- Associated Press - Friday, October 2, 2015

LEWISTON, Idaho (AP) - A death row inmate convicted more than 30 years ago in Clearwater County for killing a child will have his sentence reduced.

The Lewiston Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/1QPyXQo ) that under an agreement with the Idaho Attorney General’s office filed Thursday, 64-year-old Gene Stuart will have his first-degree murder conviction reduced to second-degree murder. The deal removes him from death row and gives him a life sentence.

Stuart has filed several appeals since he was found guilty in 1981 of torturing his girlfriend’s 3-year-old son to death in Orofino. The boy died from an abdominal punch that lacerated his liver, causing him to bleed to death. Stuart also subjected the boy to psychological and physical punishment, according to testimony at his trial.

Stuart was scheduled to be put to death in 1983, but his execution was postponed as Stuart went through the appeals process at the state level and then through the federal court system.

Thursday’s agreement had been two years in the making. It amends Stuart’s original charge and sentencing that Stuart plead guilty to the second-degree murder charge. By doing so, Stuart gave up his right to appeal.

“At this time, this case is considered closed,” according to Winmill’s judgment.

The attorney general’s office declined to comment on the agreement.

Three inmates have been executed in Idaho since 1977.

Stuart was one of 10 people - nine men and one woman - on Idaho’s death row.

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Information from: Lewiston Tribune, http://www.lmtribune.com

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