday.

Prosecutors spent most of the day trying to show Longo plotted an escape that could have endangered jailers and others. The evidence is intended to show Longo is likely to commit violent acts in prison, which is a key question for jurors weighing whether to sentence Longo to death.

The same jury convicted Longo on Monday for the deaths of his children Zachery, 4, and Sadie, 3. Longo earlier pleaded guilty to murdering his wife, MaryJane, 34, and daughter, Madison, 2.

Jurors rejected Longo's claim that MaryJane murdered the older children before he killed her and Madison.

Prosecutors closed their case Thursday with emotional testimony from Sally Clark, MaryJane's sister, who said she knew Longo was guilty the moment she learned of the deaths of Zachery and Sadie - whose bodies were the first to be found.

"Immediately, I knew Chris was the one who had done it and MaryJane and Madison would soon be found," she said. "I knew Chris was going to do something. I never imagined it was going to be something this awful."

The day wrapped up with defense lawyers questioning Longo's father, Joe Longo Jr., about his family's history - which is highlighted by their conversion to the Jehovah's Witnesses church in the mid-1980s. Church activities and vacations became focal points of their family life, Joe Longo said.

He described his son as "gregarious" but easily distracted in school. The family decided to home-school Christian Longo for the last three years of high school, he said.

A psychologist is expected to testify about Christian Longo's personality traits when the trial resumes on Monday.
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Title Annotation:Courts
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Apr 11, 2003
Previous Article:Briefly.
Next Article:Obituaries.

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