Facing execution, Tennessee inmate says he wasn’t a killer

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(Photo: Tennessee Department of Correction)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A Tennessee inmate set to be executed this month has asked Gov. Bill Lee to spare his life, saying his accomplice was the one who fatally stabbed a mother and her daughter in 1986.

In a clemency plea, attorneys for Stephen West say his then 17-year-old accomplice, Ronnie Martin, actually killed both victims. West was 23 at the time. Their cases were separated, and while West was sentenced to death, Martin pleaded guilty and received a life sentence with the possibility of parole in 2030 as a juvenile.

West was found guilty of the kidnapping and stabbing deaths of 51-year-old Wanda Romines and her 15-year-old daughter, Sheila Romines, and of raping the teen.

He’s scheduled to receive a lethal injection Aug. 15 at a Nashville prison.

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