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Judge OKs Death Penalty Trial In Officer’s Death

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — An Anne Arundel County judge has ruled that the trial of a prisoner charged with killing a correctional officer will remain a death-penalty case.

The Baltimore Sun reports that Judge Paul Hackner on Wednesday declined to eliminate the possibility of
capital punishment for Lee Stephens after hearing that the victim’s DNA was found on Stephens’ clothing. He is one of two prisoners charged in the 2006 stabbing of Cpl. David McGuinn at the House of Correction.

Maryland law reserves capital punishment for murders in which there is a video of a confession of the crime or biological evidence linking the defendant to the crime. Prosecutors say that they have DNA evidence, but his defense argues that evidence links Stephens and other prisoners to the scene, but not the crime.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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