Regional
10:17 am
Wed April 23, 2014

High Court Won't Overturn Death Sentence for Kentucky Man

Robert Keith Woodall
Robert Keith Woodall
Credit Kentucky Department of Corrections

The Supreme Court says there will be no new sentencing hearing for a man who confessed to kidnapping, raping and killing a 16-year-old girl in Kentucky.

The justices in a 6-3 ruling Wednesday refused to overturn Robert Keith Woodall's death sentence for abducting and killing Sarah Hansen on Jan. 25, 1997, after forcing her from a convenience store in western Kentucky.

A federal court ruled that the judge at Woodall's state trial should have instructed the jury not to draw any negative conclusions about his refusal to take the stand at his 1998 capital sentencing hearing. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that ruling.

But the high court reversed, finding that trial judge was under no obligation to instruct the jury about drawing adverse conclusions.