Opening statements begin in James McVay's death penalty trial - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Opening statements begin in James McVay's death penalty trial

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - An attorney says a South Dakota man who could face the death penalty for killing a woman as part of a plan to assassinate President Barack Obama has a history of mental illness and his life should be spared.

James McVay pleaded guilty but mentally ill to murder for the 2011 stabbing of 75-year-old Maybelle Schein. McVay said he killed Schein and stole her car as part of his plot to drive to Washington. 

Jurors are deciding whether the 43-year-old should die by lethal injection.

Minnehaha County State's Attorney Aaron McGowan said Wednesday the death penalty is warranted because the killing was done to obtain something of monetary value and it was outrageous or wantonly vile.

Public Defender Amber Eggert said the evidence will show neither of those factors apply.

He pleaded guilty but mentally ill to first-degree murder for the July 2011 stabbing death of 75-year-old Maybelle Schein.

McVay was arrested in Madison, Wis., and said he killed Schein and stole her car as part of a plot to drive to Washington and assassinate President Barack Obama.

Ten men and five women will serve as a jury and three alternates.

They'll decide if McVay qualifies for the death penalty and, if so, whether he deserves the death penalty or life in prison.

 

 

 

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