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Bundy Loses High Court Appeal; Florida Sets Execution for Tuesday

From Associated Press

Theodore Bundy, the serial killer called “a diabolical genius” by one judge, faces death in Florida’s electric chair next week after losing a Supreme Court appeal Tuesday.

The justices, by a 7-2 vote, rejected arguments that Bundy, 42, was mentally incompetent when he stood trial in 1980 for the slaying of a 12-year-old girl in Lake City, Fla.

Within an hour of the court’s action, Florida officials said Bundy would be executed next Tuesday morning under a death warrant signed by Gov. Bob Martinez.

Bundy also has received death sentences for the 1978 killings of two Florida State University sorority sisters who were beaten and strangled three weeks before the Lake City murder. He has been linked to as many as 36 sex murders or disappearances of young women, most of them in Utah, Colorado and Washington state.

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Tuesday’s order marked the fourth time that the Supreme Court has considered a formal appeal involving one of his convictions or death sentences.

After signing the death warrant, Martinez called Bundy “one of the most notorious killers in our nation’s history” who “has used legal maneuverings to dodge the electric chair for 10 years.”

Emergency Appeal Planned

James Coleman Jr., one of the Washington lawyers representing Bundy, said he planned to file an emergency appeal in Florida state court. “If we do not win a stay in the state courts, I expect we will be back in federal court,” he said, declining to disclose what legal theory would be advanced.

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