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Slain Va. prof's students don't want death penalty for accused killer

Some former students of a slain Longwood University professor are asking prosecutors not to seek the death penalty against the man accused of killing her and her family.

Debra Kelley, her 16-year-old daughter Emma Niederbrock, Emma's father Mark, and Emma's 18-year-old friend Melanie Wells of Inwood, W.Va., were found bludgeoned to death in Kelley's Farmville home in September.

Emma's boyfriend, 21-year-old Richard “Sam” McCroskey III of Castro Valley, Calif., has been charged in connection with the deaths.

Two of Kelley's former students, Jessica and Scott Hintz, started an online petition asking prosecutors to seek a life sentence for McCroskey.

They say Kelley was opposed to capital punishment and a death penalty in the case would dishonor her memory.

-- Associated Press

By Washington Post Editors  |  May 7, 2010; 12:55 PM ET
Categories:  Death Penalty , Homicide , Updates , Virginia  
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Of course, these arrogant students, nor the coverage I might add, consider the fact that Ms. Kelley may have changed her mind when she, her daughter and her husband were being brutally murdered. Moreover, the family of Ms. Wells may have other ideas.

Posted by: sobrien883 | May 9, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

How does one know how they were feeling when they were murdered? One's opinion might chnges after a tragic thing happens but one usually sticks with one's values. and i'm pretty sure someone such as a close student would know they're teachers morals and values, rather than someone complaining about a newspaper article

Posted by: dees3 | May 10, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

dees3, you make my point--we cannot know, so isn't a bit arrogant to presume to speak for the dead? Moreover, you utterly fail to deal with the other issue, namely that Ms. Wells also met her death, and the petition seems to ignore her.

Posted by: sobrien883 | May 11, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

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