Plea Set For Mississippi Man In Rape, Killing Of Nuns

Posted at 7:48 AM, Jun 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-21 07:48:11-04

LEXINGTON, Miss. (AP) – A Mississippi man is scheduled to plead guilty Thursday to the 2016 killing of two Roman Catholic nuns.

Rodney Earl Sanders is scheduled to enter pleas in an agreement that a prosecutor says averts the possibility of the death penalty.

District Attorney Akillie Malone-Oliver has said the plea deal calls for Sanders to be sentenced to life without parole.

Sanders is accused of raping and stabbing to death Sisters Margaret Held and Paula Merrill. The two nurse practitioners were found at home after failing to show up for work at a clinic in one of the poorest areas of the U.S.

The two sisters’ religious orders, based in Nazareth, Kentucky, and Milwaukee, have opposed the death penalty for Sanders because it contradicts Catholic teaching.

A public defender declined comment Wednesday.