Friday November 15th, 2019 6:06AM

Mother of convicted airman pleads for mercy

By The Associated Press
<p>The mother of a convicted airman pleaded Monday for mercy for her son, who was found guilty of murder in the July 2004 stabbing deaths of a fellow airman and his wife.</p><p>Andrew Witt, 23, faces the death penalty in the sentencing phase of the court-martial.</p><p>"We are asking for mercy because I know underneath ... I know that there's more that this kid can offer than what happened," Melanie Pehling, Witt's mother, told the military jury.</p><p>A panel of 12 Air Force officers last week unanimously found Witt guilty of killing Senior Airman Andrew Schliepsiek and his wife, Jamie, in their duplex at Robins Air Force Base. Witt also was found guilty of wounding Staff Sgt. Jason King.</p><p>Prosecutors said Witt killed the couple after they threatened to report that he had made a pass at Jamie Schliepsiek and had an affair with an officer's wife.</p><p>Witt's lawyers did not dispute that he stabbed the couple but contended that the killings were not planned. Prosecutors said Witt changed into a camouflage uniform, armed himself with a combat knife and spied on his victims before stabbing all three.</p><p>Pehling, of West Salem, Wisc., said she could tell in a phone call from Witt that he had been drinking. Otherwise, she said, her son seemed to be making good choices in his life.</p><p>___</p><p>HASH(0x1cd9f64)</p>
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