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Sat Jul 6, 2019, 01:07 PM

Ronnebeck killing: Prosecutors can't seek execution in case against immigrant

Source: Associated Press

Prosecutors can’t seek execution in case against immigrant

By JACQUES BILLEAUD
July 5, 2019

PHOENIX (AP) — Prosecutors can no longer seek the death penalty against a Mexican immigrant charged with murder in the 2015 shooting death of a convenience store clerk in a Phoenix suburb because the accused is intellectually disabled, a judge has ruled.

The ruling Wednesday means Apolinar Altamirano will face life in prison if he’s convicted of first-degree murder in the killing of 21-year-old clerk Grant Ronnebeck at the store in Mesa.

The case against Altamirano has been cited by President Donald Trump, who has railed against crimes committed against American citizens by immigrants who are the United States illegally.

Trump, who has created a new office to serve victims of immigration crimes and their relatives, has invoked such crimes at rallies, pointing to case after case in which people were killed by immigrant assailants who slipped through the cracks.

It’s unclear whether prosecutors will appeal the ruling. “We are reviewing the analysis and the record to assess next steps,” according to a statement from the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, which is prosecuting Altamirano.

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Read more: https://apnews.com/97903ae2be644a1d9b78218b095bd2dd

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