Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Delaware killer facing execution seeks clemency

DOVER, Del. — A convicted killer who faces execution in Delaware later this month has filed a petition for clemency with the state Board of Pardons.

Robert Gattis is scheduled to be executed Jan. 20 for the 1990 shooting death of his former girlfriend, Shirley Slay.

Lawyers for Robert Gattis filed a petition Tuesday seeking a clemency hearing by the Board of Pardons. Defense attorneys said the board will meet Jan. 9 to hear the clemency request.

Defense attorneys are asking that the board recommend that Gov. Jack Markell commute Gattis’ death sentence to life in prison without parole.

Attorneys for Gattis say commutation is appropriate because the courts have never properly considered the physical and sexual abuse Gattis suffered as a child as factors weighing against the death penalty.