Man avoids death penalty in resentencing

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A Pike County case that brought national attention took anotherturn this week when convicted murderer Alan Michael Rubenstein wasresentenced after almost a decade on death row.

Rubenstein, of Marrero, La., was found guilty of capital murderin 2000, as well as two counts of murder for the November 1993slayings of his stepson Darrell Perry, 24, Perry’s wife Annie, 20,and their daughter Krystal, 4, in order to collect on a $250,000life insurance policy. The victims were found stabbed and badlydecomposed a month later at a vacation house owned by Rubenstein onJohnston Station Road north of Summit.

Rubenstein was sentenced to two counts of life in prison withoutparole in the slayings of Darrell and Annie Perry and was given thedeath penalty in Krystal Perry’s death.

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But an error in the jury instructions caused the sentencingphase of the trial to need to be redone. For several reasons,including finances and the difficulty in bringing togetherwitnesses so many years later, District Attorney Dee Bates’ officedecided not to seek the death penalty a second time.

“It came down to it life without parole or another deathsentence, and all his appeals would start over, and what’s thepoint in waiting another 10 years for them to put him to death whenhe’s in his 60’s?” Bates said. “Justice has been served, he will beincarcerated for the rest of his life and will die in thepenitentiary.”

Circuit Judge Mike Taylor said there was really no decision tobe made, as the proceedings were basically routine.

“This was a housekeeping matter, just something that needs to bedealt with,” he said. “The sentencing needed to be done. Basicallythere was no decision to make, because the statute says what thesentence is.”