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FRYING-PAN MURDERER APPEALS AGAIN

FRYING-PAN MURDERER APPEALS AGAIN

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A Kings Mountain man convicted in 1983 of killing his mother-in-law with a frying pan has filed another appeal in an effort to get off death row.

David Earl Huffstetler had been scheduled to return to Gaston County this week to have a new date set for his execution. But the court appearance will be postponed because of the new appeal.A spokesman for the state Department of Correction said only 14 of the 84 inmates on death row have been there longer than Huffstetler.

``He's a member of the senior class,' David Guth said.

Huffstetler pleaded innocent in his May 1983 trial, but he admitted during the sentencing phase that he beat Edna Cordell Powell.

Huffstetler's latest appeal sought a new trial because the state Supreme Court has ruled that defense closing arguments can't be limited in a capital case. He also asked that his case be reconsidered in light of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on mitigating circumstances.

Judge Marvin Gray ruled last fall that neither decision would have affected Huffstetler's case.

In December, Judge Robert Kirby ordered a hearing to set a new execution date, and the case was put on next week's calendar. But Gray's decision has been appealed to the state Court of Appeals.

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