- Associated Press - Friday, October 2, 2015

CLEVELAND (AP) - An Ohio inmate who was sentenced to death for the slayings of a college student and a friend now wants to drop his appeals after more than 10 years and be executed.

Gregory McKnight’s request to withdraw his appeals and go forward with his execution is pending a ruling by Judge Michael Merz, according to a report by The Plain Dealer in Cleveland (http://bit.ly/1OcVYiD).

McKnight, 39, said in a June 2014 letter to Merz that he didn’t want to pursue his appeals and wanted the judge to set his execution date. He also wrote a letter to the judge in May and Merz later accepted McKnight’s withdrawal motion but didn’t rule on the case, the newspaper reported.

“You see the good thing about knowing and accepting that you’re going to be murdered is you can tell the truth that’s never been told without regrets,” McKnight wrote. “Death is freedom.”

McKnight was convicted in 2002 of killing Kenyon College student Emily Murray and his friend Gregory Julious, both 20. Prosecutors say Murray gave McKnight a ride from a restaurant near the college campus where they both worked. Her body was found weeks later in McKnight’s trailer. She had been shot in the head. Authorities say Julious’ body parts also were found on McKnight’s property.

McKnight didn’t respond to the newspaper’s requests for an interview. His attorney, David Stebbins, said it is rare for condemned prisoners to ask to be executed and he knows of only a couple of instances in Ohio.

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Information from: The Plain Dealer, http://www.cleveland.com

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