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Corbett signs death warrant in toddler rape-murder

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By The Associated Press
Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, 10:48 a.m.
 

EBENSBURG — Gov. Tom Corbett has signed a death warrant ordering a western Pennsylvania man be executed for the rape and murder of a 2-year-old girl in 1988.

Fifty-five-year-old Stephen Rex Edmiston has maintained his innocence since he was convicted in 1989 in the abduction of Bobbi Jo Matthew from her Clearfield County home.

Edmiston, of Huntingdon County, alleged told police, “You'll find a dead, raped little girl” after drawing a map that marked the spot in northern Cambria County where her remains were found.

Attorneys with the Defender Association of Philadelphia contend the girl was actually run over, not raped and murdered.

The death warrant sets the execution for April 16, though that's likely to be delayed by more appeals.

Gary Heidnik became the last person executed in Pennsylvania in 1999, after he voluntarily ended his appeals.

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