Tennessee's only female death row inmate files appeal

Tennessee's only female death row inmate files appeal

Posted:
Christa Pike (source: Tennessee Department of Correction) Christa Pike (source: Tennessee Department of Correction)

NASHVILLE (WATE) - Tennessee's only female death row inmate has now filed a federal appeal hoping to avoid the death penalty in her case.

Christa Gail Pike was convicted in the 1995 death of Colleen Slemmer, 19, on the University of Tennessee campus.

Prosecutors say Pike tortured Slemmer, beat her to death, and then kept a piece of her skull as a trophy.

The petition was filed by Pike's attorney in October and claims several reasons her conviction and sentence should be overturned.

Those reasons include the state's death penalty procedures being inhumane, Pike's claim that she was mentally ill when the crime was committed and possible violation of rights during her 1996 trial.

The Tennessee Attorney General's office issued a response asking the petition be dismissed.

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