El Cajon

A jury considering the fate of the convicted killer of Daily Californian reporter Steve Petix will resume deliberations today.

The San Diego Superior Court jury talked about its two options for David Weeding--death in the gas chamber or a life prison sentence without parole--for about an hour and 45 minutes Tuesday without reaching a decision.

Weeding, 40, of Santee was convicted Nov. 22 of first-degree murder by the same jury. Petix was slain May 20, 1988, when he returned home for lunch to find Weeding sexually attacking his wife, Vickie, 24.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Thomas Whelan reminded the jury that Weeding served a 10-year prison sentence for four rapes committed while he was in the Army in Texas in 1975. Whelan urged the jury not to feel any sympathy for Weeding.

Weeding's attorney, Eric Orloff, responded by saying, "This killing, as horrible as it was, was not a cold-blooded . . . he was surprised by Mr. Petix while trying to commit a rape. He was killing to escape, to get away."

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