Daniel Lewis Lee who killed three members of a family says 'junk science' gave him 'psychopath' tag

Daniel Lee along with Chevie Kehoe, who wanted a whites-only country, killed the family and dumped them in Illinois Bayou in 1999. 

                            Daniel Lewis Lee who killed three members of a family says 'junk science' gave him 'psychopath' tag
(Getty Images)

A man who murdered an entire Arkansas family in 1999 and is currently on death row has now filed for relief from the sentence. Daniel Lewis Lee, 46, from Oklahoma, had been convicted of slaying a Pope County family, which included an eight-year-old girl, along with Chevie Kehoe. The two were said to be white supremacists who had wanted to steal guns and money from the family, with ambitions to start a whites-only country in the Pacific Northwest. 

The two were convicted of a number of charges, including the murders of Bill Mueller, 53; Nancy Mueller, 28; and Sarah Powell, 8. Prosecutors from the U.S. Department of Justice had said that Lee along with Kehoe had first shot the three with a stun gun, covered their heads with plastic bags, and sealed them with duct tape. He then threw the weighted bodies into the Illinois Bayou. While Lee was given the death penalty, Kehoe was given a life sentence. Prosecutors believed that Kehoe had been the leader of the group and Lee was not the ring leader. A psychological evaluation said Lee was a psychopath and a danger to others. 

His lawyer Morris Moon said in a statement to MEAWW that Lee's sentence was unconstitutional. The attorneys filed a habeas petition on September 26 and asked the court in Indiana – which does have the power to consider these claims – to overturn Lee’s unconstitutional death sentence and prevent him from being executed on December 9, Moon said. Moon said the "dangerous psychopath" tag was a result of "junk science."

 “The government obtained a death sentence against Danny Lee using junk science. It promoted the fiction that Mr. Lee was a ‘dangerous psychopath’ based on a forensic instrument that even the government’s own trial expert now admits lacks any scientific validity," he said in a statement. He further added that the jury had also been misled. 

“That junk science was not the only false evidence the government used to secure a death sentence. It also misled the jury into believing that Mr. Lee had committed a prior murder as a juvenile," he said. "The government’s presentation about Mr. Lee’s ‘history of violence’ was not only highly inflammatory, it was also categorically false. Court records demonstrate that a state judge had actually dismissed the inflated murder charge against Mr. Lee after looking at the evidence," he said.

Pointing out the fact that Kehoe was slapped with a life sentence without parole, he said that it was also "important to remember that Mr. Lee’s more-culpable co-defendant, Chevie Kehoe, does not face execution." 

Lee's execution is back on after Attorney General William Barr's July announcement to resume the federal death penalty. Murderers Lezmond Mitchell, Wesley Ira Purkey, Alfred Bourgeois and Dustin Lee Honken are others currently scheduled to be executed. 

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