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Thomas Edwin Loden, Jr. - Mississippi Execution - December 14, 2022
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Thread: Thomas Edwin Loden, Jr. - Mississippi Execution - December 14, 2022

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    Thomas Edwin Loden, Jr. - Mississippi Execution - December 14, 2022


    Leesa Mrie Gray





    Summary of Offense:

    Was sentenced to death in 2001 in Itawamba County for the June 2000 strangulation and sexual assault of Leesa Marie Gray, 16. Loden was a gunnery sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps at the time of the murder.

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    November 9, 2009

    Death row inmate's appeal before Miss. high court

    JACKSON — A post-conviction petition from death row inmate Thomas E. Loden Jr. is among dozens of cases before the Mississippi Supreme Court during its November-December term.

    A trial judge in Itawamba County turned down Loden's petition in 2008.

    Loden, a former Marine recruiter, was sentenced to death in 2001 in Itawamba County for killing 16-year-old Leesa Gray. He was also sentenced to 30 years on kidnapping and rape counts.

    In a post-conviction petition, an inmate argues he has found new evidence, or a possible constitutional issue, that could persuade a court to order a new trial.

    Gray disappeared June 22, 2000, while on her way home from work as a waitress at her family's restaurant in the Dorsey community. She was found dead of strangulation the next day in Loden's van, according to court documents.

    Gray was last seen driving out of the restaurant parking lot. Relatives found her car hours later, her purse still inside, hazard lights flashing.

    In 2007, the Mississippi Supreme Court rejected Loden's claims he relied on faulty advice from his attorney when he pleaded guilty to capital murder and was unexpectedly sentenced to death.

    Prosecutors said the court record showed Circuit Judge Thomas J. Gardner III repeatedly asked Loden whether he understood no appeal was available from a guilty plea and that every time Loden answered that he understood.

    The Mississippi court held because Loden pleaded guilty, the validity of that plea can't be appealed.

    The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear Loden's appeal in 2008.

    Other cases before the Supreme Court include:

    — Fernando Parker's appeal of his murder conviction and life sentence handed down in Coahoma County in 2008. Parker was convicted as part of a shooting in 2004 that left one Coahoma Community College student dead and his brother injured.

    — James McIntyre's appeal of his disbarment. A complaint tribunal found in 2008 that McIntyre mixed personal and business funds with funds of his clients.

    Lawyers generally keep their clients' funds in lawyer trust accounts, separate from their business accounts.

    The tribunal concluded McIntyre took funds from seven clients from 2001 through 2004. McIntyre said some funds were commingled but said none of his clients "lost a penny."

    — Maurice Pruitt's appeal of his 2008 manslaughter conviction and 20-year sentence in Jones County. Pruitt was convicted in the 2007 shooting death of David McMillan outside the American Legion Hut in Laurel.

    — A judicial watchdog agency's recommendation of a public reprimand and suspension for Jefferson Davis County Justice Court Judge Johnny C. Hartzog. The Commission on Judicial Performance alleged Hartzog failed to recuse himself in a case where he had learned some facts outside a judicial proceeding.

    The commission also alleged Hartzog used his office to advance the private interests of one of the parties in the case and let his social relationship with one of the parties influence his judgment.

    http://nems360.com/pages/full_story/...es_left_column

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    April 16, 2010

    Miss. Supreme Court won't overturn ex-Marine's plea

    For a second time, the state Supreme Court has rejected Mississippi death row inmate Thomas Loden Jr.’s effort to get his 2001 guilty plea to capital murder overturned.

    Today, the state high court in a unanimous decision denied Loden petition to allow him to seek in trial court to get his guilty plea vacated. In 2007, the court also ruled against Loden.

    The Mississippi Supreme Court rejected Loden's argument that he relied on faulty advice from his attorney when he pleaded guilty in 2001 to capital murder and was unexpectedly sentenced to death.

    The Mississippi court held that because Loden pleaded guilty, the validity of that plea can't be appealed.

    Loden, a former Marine recruiter, was sentenced to death in 2001 in Itawamba County for killing 16-year-old Leesa Gray. He also was sentenced to 30 years on kidnapping and rape counts.

    Gray was found dead in Loden’s van in 2000, according to court documents.

    http://www.clarionledger.com/article...-Marine-s-plea

    Opinion is here:

    http://www.mssc.state.ms.us/Images/Opinions/CO62689.pdf

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    On November 29, 2010, Loden filed a habeas petition in Federal District Court.

    http://dockets.justia.com/docket/mis...cv00311/31265/

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    Loden seeks federal hearing in death penalty case

    A Death Row inmate convicted of killing an Itawamba County woman has asked a federal judge to hear his appeal.

    Attorneys for Thomas Edwin Loden Jr. on Tuesday filed a 30-page motion seeking an evidentiary hearing before Senior U.S. District Judge Neal B. Biggers.

    They contend Loden’s case should be reconsidered for various reasons, including trial counsel’s alleged failure to fully investigate Loden’s mental condition as a factor in the death sentence.

    They also claim poor advice from trial counsel led Loden to plead guilty and waive jury sentencing.

    Their motion to Biggers insists that the Mississippi Supreme Court was wrong in denying his appeals, especially in doing so without a hearing where “many factual disputes” could be considered.

    Loden is one of 10 state inmates awaiting execution from Northeast Mississippi convictions, nearly 20 percent of Death Row.

    He pleaded guilty to the June 22, 2000, kidnap and murder of 16-year-old Leesa Marie Gray.

    Circuit Judge Thomas Gardner agreed the “heinous” nature of the crime deserved the death penalty.

    When Loden’s federal appeal was filed in 2012, his trial defense attorney, David Daniel of Tupelo, denied his former client’s claims of ineffective counsel.

    Loden’s fate depends upon the federal appeal of the death sentence. He never filed appeals to any of the other convictions except the capital murder.

    http://djournal.com/view/full_story/..._news_1st_left
    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

    "Y'all be makin shit up" ~ Markeith Loyd

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    Loden's capital murder appeal denied

    A federal judge has denied a death row inmate's request to review the fairness of how a Mississippi court handled his guilty plea and sentencing hearings and the conduct of his defense attorneys.

    In an order released Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Neal B. Biggers ruled Thomas Edwin Loden Jr. failed to support his arguments that he was treated unfairly when he pleaded guilty to capital murder, turned down a trial by jury and failed to be properly guided by his attorneys through the process.

    However, Biggers gave Loden permission to take those issues to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.

    Loden, now 48, pleaded guilty in 2001 in the murder of teenager Leesa Gray. Loden was sentenced to death plus 30 years on kidnapping and rape counts.

    The 16-year-old Gray disappeared June 22, 2000, while on her way home from work as a waitress at her family's restaurant in the Dorsey community. According to court documents, her body was found dead the next day in Loden's van.

    Loden argued his defense attorney allegedly failed to fully investigate Loden's mental condition and background. Loden also argued poor advice from his lawyer led him to plead guilty and waive jury sentencing.

    Although finding that there was nothing for the federal court to review, Biggers said Loden can appeal the ineffective assistance of his counsel, his guilty plea an waiver of jury sentencing, the defense counsel's litigation of the case, his trial counsel's performance and his appellate counsel's performance.

    http://www.sfgate.com/news/crime/art...ed-4826719.php
    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

    "Y'all be makin shit up" ~ Markeith Loyd

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    On October 18, 2013, Loden filed an appeal in the US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals over the denial of his habeas petition in Federal District Court.

    http://dockets.justia.com/docket/cir.../ca5/13-70033/

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    Loden appeals death sentence; arguments scheduled

    A federal judge in Mississippi erroneously denied Thomas Loden Jr.'s request to review the conduct of his defense attorneys, the lawyers for the death row inmate argue in briefs filed with the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

    The 5th Circuit will hear oral arguments on Loden's appeal on Dec. 16 in Houston, Texas.

    Loden, now 48, pleaded guilty in 2001 in the murder of teenager Leesa Gray. Loden was sentenced to death plus 30 years on kidnapping and rape counts.

    In 2013, U.S. District Judge Neal B. Biggers in Oxford, Mississippi, ruled Loden failed to prove his trial attorneys were inadequate.

    Loden argued his defense attorney failed to fully investigate his mental condition and background. Loden argued poor legal advice led him to plead guilty and waive jury sentencing.

    http://www.knoe.com/story/26653934/l...ents-scheduled
    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

    "Y'all be makin shit up" ~ Markeith Loyd

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    Thomas Loden, Jr. v. Rick McCarty

    In today's Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals opinions, the court AFFIRMED the district court's DENIAL of Loden's petition for writ of habeas corpus claiming ineffective assistance of counsel during the guilt and penalty phases of trial.
    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

    "Y'all be makin shit up" ~ Markeith Loyd

  10. #10
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    On March 31, 2015, Loden's petition for en banc rehearing was DENIED by the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

    http://www.supremecourt.gov/search.a...iles/15-10.htm

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