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Court again denies Ojo’s bid to appeal double-murder conviction

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A state appellate court has again denied a former Watertown man’s bid to appeal his double-murder conviction.

In a decision released Friday, the state Appellate Division, Fourth Department, denied Edundabira O. Ojo’s motion for writ of error coram nobis in which he claims mistakes were made at his February 2006 Jefferson County Court trial that resulted in his conviction on two counts of second-degree murder.

Ojo, 38, is serving a life sentence without possibility of parole at Attica Correctional Facility for stabbing to death sisters Kelly M. Exford, 22, and Shannon M. St. Croix, 24, at an apartment at 735 Cooper St. on April 1, 2005.

The appellate court did not elaborate on its reasons for denying Ojo’s latest petition, although the granting of such petitions is considered rare. Ojo previously had filed a motion claiming, among other things, that his appellate attorney failed to raise several alleged errors made by County Court in his case, exhibiting professional standards that fell below acceptable levels. The Appellate Division had affirmed the County Court judgment and sentence in a 2007 ruling, but Ojo filed a motion related to his appellate attorney’s actions, with the appellate court rejecting the motion, without further elaboration, in October.

Ojo still has a motion for a writ of habeas corpus pending in U.S. District Court, Syracuse, in which he is challenging whether he is being legally incarcerated. That motion contains allegations similar to those made to the appellate court.

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