Hung Jury Blocks Death Penalty In WitnessMurder Case

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KANSAS CITY - (08/09/05) -- Jurors who convicted a man in themurder of a federal witness to a credit union robbery couldn'tagree on a sentence last week, so the judge sent him to prisonwithout parole. Prosecutors had requested the death penalty forXavier Lightfoot, who lived with the witness, who was cooperatingwith investigators in the 1997 armed robbery at Educators FCU inOmaha and two jewelry stores. Lightfoot and an accomplice,Cornelius Peoples, were convicted in the 1998 murder of John W.Hogsett, who lived life as a woman named Jovan Ross. It was thesecond trial in the case for Lightfoot, who was convicted in 1999but his verdict overturned on appeal. Three other accomplices havebeen convicted in the case, including Carl Haskell, who wassentenced to life in prison for killing Hogsett.

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