Tenn.’s only female death row inmate appeals

8:19 am | February 13, 2013

KNOXVILLE — The only woman on death row in Tennessee’s prison system is asking a Knoxville federal judge to throw out her murder conviction.

According to the Knoxville News Sentinel, Christa Gail Pike’s lawyer filed a petition claiming his client’s constitutional rights were violated at the 1996 trial where she was convicted of killing Colleen Slemmer.

Both Pike and Slemmer were students at a now-closed Job Corps training center in Knoxville. Investigators said the crime sprang from a love triangle involving another student, Tadaryl Shipp, who is serving a life prison sentence.

Pike’s petition described her as a “mentally ill, cognitively impaired, immature adolescent” at the time of the 1995 slaying.

Slemmer was tortured and then fatally struck on the head with a chunk of asphalt.

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