Court upholds conviction in Birmingham triple slaying

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – An Alabama appeals court has upheld the capital murder case of a Birmingham man convicted of killing three relatives.

The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals ruled Friday on a challenge filed by 24-year-old Dontae Callen.

Callen was convicted of killing his 59-year-old aunt, Bernice Kelly, and two cousins, 33-year-old Quortes Kelly and 12-year-old Aaliyah Budgess. The three were found with stab wounds in a burning house in 2010.

The judges rejected Callen’s appeal, which included claims he should have been tried as a youthful offender. Callen was 18 at the time of the slayings.

The court didn’t overturn Callen’s conviction or death sentence. But they say a judge needs to rewrite a sentencing order to explain the reasons for the death sentence.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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