Georgia Airman’s Death Sentence Overturned on Appeal
SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — An Air Force appeals court has overturned the death sentence of the only U.S. airman awaiting execution on the military's death row.
The Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals ruled defense attorneys for Senior Airman Andrew P. Witt failed to present critical mitigating evidence during his 2005 court-martial. It says Witt must be re-sentenced, but upheld his premeditated murder conviction in the 2004 stabbings of a fellow airman and his wife at Robins Air Force Base in Georgia.
Appeals judges ruled on Friday that Witt's lawyers ignored evidence that a head injury Witt suffered in a motorcycle crash may have affected his behavior. They also never interviewed a sheriff's deputy who says Witt broke down sobbing with remorse during a pretrial hearing.
The Air Force could appeal to a higher military court.