Delay sought in 1983 Pa. murder resentencing

UNIONTOWN, Pa. (AP) — Defense attorneys are seeking a delay in a resentencing hearing in the western Pennsylvania murder of a hitchhiker three decades ago.

A federal appeals court last year granted a new sentencing hearing for 57-year-old Scott Blystone of Fairchance, who has been on death row since his conviction in the 1983 murder of Dalton Smithburger Jr.

Fayette County authorities said Blystone shot Smithburger six times in the head for $13 in gas money. The appeals court said the defense should have called mental health specialists who might have convinced jurors to sentence him to life.

Fayette County judges have recused themselves. Blystone’s attorneys alleged misconduct by prosecutors who now serve as senior judges.

The (Uniontown) Herald-Standard (http://bit.ly/1cJyqMS ) says defense attorneys want more time to prepare and other motions decided first.

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Information from: Herald-Standard, http://www.heraldstandard.com/

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