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Mississippi man sentenced to life after death penalty voided

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi man whose death sentence was overturned in 2014 has been resentenced to life in prison.

State prison records show 44-year-old Roger Gillett was resentenced last month.

Gillett and then-girlfriend Lisa Jo Chamberlin were convicted of killing Gillett’s cousin and the cousin’s girlfriend in 2004 because they wouldn’t open a safe. Dismembered bodies of Vernon Hulett and Linda Heintzelman were found stuffed in a freezer on a farm near Russell, Kansas.

The Mississippi Supreme Court voided Gillett’s death sentence, finding jurors wrongly considered Gillett’s attempted escape from a Kansas jail.

The Hattiesburg American reports Forrest County District Attorney Patricia Burchell consulted victim families before deciding against the death penalty.

Chamberlin’s death sentence was reinstated in March after a federal appeals court dismissed accusations of racial bias in jury selection.