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Court upholds conviction for 2001 slaying near Springfield

Wednesday, February 25, 2009 | 3:44 p.m. CST

JEFFERSON CITY — The state Supreme Court upheld a conviction and death sentence for a 2001 abduction and murder in southwest Missouri.

David Zink had represented himself during his 2004 trial for killing Amanda Morton after he struck her vehicle near Springfield on Interstate 44. He was assisted at trial by several public defenders, who also represented him during his penalty phase.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected various claims that Zink had ineffective legal aid.

Zink's appellate attorney had argued that Zink's decision to represent himself wasn't voluntary and that a hidden leg restraint made Zink limp while in court, which affected the jury's perceptions.

The appeal also claimed the trial was unfair because public defenders should have ordered a brain scan for Zink.

 


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