Covering Louisiana

Apr 19, 2011 5:58 PM by AP

Attorneys for Derrick Todd Lee seek retrial

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - An attorney for Derrick Todd Lee, convicted in the slaying of an LSU graduate student, says Lee should be retried.

Gary Clements with the Capital Post-Conviction Project of Louisiana said Tuesday that Lee's 2004 murder conviction and death sentence should be overturned because his court-appointed trial lawyers were underfunded and ineffective. In a 274-page petition for post-conviction relief, Clements also accuses East Baton Rouge Parish prosecutors of misconduct and says they struck qualified prospective black jurors and improperly personalized the victims.

The Advocate reports that Clements also contends that Lee is "mentally ill" and "brain damaged" and cannot be executed.

Lee, 43, of St. Francisville, is on death row for the 2002 murder of Charlotte Murray Pace. He is suspected of killing seven south Louisiana women, including Lafayette's Dene Colomb, between 1998 and 2003.

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