Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

WV State News

December 18, 2013

Lawyers want death penalty removed from W.Va. case

CLARKSBURG — Lawyers for a federal inmate accused of killing another prisoner are asking a judge to remove the death penalty from the case.

The Exponent Telegram reports that the request is among several motions filed this month by Patrick Franklin Andrews’ lawyers in U.S. District Court in Clarksburg. Andrews’ lawyers also are seeking dismissal of the indictment.

The 33-year-old Andrews and 32-year-old co-defendant Kevin Bellinger are accused of killing another inmate, 28-year-old Jesse Harris, at the U.S. Penitentiary at Hazelton in 2007.

If Andrews is convicted, federal prosecutors plan to seek the death penalty. They won’t pursue it for Bellinger.

Andrews’ lawyers say the federal death penalty is arbitrary and discriminatory. Their motion asks U.S. District Judge Irene Keeley to change the case to a noncapital one.

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