Death-penalty decision delays trial

Posted: Sunday, June 01, 2008

ANCHORAGE - A federal judge said the question of whether to seek a federal death penalty against an Anchorage man charged with murder will delay his trial for at least a year.

Joshua Wade is accused of killing psychiatric nurse practitioner Mindy Schloss.

There is no death penalty in Alaska, but it is available in federal court, where Wade is charged.

The decision whether to seek execution in any specific case involves a long evaluation process, starting with a recommendation by U.S. Attorney for Alaska Nelson Cohen. Recommendations are evaluated by the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.

Wade lived next door to Schloss. Police said he stole the woman's car last August, shot her and used her ATM card to withdraw money. Her body was found weeks later in the Matanuska-Susitna area.

Charging documents say the killing "involved torture and serious physical abuse," thus making it a potential death penalty case.

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