SEATTLE - The Washington state Supreme Court has dismissed a petition by convicted killer Robert Lee Yates Jr., who sought to withdraw guilty pleas in connection with murdering more than a dozen women, many in Spokane.
In the Thursday ruling, the court said the 408-year sentence Yates received in a plea deal stands although there was a technical error in how the sentence was given.
Yates in 2000 pleaded guilty in Spokane County to 13 counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder in a deal in which he was sentenced to 408 years in prison instead of death.
Yates is on death row at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla for a separate case involving the murders of Melinda Mercer and Connie LaFontaine Ellis in Pierce County.
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