FRANKFORT, KY (AP) - The Kentucky Supreme Court has ordered a new sentencing hearing for a western Kentucky man convicted of killing his aunt, then fleeing to Costa Rica before being captured.
Chief Justice James Minton ruled Thursday that 45-year-old Russell E. Winstead cannot legally be sentenced to life in prison with parole after 25 years consecutive to any other sentence.
Winstead was convicted in August 2007 of killing 85-year-old Ann Branson, a well-known Madisonville businesswoman who was found dead in her basement on Jan. 12, 2003.
Winstead was also sentenced to 20 years for robbery consecutive to the life sentence.
Winstead was arrested in May 2005 outside a hotel and casino in Costa Rica. As part of the extradition agreement, prosecutors agreed not to seek the death penalty.
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