Missouri High Court Rejects 2 Death Penalty Appeals
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - The Missouri Supreme Court has upheld the death sentences for two men who pleaded guilty to the 1989 kidnapping, rape and stabbing death of a Kansas City girl. Roderick Nunley and Michael Taylor abducted 15-year-old Ann Harrison as she waited for a school bus near her home. She was raped, bound, stabbed and left in the trunk of a car.
Both men sought to avoid the death penalty by pleading guilty and being sentenced by a judge. In their latest appeals, they cited previous court rulings that the facts needed to impose a death sentence must be decided by a jury, not a judge. The state's high court rejected that argument Tuesday, saying they made a strategic choice to be sentenced by a judge.