Judge changes in Franklin murder case

The judge who originally sentenced a man to death for killing a Franklin College student won’t hear his latest appeal after she asked to be removed from the case.

The Indiana Supreme Court ordered a new hearing last year to decide whether Michael Dean Overstreet is mentally competent to be put to death. Overstreet was convicted of abducting, raping and killing Kelly Eckart in 1997.

Johnson Superior 2 Judge Cynthia Emkes heard the original murder trial and sentenced Overstreet to death after a jury found him guilty in 2000. She was supposed to preside over the new hearing, which is one of the last efforts by Overstreet’s attorneys to try to stop the execution.

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