Mr. Kefelegn Alemu Worku, a prison guard during the Derg regime, could be deported to Ethiopia, where he was sentenced in November 2000 to death for torturing 101 people to death in the Higher 15 prison in the late 1970s.

By Kirk Mitchell (The Denver Post) |

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver has dismissed an appeal by a 62-year-old man who claims his false identification as an Ethiopian prison guard who killed and tortured dozens of people led to an unfair sentencing on an unrelated U.S. immigration fraud count.

In a series of appeals and motions, the court dismissed his first appeal after finding that Kefelegn Alemu Worku, 62, failed to prove his case, rejected Kefelegn’s motion to reconsider, and on Friday denied his second appeal on the grounds of ineffective assistance of counsel.

The appeal court ruling said Senior Judge John Kane of the U.S. District Court in Denver was not in error when he allowed prosecutors to mention his prison atrocities.

“The trial judge’s knowledge of defendant’s Ethiopian murder conviction was not extrajudicial, but was based on the prosecution’s introduction of this evidence at sentencing to support its argument that a lengthy sentence was warranted,” the appeals court said.

A former member of the Marxist Derg junta, Kefelegn could be deported to Ethiopia, where he was sentenced in November 2000 to death for torturing 101 people to death in the Higher 15 prison in the late 1970s.

Continue reading this story at The Denver Post
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