Indiana court upholds man's murder conviction

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The Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld the murder conviction of a former prison guard serving a 64-year prison sentence in his estranged wife's slaying.

The appeals panel on Wednesday rejected 38-year-old Benjamin Hankins' contention that the jurors who convicted him in April 2012 should not have heard testimony from a social worker who recounted remarks made by his 4-year-old daughter.

That social worker had testified that the girl said she heard Hankins tell her mother to "lay down and die" when 32-year-old Lisa Hankins was fatally shot in June 2011 after bringing the couple's children to Hankins' central Indiana home to catch a school bus

The Star Press reports the court's ruling notes the Gaston man's indifference toward his estranged wife's "suffering and imminent death."

Information from: The Star Press

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