Indiana asks Supreme Court for death in deputy’s killing


INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – The Indiana attorney general has appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, asking it to reinstate the death sentence for a man convicted of killing a sheriff’s deputy.

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller on Tuesday said he spoke with Morgan County Deputy Dan Starnes’ widow before making the filing. A federal appeals court in June threw out the death sentence given to Tommy R. Pruitt, ruling that his trial attorneys didn’t effectively present evidence that he has schizophrenia.

Zoeller’s filing argues that state courts “scrutinized the evidence” and found Pruitt wasn’t intellectually disabled.

Pruitt will be resentenced if the U.S. Supreme Court doesn’t intervene.

Starnes died in June 2001. He stopped Pruitt for erratic driving when a gunfight broke out and Starnes was shot five times.

The filing was made Monday.

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