Huntsville Prosecutors Rule out Death Penalty in Starvation Case

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) - Huntsville prosecutors told a judge they will not seek the death penalty against Natashay Ward, who faces trial in the starvation deaths of her three children in 2005.

Ward's attorneys will ask a jury on February 12th to determine
if the Huntsville woman is mentally competent to stand trial. A grand jury indicted Ward last February in the deaths of 8-year-old Christopher O- Ward; 9-year-old Latrica L- Ward; and 11-year-old Shanieka Y- Ward.

Their bodies were discovered February Fourth of 2005, in Ward's southwest Huntsville apartment.

Ward pleaded not guilty to the charges in April because of mental disease or defect.

Madison County Circuit Judge Loyd Little asked the prosecutors to notify the court by Friday if they would seek the death penalty.

Prosecutors could not be reached for comment on why they ruled out capital punishment.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)