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Va. Supreme Court rejects Startz’s appeal

A decision by the Virginia Supreme Court has exhausted Rodney Gene Startz’s ability to appeal his first-degree murder conviction in the 2006 death of his estranged girlfriend.
Startz filed the appeal after the Virginia Court of Appeals ruled in February that Pulaski Circuit Court Judge Robert Turk did not abuse the discretion of the court in denying Startz to withdraw his guilty plea.
Startz also challenged the judge’s decision to allow two women to provide a victim impact statement during Startz’s sentencing hearing.
The appeals court found “the ends of justice would not be served in permitting (Startz) to withdraw his guilty pleas.”
Now, the Virginia Supreme Court also has rejected Startz’s appeal.
“The conviction is now final, and (Startz) no longer has any direct appeal of this conviction,” Pulaski County Commonwealth’s Attorney Mike Fleenor said.
Startz was convicted of the murder of Donna Jean Angelo inside the Wal-Mart at Fairlawn. He received a 75-year prison sentence.
Startz claimed he learned after pleading guilty that the psychiatric medication Lexapro he was taking prior to the offense caused him to commit the murder.
Judge Turk disagreed, calling Startz’s actions a “cold, calculated, premeditated act.”
Turk cited police testimony that Startz commented following the shooting that “a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.”

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Va. Supreme Court rejects Startz’s appeal

A decision by the Virginia Supreme Court has exhausted Rodney Gene Startz’s ability to appeal his first-degree murder conviction in the 2006 death of his estranged girlfriend.
Startz filed the appeal after the Virginia Court of Appeals ruled in February that Pulaski Circuit Court Judge Robert Turk did not abuse the discretion of the court in denying Startz to withdraw his guilty plea.
Startz also challenged the judge’s decision to allow two women to provide a victim impact statement during Startz’s sentencing hearing.
The appeals court found “the ends of justice would not be served in permitting (Startz) to withdraw his guilty pleas.”
Now, the Virginia Supreme Court also has rejected Startz’s appeal.
“The conviction is now final, and (Startz) no longer has any direct appeal of this conviction,” Pulaski County Commonwealth’s Attorney Mike Fleenor said.
Startz was convicted of the murder of Donna Jean Angelo inside the Wal-Mart at Fairlawn. He received a 75-year prison sentence.
Startz claimed he learned after pleading guilty that the psychiatric medication Lexapro he was taking prior to the offense caused him to commit the murder.
Judge Turk disagreed, calling Startz’s actions a “cold, calculated, premeditated act.”
Turk cited police testimony that Startz commented following the shooting that “a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.”

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