- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 25, 2016

MOSCOW, Idaho (AP) - A northern Idaho man convicted of killing three people is asking to withdraw his pleas.

The Lewiston Tribune reports (https://bit.ly/2eBEIK1 ) that 31-year-old John Lee on Monday filed a two-page handwritten motion arguing that he was not in “the right state of mind” when he entered the pleas.

“Noises were effecting (sic) my decision making and I didn’t feel I had free will,” Lee wrote. “… Now that I am properly medicated mental health problems will no longer interfere with my decision making.”

An attached, handwritten affidavit shows Lee tried to tell his defense team he was not satisfied with the plea agreement a few days after accepting it.

“I expressed that I felt that the guards and certain people were pressuring me and in some instances torturing me to either confess or accept a plea deal,” Lee wrote.

Lee is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole in connection to the January 2015 deaths of his adoptive mother, 61-year-old Terri Grzebielski; his landlord, 71-year-old David Trail; and Moscow Arby’s manager 47-year-old Belinda Niebuhr.

In March, Lee entered Alford pleas to three counts of first-degree murder and one count of aggravated battery. Alford pleas mean he did not admit guilt, but he acknowledged there was enough evidence to convict him.

The motion comes after a court last week denied his request for a reduced sentence. According to the ruling, written by Judge John R. Stegner, the plea agreement does not allow for modifications to Lee’s sentence.


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

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