Mississippi man sentenced to life after death penalty voided
HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi man whose death sentence was overturned in 2014 has been resentenced to life in prison.
State prison records show 44-year-old Roger Gillett was resentenced last month.
Gillett and then-girlfriend Lisa Jo Chamberlin were convicted of killing Gillett’s cousin and the cousin’s girlfriend in 2004 because they wouldn’t open a safe. Dismembered bodies of Vernon Hulett and Linda Heintzelman were found stuffed in a freezer on a farm near Russell, Kansas.
The Mississippi Supreme Court voided Gillett’s death sentence, finding jurors wrongly considered Gillett’s attempted escape from a Kansas jail.
The Hattiesburg American reports Forrest County District Attorney Patricia Burchell consulted victim families before deciding against the death penalty.
Chamberlin’s death sentence was reinstated in March after a federal appeals court dismissed accusations of racial bias in jury selection.
Information from: The Hattiesburg American, http://www.hattiesburgamerican.com