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Thread: Roosevelt Pollard - Missouri Death Row

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    Roosevelt Pollard - Missouri Death Row




    Summary of Offense:

    On the morning of December 12, 1985, Pollard had decided to visit relatives in Arkansas. Pollard, accompanied by Maurice Alexander, Michael Hammon, and Robert Sands drove south from St. Louis on Interstate 55 in Pollards car. While driving, the battery went dead. Pollard removed a .22 caliber automatic rifle from his truck and loaded it with ammunition. Pollard brought the loaded rifle with him while he and Hammon sought another battery. They found a battery in a car at a nearby farm. They got the battery and brought it back to his car. Pollard returned the rifle to his car and they took off down Interstate 55 again. Later, one of the tires went flat and he exited the highway at the rest area near Steele, Missouri. Having no spare tire, Alexander and Hammom went with Howard Henry, the rest area maintenance person, to a nearby service station to purchase a new tire.

    Shortly after Alexander and Hammon left for a new tire, the victim, Richard Alford, drove into the rest area in his new 1984 Pontiac Bonneville and parked on one spot away from Pollard’s car. Pollard told Sands that he wanted that car and he was going to get it. Pollard removed the loaded rifle from the car and waited for Alford to return to his car. Pollard stood in the space between the two cars and shot Alford through the window, turned and looked at Sands, then turned back and shot Alford two more times. Pollard moved Alford’s body from the driver’s seat, got into the car, and drove off with the body. Twelve to thirteen minutes later, Pollard returned to see if his friends had made it back with the new tire. They had not, so Pollard left again in Alford’s car and left it at the rest area on the northbound side of Interstate 55. Pollard and his friends left and stopped in Blytheville, Arkansas to spend the night. Pollard had stolen a ring from the victims finger and was wiping the blood from it. He later sold it in a pawn shop. The body of Alford was found near the rest area in a drainage ditch under an Interstate 55 overpass.

    Note: Pollard has been declared unexecutable due to retardation.

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    Inmate Personal Information

    DOB: 03/13/1964
    Race: Black
    Gender: Male


    Crime and Trial Information

    * County of conviction: Cole
    * Number of counts: One
    * Race of Victim: White
    * Gender of Victim: Male
    * Date of crime: 12/12/1985
    * Date of Sentencing: 01/17/1986


    Legal Status

    Current Proceedings:
    Execution stayed due to incompetence, but may be re‐evaluated if mental condition improves

    State v. Pollard, 735 S.W.2d 345 (Mo. banc 1987), cert. denied, 484 U.S. 1020 (1988); Pollard v. State, 807 S.W.2d 498 (Mo. banc), cert. denied, 502 U.S. 943 (1991); Pollard v. Delo, 28 F.3d 887 (8th Cir.), cert. denied, 513 U.S. 1003 (1994).


    Court Opinions

    On habeas appeal:
    1. whethere petitioner has a right to effective post‐conviction counsel
    2. whether petitioner's claim, that trial counsel failed to provide effective assistance by failing to request instruction concerning petitioner's age, was procedurally barred, given that Missouri Supreme Court found that that issue was procedurally barred under state law because it was not raised in appeal on merits

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