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Thread: Mikal Deen Mahdi - South Carolina Death Row

  1. #1
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    Oct 2010

    Mikal Deen Mahdi - South Carolina Death Row

    Public Safety Officer James Myers

    Summary of Offense:

    Sentenced to death for the shooting death of James Myers, an Orangeburg Department of Public Safety officer, in 2004.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    June 15, 2009

    COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The South Carolina Supreme Court on Monday upheld a death sentence for a Virginia man who pleaded guilty to killing an off-duty police officer and setting his body on fire.

    Just before his 2006 trial was to begin in Calhoun County, Mikal Deen Mahdi pleaded guilty to shooting Orangeburg Public Safety Capt. James Myers in July 2004 and setting his body on fire. Prosecutors say he then fled in Myers' unmarked police truck, which was loaded with guns, ammunition and body armor.

    The killing prompted a manhunt that spanned much of the Southeast and ended three days later with Mahdi's capture in Satellite Beach, Fla., about 20 miles south of Cape Canaveral. Authorities said Mahdi got out, pointed a high-powered rifle taken from the truck at the officers, then dropped the weapon and tried to run. He was captured about 20 minutes later.

    A jury was picked for Mahdi's trial, but the Lawrenceville, Va., man pleaded guilty hours before the scheduled start of proceedings. In South Carolina, those who plead guilty are sentenced by judges, meaning it was then up to Circuit Judge Clifton Newman to decide if Mahdi received the death penalty or life in prison.

    When he sentenced Mahdi to death, Newman said the defendant showed no remorse for his crimes and only pleaded guilty after a homemade handcuff key was found in his pocket. Newman also pointed out that Mahdi managed to make the key in one of the most secure areas of a maximum security prison, indicating he would not adapt to prison life.

    In an unanimous opinion written by Justice Costa Pleicones, the justices said that the 26-year-old Mahdi was fairly sentenced to death, dismissing arguments by Mahdi's attorney that Newman had punitively imposed the death penalty because the defendant had originally exercised his right to a jury trial, and then ended up pleading guilty.

    In a concurring opinion, Chief Justice Jean Toal wrote that Mahdi's crimes were among the most deserving of the death penalty she has seen in her more than 20 years on the court.

    "I recite these facts to emphasize the egregious nature of Petitioner's crimes," Toal wrote. "In my time on this Court, I have seen few cases where the extraordinary penalty of death was so deserved."

    Mahdi's appellate attorney declined to comment on the court's decision.

    "The decision is what it is," Kathrine Hudgins said. "Obviously Mr. Mahdi is very disappointed."

    A week before Myers' death, authorities said Mahdi killed 29-year-old Christopher Boggs, and robbed the Winston-Salem, N.C., store of money and beer. Prosecutors say Mahdi also carjacked a sport-utility vehicle in downtown Columbia.

    Two months before the crime spree, Mahdi was released from a Virginia prison, where he had been serving a sentence for assaulting a maintenance supervisor at an apartment building. When he was sentenced to death in South Carolina, Virginia authorities present at his 1998 arrest testified that the then-15-year-old Mahdi pledged, "I'm going to kill a cop before I die."


  3. #3
    Administrator Heidi's Avatar
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    Oct 2010
    Man gets life in prison for killing store clerk in 2004

    For seven years, Nancy Brown has waited to see the man who murdered her son brought to justice.

    On Tuesday, she sat with her husband, Paul Brown, and watched Mikal Deen Mahdi, 28, of Lawrenceville, Va., plead guilty in Forsyth Superior Court to first-degree murder in the death of her son, Christopher Jason Boggs, a store clerk at the former Exxon station at 140 S. Broad St., and an aspiring filmmaker, on July 15, 2004.

    Amy Tripp-Myers was also there. Authorities said Mahdi killed her husband, Capt. James Myers of the Orangeburg Department of Public Safety, a few days after killing Boggs in a crime rampage that started when Mahdi stole a car in Virginia.

    After Mahdi entered a guilty plea, Judge Richard Stone sentenced him to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Mahdi is already on death row in South Carolina for killing Myers. He is appealing his death sentence, and no execution date has been set.

    "Jason was a quiet person," Nancy Brown said after the hearing. "He was hoping to get in the filmmaking business."

    Boggs was the second of her two sons to die. Her other son died in 1987.

    She said justice was being done in her son's case and thanked the detectives and prosecutors involved in the case.

    Tripp-Myers said she came Tuesday to support Boggs' family.

    "It's been tough that they had to wait seven years," she said.

    Boggs, 29, had a degree in English and had worked at the Exxon station for nine years before he died. Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Martin said he wanted to attend the UNC School of the Arts to get a degree in filmmaking.

    On July 15, 2004, Mahdi, wearing a sleeveless white T-shirt, walked into the station and talked to Boggs, who was behind a counter, briefly before pulling a gun out and shooting Boggs twice in the head, Winston-Salem police Detective Stan Nieves testified Tuesday.

    Nieves said Boggs fell to the floor, and Mahdi reached over the counter and shot Boggs again, the bullet hitting his neck.

    Three days later, after committing a carjacking and attempting to use a stolen credit card, Mahdi ran to Myers' farm, where he shot Myers nine times and set his body on fire, authorities said.

    Mahdi stole Myers' car and was finally captured in Florida with the gun that authorities said killed Myers.

    Nieves said Winston-Salem police also tracked down the gun used to kill Boggs.

    In 2006, just before his trial was to begin, Mahdi pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in Myers' death. After a hearing, a judge sentenced Mahdi to death, making him the youngest person in South Carolina at the time to receive a death sentence.

    The case had been delayed because South Carolina officials had concerns about transporting him to North Carolina, Martin said after the hearing.

    In 2009, Mahdi and another death-row inmate, Quincy Jovan Allen, were accused of stabbing a guard at South Carolina's maximum-security prison. Allen killed four people in North Carolina and South Carolina, including two people at a Citgo station just off Interstate 77 near Dobson.

    Immediately after the trial ended on Tuesday, Mahdi was transported back to Kirkland Correctional Institution in Columbia, S.C., where he will await execution.

    Mark Rabil, one of Mahdi's attorneys, said after the hearing that Mahdi had a troubled childhood that included extended incarceration in juvenile and adult prisons between ages 14 and 17. He was found to have depression and suicidal thoughts at age 9, Rabil said.

    He watched his father, who had severe mental illness, emotionally and physically abuse his mother and grandmother, Rabil said. His mother also abandoned him, and his father brainwashed him, he said.

    Then, Mahdi was shipped to one of the worst prisons in Virginia, where guards physically abused him and he watched them abuse other inmates, Rabil said.

    Rabil said that doesn't excuse what Mahdi did, adding that Mahdi has taken responsibility for his actions. But Mahdi's experiences helped explain who he became, he said.

    "It's a horrible human tragedy," he said. "It's really terrible. If you shake up a bottle of Coke and you pop the bottle, everything spews out. They shook up Mikal Mahdi for years and spewed him out on the rest of us."


  4. #4
    Administrator Moh's Avatar
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    Oct 2010
    On January 3, 2013, Mahdi's application for post-conviction relief was denied in Calhoun County Circuit Court.


  5. #5
    Administrator Heidi's Avatar
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    Oct 2010

    SC corrections officer assaulted, loses job

    A chill, damp mist clung to the grounds of Lieber state prison as Corrections Officer Nathan Sasser led two death-row inmates down a cement staircase to an outdoor basketball court for their recreation hour.

    Sasser had his back turned to the pair, opening a lock to the court, when the first blow landed on his neck. It felt like a forearm slammed into the base of his skull.

    Sasser didn't realize he had been stabbed until he wheeled around and saw one of the inmates lunge at him again with a crude, but effective, homemade knife.

    In a matter of seconds, both men were on him, slashing, stabbing, cutting as Sasser fell to the ground, his feet skittering out from under him on pavement slick with his blood. By the time the attack ended, he had been stabbed 14 times on his face, scalp, neck, chest and arms.

    Nearly four years have passed since that bloody morning in December 2009, and Sasser s physical wounds have mostly healed, the jagged tears to his flesh transformed by time into knotted scars and faded squiggles along his skin. But the wounds inside his head remain raw and tough to remedy.

    Post traumatic stress disorder and anxiety steal his sleep and have kept him from working. He is quick to startle, and he has swung on family members and friends who made the mistake of trying to rouse him from feverish dreams. Feeling exposed and worried about being caught defenseless, he carries a half-dozen lock-blade knives on him at all times.

    The 39-year-old Summerville man credits his Christian faith with keeping him strong, but he is bitter about the way he s been treated by the state Department of Corrections and the criminal justice system.

    The corrections agency terminated him a year after the stabbing because he was unable to return to duty from his disability. Then the state dropped felony assault charges against the two inmates accused of stabbing him.

    Sasser said prosecutors saw little to be gained by taking the pair to trial, since they already are facing death sentences for their previous crimes.

    They were like What s the point? There s nothing we can do to them, he said. But what about the principle? It says to those guys you can beat the hell out of an officer and do whatever you want, and nothing is going to happen to you.

    Corrections officials said they have done all they can do to help Sasser, and they needed to fill his job to maintain staffing at the maximum-security prison in Ridgeville. He has been offered the possibility of other jobs at Lieber or another prison when his doctor clears him to return to work, but that hasn t happened, Corrections spokesman Clark Newsom said.

    His termination was not punitive, but rather a necessary step after he had exceeded the 180-day extended disability leave provided for under state law, Newsom said.

    All I can say is we sympathize with Mr. Sasser, he said. We hope once he has been cleared by his physician to come back to work, if he has an interest in returning, he would certainly be welcome to re-apply.

    The chief prosecutor for the area, 1st Circuit Solicitor David Pascoe, said he understands Sasser s frustration and hasn t given up on prosecuting the two inmates, despite the dismissal of the earlier charges. Part of the problem, he said, is that one of the inmates is considered so dangerous that a court order is needed just to remove him from a super-max facility in Columbia to attend trial.

    Sasser said he feels discarded and forgotten after giving his all to a job he had hoped would become a stable career a job he insists he was never properly trained to do. Now, he s struggling to support his wife and four children.

    He's been pushed to the side, like he's worthless, said Sasser's wife, Kim. They just don't care.

    A new career

    A burly, barrel-chested man with a bald pate and a salt-and-pepper goatee as thick as a wire brush, Sasser worked as a long-haul trucker for 15 years, carting freight everywhere from Texas to Connecticut and many points in between. But tired of being away from his family, he looked for work closer to home, and landed a job at Lieber Correctional Facility in June 2009.

    He had been on the job less than six months when he applied for an opening on death row, hoping the move would lead to a promotion and better pay. He said he became one of just five officers on his shift charged with keeping watch over some 52 men awaiting execution. His first day on The Rock, as they called it, an inmate told Sasser he would shoot him if he could get his hands on a gun.

    Officers on death row were supposed to have a working knowledge of some 15 binders full of policies, procedures and regulations, Sasser said. Instead, he was quickly put to work on the floor and given rudimentary instructions on performing duties that he later learned contradicted official policies, he said.

    For one, the rule book called for all death-row inmates to be strip-searched and shackled for escort before leaving or returning to their cells, Sasser said. In practice, however, he was told to simply walk them to their destination for recreation, with a pat-down at most, he said.

    That practice would soon come back to haunt Sasser.

    The attack

    On the morning of Dec. 2, 2009, death row was short-staffed and an officer who had never worked there or been trained in its procedures was assigned to search inmates after they were released from their cells for recreation. He patted down their clothes, but did not do more extensive searches, according to an internal report on the incident.

    In the group that was released was Mikal Mahdi, a 26-year-old inmate who had been sentenced to death in 2006 after pleading guilty to fatally shooting an off-duty Orangeburg police officer nine times and setting his body on fire while on the run from a killing a gas station worker in North Carolina.

    Mahdi was placed in a recreation cage with Quincy Allen, 30, who was sent to death row in 2005 after he admitted to killing four people in the Carolinas in a delusional plan to become a Mafia hit man.

    A short time later, Allen and Mahdi stopped Sasser as he walked by and asked to go to the basketball court. They then jumped him when his back was turned, setting upon him with shanks fashioned from metal they had stripped from air ducts, Sasser said. Each knife had a blade 5 to 6 inches long.

    Come on guys. I have a family, Sasser pleaded as blows rained down on him.

    They didn't stop

    Sasser said he grabbed Allen's knife, bending the blade, and tried to use Allen s body to block Mahdi s line of attack. But Sasser slipped on his blood and fell to the ground, quickly covering his head and neck with his hands for protection. His fellow officers couldn t reach him to help because Sasser was outside alone, the only one with keys to the exterior doors and gates.

    The two inmates then jumped on the fence, trying to make a run for it, Sasser and witnesses said. That gave him enough time to scramble to the door, bleeding from his wounds. He got inside, where a fellow officer pulled him to safety inside a sally port.

    Unable to escape, Mahdi and Allen ducked back inside and started tearing up the common area, destroying two televisions and a microwave, authorities said. They used the plastic backs of the TV sets as makeshift body armor to protect themselves from the prison tactical team racing their way, an internal report stated.

    After tear gas failed to roust the duo, officers used non-lethal rounds to subdue the pair, the report said. Sasser said he was told they were shot with rubber bullets.

    Allen and Mahdi were transferred to the Kirkland super-max facility in Columbia and stripped of their privileges outside recreation, visitation, phone use and canteen items, Newsom said.

    The pair declined to speak with investigators, but another inmate told prison officials the pair had been plotting an attack on a white officer for weeks because prisoners were upset about a new rule requiring that a door to the recreation area remain closed, according to the internal report.

    The report does not mention that Allen and Mahdi had any specific beef with Sasser in particular, and he said he d had no prior problems with the men.

    Huge security risk

    State investigators charged the pair with assault and battery with intent to kill, but prosecutors in May decided against taking the case to trial, noting in a letter to Sasser that they have reserved the right to restore the cases to be prosecuted in the future in the event that is warranted.

    Pascoe, who prosecuted Allen s and Mahdi s murder cases, said he hasn t closed the door on the Sasser case and sees value in holding the inmates accountable. But both men, and Mahdi in particular, are considered so dangerous that it s difficult and risky to bring them to court, he said.

    Mahdi is deviously crafty, and during his murder trial he was caught with a handcuff key he had fashioned from phone-jack wire, Pascoe said.

    This guy is a huge security risk, he said.

    Sasser spent two days in Medical University Hospital after the stabbing, then went home on medical leave. Later that year the state sent him and his wife to a corrections conference in Buffalo, N.Y., where he received an engraved clock in recognition of his bravery. It still sits by his bedside, though he can t remember when it last kept time.

    The Corrections Department cut him loose in November 2010, saying it could no longer hold his job open for him. Agency officials also have refused his requests for information about the investigation into the incident, citing an ongoing probe by the State Law Enforcement Division, Sasser said.

    Basically for the past three and a half years, it s been one slap in the face after another, getting kicked while you are down and getting nothing on the back end, he said. It s like they are saying it s my fault that it happened.

    Newsom said that s not the case; the agency was just following state law and its rules. It s just an unfortunate situation all the way around, he said.

    Sasser said he wants to go back to the working world, but his psychiatrist hasn t cleared him to do so because of lingering anxiety and PTSD issues. So he s getting by on $600 in monthly retirement funds and workman s compensation checks that are soon due to run dry.

    He and his wife said they have leaned on their faith to get them through this time.

    We know this all happened for a reason, but what that is, I don t know, his wife said. But God will bring us through it all. That s all I can say.

    His pastor at Crossroads Community Church in Summerville, Peppy DuTart, was at Sasser s bedside after the stabbing, and has seen the psychological effects of the attack.

    You'll see him at church sometimes, and he doesn't want anybody to be behind him, DuTart said. He will stand against the back wall, even during services.

    DuTart has seen other changes as well. Sasser has become more active in church, more solid in his faith. He volunteers running the church sound board, working with and mentoring teens, and leading a youth group that mows lawns and performs other chores for the elderly and needy.

    I think all of (Sasser's family) have found strength in the Lord, he said. And Nate has been used in mighty ways, ways that he might not have otherwise.

    His ordeal already has prompted changes at the Corrections Department, Newsom said. Death-row inmates were denied outside recreation for two years until new reinforced cages could be built to improve security, holding only one inmate per cage.

    The agency also has tightened up its practices for moving these inmates to and from the recreation area, requiring restraints and body searches each time they leave their cells, he said.

    Sasser said he hopes that is the case. I don't want anyone else down the road having to go through what I went through.

    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

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

  6. #6
    Administrator Aaron's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    New Jersey, unfortunately
    On December 15, 2016, Mahdi filed a habeas petition in Federal District Court.

    Don't ask questions, just consume product and then get excited for next products.

  7. #7
    Administrator Moh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    In today's orders, the United States Supreme Court declined to review Mahdi's petition for certiorari.

    Lower Ct: Court of Common Pleas of South Carolina, Calhoun County
    Case Nos.: (09-CP-09-164)
    Decision Date: August 18, 2014
    Discretionary Court
    Decision Date: September 8, 2016


  8. #8
    Administrator Aaron's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    New Jersey, unfortunately

    Justices reject appeal from South Carolina death row inmate

    WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court has turned away an appeal from a South Carolina death row inmate who pleaded guilty to killing an off-duty police officer during a multistate crime spree in 2004.

    The justices on Tuesday left in place a lower court ruling that rejected Mikal Dean Mahdi's claims that his lawyer didn't do enough to present evidence of his troubled childhood.

    Mahdi said his lawyer relied on a single expert witness instead of calling family members and others to offer more details about Mahdi's years growing up with an abusive father.

    Prosecutors said that during his crime spree Mahdi killed a North Carolina convenience store clerk, carjacked a sport-utility vehicle in South Carolina and later killed Orangeburg Public Safety Capt. James Myers on Myers' farm.

    Don't ask questions, just consume product and then get excited for next products.

  9. #9
    Senior Member CnCP Legend Mike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    On September 24, 2018 Mahdi's habeas petition was DENIED in Federal District Court.



    Man who killed Orangeburg officer runs out of appeals, remains on death row


    The man who murdered an off-duty Orangeburg officer in 2004 has run out of appeals, according to a federal judge’s order.

    Mikal Deen Mahdi, 34, remains on death row.

    U.S. District Judge Timothy M. Cain denied Mahdi’s petition for post-conviction relief on Monday. Also, if Mahdi wants to try to get his death sentence reversed, he’ll have to ask the court for permission to appeal.

    Mahdi shot and killed Orangeburg Department of Public Safety Capt. James Myers as part of a multi-state crime spree. Mahdi set the officer’s body on fire at Myers’ property in northwestern Calhoun County.

    “Mikal Mahdi is probably the most dangerous and violent person I’ve ever prosecuted in 25 years,” 1st Judicial Circuit Solicitor David Pascoe said.

    “He’s certainly the most dangerous because of his intelligence. He places no value on human life and his history of violence speaks for itself and look what has happened since his death sentence and what he’s done,” Pascoe added.
    Pascoe said Mahdi, “nearly murdered a guard on death row.”

    Two months before his crime spree, Mahdi was released from a Virginia prison where he had been serving a sentence for a 1998 assault. Authorities present at his 1998 arrest testified that the then-15-year-old Mahdi pledged, “I’m going to kill a cop before I die.”

    The spree began with Mahdi robbing a Winston-Salem, N.C. store of money and beer. He killed the 29-year-old clerk, Christopher Boggs.

    The morning of July 18, Mahdi carjacked a Ford Expedition from a driver in Columbia.

    He then drove to Calhoun County, where he shot Myers nine times.

    Mahdi fled in Myers’ unmarked police truck, which was loaded with guns, ammunition and body armor.

    A manhunt for Mahdi spanned much of the Southeast and ended three days later with his arrest in Satellite Beach, Florida, about 20 miles south of Cape Canaveral.

    Federal court records state that Mahdi got out of the truck, pointed a high-powered rifle at officers, then dropped the weapon and tried to run. Twenty minutes later, officers captured him.

    Mahdi pleaded guilty to Myer’s death in 2006, just before his trial began.

    In a 2009 opinion, then-S.C. Chief Supreme Court Justice Jean Toal wrote, “In my time on this court, I have seen few cases where the extraordinary penalty of death was so deserved.”


    Before any posts that about where his appeals are, no he hasn't run out of appeals the article is wrong.
    Last edited by Mike; 09-26-2018 at 09:26 AM.

  10. #10
    Administrator Heidi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    In today's orders, the United States Supreme Court declined to review Mahdi's petition for certiorari.

    Docketed: September 28, 2018
    Lower Ct: Supreme Court of South Carolina
    Case Numbers: (2017-002212)
    Decision Date: April 19, 2018
    Rehearing Denied: June 27, 2018
    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

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

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