Death penalty off the table for man charged with killing 4

PETERSBURG, Va. (AP) – Prosecutors are no longer pursuing the death penalty for a man accused of killing four members of a Virginia family.

The Richmond Times Dispatch reports a prosecutor declined to say why Alexander R. Hill Jr. won’t face a possible death sentence as his trial got under way Wednesday in Petersburg.

Hill is charged with killing four generations of the same family in their Petersburg home in 2014. Two of the victims were stabbed to death and the other two died in a fire authorities say Hill set.

Hill had dated a woman who lived at the home but wasn’t there at the time of the slayings.

Attorneys worked on jury selection Wednesday, beginning to winnow the pool of about 400 Petersburg residents who were summoned to the courthouse.

Information from: Richmond Times-Dispatch, http://www.richmond.com

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