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Man faces life in slaying after jury deadlock on execution

May 14, 2019

EASTON, Pa. (AP) — A man convicted of a slaying in an eastern Pennsylvania parking lot faces a life sentence without possibility of parole following a jury’s deadlock on whether he should be executed.

A Northampton County judge will impose the sentence Friday on 26-year-old Dekota Baptiste, who was convicted of first-degree murder and attempted murder.

The jury foreman said Tuesday the panel was split 7-5 after four hours of deliberation but didn’t say whether the majority favored execution or a life term for the defendant.

Baptiste argued unsuccessfully last week that he acted in self-defense when he shot 37-year-old Terrance Ferguson outside a Palmer Township auto parts store in February 2017.

Prosecutors argued Baptiste not only killed but put others at risk. Defense attorney Brian Monahan cited his background, age and learning disabilities.

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