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Death penalty
ruled out in murder case

Death penalty
ruled out in murder case

Prosecutors have ruled out the death penalty for both suspects in the strangling death of a gay Colorado man whose body was found in a park. Jason Fiske, 25, appeared in district court in Montrose earlier this week for arraignment on charges stemming from the July 30 death of Kevin Hale, 36. Fiske waived formal advisement on charges of first-degree murder, first-degree felony murder, robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, theft, and witness intimidation. "I would like to announce on the record that we will not seek the death penalty," said assistant district attorney Mark Adams, who declined to elaborate.

District attorney Tom Raynes had previously announced he would not seek the death penalty against codefendant Adam Hernandez, 21, who faces charges of felony murder, robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, and theft. Hale's mother, Elaine DeVinny Hale, said she would have liked prosecutors to seek the death penalty. "That's what I want," she said. Fiske and Hernandez are expected to enter pleas at their next court date scheduled for February 7. Hernandez is free on $100,000 bond.

Hale told police he had been threatened because he was gay, and the Colorado Anti-Violence Program has asked that Fiske and Hernandez be charged with violating the state's hate-crimes law. Prosecutors said they were still investigating. (AP)

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