Judge Won't Reopen Death Row Inmates' Appeal

Judge Won't Reopen Death Row Inmates' Appeal

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(Salt Lake City-AP) -- Death-row inmate Ralph LeRoy Menzies could be one step closer to death by firing squad.

Yesterday Third District Court Judge Pat Brian refused to reopen Menzies' appeals in state court. Judge Brian says Menzies "let the clock tick" instead of complaining to the court about his ineffective attorney.

The 45-year-old was convicted of the 1986 kidnapping and murder of Maurine Hunsaker. The 26-year-old mother of three was kidnapped from the Kearns gas station where she worked. Her body was later found strangled and her throat was slashed.

Hunsaker's family says the request to reopen state appeals was a "delaying tactic".

Wednesday was the 18th anniversary of Hunsaker's slaying.

A federal appeal filed in December remains pending.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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