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Man orders lawyers not to fight death penalty

Monday - 4/21/2014, 2:30pm  ET

Associated Press

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) -- An ex-Marine facing possible execution for the 2009 murder of a fellow service member has ordered his lawyers not to make any arguments or effort to spare his life.

A federal jury in Alexandria convicted 25-year-old Jorge Torrez earlier this month of the murder of Navy sailor Amanda Snell at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall.

Prosecutors say Snell's murder was one among a series of sexually motivated attacks on northern Virginia women.

As the sentencing phase of the trial began Monday, the judge told jurors that Torrez ordered his attorneys not to contest the government's case.

Torrez' lawyer, Robert Jenkins, declined comment on whether his client has expressed a preference for execution. But he said it is not uncommon for defendants in capital cases to prefer execution over life in prison.

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