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INMATE CAN’T CHANGE PLEA IN BOMBING DEATH OF BOY

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A man sentenced to life in prison for the bombing death of 9-year-old Adam Cook has lost his bid to withdraw his guilty plea.

In an eight-page decision issued Tuesday, 3rd District Judge Michael Murphy ruled that Steven Douglas Thurman entered a guilty plea with "clear thinking and good judgment, being free of pressure from any source or person."Thurman had argued that he entered the plea on May 3, 1993 involuntarily and that his lawyers were ineffective. He also said he did not understand what the state would have to prove if he persisted in pleading not guilty.

Murphy said the claim that the plea was involuntary was "disturbing" because "it is suggestive of callous manipulation." However, he said Thurman's statements in court belie his later claims. According to Thurman, he had asked his lawyers for a night to think about the proposed guilty plea, which spared him the possibility of the death penalty, but that he was not given ample time to think it through.

Police say Adam Cook died in a pipe-bomb explosion meant for his father, who was having an affair with Thurman's ex-wife at the time.