Federal death row inmate from Kansas wants execution delayed

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Wesley Ira Purkey

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – A federal death row inmate from Kansas who raped, killed and dismembered a 16-year-old girl and beat an 80-year-old woman to death wants the chance to present claims that his trial lawyer was ineffective.

The Kansas City Star reports that attorneys for Wesley Ira Purkey want his execution stayed. It currently is scheduled for Dec. 13. The defense argues that his trial lawyer failed to investigate his traumatic childhood, which included sexual abuse by alcoholic family members and a Catholic priest.

Purkey, of Lansing, killed Jennifer Long in 1998 after picking her up in Kansas City, Missouri, and dumped her remains in a Kansas septic pond. Nine months later, Purkey beat Mary Ruth Bales to death in her Kansas City, Kansas, home.

He was sentenced to death for Long’s killing.

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