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US appeals court rejects appeal in prison inmate slaying

June 6, 2018

CINCINNATI (AP) — A federal appeals court has rejected the latest appeal of an Ohio inmate sentenced to die for a racially charged prison slaying in 1996.

The three-judge 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel in Cincinnati ruled unanimously Tuesday against John Stojetz, saying his list of claims that included ineffective trial counsel and prosecutorial misconduct were without merit or procedurally flawed.

His attorney didn’t respond to a message asking whether he would pursue a further appeal.

Court records show that Stojetz and five other adult inmates forced a Madison Correctional Institution guard at knifepoint to give up keys to the cell of 17-year-old inmate Damico Watkins, who was black. Watkins was repeatedly stabbed by shank-wielding inmates and died.

Prosecutors said Stojetz led an Aryan Brotherhood prison gang.

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