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News Scan

CA Man Faces Possible Death Sentence:  A California man who has already served decades in prison for murder is facing a possible death sentence for another murder he committed 37 years ago.  Debbie L. Sklar of My News LA reports that Darrel Mark Gurule, 57, was found guilty last Wednesday for the rape and murder of Barbara Ballman, 23, who was shot in the abdomen and found naked inside her car in September 1979.  Gurule wasn't charged with Ballman's death until 2010 when his DNA was connected to evidence found on her body.  He has been serving a life sentence since 1987 for kidnapping and murdering a man in what detectives believe was a drug deal gone wrong.  Prosecutors also say he is responsible for the kidnapping and sexual assault of a woman in 1977, the assault of two brothers in 1979 and the robbery of a man in 1982.  Jurors began on Monday hearing evidence that will factor in to whether they will sentence Gurule to life in prison without parole or the death penalty.

AL Death Row Inmate Files Appeal:  An Alabama inmate just a few months away from his scheduled execution filed an appeal over the weekend asking an appellate court to review his claim that the state's lethal injection procedure is inhumane.  Kim Chandler of the AP reports that Thomas Arthur, 74, who was scheduled to be executed on Nov. 3 for the 1982 murder-for-hire of a businessman, filed the appeal with the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals arguing that his legal challenge was prematurely dismissed in July by a federal judge who misapplied a requirement for inmates to name an alternate execution method.  Arthur is arguing against the use of the sedative midazolam hydrochloride in his execution, citing the drug's unreliability and his health issues.  It as been over two years since Alabama regularly carried out executions.  The last person put to death in the state was Christopher Eugene Brooks in January for raping and fatally beating a woman in 1993.

CA Parolee Arrested for Murder:
  A California parolee was arrested and booked on suspicion of murder early Sunday morning for killing a man over the weekend.  Lyndsay Winkley of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that Richard Gunner, 23, is accused of killing Brandon Deguzman, 21, in front of the victim's El Cajon home on Saturday morning.  Deguzman was discovered with at least one fatal gunshot wound on the sidewalk.  Gunner was arrested the next day, initially on a parole violation and then later for murder, once police obtained sufficient evidence.  Gunner's father says his son has spent time in prison for carjacking and has a serious drug problem.

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