Execution date for Colwell set for March 26

Nevada prisons director Jackie Crawford has scheduled the execution of Lawrence Colwell for 9 p.m. March 26 at the Nevada State Prison in Carson City.

Colwell, 34, was convicted in Las Vegas of killing a tourist, Frank Rosenstock, 76, in March 1994 at a Las Vegas resort.

Colwell has said throughout the proceedings he would prefer death to life in prison without possible parole. He was ordered scheduled for execution by Clark County District Judge Donald Mosley after abandoning further appeals in his case last month.

"I can't sit here and say I'm 100 percent for this. Like I've told the attorneys all along, I'm about 90-10 and I don't think that will ever change," Colwell told the judge.

"Do I want to die? No, I don't want to die. But is the value of life there for me now? No, it isn't," he added.

A spokesman for the attorney general's office said Colwell still has a petition pending in U.S. District Court. It will be heard Friday by Judge Howard McKibben, but Colwell is also seeking to cancel that appeal.

Colwell was convicted of strangling Rosenstock with a belt at the Tropicana hotel-casino in Las Vegas. The slaying occurred after Colwell's girlfriend, Merillee Paul, lured Rosenstock to his room, then called Colwell to carry out a robbery. Paul pleaded guilty to the murder and was sentenced to life in prison.

Daryl Mack, 44, was set for execution in February, but that was stayed by Washoe District Judge Jim Hardesty after Mack and his lawyers decided to continue his appeals. Mack has been convicted of murdering two Reno women.

If executed, Colwell would be the 10th Nevada inmate put to death since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death sentence nationwide in 1977. Eight of the nine executed so far abandoned further appeals in their cases. Richard Moran was executed in March 1996 after exhausting all his appeals.

And all but the first to die -- Jesse Bishop in October 1979 -- were put to death by lethal injection. Bishop was the last man to die by cyanide gas in Nevada.

The most recent to be executed in Nevada was Sebastian Bridges in April 2001.

Contact Geoff Dornan at nevadaappeal@sbcglobal.net or 687-8750. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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