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Prisoner who killed cellmate not contesting death penalty

April 19, 2018 GMT
Wide shot of the courtroom as testimony begins. Convicted murderer Patrick Schroeder appears at his death penalty hearing in front of a three-judge panel at the Johnson County Courthouse Thursday April 19, 2018, in Tecumseh, Neb. Schroeder is representing himself at the hearing in Tecumseh and has said he doesn't intend to fight execution. He told NET News that he believes in the death penalty, saying, "I believe if you kill somebody it's kind of an eye for an eye." (Kent Sievers/The World-Herald via AP)
Wide shot of the courtroom as testimony begins. Convicted murderer Patrick Schroeder appears at his death penalty hearing in front of a three-judge panel at the Johnson County Courthouse Thursday April 19, 2018, in Tecumseh, Neb. Schroeder is representing himself at the hearing in Tecumseh and has said he doesn't intend to fight execution. He told NET News that he believes in the death penalty, saying, "I believe if you kill somebody it's kind of an eye for an eye." (Kent Sievers/The World-Herald via AP)

TECUMSEH, Neb. (AP) — A Nebraska prison inmate who freely admits killing his cellmate last year because he talked to much is not contesting the death penalty sought against him by prosecutors.

Patrick Schroeder was in court Thursday before three judges who will decide whether he’s sentenced to death or life in prison for the strangulation of his cellmate, Terry Berry.

Schroeder, 40, is serving as his own attorney and offered no rebuttal to prosecutors’ case that he should be sentenced to death, the Omaha World-Herald reported.

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Last July, Schroeder pleaded guilty to choking the 22-year-old Berry in April 2017 at the Tecumseh State Prison in southeast Nebraska. At the time, the two were sharing a 10-by-12 cell meant for solitary confinement. Schroeder already was serving a life sentence for the 2006 killing of 75-year-old Pawnee City farmer Kenneth Albers, for whom Schroeder briefly worked. Berry was imprisoned for passing bad checks and was set to be paroled in December of the year he was killed.

Schroeder has repeatedly said he does not plan to fight prosecutors’ plans to sentence him to death, recently telling NET News in an interview that he believes in the death penalty and that he feels no remorse for killing either Albers or Berry.

“I believe if you kill somebody, it’s kind of an eye for an eye,” Schroeder told NET.

Schroeder told investigators that he killed Berry for being too talkative and said he had warned Berry several times that he needed to “shut up.” Schroeder said he attacked Berry because Berry kept talking during a televised mixed martial arts match.

“From day one, when I knew that they were going to be charging me with the death penalty,” Schroeder said. “I knew what my choices were; I knew what I was going to do.”