Boston: Death penalty sought again for Gary Lee Sampson

Federal prosecutors will again seek the death penalty against a man who admitted killing three people in Massachusetts and New Hampshire during a weeklong crime spree.

Gary Lee Sampson was sentenced to death by a federal jury in Boston after he pleaded guilty in the 2001 slayings of 19-year-old Jonathan Rizzo and 69-year-old Philip McCloskey. The two Massachusetts men picked up the drifter from eastern Massachusetts while he was hitchhiking.

A federal judge threw out the sentence in 2011 and that ruling was later upheld by a federal appeals court.

U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz says prosecutors will again seek the death penalty through a new penalty phase instead of allowing Sampson to serve a life sentence.

Sampson pleaded guilty to state charges in the New Hampshire death of Robert Whitney.

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