Justices deny request for additional proceedings in case

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2007
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The Indiana Supreme Court has denied a request for successive post-conviction proceedings involving a man convicted of stabbing an elderly DeKalb County man more than two dozen times during a robbery in 1984.

Issued Monday afternoon, the seven-page unanimous order states that David Leon Woods did not meet his burden of establishing a reasonable probability that he ;s entitled to relief based on claims he is mentally retarded and had a disagreement with his attorneys about strategy.

A Boone County jury convicted Woods of murder and robbery. Woods was found guilty of the murder of 77-year-old Juan Placenia, who was an acquaintance of Woods and his mother. He and two others had devised a plan to steal Placenia ;s television, but during the robbery Woods fatally stabbed him in the face, neck, and torso.

The order states that Woods did not prove he is mentally retarded, citing no expert testimony despite one doctor ;s description of "clear evidence of brain damage." A second claim relating to a "conflict of interest" with post-conviction counsel was raised too late, the justices ruled, and that doesn ;t diminish other courts ; conclusions that Woods received a fair post-conviction hearing.

A date for execution will be set by a separate Supreme Court order that has not yet been released.

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