Death Penalty Sought in Retirement Home Slaying

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) _ Prosecutors have filed formal notice that they intend to seek the death penalty for a Kansas man accused of killing an 85-year-old woman.

The notice came as no surprise at Monday's preliminary hearing for 44-year-old Marvin Gifford Jr. of McPherson. He was bound over for trial in the May 18 killing of Pearl Arthaud in her apartment at the Sunshine Meadows Retirement Community in Buhler.

In all Gifford was bound over on 13 counts, including capital murder, two counts of attempted capital murder, multiple sexual offenses and several burglaries.

Gifford is also accused of sexually assaulting several elderly women in Reno County.

At one point, the hearing was moved to another retirement home for testimony from a witness unable to travel to the courthouse.

A Nov. 9 trial date was set.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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