« Ind. Courts - "Gary courthouse to be closed ‘until further notice’ " | Main | Ind. Gov't. - More on: Controversy about Indiana public employee salary databases »

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Ind. Decisions - "LaPorte County judge denies prisoner's request for lethal injection"

Stan Maddux reported last week for WSBT, South Bend:

LAPORTE COUNTY, Ind. - An Indiana State Prison inmate serving 95 years for an Elkhart County murder wants to be put to death, but a judge Monday turned down his request.

Walter Leach, 61, is still hoping the governor or another high ranking state government official will grant his wish to be put on death row.

La Porte Circuit Court Judge Tom Alevizos denied the request by Leach for lethal injection. In his August 20 petition before the court, Leach asked to be put to death claiming Alevizos has authority to rule on his request because the Michigan City prison is in La Porte County.

No specific reason was given by Leach in his petition for wanting to be put to death. However, the request follows several unsuccessful attempts to have his murder conviction overturned, according to court records.

Alevizos ruled he cannot assume jurisdiction over Leach's request because the offender did not exhaust all of his options for pursuing his desire to die within the Indiana Department of Corrections.

And, even if all of his options within the DOC were exhausted, Alevizos said no law exists giving the court permission to grant such a request.

Leach was convicted of the July 4, 1995 slaying of Howard VanZant in Nappanee. * * *

According to court documents, Leach also filed his request for lethal injection with the offices of Gov. Mike Pence and Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller and Indiana State Prison Superintendent Bill Wilson.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on September 2, 2014 08:35 AM
Posted to Ind. Trial Ct. Decisions