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US Supreme Court declines to hear appeal on deputy’s slaying

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear Indiana’s request to reinstate the death sentence of a man convicted of fatally shooting a sheriff’s deputy.

The court denied the state’s appeal Monday in the case of Tommy Pruitt, who was convicted in the 2001 slaying of Morgan County Deputy Dan Starnes.

Indiana appealed last year after the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found Pruitt’s trial attorneys did not effectively present evidence that he suffers from schizophrenia.

Attorney General Greg Zoeller says the high court’s decision means “we must accept” the appellate court’s ruling.

Zoeller says Pruitt will now be re-sentenced to a prison term for his murder conviction in Starnes’ killing. Pruitt already is serving 115 years on other convictions.

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