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Release denied for man convicted in Missouri firefighters’ deaths

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – A federal judge has denied a request to release from prison a man convicted in the 1988 deaths of six Kansas City firefighters.

The Kansas City Star reports that U.S. District Judge Fernando Gaitan Jr. on Thursday denied the motion filed by Bryan Sheppard arguing that he’s entitled to immediate release from prison.

Sheppard’s lawyers argued that his sentence was improperly enhanced because a judge, not a jury, considered the factors used to increase his sentence.

But the judge denied the request on several grounds, including that Sheppard signed a waiver giving up his right to a jury sentencing.

Sheppard, now 45, was 17 in November 1988 when an arson fire triggered a massive explosion at a south Kansas City construction site, killing the six firefighters.
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Information from: The Kansas City Star