Court weighs vacating convictions of killer captured in Vermont

Gary Sampson-File photo
Gary Sampson-File photo(WCAX)
Published: Jan. 19, 2022 at 11:16 AM EST
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BOSTON (WCAX) - A federal appeals court is considering whether to vacate two of the murder convictions of a man who killed three men more than 20 years ago in New England and died in prison while appealing his death sentence for one of those slayings.

Gary Lee Sampson, 62, died in a Missouri prison medical facility last month.

Federal prosecutors and defense lawyers are expected to submit legal briefs this month on the impact of Sampson’s death on his appeal and underlying convictions.

The office of the U.S. attorney for Massachusetts declined to comment. But one of Sampson’s lawyers said her late client’s appeal didn’t seek to challenge the legality of his conviction but the decision to sentence him to death.

Sampson’s lawyers said he was brain damaged and mentally ill in 2001 when he murdered three people, two in Massachusetts and one in New Hampshire.

He tried to kill a fourth victim in Vermont, William Gregory, but Gregory escaped.

Sampson then broke into a house in Plymouth, Vermont, and called the police to surrender.

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Killer caught in Vermont in 2001 dies in prison

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