Feds May Seek Death Sentence In Ky. Inmate Slaying

CBS Cleveland

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — In an unusual case, a federal inmate faces a possible death sentence if convicted of killing a fellow prisoner at a high-security prison tucked away in the Appalachian region of eastern Kentucky.

The U.S. Justice Department is weighing whether to seek execution for 31-year-old John Travis Millner if a jury convicts him attacking 35-year-old Vincent Earl Smith Jr. while both were housed at United State Penitentiary Big Sandy in January 2009.

Millner is scheduled for arraignment Sept. 26 in federal court in Ashland on two murder charges: murder by a federal inmate serving life in prison, and first-degree murder. He is serving a life sentence without parole for using a high-powered rifle to shoot a person on New Year’s Eve in 2002 in Washington, D.C.

Prosecutors say Millner attacked Smith at the prison in Inez, Ky., with a homemade ice pick before strangling him to death…

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