Federal appeal denied for Tennessee’s only woman on death row

Christa Pike was convicted and sentenced to death in the 1995 death of Colleen Slemmer.

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – After more than two decades on death row, a federal court has denied to overturn Christa Pike’s conviction and death penalty sentence.

Christa Pike (source: TDOC)
Christa Pike (source: TDOC)

A federal court ruled that Pike doesn’t have grounds for a federal appeal and that she has exhausted Tennessee state appeals.  Pike was convicted in the 1995 death of Colleen Slemmer, 19. Prosecutors say Pike tortured Slemmer, beat her to death and then kept a piece of her skull as a trophy.

Pike appealed her conviction and death penalty sentence in 2012. Slemmer’s mother has been fighting to get back the rest of her remains, which are being held as evidence, for a proper burial.

Previous story: Mother seeking part of daughter’s remains 20 years after gruesome Knoxville murder

A spokesperson for the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office says Pike has completed all appeals at the state level.

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