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Plea deals explored in Detroit CU fatal robbery
DETROIT (10/28/10)--Two men facing a possible federal death sentence for their involvement in the murder of an armored-truck courier during a robbery at DFCU Financial CU in Dearborn Mich., are looking to make plea bargains to avoid the death penalty. Norman Duncan and Kevin Watson are charged with killing guard Norman Stephens in 2001 while committing a $204,000 robbery at the credit union. Federal Judge Victoria Roberts wants an update on negotiations by Dec. 9, according to court filings (Associated Press Oct. 26). Timothy O'Reilly, 37, who was convicted in the killing of the guard got a life sentence, without parole, instead of the rare death penalty sought by prosecutors (News Now Aug. 27). The death penalty would have required a unanimous decision from the 10-woman, two-man jury, but only four jurors voted in favor of the death penalty (The Detroit News Aug. 26). The jury returned its verdict for O’Reilly Aug. 25. The guard, Norman Stephens, 30, was shot twice while restocking ATMs at Dearborn FCU (now DFCU Financial CU) on Dec. 14, 2001. Michigan was the first state to outlaw the death penalty, but the penalty can be used in certain federal cases. The last execution in the state occurred in 1938. The last person sentenced to death under federal law in Michigan is still on federal death row in Terre Haute, Ind., said the Detroit Free Press (Aug. 26).


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