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Prosecutor: Death Penalty off the Table in Sallee Trial

Prosecutors will not seek the death penalty against Samuel Sallee. / Photo: WCSI File
Prosecutors will not seek the death penalty against Samuel Sallee. / Photo: WCSI File

Bartholomew County Prosecutor Bill Nash has announced that he will not seek the death penalty against quadruple-murder suspect Samuel Sallee.

Sallee is facing four counts of murder for the May 11, 2013 slayings in Waynesville. He is accused of shooting and killing 53-year-old Katherine Burton, 39-year-old Thomas W. Smith, 41-year-old Aaron T. Cross and 41-year-old Shawn L. Burton, all of Columbus. Katherine Burton also sustained several stab wounds. The bodies were found that night by Katherine Burton's son. Authorities indicated the killings may have been drug-related.

In a filing with the Bartholomew Circuit Court on Thursday, Nash noted that while he could not give specific reasons for his decision, he did note that he took the wishes of the family members of the deceased in to consideration. He noted that one of the issues with pursuing the death penalty would be the amount of time they would have to wait before Sallee would be executed, if he were found guilty. Nash noted that Indiana has put nine people to death over the past 10 years. He said the shortest amount of time passed from the commission of a crime to execution was 15 years and vive months. Nash said that the majority of family members expressed concern over "the lack of closure that would result from pursuing the death penalty."

Nash added that while he took the family members wishes into consideration, the decision on whether or nor to pursue the death penalty was his alone.

Sallee's trial is scheduled to start June 24.

Last Updated: Thursday, February 20, 2014 6:30:44 PM

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