Death Wish

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A judge in Panama City refused to grant a killer's death wish Monday and sentenced him instead to life in prison without parole. The prosecutor and the victim's family did not want to see David Nolan get the death penalty.

He pleaded no contest last week to the fatal beating of 29-year-old Michael Sessions with a hammer during a robbery at a motel.

The last inmate executed in Florida, John Blackwelder, said he killed another prison inmate just so he could be convicted of first-degree murder and put to death. Blackwelder had been sentenced to life for a series of sex convictions before the murder. He was lethally injected May 26.

Prosecutors initially filed a notice that they would seek a death sentence but withdrew it last week at the request of the victim's mother.

The prosecutor said the mother prefers that Nolan have the rest of his life to think about what he had done.