3-day hearing underway in Donald Fell death penalty case

Donald Fell

RUTLAND, Vt. (WCAX) A three-day hearing is scheduled in Rutland Federal court this week over the retrial of convicted murderer Donald Fell.

The hearings which begin Wednesday concern the reliability of statements from a co-defendant, Robert Lee, who died in prison in 2001. Prosecutors hope to use statements by Lee that portray Fell as the ringleader in the 2000 kidnapping and murder of Terry King.
Defense lawyers argue that the statements shouldn't be permitted because Lee was mentally ill.

Fell was sentenced to death in 2005 but the conviction was later overturned due to juror misconduct. The new trial was supposed to start in September but was sidelined over the Robert Lee issue.