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Judge delays the execution of cult leader



Published: Wed, October 18, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.



COLUMBUS (AP) -- A federal judge on Tuesday delayed the Oct. 24 execution of cult leader Jeffrey Lundgren to allow him to join a lawsuit challenging Ohio's use of lethal injection.

Judge Gregory Frost of U.S. District Court issued an order temporarily stopping the execution and allowing Lundgren to join the challenge of five other death row inmates.

Lundgren, 56, says he is at even greater risk of experiencing pain and suffering during injection than other inmates because he is overweight and diabetic.However, Frost's ruling indicates the delay could be only temporary. He said it appears to him that potential flaws with Ohio's execution process could be fixed easily.

Attorney General Jim Petro will appeal the ruling to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, said spokesman Mark Anthony.

Lundgren was convicted of shooting a family of five to death in 1989, including three children, while they stood in a pit dug inside his barn in Northeast Ohio.

The victims were Dennis Avery, 49; his wife, Cheryl, 46; and daughters Trina, 15, Rebecca, 13, and Karen, 7.




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