Mother Of Victim Speaks Out About Christa Pike's Appeal - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Mother Of Victim Speaks Out About Christa Pike's Appeal

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By Janet Kim

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - She's the only woman on death row in Tennessee's prison system, but Christa Pike is asking a federal judge to prevent her execution. 

May Martinez's daugther, Colleen Slemmer, was brutally murdered by Pike, and she fears if Pike gets her way, other people's lives will be in danger. 

"My main thing is to keep her behind bars so she can't hurt anybody else," said Martinez. 

Pike's lawyer filed a petition claiming his client's constitutional rights were violated at the 1996 trial where she was convicted of torturing and killing Slemmer. Both Pike and Slemmer were students at a now-closed Job Corps training center in Knoxville. The murder is believed to be because of a love triangle involving another student, Tadaryl Shipp, who is serving a life prison sentence.

Pike's petition described her as a "mentally ill, cognitively impaired, immature adolescent" at the time,  but Martinez doesn't buy it and wants to see her daughter get the justice she deserves. 

"I am still fighting to keep her there," said Martinez. "I am still fighting to get Colleen buried again, and I want to make sure she gets her punishment for doing this because she will hurt another human being if she gets out again."


(The Associated Press Contributed To This Report.)

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