Virginia Governor Delays October Execution

Ex-Army intelligence worker sentenced to death for killing couple

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK

    RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine on Friday delayed the Oct. 5 execution of a former Army intelligence worker from Maryland convicted of killing a northern Virginia couple, saying he needed more time to consider the case.

    Kaine pushed back the execution of Larry Bill Elliott, 59, until Nov. 17. Elliott was convicted for the January 2001 shooting deaths of 25-year-old Dana Thrall and 30-year-old Robert Finch.

    "Given the nature of these crimes and the facts that were presented at trial, I have no reason to question the prosecutor's decision to seek the death penalty or the jury's decision that death was an appropriate sentence," Kaine said, adding that the complicated nature of the case required extra care "given the irreversible nature of an execution."

    Elliott's lawyers filed a clemency petition Aug. 28 asking Kaine to commute Elliott's sentence to life in prison. They did not immediately return calls for comment.

    Prosecutors said Elliott killed the couple because he was jealous of Finch, who was involved in a custody dispute with a former stripper with whom Elliott was romantically involved at the time.

    Two separate juries convicted Elliott of the killings. The first verdict in 2002 was set aside because a juror improperly discussed the case with someone outside the court. He was convicted again a year later.