Missouri Supreme Court to consider death penalty cases

Wednesday, January 5, 2011 | 9:19 a.m. CST; updated 9:38 a.m. CST, Tuesday, January 11, 2011

JEFFERSON CITY — Two men who pleaded guilty to killing a Kansas City teenager are urging the Missouri Supreme Court to overturn their death sentences because it was decided by a judge instead of a jury.

The high court was scheduled to hear separate arguments Wednesday on the appeals of Roderick Nunley and Michael Taylor. Both men pleaded guilty to the 1989 killing of 15-year-old Ann Harrison, who was abducted while waiting for a school bus near her home.

Attorneys for Nunley and Taylor contend the men were wrongly sentenced to death by a judge instead of a jury. The Missouri attorney general's office argues the men had waived their rights to jury sentencing.

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