Death penalty deadline looming in Waynesville case

Samuel Sallee (Photo Provided)
Samuel Sallee (Photo Provided)

COLUMBUS, Ind. (AP) — A judge has told a county prosecutor he wants to know by Feb. 20 whether he’ll seek the death penalty against the man charged with killing four people in a southern Indiana home.

Bartholomew County Judge Stephen Heimann didn’t set a hard deadline for that decision. But the judge said in Tuesday’s ruling that unless the death penalty ruled out for 56-year-old Samuel Sallee, he’ll have to appoint new defense attorneys certified for such cases.

Sallee’s current attorneys have sought a prompt decision so his trial can begin in June for the May 2013 deaths in Waynesville, a small community outside Columbus.

Defense lawyer David Nowak tells The Republic that seeking the death penalty makes little sense since Sallee would never leave prison if convicted. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language, off topic, or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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