Overstreet granted stay of execution

Jennifer Nelson
January 1, 2008
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The man who was convicted and sentenced to death for killing a Franklin College student has been granted a motion for a stay of execution. U.S. District Judge Philip Simon of the South Bend Division issued the order granting Michael Dean Overstreet's stay of execution Monday.

Overstreet, who was sentenced to death in 2000 for killing Kelly Eckart, filed the motion in U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division May 9. In the motion, Michael Dean Overstreet v. Ed Buss, Superintendent Indiana State Prison, No. 3:08-CV-226-PS, Overstreet filed the stay to allow for a petition for a writ of habeas corpus. Overstreet was scheduled to be executed May 30.

The order stays Overstreet's execution until Aug. 10 and notes the state may schedule another execution date unless he properly petitions and is granted another stay.

Overstreet also filed a motion for appointment of counsel, a motion to proceed in forma pauperis, and a memorandum in support of his motion for stay of execution. In a separate opinion and order, Judge Simon allowed Overstreet to proceed in forma pauperis in regards to his appointment of counsel, but denied him proceeding in forma pauperis as it relates to his filing fee. The order appointed Marie F. Donnelly of Chicago as his counsel and denied appointing Missouri attorney Laurence E. Komp.

Overstreet was denied post-conviction relief, which the Indiana Supreme Court affirmed in Overstreet v. State, 877 NE.2d 144 (Ind. 2007). The high court also denied rehearing his case in February and ordered his execution for the end of May subject to a valid stay ordered by the federal courts.

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