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    State high court declines to delay Tuesday execution

    By Times staff writer

    © St. Petersburg Times, published August 19, 2000

    The Florida Supreme Court tossed out requests by death row lawyers Friday to postpone the execution of Dan Patrick Hauser, which remains scheduled for Tuesday evening.

    Capital Collateral Counsel for the northern region of Florida filed three pleadings on Hauser's behalf, including a 103-page filing Friday that questioned among other things whether Hauser knew what he was doing when he pleaded no contest to the charge of first-degree murder.

    Since being sentenced to death for strangling 21-year-old Melanie Rodrigues on New Year's Day 1995 in Fort Walton Beach, Hauser, 30, has fired all his attorneys, waived his appeals and specifically asked that CCC not be allowed to plead on his behalf.

    CCC lawyer Gregory C. Smith argued in court filings this week that Hauser is bipolar manic-depressive and suicidal -- something not disclosed to the court -- and therefore not mentally competent to fire his attorneys.

    Hauser's biological mother joined Smith in the filings. Adoptive parents raised Hauser.

    The court ruled 4-3 in favor of state Attorney General Bob Butterworth and Hauser himself, who each filed motions arguing that CCC and Hauser's mother had no legal right to represent Hauser and that the court should disregard the motions.

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