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Thread: Robert Bryant Melson - Alabama Execution - June 8, 2017

  1. #1
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    Robert Bryant Melson - Alabama Execution - June 8, 2017


    Tamika Collins, 18




    Summary of Offense:

    Sentenced to death for the his participation in the 1994 murder of three employees of a fast-food restaurant were herded into a walk-in cooler and shot to death. A fourth worker, wounded and left for dead, crawled to a phone and called police.

    The state's evidence showed the following. At approximately 12:00 a.m. on April 16, 1994, four employees of Popeye's restaurant in Gadsden were closing the restaurant. The restaurant had closed to the public at 11:00 p.m. One of the employees, 17-year-old Bryant Archer, testified that he was helping his coworker, 17-year-old James Nathaniel Baker, take out the trash. Archer testified that the back door to the restaurant was locked, and that another coworker, 23-year-old Darryl Collier, unlocked the door for them. When they opened the door, a black male and a Hispanic male entered and ordered Archer, Baker, Collier, and 18-year-old Tamika Collins, another employee at the restaurant, into the restaurant's office. The two men ordered the employees, at gunpoint, to remove the money from the restaurant's safe. They complied, and were then ordered by the black male to get inside the restaurant's freezer. Shortly after they were locked inside the freezer, the black male opened the freezer door and began shooting. Baker, Collier, and Collins all suffered close-range gunshot wounds to the head, and were dead when paramedics arrived at the scene. Although Archer suffered four gunshot wounds, he survived and was able to crawl from the freezer to the restaurant's office and telephone 911 for help.

    Accomplice Cuhuatemoc "Half Pint" Peraita, was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole. Peraita is now on death row for killing an inmate at Holman Prison in Atmore. For more on Peraita, see: http://www.cncpunishment.com/forums/...hlight=peraita

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    Ocotber 8, 2008

    State seeks execution date in 3 Popeye's killings

    MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- The Attorney General's office has asked the Alabama Supreme Court to set an execution date for a man convicted of killing three people at a Gadsden Popeye's Restaurant in 1994.

    Assistant Attorney General Clay Crenshaw said Thursday that 38-year-old Robert Bryant Melson has exhausted his available appeals.

    Melson was convicted in the shooting deaths of three workers at the Popeye's during a late night robbery. According to trial testimony, the workers were rounded up by two gunmen and taken into a freezer where they were shot.

    Another man, Cuhuatemoc "Half Pint" Peraita, was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole. Peraita is now on death row for killing an inmate at Holman Prison in Atmore.

    http://blog.al.com/live/2009/10/stat...n_date_in.html

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    January 11, 2010

    Execution date for man convicted of killing three in 1994

    The Alabama Supreme Court today scheduled the execution of a man convicted of killing three people during an April 1994 robbery in Gadsden.

    Robert Bryant Melson, 38, will be executed Feb. 18, said Supreme Court staff attorney Alex Jackson. Melson has been a Death Row inmate since May 1996.

    Melson and another man, Cuhuatemoc Peraita, 33, were convicted of fatally shooting Tamika Collins, 18, Nathaniel Baker, 17, and Darrell Collier, 23, during a robbery at a Popeye's Chicken & Biscuits restaurant in Gadsden.

    The lone survivor, Bryant Archer, was shot four times. Archer identified Melson as the one who fired the shots. Prosecutors said Peraita planned the crime.

    Peraita was sentenced to life in prison but joined Melson on Death Row in 2001 after he was convicted of taking part in the 1999 stabbing death of fellow Holman Prison inmate Quincy Lewis.

    In 2009, the Alabama Attorney General's Office asked the Supreme Court to schedule the executions of Melson and two other Death Row inmates -- Thomas Whisenhant and Thomas Arthur.
    The attorney general's office sought the execution date because Melson had exhausted his appeals, according to an Associated Press report.

    Melson's execution is the first scheduled for 2010. In 2009, Alabama executed six Death Row inmates.

    http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2010/01/...n_convict.html

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    January 27, 2010

    Execution delayed of man convicted in mass slaying in Gadsden

    A man convicted in the 1994 slayings at a fast food restaurant in Gadsden has had his execution delayed, The Gadsden Times reports. The Alabama Supreme Court issued the stay Tuesday for the execution for Robert Bryant Melson, the newspaper reports. The execution had been set for Feb. 18.

    Melson and another man, Cuhuatemoc Peraita, 33, were convicted of fatally shooting Tamika Collins, 18, Nathaniel Baker, 17, and Darrell Collier, 23, during a robbery at a Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits restaurant in Gadsden.

    The lone survivor, Bryant Archer, was shot 4 times. Archer identified Melson as the one who fired the shots. Prosecutors said Peraita planned the crime.

    (Source: The Birmingham News)

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    January 28, 2010

    State likely won't challenge Melson execution stay

    The state attorney general probably will not try to overturn a 4-3 state Supreme Court decision staying the execution of death row inmate Robert Melson.

    Melson was convicted in the 1994 slayings of 3 employees at a Popeye's restaurant in Gadsden. The chief of the Alabama attorney general's capital litigation division, Clay Crenshaw, said Thursday a Florida death row inmate has raised issues similar to those by Melson. He said that prompted the Alabama justices to stay the execution until the U.S. Supreme Court decides the issue.

    Crenshaw said Thursday the Florida case is scheduled to be argued before the court in March and he expects a decision by July. Melson had been scheduled to be executed on Feb. 18.

    (Source: The Associated Press)

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    On June 21, 2010, the US Supreme Court remanded Melson's case to the Eleventh Circuit in light of the Holland decision.

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    June 23, 2010

    U.S. Supreme Court hearing in death penalty case for man convicted of Gadsden fast food slayings

    The U.S. Supreme Court has ordered a federal appeals court to reconsider arguments in the appeal of the death sentence of a man accused of killing 3 people during a robbery at a Gadsden fast food restaurant.

    The Gadsden Times reported that the decision Monday by the U.S. Supreme Court will likely further delay the execution of Robert Bryant Melson. He had been scheduled to die this month, but the Alabama Supreme Court granted a stay of execution.

    The U.S. Supreme Court decision asks the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta to hold further hearings on Melson's appeal even though he had earlier missed a deadline for filing his appeal.

    Melson was 1 of 2 men accused of rounding up employees of Popeye's Restaurant during a late night robbery, leading them into a cooler and shooting them.

    (Source: The Associated Press)

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    Death row inmate loses appeal in 1994 slaying of 3 Popeyes employees in Gadsden

    Nearly two decades after three employees were gunned down at a fast-food restaurant, an Alabama death row inmate has lost another appeal in his fight to overturn his capital murder conviction.

    In a decision filed Thursday afternoon, a three-member panel of judges on the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the decision of a lower court to dismiss Robert Bryant Melson's federal habeas corpus petition, saying it was submitted after the deadline.

    Three employees of the Popeye's Famous Fried Chicken restaurant in east Gadsden were found shot to death in a walk-in freezer on April 16, 1994. A fourth was shot four times and left for dead.

    Melson, who was 22 at the time, and Cuhuatemoc Hinricky Peraita, who was 17, were arrested in Rainbow City and charged with capital murder less than an hour after the lone survivor of the attack called police.

    Melson, now 41, has twice escaped execution. He cites "attorney abandonment" in his latest appeal, saying that a Colorado attorney and a local attorney who formerly represented him did not keep him abreast of the status of his petition and did not file subsequent appeals.

    The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama rejected Melson's argument that his petition should be considered. The 11th Circuit affirmed the decision in a filing that says "it is clear that Melson's nearly complete inaction during the more than three and a half years that passed between when his state court judgment became final in March 2001 and when he filed his federal habeas petition in December 2004 is insufficient to establish reasonable diligence."

    Federal Defenders Program Executive Director Christine Freeman, Attorney Supervisor Leslie Smith and attorney John Palombi are representing Melson.

    There are additional steps that can be taken in Melson's case, including several petitions that can be filed, Freeman said.

    They can submit a petition for rehearing, requesting that either the same panel of judges or the entire court review Melson's case.

    "We're disappointed by the court's decision," Freeman said. "The bottom line is that Mr. Melson was abandoned by his attorneys."

    Popeyes employees Tamika Collins, 18; Nathaniel Baker, 17; and Darrell Collier, 23, all of Gadsden, were killed in the attack. Bryant Archer, 17, was shot four times but survived.

    It occurred after the restaurant closed around 11:30 p.m. on Friday, April 15.

    Despite the assailants' bandana-cloaked faces, Archer identified Peraita by his unusual haircut, and said Melson was the shooter.

    He testified that Melson and Peraita entered a back door of the restaurant. The two men took $2,000, then herded the workers into the freezer and shut the door. The door suddenly opened, and one of the assailants fired eight shots.

    When Peraita and Melson were arrested, police recovered a bag of money and found a .45-caliber pistol that had been tossed into the Coosa River.

    In a statement to police, Peraita admitted his participation in the robbery but said Melson fired the shots.

    At the end of Melson's April 1996 trial, jurors convicted him of four counts of capital murder and recommended the death penalty. In May 1996, a judge sentenced Melson to death. He has been on death row at Holman Correctional Facility ever since.

    Two execution dates have been set but then delayed by appeals. Over the years, Melson has filed numerous appeals through state and federal court.

    In February 1996, Peraita was convicted and sentenced to life without parole. He has since been moved to Alabama's death row after he was convicted of killing a fellow inmate while serving his life sentence.

    http://blog.al.com/east-alabama/2013...es_appeal.html
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    On May 29, 2013, Melson's petition for rehearing en banc was denied by the US Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

    http://www.supremecourt.gov/Search.a...es/13-6628.htm

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    Today, the US Supreme Court DENIED Melson's certiorari petition.

    http://www.supremecourt.gov/Search.a...es/13-6628.htm

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