Post by SoulTrainOz on Jul 19, 2006 8:05:02 GMT -5
Prosecutors will seek the death penalty against 2 Kansas City men accused of killing a man last year because he was black.
Gary Eye, 19, and Steven Sandstrom, 20, are charged in the slaying of 44-year-old William McCay, who was shot to death while walking to work.
Eye and Sandstrom are both accused of violating McCay's right to a "federally protected activity" walking along a city street.
McCay was walking on Ninth Street near Spruce Avenue in March when, prosecutors contend, Eye and Sandstrom shot at him with a .22 caliber pistol. Eye later allegedly got out of a stolen car a few blocks away and shot at McCay again, killing him.
In documents filed Monday in U.S. District Court, prosecutors cited the slaying's alleged premeditation as the statutory aggravating factor that permitted the government to seek the death penalty. The government also argued that both defendants pose a future risk of dangerousness, saying the statements that both purportedly made during and after the shooting showed no remorse.
Justice department lawyers in Washington decide whether or not federal prosecutors should pursue the death penalty.
Eye and Sandstrom initially were charged in state court, but those charges were dropped after federal officials become involved.
Attorneys for both defendants said Monday that the decision was expected but countered that the governments basis for seeking death was thin.
"It complicates the case tremendously, and obviously ratchets it up," said Eye's attorney, John Osgood. "We're probably wasting a lot of the taxpayers' money."