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Ohio inmate seeks last-minute execution delay

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A jury never got the chance to hear the full details of condemned killer Billy Slagle's troubled childhood, his attorneys argued Tuesday as they asked for a new trial and tried to delay his execution next week.

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SLAGLE

The information about Slagle's early years meets requirements for asking for a new trial, which normally must happen within four months of a conviction, his attorneys said in a Cuyahoga County court filing.

Slagle, 44, was "unavoidably prevented" from filing his request because his original attorneys didn't develop and present the evidence, the filing said.

"The jury did not know that drinking, violence, and neglect were constant occurrences in Billy Slagle's home life," the filing said.

The jury also didn't learn that Slagle's substance abuse treatment at a hospital failed because his family didn't participate, the attorneys argued.

Such long-shot arguments aren't unheard of, but Slagle's request comes with a twist. The Cuyahoga County prosecutor, who normally would oppose such last-minute filings, has pushed for Slagle to be spared.

Prosecutor Tim McGinty has said his office wouldn't seek a death sentence today in Slagle's case. He argues it is unlikely a current jury with the option of life without parole, not available when Slagle's neighbor was killed in 1987, would sentence him to death. A message was left with McGinty about the filing.

Slagle also must persuade the Ohio Supreme Court to delay the execution, a request Slagle's attorneys made Tuesday. The court has ordered the state to file a response to Slagle's motion by Friday.

Slagle was sentenced to die for fatally stabbing neighbor Mari Anne Pope 17 times in a burglary during which two young children were present.

McGinty and Slagle's attorneys have cited his age — at 18, he was barely old enough for execution in Ohio — and his history of alcohol and drug addiction.

The Ohio Parole Board and Republican Gov. John Kasich have rejected Slagle's request for mercy.

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Andrew Welsh-Huggins can be reached on Twitter at https://twitter.com/awhcolumbus

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