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Confessed Murderer Appeals Conviction

Last updated on Monday, October 15, 2007

(MADISON) - The woman who confessed to being the teenage ringleader in the 1992 torture killing of a 12-year-old Southern Indiana girl is claiming her lawyers did a poor job and wants her guilty plea thrown out.

Melinda Loveless was 16 when authorities say she and three other girls abducted Shanda Renee Sharer of New Albany, then tortured her and set her on fire.

Loveless is scheduled today to ask a Jefferson County judge to overturn her guilty plea and 60-year prison sentence. Her attorney claims the prosecutor's threat to seek the death penalty caused loveless to plead guilty under duress.

Current Jefferson County prosecutor Chad Lewis, however, says that Loveless was death penalty-eligible when she pleaded guilty and that there was nothing wrong with the prosecutor using that as leverage.

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