Former Missouri deputy sentenced to death asks for new trial

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ A former sheriff’s deputy and Missouri correctional officer who was sentenced to death for a double killing is asking for a new trial and says prosecutors mishandled his case.

Marvin Rice’s public defender told Missouri Supreme Court judges Wednesday that during Rice’s trial, prosecutors violated his right against self-incrimination by drawing the jury’s attention to the fact that he didn’t testify.

Rice was convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend and her boyfriend in a child custody dispute. He was sentenced to death.

Assistant Attorney General Nathan Aquino argued that prosecutors didn’t comment directly on Rice’s failure to testify.

But Judge Laura Denvir Stith said prosecutors could have made their point without referencing Rice’s silence.

Rice wants a new trial or to be sentenced to life in prison instead of execution.

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