Va. gov: No clemency for Teresa Lewis

Sept. 17, 2010 at 10:47 PM
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RICHMOND, Va., Sept. 17 (UPI) -- Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell said Friday he will not grant clemency to a woman scheduled to be executed next week for the murder of her husband and stepson.

If she is put to death, Teresa Lewis, 41, would be the first woman executed in Virginia since 1912, The Washington Post reported. She is scheduled to die by lethal injection Thursday.

Lewis pleaded guilty in 2002 to arranging for her lover and another man to kill her husband, Julian Lewis, a Vietnam veteran, and his son, Charles "C.J." Lewis, an Army reservist. Matthew Shallenberger and Rodney Fuller, who carried out the killings at the Lewis trailer in Danville, received life sentences.

A judge, declaring Lewis the "head of this serpent," gave her the death penalty.

Opponents of Lewis' execution say Shallenberger actually planned the killings, manipulating Lewis, who has an IQ just above the level of mental retardation.

McDonnell, who supports the death penalty, said he read the submissions from Lewis' lawyers.

"I find no compelling reason to set aside the sentence that was imposed by the Circuit Court," McDonnell said.

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