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Brandon Eugene Lacy - Arkansas Death Row
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Thread: Brandon Eugene Lacy - Arkansas Death Row

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    Brandon Eugene Lacy - Arkansas Death Row




    Facts of the Crime:

    Sentenced to death on May 13, 2009 for the murder of Randy Walker. Lacy hit Walker with a fireplace poker, stabbed him with a knife, slit his throat and then set fire to Walker's mobile home. Lacy and Broderick "Brody" Laswell of Farmington intended to rob Walker but only made off with twenty dollars from Walker's wallet and a .22-caliber gun, according to testimony. Police found Walker's badly burned body lying on the floor of the master bedroom in his trailer on Beaver Hollow Road about 7 p.m. on August 30, 2007 long after a fire burned out. Autopsy results showed Walker died of blunt force trauma to the head and torso and stab wounds to the chest and neck. The autopsy indicated he was dead when the fire began, according to court documents.

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    May 13, 2009

    BENTONVILLE-- A jury sentenced Brandon Eugene Lacy to death Wednesday for killing Randy Walker, 47, of Garfield in 2007.

    The court set June 15 for execution by lethal injection, but Benton County Circuit Judge Robin Green said the date would be automatically vacated once an appeal is filed.

    Lacy's case will automatically be appealed to the Arkansas Supreme Court, said Defense attorney Steve Harper. The higher court will either hear the case or remand it back to Benton County for a new trial, Harper said.

    Lacy also received life in prison for aggravated robbery in the killing on Aug. 30, 2007.

    The only time Lacy spoke during the trial, which started May 5, was while sheriff's deputies handcuffed him to escort him out of the courthouse. He spoke to family members seated behind him just before he exited the courtroom.

    His grandmother, Virginia Lacy, couldn't walk out of the courtroom. Family members had to lift her by the arm. She muttered unintelligible words as she left.

    The jury of six men and six women had to agree there was at least one aggravating circumstance to sentence Lacy to the death penalty. Benton County Prosecuting Attorney Van Stone presented evidence of three aggravating circumstances: the crime was committed in a cruel or depraved manner, for monetary gain, or to avoid or prevent an arrest.

    The jury told the court it agreed with all aggravating circumstances except for accusation Lacy killed Walker for monetary gain.

    All 12 jurors found one mitigating circumstance: Lacy turned himself in and fully cooperated with law enforcement. At least one but not all jurors found that Lacy showed remorse for Walker's death.

    The jury convicted Lacy of capital murder Friday and deliberated sentencing for about 13 hours from Tuesday to Wednesday.

    According to evidence and testimony, Lacy hit Walker on the head with a fireplace poker, then stabbed him in the chest with a knife four times, slit his throat and ultimately set fire to him and his home using gasoline and a lighter. He told authorities he slit Walker's throat because he knew he would get in trouble for the beating and stabbing. He said he set fire to him to cover up evidence of physical harm to Walker.

    His alleged accomplice, Broderick "Brody" Laswell of Farmington, will be tried separately. He is scheduled for a pre-trial status hearing June 1.

    Stone asked for the death penalty because of what he called a "horrific" murder that involved Lacy stealing $20 from Walker's wallet and a gun from the victim's mobile home.

    Harper presented 26 mitigating circumstances Tuesday in hope the jury would decide not to sentence him to death. He said he hoped those would outweigh whatever aggravating circumstances the jury decided were real.

    "He confessed essentially to everything," Harper said.

    Harper said he didn't know why Lacy took responsibility for the crime but reiterated that if it were not for Lacy calling police, "This case wouldn't have been solved, and the Walker family wouldn't have closure."

    "There's also evidence he couldn't live with himself," Harper said about Lacy's confession to police three days after the crime.

    http://www.nwaonline.net/articles/20...zlacydeath.txt

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    Arkansas Supreme Court upholds conviction for Brandon Lacy

    The Arkansas Supreme Court has upheld the conviction and death sentence of a Rogers man who admitted fatally stabbing another man with a fireplace poker and setting his home on fire.

    The court ruled Thursday there was sufficient evidence to support the capital murder and aggravated robbery convictions of Brandon Lacy, who was sentenced to death for the 2007 killing of Randy Walker of Garfield.

    Walker was found dead in his bedroom after a house fire. Investigators later discovered a gasoline can in the room and saw stab marks on Walker's body. Prosecutors say Lacy was arrested after he called the police and admitted killing Walker.

    (Source: The Associated Press)

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    Inmate Personal Information
    Race: White
    Gender: Male

    Crime and Trial Information
    * County of conviction: Benton
    * Number of counts: One
    * Race of Victim: White
    * Gender of Victim: Male
    * Date of crime: 2007
    * Date of Sentencing: 05/13/2009

    Legal Status
    Current proceedings:
    Direct Appeal; Case No. CR 09‐1340 Sentence affirmed

    Attorneys
    Janice Vaughn
    Steve Harper
    Public Defender

    Court Opinions
    Death sentence affirmed
    Opinion

    Legal Issues

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    In today's United States Supreme Court orders, Lacy's petition for a writ of certiorari and motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis was DENIED.

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    Little Rock attorney appointed to help convicted killer in appeal of his death penalty case

    BENTONVILLE, Ark. A Little Rock attorney has been appointed to help convicted killer Brandon Lacy with his appeal in his death penalty case.

    Lacy is claiming ineffective counsel leading up to his conviction and death sentence for the robbery and death of 47-year-old Randall Walker. Walker's burned body was found Aug. 30, 2007, in the bedroom of his home.

    The Benton County Daily Record reports that Circuit Judge Robin Green on Tuesday appointed Patrick Benca to assist Lacy.

    In a tape recorded confession, Lacy admitted hitting and stabbing Walker with a fireplace poker and cutting Walker's throat. He also said co-defendant Broderick Laswell hit Walker with a weight bar.

    Laswell was also convicted of capital murder and was sentenced to life in prison.

    http://www.greenfieldreporter.com/vi...e-Body-Appeal/

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    Arkansas Supreme Court to hear challenge from death row inmate convicted in 2007 slaying

    The Arkansas Supreme Court is slated to hear a challenge from a death row inmate convicted in a 2007 slaying.

    The state's highest court is expected to hear oral arguments Thursday in the case of 34-year-old Brandon Eugene Lacy.

    Lacy claims he had ineffective counsel leading up to his conviction and death sentence in 47-year-old Randall Walker's death. Walker's burned body was found in 2007.

    Prosecutors say Lacy hit Walker on the head with a fireplace poker, stabbed him in the chest with a knife and then used gasoline and a lighter to set fire to his mobile home.

    http://www.therepublic.com/view/stor...re-Body-Appeal
    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

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    Ark. court: Death row inmate should have hearing

    An Arkansas death row inmate who claims his trial lawyer was ineffective is entitled to take his argument to a Benton County judge, the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

    Brandon Eugene Lacy, 34, who was convicted of using a knife, a fireplace poker and gasoline and a lighter to kill 47-year-old Randall Walker had wanted a judge to consider a claim that he may have mental issues. In a 6-1 decision, justices said Lacy could have a hearing, citing previous rulings that found inmates are entitled to a hearing unless a court conclusively shows that they aren't entitled to one.

    According to the court, Circuit Judge Robin Froman Green ruled only that there may have been strategic reasons for not calling certain witnesses to testify about Lacy's mental and physical health, including whether he had an alcohol addiction that led to blackouts. The justices said that because Green used tentative language such as Lacy "may" have issues and that an expert witness "might" have presented inadmissible testimony, there were still open questions.

    The court said it wouldn't pretend to know what strategy Lacy's lawyer was undertaking by not calling psychologist Dr. Curtis Grundy to testify about possible alcohol-induced blackouts.

    "Without benefit of an evidentiary hearing, we are left to surmise that trial counsel exercised reasonable professional judgment when they declined to call Dr. Grundy as a mitigation witness. This we will not do," Chief Justice Jim Hannah wrote for the majority.

    Justice Courtney Hudson Goodson, who dissented, had questioned during oral arguments last month that not presenting some witnesses or evidence could be considered a strategic decision that the court wasn't obligated to revisit.

    She wrote Thursday that Lacy had to show that his lawyer was so bad that it denied him a fair trial.

    "The claimant must overcome a strong presumption that counsel's conduct falls within the wide range of reasonable professional assistance," she wrote.

    The state had argued the evidence was so overwhelming against Lacy that even a flawless argument wouldn't have prevented his conviction.

    Prosecutors said Lacy hit Walker on the head with a fireplace poker, stabbed him in the chest with a knife and then used gasoline and a lighter to set fire to his mobile home in 2007.

    Lacy's co-defendant, Broderick Laswell, also was convicted of capital murder in Walker's death. He was sentenced to life in prison.

    http://www.sfgate.com/news/crime/art...#ixzz2KF8q6HvO
    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

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    Attorney Questions His Preparedness In Murder Case

    By Tracy M. Neal
    The Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette

    BENTONVILLE -- An attorney who represented convicted murderer Brandon Lacy claims he wasn't prepared for the jury trial.

    Steve Harper, who was the lead counsel for Lacy, testified Tuesday during a hearing that could lead to Lacy receiving a new trial. Harper handled death penalty cases for the Arkansas Public Defender Commission.

    Lacy, 35, of Rogers was convicted in May 2009 of capital murder and aggravated robbery in connection with the death of Randall Walker. Walker's burned body was found in the bedroom of his Beaver Hollow Road home on Aug. 30, 2007.

    A jury recommended the death penalty for Lacy.

    Broderick Laswell, 26, of Farmington also was convicted of capital murder and aggravated robbery in the case. He was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole.

    The Arkansas Supreme Court ordered a hearing be held on issues concerning whether Lacy's attorneys failed to investigate and inform the jury of a brain damage suffered by Lacy. This week's hearing relates to Lacy's claim he had ineffective counsel at trial.

    Patrick Benca, who now represents Lacy, wanted to know if Harper was prepared for Lacy's trial.

    "No," Harper said.

    Harper claimed he was bothered for months after the trial.

    Harper said he was physically and emotionally exhausted when he gave a closing argument he described as "horrible."

    "I ran out of steam," Harper said. "I was exhausted."

    Harper said he believes more attorneys from the Arkansas Public Defender Commission should have been assigned to the case. Harper was assisted by attorneys from the local public defenders office.

    Harper said it was a decision not to call doctors concerning mental health issues involving Lacy. Harper said he should have obtained more testing related to possible brain injuries.

    Stephanie McLemore, deputy prosecutor, questioned Harper about his feelings about the death penalty. Harper said he's against the death penalty and he hopes Lacy gets a new trial.

    Harper said he was aware Lacy abused alcohol and also "huffed" chemicals. Harper also said he was aware Lacy attempted suicide twice and was injured in a car accident.

    Jeff Gould, a forensic psychologist hired by Benca, interviewed Lacy. Gould said Lacy suffers from alcohol and depressive disorders. Gould said he recommends neuropsychology exams for all suspects who face a capital charge.

    Barry Crown, a neuropyschologist hired by Benca, said Lacy has neurological impairments impacting his memory, reasoning and judgment.

    Jamie Booher, Lacy's former wife, said Tuesday she knew Lacy better than anyone. She wasn't called to testify at trial. She said Lacy had a history of huffing and abusing alcohol beginning when he was a child.

    She also said she lied in a protection order and a subsequent hearing in 1997 that Lacy physically abused her. Booher said Tuesday that Lacy had never been violent toward her.

    Booher also said Lacy and Laswell came by her home after Walker's murder. Laswell mentioned he stabbed someone, Booher said.

    Booher said Lacy told her he couldn't remember what happened, but Laswell told him about throwing things in a pond and having blood on his shoes. Booher never reported her knowledge of the crime to authorities.

    Booher said she was upset at not being called as a witness. She knew Lacy had frequent blackouts from abusing alcohol, and he may have suffered brain injuries from a car accident or on a different occasion when he was attacked.

    Harper said it was his decision not to call Booher as a witness.

    Testimony will continue today.

    http://www.nwaonline.com/news/2014/s...paredness-in-/

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    Lacy not entitled to new sentencing hearing

    LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (AP) — Arkansas' high court says a death row inmate isn't entitled to a new sentencing hearing just because his lawyer may have delivered "one of the worst" closing arguments of his career.

    The Arkansas Supreme Court Thursday reversed a Benton County judge's order for a new hearing and asked the lower court to reconsider the request with a more objective test to determine if Brandon Lacy's lawyer performed adequately.

    Lacy was sentenced to death after he was found guilty of capital murder and aggravated robbery in the 2007 slaying of Randall Walker.

    The Supreme Court's order also denied a separate appeal from Lacy. He said his lawyer failed because he did not argue Lacy had a mental defect because of alleged alcohol-fueled blackouts and memory lapses.

    http://www.dailyjournal.net/view/sto...ppeal-Arkansas

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