Tennessee woman facing death penalty asks for life in prison

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The only woman on death row in Tennessee is fighting to have her sentenced changed to life in prison.

Attorneys for Christa Gail Pike have asked the Tennessee Supreme Court to send Governor Bill Lee a recommendation for a life sentence. They said Pike was 18-years-old when she stabbed Colleen Slemmer to death at the University of Tennessee Agriculture campus in Knoxville.

She was convicted a year later becoming the youngest person on death row in the country.

Years later, Pike was convicted of trying to kill another inmate by choking that individual with a shoe string.

Pike’s legal team has argued that she suffers from mental illness after surviving abuse neglect and rape as a child.

If executed Pike would become the first Tennessee woman to face the death penalty in over 200 years.  

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