In a calm, deliberate voice, Brandon Wilson said he felt no remorse for slashing the throat of third-grader Matthew Cecchi, leaving him to bleed to death in an Oceanside, Calif., restroom last fall.
"I would do it again in a second if I had the chance,'' he told jurors Monday as the boy's mother, Sharon Cecchi, gasped from her courtroom seat.
"Execute me,'' he said. ''You should do everything in your power to rid the world of me. Execute me.''
The penalty phase of his trial got under way Monday morning.
Matthew's throat was slashed and he was stabbed in the back during the attack last November. The third grader was at a family reunion.
Wilson, 21, a drifter from Wisconsin, made his comments at the end of an emotional morning in which the boy's mother and uncle described finding him dying from stab wounds.
"My whole purpose in life is to help destroy your society,'' Wilson told jurors. "You people are here as representatives of that society and as such you should do everything in your power to rid the world of me.''
Wilson admitted he smiled at the Oroville boy when he followed him into the restroom then snuck up behind him as he stood at the urinal. He pulled back the boy's head, slashed his throat and stabbed him five times in the back.
Wilson spoke at his sentencing hearing against the advice of his lawyer. The jurors must now recommend a sentence of death or life in prison without parole.
Wilson claimed he was insane at the time, driven to kill by voices from God and hallucinogenic drugs. But jurors rejected that argument.
Two male jurors cried as the teacher, Deborah Peck of Oroville's Stanford Avenue School, described how she tried to explain the boy's murder to his classmates.
"Third-graders always ask why and that was a question I had no answer for,'' said Peck, who called Matthew a straight-A student and an extraordinary little boy.
Jurors heard for the first time the 911 tape of Matthew's uncle, Mark Gerhard, calling for help on a cell phone in the restroom where the boy was attacked.
"It wasn't real,'' Gerhard said of the confusing, horrifying moments after the boy was found. "It was like a bomb went off.''
Sharon Cecchi, he boy's mother, recalled trying to comfort the boy and to give him CPR as he lay bleeding to death on the restroom floor.
"I put my hand on his hair and told him, `Hang in there baby. I love you,''' she said.
Ms. Cecchi also described her son's life, filling in details missing from the trial that has focused exclusively on Wilson and his sanity.
She said Matthew wanted to be an engineer, a cartoonist or an architect when he grew up. She said he liked to play baseball and to ride his bike. He wrote stories about aliens.
She said all days are difficult without her eldest son, especially holidays. Her 4-year-old son wears Matthew's shirts as a way to feel closer to his older brother.
"He was everything to us,'' she said. "He was a very special boy.''