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Judge says condemned killer Ron Lafferty’s appeals may not be done yet

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Posted at 12:46 PM, Jul 03, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-03 14:46:10-04

SALT LAKE CITY — A federal judge has ruled that condemned killer Ron Lafferty’s death row appeals may not be done yet.

In an order issued recently in U.S. District Court here, Judge Dee Benson said Lafferty may not have exhausted all of his claims in state court. That could halt some of his appeals while he exhausts it.

“Mr. Lafferty may dismiss the one unexhausted claim and the parts of the four partially exhausted claims that are not exhausted, or amend his currently-pending motion,” Benson wrote.

Ron Lafferty (image provided by the Utah Dept. of Corrections)

Ron Lafferty (image provided by the Utah Dept. of Corrections)

The judge gave Lafferty until July 10 to decide what to do. Last year, the Utah Attorney General’s Office urged the judge to keep the case moving forward.

Lafferty is appealing his death sentence for the 1984 murder of his sister-in-law Brenda Lafferty, and her baby daughter, Erica. Ron Lafferty and his brother, Dan, are accused of killing the two under orders from God. Mental illness and religious delusion claims have been raised in the case for years.

The Lafferty brothers were featured in the book “Under the Banner of Heaven.”

Read the judge’s ruling here: