The state supreme court has let the murder conviction stand but has thrown out the death penalty for prison inmate Mark Gill. The court says Gill’s defense lawyer failed to question the character of the victim, which might have led the jury to recommend a life prison term.
Relatives of his victim, Ralph Lape of Cape Girardeau, had testified about his good character during the penalty phase of the trial. But Gill’s lawyer did not bring up evidence that Lape’s computer contained images of child pornography, bestiality, and other sexual content.
The Cape Girardeau County prosecutor says he’ll ask for the death penalty again.