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Windsor enters guilty plea, asks for death sentence

11:44 PM EDT on Monday, July 17, 2006

There will be no trial for the deaths of Betty Jean and Cory Windsor. Shawn Windsor told the judge Monday he was responsible for their deaths.

Windsor's public defenders say he has gone against every shred of legal advice they've offered.

Shawn Windsor appeared calm throughout his court hearing Monday morning, although his defense team was not.

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“There is no margin for error here. That when man stands before the court and says, ‘Judge, kill me,’ there's only one chance to get it right,” says Windsor’s attorney Jay Lambert. 

Windsor went against his attorney’s advice, entering a guilty plea and asking the judge to sentence him to death.

“They keep talking about this as an attempt to commit suicide,” says prosecutor Carol Cobb. “Under Mr. Windsor's situation, this may be a very rational decision.”

“I am completely competent and have no residual effects from the overdose of last week.  And I would ask the court to accept my plea of guilty because I am accepting full responsibility for my actions,” Windsor said in court. 

Nearby, betty Jean Windsor’s mother and Cory’s grandmother Mary Dillander listened and wept as Windsor told Judge martin McDonald how he killed the two in his downtown apartment nearly three years ago.

Windsor told the judge he bludgeoned them with a dumbbell. The judge allowed Windsor to sign a guilty plea.

“There's no question that what we're seeing is a suicide in progress, a suicide sanctioned by the state,” Lambert says. He contends Windsor is still incompetent -- especially since he just tried to kill himself.


“It's very unusual it's not unprecedented but it's very unusual.” Prosecutor carol Cobb says the victims' family is pleased -- now they won't have to listen to the details of the crime.

Formal sentencing is scheduled for October 6. Jay Lambert says he will remain Windsor’s lawyer but wouldn't speculate on what he might present at that hearing.


Report from The Associated Press:

Man pleads guilty in deaths of his wife, son

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- A man who pleaded guilty to killing his estranged wife and their 8-year-old son in 2003 has asked to be sentenced to death.

Shawn Windsor entered the guilty plea in Jefferson County Circuit Court Monday.

Windsor was accused of killing his estranged wife, Betty Jean, and their 8-year-old son, Corey in December 2003. The two were found beaten and stabbed in the Windsors' apartment.

Windsor spent nearly seven months on the run before being arrested in July 2004 by federal authorities in North Carolina.

He told police at the time of his arrest that he killed his wife and son in a suicide pact. He left a note and said he had tried to cut himself in the neck, stomach and leg.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

APTV-07-17-06 1617EDT

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