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Thread: Charles Lee Mathenia - Missouri Death Row

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    Charles Lee Mathenia - Missouri Death Row




    Summary of Offense:

    Decedents were Daisy Nash, 72, and her mentally impaired sister Louanna Bailey, 70. Mathenia had lived with Nash for some seven years prior to her death. At the time of the killings, Mathenia was 25 years old and still living with Nash. In September of 1983, Mathenia allegedly twice raped Louanna Bailey and in December of the year he was charged for those offenses upon her complaint. In February, Bailey dropped the charges, indicating she would refuse to testify against Mathenia. The evidence indicated that the murders were motivated by Mathenia’s resentment at having been arrested and confined in connection with these charges. Mathenia vowed to take revenge on the two sisters.

    Sometime after midnight on April 24, 1984, Mathenia returned home after spending the day with his sister and brother-in-law. An argument began with Nash as soon as he entered the house. During the course of the argument, Mathenia hit the 72-year-old woman in the face, knocking her to the floor. He then retrieved a butcher knife from the kitchen and after kicking and beating her, he stabbed her several times. Shortly thereafter, Mathenia rode his bicycle the two blocks to Bailey’s home and told her he had killed Nash. While Bailey tried to call Nash, Mathenia got a butcher knife. When he returned, Bailey attempted to flee but Mathenia stabbed her fatally in the back. Mathenia was arrested the following day. He was convicted by a jury of two counts of capital murder and sentenced to death in the Circuit Court of Jefferson County.

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    Inmate Personal Information

    DOB: 09/14/1958
    Race: White
    Gender: Male


    Crime and Trial Information

    * County of conviction: Jefferson
    * Number of counts: Two
    * Race of Victims: White/White
    * Gender of Victims: 2 Females
    * Date of crime: 04/24/1984
    * Date of Sentencing: 01/09/1985


    Legal Status

    Current Proceedings:
    Post Certiorari


    Attorney

    Sean O'Brien


    Court Opinions

    State v. Mathenia, 702 S.W.2d 840 (Mo. banc), cert. denied, 477 U.S. 909 (1986); Mathenia v. State, 752 S.W.2d 873 (Mo. App. Ct. 1988); Mathenia v. Delo, 975 F.2d 444 (8th Cir. 1992) (affirming denial of habeas corpus), cert. denied, 507 U.S. 995 (1993); Mathenia v. Delo, 99 F.3d 1476 (8th Cir. 1996) (affirming denial of motion to amend judgment), cert. denied, 521 U.S. 1123 (1997).


    Legal Issues

    On habeas appeal:
    1. whether defense counsel was ineffective for failing to file motion to suppress confession;
    2. whether defense counsel was ineffective for failing to present diminished capacity defense;
    3. whether statutory aggravating circumstance of outrageously or wantonly vile, horrible or inhuman in Missouri death penalty statute was facially vague in violation of Eighth Amendment;
    4. whether the finding of torture was proper limiting construction of facially vague aggravating circumstance; and
    5. whether defendant's mental retardation prevented him from having degree of culpability necessary to justify capital punishment.
    On appeal of denial of motion for relief and motion to amend the judgment:
    1. whether the motion for relief from judgment was properly treated as second petition for habeas corpus;
    2. whether petitioner showed cause for failure to present evidence with respect to mental capacity in the original proceeding

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