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Mississippi Court Orders New Sentencing for Gillett

Roger GillettThe Mississippi Supreme Court has thrown out the death sentence handed down to Roger Lee Gillett and ordered him re-sentenced.

Gillett was convicted in 2007 in Forrest County on two counts of capital murder for his role in the deaths of a Hattiesburg couple and the transporting of their bodies to Kansas in a freezer. The bodies were discovered at a Russell County farm near Waldo in March 2004.

While in custody in Kansas, Gillett attempted to escape. That crime was one of the aggravating factors prosecutors presented jurors to support the death penalty.

The Supreme Court, in its 6-3 decision Thursday, said not every escape is considered a crime of violence under Kansas law. Therefore, wrote Justice Ann Lamar, the Kansas crime cannot be used to support a death sentence in Mississippi.

The ruling came in Gillett's post-conviction appeal.

Kansas native Lisa Jo Chamberlin was arrested with Gillett on capital murder charges. She was also convicted and sentenced to death.

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