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Utah judge denies petition for stay of execution from man set to die June 18 by firing squad

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Utah judge has denied a stay of execution for an inmate set to die by firing squad.

Attorneys for Ronnie Lee Gardner sought the stay May 4 after filing a petition for a vacated death sentence and a new sentencing.

Attorney Andrew Parnes said last week that state law required 3rd District Judge Robin Reese to issue a temporary stay when the petition was filed.

Reese dismissed the petition to vacate the sentence on Friday and issued a ruling Tuesday denying a stay. Reese says a stay would have been necessary only if there had been insufficient time to address the petition before Gardner's scheduled June 18 execution.

Gardner was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death in 1985 for the fatal courthouse shooting of an attorney.