Attorney says Piper should get jury trial
SIOUX FALLS (AP) -- An attorney for an Alaska man facing the death penalty in South Dakota says Briley Piper should've been able to withdraw his guilty plea because of bad attorney advice not corrected by a judge.
Attorney Steve Miller told the state Supreme Court Monday that Piper didn't understand he could have a jury trial and a judge sentencing.
Assistant Attorney General Paul Swedlund says it's not incumbent on the court to correct defense strategies.
Piper admitted his role in the March 2000 killing of 19-year-old Chester Allan Poage near Spearfish. The high court overturned the judge's death sentence, saying a jury should decide his fate. A jury sentenced Piper to death in August 2011.
Another man involved in Poage's killing was executed and a third got life in prison.