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    1. #1

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      Oct 2010

      Michael Craig Maxwell - Alabama Death Row

      Summary of Offense:

      Sentenced to death on August 3, 1998 in Colbert County for the 1997 shooting deaths of Harold Pugh and his 11-year-old son, Joey, as they were fishing at Cane Creek, west of Tuscumbia.

    2. #2
      Moh's Avatar
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      Oct 2010
      On July 29, 2010, Maxwell filed a habeas petition in Federal District Court.


    3. #3
      Heidi's Avatar
      Join Date
      Oct 2010
      Virginia Beach, Virginia


      Man Denied Parole In 1997 Crime

      Parole has been denied for a man convicted of a robbery linked to a murder in 1997. Donald Ray Risley, 36, was one of five men sent to prison for their involvement in the murders of Harold Pugh and his 11-year old son Joey. The two were killed at the end of a father-son fishing trip on Cane Creek nearly 15 years ago.

      Risley admitted to stealing Pugh's truck, which the group of men used the next day as a get-away vehicle following a bank robbery in Mississippi.

      Risley is now scheduled to serve until his sentence ends on August 9, 2012.


      Parole hearing set for Risley

      When Donald Ray Risley comes up for parole later this month in Montgomery, Iris Gist will be there, asking that he remain behind bars for killing her husband and stepson in 1997.

      Risley, 36, is one of five men convicted in connection with the June 20, 1997, robbery and murder of Harold Pugh and Joey Pugh, 11, after a fishing trip on Pickwick Lake. Risley pleaded guilty to the robbery of Harold Pugh’s truck and testified for the prosecution in the trials of two other defendants. His parole hearing is set for July 13.

      Thomas Dale Ferguson and Michael Craig Maxwell were convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death. Both remain on death row. Another defendant, Kino Graham, 37, pleaded guilty to two counts of felony murder and was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole. The fifth defendant, Mark David Moore, 48, pleaded guilty to one count of felony murder and was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole. Both remain in prison. Risley was sentenced to 15 years in prison and is scheduled to be released Aug. 9, 2012. He is being held at Bullock Correctional Facility in Union Springs.

      Gist, who remarried in June, said she will do all she can to see that Risley serves his entire sentence.

      “He was sentenced to 15 years; he needs to serve 15 years,” Gist said. “It’s just awful what they did to Harold and Joey.”

      Kyle Brown, chief assistant Colbert County district attorney, said prosecutors do not plan a formal protest of Risley’s bid for parole.

      “We have protested at his past parole hearings, but don’t plan to go down to Montgomery to protest this one,” Brown said. “He’s served almost all of his sentence. He’s just over a year from completing his sentence, plus he was a key witness in the trials for his co-defendants. His truthful testimony helped us secure the capital murder convictions,” Brown said. “He did not take part in the murders, just the robbery.”

      Colbert Sheriff Ronnie May said he plans to send a letter to the state Board of Pardons and Paroles asking that it deny an early release.

      “We typically send a letter of objection anytime somebody from up here comes up for parole,” May said. “He was a big help in getting the other convictions. He was the first one from the group who came forward and talked to us. He provided us with quite a bit of useful information. But he was sentenced to 15 years in prison. We would like to see him serve all 15 years.”

      Cynthia Dillard, executive director of the Pardons and Paroles Board, said letters from law enforcement officials, prosecutors, members of victims’ families and friends, and friends and family members of inmates are considered at parole hearings.

      Dillard said the short amount of time left on Risley’s sentence also will be considered at his hearing.

      If he is granted parole, Risley will be supervised by parole officers and must be employed, submit to random drug tests and comply with other conditions of his release. If Riley serves his entire sentence, there will be no supervision after his release from prison.

      “Our experience shows that someone is far less likely to return to prison if they are supervised for a period of time following their release,” Dillard said. “When they are released without any supervision or oversight, they often wind up getting into trouble again and returning to prison.”

      Letters opposing or supporting Risley’s parole can be sent to the Alabama Board of Pardons and Parole, 301 S. Ripley St., P.O Box 302405, Montgomery, AL 36130-2405.


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