RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Some former students of a slain Longwood University professor are asking prosecutors not to seek the death penalty against the man accused of killing her and her family.
Debra Kelley, her 16-year-old daughter Emma Niederbrock, Emma's father Mark, and Emma's 18-year-old friend Melanie Wells of Inwood, W.Va., were found bludgeoned to death in Kelley's Farmville home in September.
Emma's boyfriend, 21-year-old Richard "Sam" McCroskey III of Castro Valley, Calif., has been charged in connection with the deaths.
Two of Kelley's former students, Jessica and Scott Hintz, started an online petition asking prosecutors to seek a life sentence for McCroskey.
They say Kelley was opposed to capital punishment and a death penalty in the case would dishonor her memory.