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Execution week set for Nathan Dunlap

6:30 PM, May 1, 2013   |    comments
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DENVER - A Colorado judge has set an execution week for Nathan Dunlap, the man convicted of killing four people at a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant in 1993.

Dunlap could be executed during the week of August 18-24, 2013.

But the judge also set a hearing June 10 to hear arguments from Dunlap's attorneys, who are challenging the constitutionality of the death penalty.

Dunlap's attorneys say making inmates wait on death row for decades facing possible execution is cruel and unusual punishment.

"We will not stop trying to save Mr. Dunlap's life now or next week, or the week after," Dunlap's defense attorney Phil Cherner said. "We represent a very remorseful client, and it's a tragedy that this is moving forward."

Some victims' families say they're glad the case is moving forward.

"We've been waiting for that," said Bob Crowell, whose 19-year-old daughter Sylvia was killed in the restaurant.

But after spending 20 years in court, they're not certain what will happen next.

"We'll just have to see what happens," Crowell's wife Marj Crowell said, "We've had so many hearings and delays. But it's nice to have a date to at least work with."

Dunlap was convicted in 1996 of killing four employees of a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant in Aurora.

He could avoid execution if Gov. John Hickenlooper grants him clemency. Hickenlooper plans private meetings in coming days with victims' families and others regarding Dunlap.

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation with The Associated Press)

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