After a lower court had overturned his sentence, a federal appeals court reinstated the sentence of a Utah murderer.
The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals made its decision in the case of Von Lester Taylor, who was one of two defendants convicted in the Christmastime 1990 killings of a woman and her mother at a cabin in Summit County, Utah, FOX 13 of Salt Lake City reported.
According to the Deseret News of Salt Lake City, the mother was partially blind and partially disabled.
According to the station, Taylor pleaded guilty to the Dec. 22, 1990 murders.
According to Judge Timothy Tymkovitch, "Mr. Taylor doesn't deny that he actively participated in murders." "To answer the question whether he can actually be innocent of the crime: No. Mr. Taylor is not innocent in any sense.
The Utah State Attorneys praised the decision of the appeals court.
"Today's decision puts Taylor back on track to justice. According to The Associated Press, Assistant Solicitor General Andrew Peterson stated in a statement that the ruling does not close the case or permit Taylor's execution immediately.
"Today's ruling places Taylor back on track to justice. It does not, however, end the case or permit Taylor to be executed immediately.-- Andrew Peterson, assistant solicitor general, Utah
Peterson said that victims' families "have waited over thirty years for justice." They shouldn't have to wait anymore."
Brian Pomerantz Taylor's lawyer countered that Taylor's appeals court decision does not mean that the case will be continued being litigated for some while, he said to the AP.
Taylor appealed to be spared execution, arguing that he did not fire the shots that killed his victims. Judge Mary Beck Briscoe ruled that Taylor's argument was moot as Utah law doesn't distinguish between criminals from their accomplices.
Edward Deli was also convicted of the murders as a co-defendant. He received a sentence of life in prison, FOX 13 reported.
FOX 13 reported that the two defendants were also charged for kidnapping two more people and shooting one man. According to the report, Taylor and Deli were eventually arrested following a high-speed chase by police.
FOX 13 reported that U.S. District Judge Tena Campbell overturned Taylor’s death sentence. She ruled that Taylor didn't have effective legal counsel at the time he was charged. Campbell claimed that Taylor's guilty plea to two capital crimes was invalid and thus should be vacated, the report said.
Judge Campbell wrote that Taylor's initial defense lawyer, Elliott Levine, did not visit the crime scene, did not hire an investigator and did not consult experts in preparing Taylor's defense, the Deseret News reported.
Authorities claim that Deli shot Kaye Tiede and Beth Potts, Kaye's mother; kidnapped Tiede’s daughters, aged 20 and 17, and then wounded Tiede’s husband Rolfe Tiede with a gunshot after dousing him in gasoline.
According to the AP, Deli was convicted of shooting someone and was sentenced to life imprisonment. Taylor pleaded guilty to the crime, and a jury sent him to death.