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Death penalty thrown out in slaying of young girl

February 7, 2018

TUPELO, Miss. (AP) — A judge has thrown out a death penalty sentence for a man accused of killing a young girl, but his guilty plea and conviction still stand.

Local media report that 37-year-old William Matthew Wilson pleaded guilty to capital murder in the death of his girlfriend’s 2-year-old daughter and was sentenced to death in May 2007.

In December 2017, special appointed judge Larry Roberts granted Wilson’s request in Lee County Circuit Court and threw out the death sentence, citing ineffective legal counsel.

District Attorney John Weddle is now considering whether to present the case to a jury to reconsider the death penalty. A decision is expected later this month.

If Wilson is not sentenced to death, he would still serve a life sentence.

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