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Pennsylvania death row inmate asks federal judge for stay of execution

Brian Bowling
| Monday, Sept. 15, 2014, 7:12 p.m.

A Blair County man to be executed for three first-degree murder convictions asked a federal judge on Monday to stay his execution by Pennsylvania while he appeals his sentences.

Miguel Padilla, 34, of Gallitzin plans a federal challenge of the constitutionality of his convictions and sentence, said the brief filed by Marshall Dayan, an assistant federal public defender who specializes in death penalty appeals.

He's also asking for the court to appoint an attorney to handle his final appeal and waive his filing fees.

Gov. Tom Corbett on Monday signed the death certificate for Padilla.

Padilla's state appeals ran out in June when the Supreme Court refused to hear his challenge of lower court decisions upholding his convictions.

A Blair County jury in 2006 convicted the construction worker of killing three people at an Altoona social club after his friend was denied admittance. Padilla fatally shot Alfred Mignogna, 61, owner of the United Veterans Association Club; Fredrick Rickabaugh Sr., 59, the club doorman; and Stephen M. Heiss, 28, a club patron.

The Mexican government tried to intervene in the state appeals because Padilla had been in the United States illegally since he was about 9 years old. The state Supreme Court in 2008 denied Mexico's petition.

Brian Bowling is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Contact him at 412-325-4301 or bbowling@tribweb.com.

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