Slain Girl's Mom Upset with Death Penalty Delay
KANSAS CITY - The mother of a slain Kansas City, Kan., girl is blaming the federal government for causing a death penalty hearing for the man who killed the girl to be pushed back three months.
Cherri West says she was told by federal prosecutors last week that death penalty appeals for Keith D. Nelson were stalled because federally funded lawyers don't have money to pay for travel and witness fees.
The Kansas City Star reports Nelson was convicted of killing 10-year-old Pamela Butler in 1999 and sentenced to death in Missouri by Chief U.S. District Judge Fernando Gaitan Jr. in 2002.
Nelson was scheduled for a hearing in July, but Gaitan canceled it and set a status conference for Oct. 3 after the start of the federal government's new fiscal year.
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