Sayfullo Saipov penalty phase: Belgian victim's husband testifies, "My life is ruined"
NEW YORK -- Testimony continued Thursday in the penalty phase of the trial of Sayfullo Saipov.
He was convicted last month of murdering eight people and injuring a dozen others on the West Side Highway bike path. Jurors found he committed the 2017 Halloween attack in support of ISIS.
Now, they must decide whether to impose a sentence of death or life in prison.
READ MORE: Emotional testimony from bereaved family members during Sayfullo Saipov death penalty phase of trial
Ann-Laure Decadt of Belgium was in New York City for the first time ever with her mother and two sisters. They were riding bikes together when she was struck and killed by the 6,000-pound rental truck Saipov used as a weapon to pick off bicyclists on the bike path.
Decadt left behind two sons -- 3-month-old and 3-year-old.
Her husband testified, "My life is ruined."
He said his now 8-year-old recently wrote a note about missing his mother. He doesn't remember much about her but is grateful for pictures and videos, adding that she is, "still in my heart."
READ MORE: Prosecutors to ask for death penalty for Sayfullo Saipov in 2017 West Side bike path attack
After her husband testified that his boys were robbed of the most important person in their life, prison phone calls between Saipov and his young daughter were played. He told her once he got out he would take her to the mall, to Dunkin Donuts, and would eat ice cream in the park with her.
He told other family members, "It's awesome here," the "food is excellent," "everything is perfect," and that he was "bossing people around."
Saipov laughed at one point after saying he hurt some innocent people.
In its opening statement Monday, as the defense argued for life behind bars instead of the death penalty, it showed photos of the small prison cell Saipov would be in 23 hours a day in Colorado, noting he would no longer get to eat the foods he likes and would only get to talk to pre-approved visitors through glass.
When the daughter of victim Alejandro Pagnucco from Argentina was asked what she missed most about her father, she said simply, "The ability to have a conversation with him."
The jury must be unanimous in voting on the death penalty. If not, Saipov will get life in prison.
Testimony resumes on Tuesday.
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