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Judge allows state to seek death penalty against man charged with killing Aiken officer


CHARLESTON, South Carolina — A judge says prosecutors can go forward with their death penalty trial against a 21-year-old man charged with killing an Aiken police officer two years ago.

The Post and Courier of Charleston reported ( ) that defense attorneys asked the judge Friday to take the death penalty off the table for Stephon Carter because prosecutors didn't seek it against another man who admitted killing a different Aiken officer a month later.

Circuit Judge Clifton Newman sided with prosecutors, who said the defendant in that case had mental problems.

Carter is charged with murder in the December 2012 traffic stop shooting of officer Scotty Richardson. The judge ruled the trial should start in January, rejecting a prosecution request to delay it.

The hearing was held in Charleston, where the judge was presiding.

Information from: The Post and Courier,

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