Federal prosecutors are expected to ask Judge Mark Wolf at a status hearing today to set a date for a new sentencing trial for Gary Lee Sampson, a drifter who grew up in Abington, and had pleaded guilty to federal charges for killing two men in Massachusetts and was sentenced to death.
Sampson also pleaded guilty to separate state charges for killing a man in New Hampshire during the same crime spree in 2001.
Judge Mark Wolf had thrown out Sampson’s death penalty sentence in 2011 in a ruling that was upheld by the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
But, now prosecutors say they will seek the death penalty a second time during a resentencing trial.
Sampson pleaded guilty to carjacking and killing 19 year-old college student Jonathan Rizzo of Kingston and 69 year-old Philip McCloskey of Taunton.
Sampson had told police that he forced both men to drive to secluded areas, saying he only wanted their cars, but then stabbed them repeatedly and then slit their throats. Sampson then headed to New Hampshire, where he broke into a house and strangled Robert Whitney, a former city councilor from Concord, New Hampshire.