WAUKESHA -- A decade after Ted Oswald's conviction in a 1994 crime spree, a jury is deciding whether he was the willing killer of a police captain or the tool of a deranged father who molded him into his criminal accomplice, as he claims.
The case went to the jury about 5 p.m. Monday after closing arguments in which the defense said Oswald was not mentally responsible for his actions, while the prosecutor called him a calculated killer and said jurors must hold him accountable.
When deliberations ended about 10 p.m., jurors said they wanted to review the written evaluations of Ted Oswald by mental health experts and the journal he kept.
Circuit Judge Kathryn Foster said when jurors resumed deliberations Tuesday morning, she gave them Oswald's journal but would allow them to review only the court testimony given by the mental health experts and not the written evaluations.
Depending on the verdict, Oswald will face either a hearing to be sentenced to prison, where he has been serving multiple life terms, or a hearing on whether he should be committed to a mental hospital for treatment or given conditional release from custody.
Oswald, 29, whose conviction was overturned in federal court two years ago, pleaded no contest to all 17 charges against him as his retrial started May 5 but maintained he was not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect.
Oswald was 19 when he and his father, James Oswald, now 60, were first convicted in the crime spree that included three bank robberies. After the last robbery on April 28, 1994, a chase led to the killing of Waukesha police Capt. James Lutz, the kidnapping of a woman and a gunfight as the Oswalds crashed their commandeered van at a police roadblock.
Convicted in separate trials, each of the Oswalds received multiple life prison terms plus hundreds of years more. In Ted's case, it was two life terms plus 565 years.
U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman overturned the younger Oswald's convictions and sentence in March 2003 on the basis of juror bias, ordering that he be freed or get a new trial.
In closing arguments Monday, defense attorney Jeffrey Jensen said Ted Oswald never had a choice while under the influence from infancy of a father who led him into his own "dark side" -- a world of criminal activity where the normal rules of law didn't apply.
"The story of Theodore Oswald is truly the story of James Oswald's madness," Jensen said. "I ask that your verdict reflect that even Ted Oswald is entitled to have the choice to go to the light."
He noted testimony that during Ted Oswald's childhood, James Oswald often threatened to kill his son, even putting a rifle to his head. The father killed puppies in front of an animal-loving Ted as a 5-year-old, and he would ridicule his son when he showed any reaction but rage or anger, Jensen said.
"He had Jim's madness imposed on him and for that reason he could not conform his conduct to the law," he said.
But Waukesha County District Attorney Paul Bucher described Ted Oswald as a chameleon who refuses to take responsibility.
He said that Oswald, for example, wore his orange jail jumpsuit only on the day when his side's psychiatrist testified he was mentally ill. On other days he wore a sport jacket over his civilian clothes.
"Don't let him fool you," Bucher said. "The chameleon in front of you changes colors depending on his circumstances."
Bucher, who referred to Lutz as his friend, also told the jury that the defendant's childhood was not at issue.
"We are not here to right the wrongs of his upbringing," Bucher said. "We are here to hold this defendant accountable for his choices."
While Bucher was giving his closing arguments, he showed a picture on a video screen of Lutz slumped over in his car, mortally wounded. When the picture first went up, prosecutors played tape recordings of the radio calls from police at the scene, and Lutz's widow, Diane, looked away.
Ted Oswald's mother, Susan Williams, was in the courtroom with her daughter Hattie for the closing arguments by the defense but not for the prosecution's presentation, although Hattie stayed for that as well.
Williams testified during the trial that her ex-husband, James Oswald, inflicted years of abuse on her and the rest of the family, especially Ted. Her two daughters also testified about an abusive father who focused obsessively on Ted.
The jury of seven men and eight women was selected in Eau Claire County because of pretrial publicity in southeastern Wisconsin. After closing arguments, one woman and two men were dismissed as alternates.