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Judge May Decide on Eaton Execution Next Year

steakpinball, Flickr

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A federal judge has given lawyers until early next year to submit written arguments about whether Wyoming’s lone death row inmate should be put to death.

U.S. District Judge Alan B. Johnson wrapped up a two-week evidentiary hearing on Saturday on claims from lawyers representing death row inmate Dale Wayne Eaton. The hearing featured testimony from relatives and mental health professionals about Eaton’s background.

The 68-year-old Eaton was convicted in 2004 of the 1988 rape and murder of 18-year-old Lisa Marie Kimmell, of Billings, Mont. His lawyers don’t dispute that he killed her, but claim he didn’t get an adequate defense from the Wyoming Public Defender’s Office.

Johnson plans to rule after Eaton’s lawyers and lawyers for the state file briefs, the last of which is due in late February.

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