Death Penalty Pursuit Allowed to Go Forward in Kelsey Smith Murder

By: AP
By: AP

OLATHE, Kan. (AP) _ A judge says prosecutors can still seek the death penalty against the man accused of kidnapping a teenager from a suburban Kansas City mall, then raping and killing her.

The Kansas City Star reports on its Web site that attorneys for 26-year-old Edwin R. Hall had asked Judge Peter Ruddick to take the death penalty off the table.

Hall is charged in the 2007 murder of 18-year-old Kelsey Smith of Overland Park, Kan.

Defense attorneys said prosecutor Phill Kline had violated a Supreme Court rule by not providing his address, telephone number and registration number on the legal notice seeking a court proceeding to determine if Hall should be put to death.

In his ruling Tuesday, Ruddick wrote that the Supreme Court rule gives him discretion on whether to accept the notice.

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

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