Governor commutes sentence of Virginia death row inmate Ivan Teleguz

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RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe called a 3:30 p.m. press conference to make a public statement “regarding his review of Ivan Teleguz’s petitions for a pardon and for commutation of his death sentence.”

He announced that he would commute the inmate’s death row sentence and Teleguz would spend the rest of his life in prison, with no chance for parole.

The governor maintained that Teleguz is guilty, but called his sentencing unjust.

Teleguz, 38, was convicted in a 2001 murder-for-hire plot involving an ex-girlfriend in Harrisonburg.

His attorneys have argued for years that Teleguz in an innocent man.

“Two witnesses critical to the prosecution’s case have now admitted in sworn, written statements they lied at the trial,” Peiffer Elizabeth, with the Virginia Capital Representation Resource Center, said earlier this month. “They have no reason to believe that Mr. Teleguz was involved in this crime.”

Prosecutors argued Teleguz ordered his ex-girlfriend murdered so he could avoid paying child support.

Stephanie Sipe was 20-year-old when she was killed in her Harrisonburg apartment in July 2001. Her son was found unharmed.

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