The Associated Press
OLYMPIA — Washington’s Supreme Court has rejected a petition for release from death-row inmate Jonathan Lee Gentry, sentenced for the murder of a 12-year-old girl in 1988.
Gentry was condemned in 1991 for bludgeoning of Cassie Holden in Bremerton. The girl was visiting her mother from Pocatello, Idaho.
Gentry, who is black, argued that his trial was tainted by inappropriate, racial comments from the prosecutor and a witness. He sought to apply a decision the court made in an unrelated King County case in 2011 that was highly critical of race-based prosecutorial misconduct.
In that case, the court, in an 8-1 ruling, found that James Konat, a former King County deputy prosecutor, engaged in “prosecutorial misconduct” in questioning witnesses during the trial of Kevin L. Monday Jr., who was convicted in 2007 of first-degree murder and first-degree assault, and sentenced to 64 years in prison. The justices found Konat used ”racist arguments” to attack defense witnesses and threw out Monday’s murder conviction.