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A judge in Ash Flat is considering whether a Florida man sentenced to die for the 1986 deaths of an Arkansas couple received adequate legal representation in his trial.

The Batesville Daily Guard reports that Steven Victor Wertz is challenging his death sentence for the deaths of Terry and Kathy Watts of Ash Flat. A jury deliberated 40 minutes before convicting Wertz in 2007 in Sharp County.

His attorneys argue that Wertz could have been spared the death penalty had he received proper legal representation.

Jack McQuary says the jury was told that Wertz was a “war hero” and that they still chose the death penalty.

The judge has not yet ruled in the case.

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  • TheBatt
    April 12, 2012 at 4:18 p.m.

    So - no denial of guilt? Then what's the argument? The crime he was convicted of clearly has the option of the death penalty. If he is guilty, then there should be no question - he was sentenced to a legal sentencing.

    Indeed - the fact that this murderer is still drawing breath after 26 years is offensive. Just now appealing the sentence is only slightly less so.

  • djaye
    April 12, 2012 at 6:12 p.m.

    What I want to know is what does "war hero" have to do with it? I know a few "war heroes" and I'm sure there are many others that haven't murdered anyone since returning home... Are they trying to insinuate that the murder is a result of PTSD? That the jury is stupid for convicting a "war hero"? It doesn't matter what you have been, it matters what you are now...a convicted murderer.