A St. Louis man who had been sentenced to death for killing his 81-year-old grandmother gets a new lease on life as a St. Louis Circuit Court judge reduces the sentence to life behind bars. Charles Armentrout the Third represented himself at his 1998 trial and later complained about the help he received from his court-appointed lawyer. Armentrout had struck the woman with a souvenir baseball bat because she refused to give him money to buy drugs. Armentrout had tried several appeals over the years. A lawyer handling the case for the St. Louis Circuit Attorney says there was concern that the federal courts might order a new trial on the grounds that no defendant should be allowed to represent himself in a capital case. So, a deal for a life sentence was reached with Armentrout.
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