KILLER RECEIVES APRIL EXECUTION DATE

Published: Wednesday, March 7 1990 12:00 a.m. MST

An April 30 execution date has been set for a Nevada prison parolee who stabbed a motorist to death and stole his car after the man picked him up hitchhiking.

Joseph Mitchell Parsons, 25, of Reno, said nothing when the execution date was scheduled Monday by 5th District Judge J. Philip Eves, who rejected claims by a defense attorney that Parsons' right to legal counsel had been denied while he was incarcerated at Utah State Prison.Parsons pleaded guilty in September 1987 to one count of theft of an operable motor vehicle, aggravated robbery and first-degree murder in the death of Richard L. Ernest, 30.

Parsons was arrested driving Ernest's car near Price on Aug. 31, 1987, less than two weeks after he was paroled to a Reno halfway house.

The inmate had appealed his conviction to the Utah Supreme Court, arguing that the state's capital homicide statute was unconstitutional and that several errors were made by the lower court during the sentencing phase.

The Supreme Court rejected the arguments and affirmed the conviction.

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