Supreme Court to Hear Appeal in Murder-for-Hire Case

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ Connecticut’s Supreme Court plans to hear the appeal of a death row inmate convicted of killing a West Hartford man in exchange for a broken snowmobile.

Eduardo Santiago’s attorneys will argue his case in February before the high court.

The former Torrington man was convicted in 2004 in the 2000 shooting death of Joseph Niwinski. Prosecutors say Santiago carried out the murder-for-hire scheme with a second man in exchange for the snowmobile, promised by a third man.

Santiago’s appeal says prosecutors failed to prove he’s the one who pulled the trigger. He also says Connecticut’s death penalty is unconstitutional, that his statements to police were coerced, and that he was not allowed to offer details to the jury about his childhood abuse.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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