Steven Victor Wertz, sentenced to death in 2007 was back in court this week in Sharp County claiming he had ineffective legal counsel during his trial.


Wertz was convicted of the 1986 shotgun slayings of an Ash Flat couple. This is Wertz’s third attempt at a new trial. During the course of the hearing, public defenders claimed that Wertz had not been properly represented and that the case could have ended with less than the death penalty.


Wertz was sentenced to die by lethal injection in 2007 after a 9 day trial ended. After 40 minutes of deliberation, Wertz was convicted of two counts of Capital Murder.


The victims were found in their home in the early morning hours of December 31st 1986 by Kathy Watts mother. The couples infant 11 month old was found sleeping beside his dead fathers body.


Wertz was once a decorated Vietnam Veteran, Oklahoma Police Officer and employee of the National Guard, he was also married to the victim, Terry Watt’s former wife, Belinda. A custody battle over the former couple’s child had just been settled before the killings.