Judge to examine death sentence in killing of store owner
BILOXI, Miss. - A Mississippi man convicted of killing of a convenience store owner while her child slept in the back of the store can have another hearing about his death sentence.
The Sun Herald reports the state Supreme Court recently granted one request that 37-year-old Jason Lee Keller raised on appeal. His case will go to a judge who will consider questions about the sentencing phase of Keller's 2009 trial.
Keller was convicted of capital murder in the June 2007 killing of 41-year-old Hat Nguyen at Popp's Ferry Road Food Mart in Biloxi.
He maintained that his attorneys failed to sufficiently investigate mitigating evidence that could have swayed jurors to spare his life.
Mitigating circumstances don't justify a criminal act, but are considered a fair manner of influencing decisions about punishment.