Judge overturns death sentences in double Missouri killings
ST. LOUIS (AP) - A federal judge threw out the death sentence for a man convicted of the stabbing deaths of his grandparents in their suburban St. Louis home in 1996.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that U.S. District Judge E. Richard Webber's 189-page order benefiting 39-year-old David Barnett is sealed, but another document said prosecutors have 180 days to decide whether to seek a death sentence in a new hearing.
David Barnett killed 82-year-old Clifford Barnett and 75-year-old Leona Barnett at their Glendale home after they returned from a post-church brunch. Barnett took their car and $120 in cash.
He confessed to police the next day.
Jurors later convicted him of first-degree murder. His attorneys argued he suffered from depression, bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder from a troubled and unstable childhood.