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Indiana college student's killer challenges execution over competency

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Sunday, February 9, 2014 - 9:57 am

FRANKLIN — A man who has spent nearly 15 years on Indiana's death row for raping and killing a Franklin College student says he isn't competent to be executed.

Michael Dean Overstreet was convicted in 2000 of the 1997 death of Kelly Eckart. He's previously challenged his execution on grounds including the effectiveness of his attorneys and his mental state at the time of the crime.

The Indianapolis Star reports the new competency challenge is a rare strategy at the time of sentencing.

Public defender Steven Schutte says Overstreet is the first defendant he's encountered in 20 years who doesn't appear to understand his sentence.

Eckart's mother, Connie Sutton, says she wants the legal wrangling to end so the execution can proceed.

Indiana hasn't had an execution since 2009.