A jury sentenced a man to life in prison Wednesday for his role in a series of random nighttime shootings that unnerved metropolitan Phoenix in 2005 and 2006.
Samuel Dieteman, who pleaded guilty to two of six murders in the Serial Shooter case, appeared stoic as the jury’s decision was announced. His lawyer put his arm around him.
Asked by the judge if he had anything to say after the sentencing, Dieteman looked down and said he couldn’t think of anything. Then he said, “I’m truly sorry for the pain that I’ve caused to many, many people.”
Authorities say Dieteman and his former roommate preyed on pedestrians, bicyclists and animals in attacks that ended in August 2006 when both men were arrested at the apartment they shared in Mesa.
Prosecutors had argued against a life sentence for Dieteman. His lawyers asked jurors to consider his testimony as a key witness against his former roommate, Dale Hausner, who received six death sentences earlier this year.
Testimony at Dieteman’s sentencing trial included a written apology from Dieteman to a victim in which he said he would make “no cries for mercy.” He also said he regretted his actions, including not turning in Hausner to authorities when he first learned of the shootings.
“There’s so many things I would change back then,” he told jurors.
Dieteman’s attorneys had argued that making Dieteman spend the rest of his life behind bars would be punishment enough. While Hausner’s attorneys had accused Dieteman of giving bad information to avoid the death penalty, Dieteman said he wanted to help punish Hausner.
Prosecutors, on the other hand, called Dieteman’s cooperation too little, too late. They painted him as a drifter who was a willing participant, pulling the trigger and serving as Hausner’s lookout during attacks that wounded dogs, horses and 17 people.