Tennessee Death Row inmate says he wasn't a killer

Aug 5, 2019

Stephen Michael West
Credit TCOC

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee inmate set to be executed this month has asked Gov. Bill Lee to spare his life, saying his accomplice was the one who fatally stabbed a mother and her daughter in 1986.

In a clemency plea, attorneys for Stephen West say his then 17-year-old accomplice, Ronnie Martin, actually killed both victims. West was 23 at the time. Their cases were separated, and while West was sentenced to death, Martin pleaded guilty and received a life sentence with the possibility of parole in 2030 as a juvenile.

West was found guilty of the kidnapping and stabbing deaths of 51-year-old Wanda Romines and her 15-year-old daughter, Sheila Romines, and of raping the teen.

He's scheduled to receive a lethal injection Aug. 15 at a Nashville prison.