Akron killer Brett Hartman asks high court to stop execution

COLUMBUS, Ohio - A condemned killer scheduled to die next week for stabbing an Akron woman to death in 1997 asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday to delay his execution.

Attorneys for 38-year-old Brett Hartman told the court they need time to renew arguments that Hartman's original attorneys didn't present the proper evidence about his childhood, including his early diagnosis as a disturbed adolescent needing intense psychological counseling.

No "court has been presented with the full picture of Hartman's upbringing or mental health history," Hartman's lawyers said.

"As a consequence, no court has been able to consider how this upbringing may have explained his behavior in the murder or mitigated against a sentence of death," they said.

Hartman's lawyers also argue that attorneys handling Hartman's appeals didn't do enough to raise questions about problems with Hartman's original defense.

Federal courts have already rejected this claim, but Hartman's attorneys say a change in federal law involving claims of bad legal aid allows the issue to be raised again.

The state opposed the request in its own Supreme Court filing Friday. Hartman's claims have already been properly denied by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, argued Assistant Attorney General Charles Wille.

Hartman's new claims involve "hair-splitting" and "largely superfluous arguments," Wille said.

Hartman is scheduled to die Tuesday for the Sept. 9, 1997, slaying of 46-year-old Winda Snipes of Akron.

Records show that Snipes was beaten, strangled with a cord, stabbed 138 times, had her throat slit and her hands cut off.

Gov. John Kasich on Thursday denied Hartman clemency.

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