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Thread: Lance D. Shockley - Missouri Death Row

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    Lance D. Shockley - Missouri Death Row


    Sgt. Carl Dewayne Graham, Jr.




    Summary of Offense:

    Shockley, of Van Buren, was sentenced to death on May 21, 2009 for the murder of Highway patrol Sgt. Carl Dewayne Graham, Jr. outside of Graham’s Van Buren home on March 20, 2005.

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    May 22, 2009

    VAN BUREN, Mo. -- The man convicted of killing Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Dewayne Graham received a death sentence on Friday. Attorneys for Lance Shockley, 32, of Van Buren, say they plan to appeal his conviction and sentence.

    A jury convicted Shockley of first-degree murder in March but deadlocked on whether to recommend a sentence of life in prison without chance of parole or a death penalty. Circuit Judge David Evans of West Plains chose the death penalty.

    Graham, 37, was shot to death outside of his home near Van Buren on March 20, 2005. Prosecutors said the state trooper was killed because he had re-opened an investigation of a fatal accident in November 2004 in which another man died after Shockley's truck crashed on a rural road in Carter County.

    Shockley said after the fatal crash that the other man borrowed his pickup but Graham later heard Shockley might have run away from the scene. At the murder trial, the jury also convicted Shockley of leaving the scene of an accident, as well as armed criminal action for the shooting.

    http://www.ky3.com/news/local/45867892.html

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    Appeal heard Tuesday on trooper's killer

    The Missouri Supreme Court heard an appeal Tuesday from a Carter County, Mo., man facing the death penalty for gunning a Missouri State Highway Patrol sergeant down in the driveway of his Van Buren, Mo., home.

    Lance D. Shockley, 36, was convicted in March 2009 by a Carter County jury of the Class A felony of first-degree murder in connection with the March 20, 2005, death of Sgt. Carl Dewayne Graham Jr.

    A 12-year-veteran of the Highway Patrol, Sgt. Graham was found shot to death in the driveway of his Van Buren residence. He was still in uniform, having just completed his tour of duty for the day. Shockley's alleged motive for killing Graham was a Nov. 26, 2004, fatal crash that left Jeffrey R. Bayless dead. Shockley was suspected of being the driver and fleeing the scene. Graham was investigating the accident.

    After finding Shockley guilty, the jurors heard additional testimony during the penalty phase of the trial.

    The jury then deliberated for three hours and found the statutory aggravating circumstances outweighed mitigating circumstances in Shockley's case, but was unable to agree on whether he should be sentenced to death or life in prison.

    Due to the jury's finding, Presiding Circuit Judge David Evans was allowed to consider both punishments when he sentenced Shockley. Evans handed down a death sentence.

    Oral arguments were presented Tuesday from Shockley's attorney, Michael A. Gross of St. Louis, Mo., and Assistant Attorney General Daniel McPherson.

    In his appellate brief, Shockley cited nine points of appeal. He argued the circuit court erred in overruling his motion for a new trial, upholding his conviction and death sentence and contended the transcript was incomplete and inaccurate for appellate review. Shockley contends the evidence was insufficient to "establish the reliability of the transcript" since a proceeding was omitted from it and letting the transcript stand violates his constitutional rights and right to a fair appellate review.

    Further, Shockley alleges he was prejudiced when a mistrial was not declared or the jury told to disregard comments made by the prosecutor about his failure to testify.

    The prosecutor, according to Shockley, suggested to the jury Shockley "could explain" the alleged presence of his grandmother's Pontiac Grand Am parked near the site of Graham's Highway M home at about the time of the officer's death.

    The alleged and unexplained presence of Shockley's grandmother's car "at that time and place was the linchpin of the state's case."

    Shockley described the prosecutor's comment on his silence as ..."flagrant and prejudicial. Through that comment, and its insinuation of prosecutorial knowledge regarding what would have been a pivotal fact in the case, the state obtained unfair advantage ... it became more likely the jury would believe Mr. Shockley murdered Sgt. Graham."

    The court, Shockley alleges, also erred in refusing to declare a mistrial after the prosecutor and a witness, patrol Sgt. Jeff Heath, "combined to inform the jurors of Mr. Shockley's purported history of violence," and as a result, Shockley's rights were violated.

    The prosecutor was asking Heath about a late-night interview of Shockley and whether he and another trooper had been accompanied by other officers to the Shockley home.

    Both defense counsel and the judge tried to cut off Heath's response; however, he answered: "A decision was made by my bosses ... that due to Lance Shockley's violent history that ... the SWAT team should go with me."

    The purpose of the testimony, Shockley asserts, was to attack his character and make jurors more prone to find him guilty because of his "propensity to engage in violent criminal behavior."

    The jury was told to disregard Heath's testimony concerning Shockley's history of violence, but Shockley alleges it is doubtful the judge's admonishment "returned all 12 jurors to neutrality regarding (his) character and supposed propensity to hurt people."

    Shockley also alleges his character was attacked by the prosecutor displaying a photograph of him wearing orange jail clothing during Heath's testimony.

    After Shockley's attorney objected to the photograph being shownto the jury, "the prosecuting attorney displayed it before the jury again."

    Further, Shockley cited his attorney's cross-examination of patrol Sgt. Warren Weidemann about an apparent accidental gunshot, which had been fired by a law enforcement officer outside Shockley's home the night of March 20, 2005.

    "Mr. Weidemann gratuitously expressed his personal belief that Mr. Shockley had shot Sgt. Graham," according to the brief. "'I don't believe his shots were accidental.'"

    Shockley also alleges the prosecutor attacked his character by suggesting his "departure from the scene of the fatal truck accident during November 2004 showed character traits consistent with those suggested by the murder of Sgt. Graham several months later."

    Describing it as a "close case," Shockley alleges the prosecution needed all the help it could get.

    "Counsel for the state, together with Sgt. Heath and Mr. Weidemann, each took a turn at (slandering) Mr. Shockley's character," the brief said. "Their suggestions of criminal propensity and, in the case of Mr. Weidemann, flat-out statement of belief in Mr. Shockley's guilt ... rendered the trial unfair."

    Shockley further alleges the prosecutor, in his closing, cited an automobile accident death in which Shockley was a suspect. The collection of improper statements by the state and its representatives allegedly deprived Shockley of his right to be tried solely upon the evidence relating to the crime he was charged with, and the court erred by denying his motion for new trial based on those wrongs.

    Shockley also alleged the court erred in two of the penalty phase instructions in that the jury was not told the state had the burden of proof regarding the weight of aggravating and mitigating circumstances and incorrectly was told the judge would decide on punishment if the jurors failed to reach a verdict, which deprived him from being sentenced by his peers. Shockley contends his rights were violated when the court sentenced him to death after the jury failed to decide on a sentence.

    Another appellate point involves a juror, who served as the fore person during the guilt phase of the trial, and Shockley's accusation that the man misrepresented his ability to be fair because of a book he authored, which may have influenced his fellow jurors.

    The book, which was a "fictional autobiography," told the story of "justice," consisting of the uniquely brutal vigilante torture and execution of a teenager whose crime would have been punishable in Missouri by no more than seven years in prison.

    The juror, who was replaced for penalty phase deliberations, brought at least one copy of the book to the trial, which was given to a courtroom bailiff.

    While the judge, "without equivocation," shared the defense attorneys' concern as to the jury integrity by exposure to the beliefs and values expressed by the juror's book, he erred in denying a defense request for a mistrial or a motion for new trial.

    In arguing for his death sentence to be set aside, Shockley says it is excessive and disproportionate to penalties in similar cases. The sentence, he says, is not supported by the evidence, and he should be resentenced to life imprisonment.

    The state contends the court was correct in overruling Shockley's motion for new trial, as well as upholding his conviction and death sentence and in finding the transcript was sufficiently complete and accurate for appellate review.

    It is the state's contention that Shockley failed to show the transcript was incomplete and inaccurate and how he suffered prejudice as a result. Further, it is the state's position the prosecutor did not make any comment regarding Shockley not testifying and asserts the jury instructions were correct.

    The court, according to the state, also did not err in imposing the death penalty after the jury couldn't reach a verdict and the conduct of the jury foreman/author was not reason enough for a mistrial.

    http://www.dailystatesman.com/story/1965001.html
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    Missouri Supreme Court upholds death penalty conviction in case where trooper was killed

    The Missouri Supreme Court has affirmed the conviction of a southeast Missouri man who was sentenced to death for the ambush killing of a state trooper in 2005.

    Lance Shockley of the southeast Missouri town of Van Buren was convicted of first-degree murder for killing Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Carl Dewayne Graham Jr., who was shot in the back of the head just as he had returned home from work. Graham had been investigating Shockley for a fatal traffic accident.

    Shockley has been on death row since 2009. His appeal cited a litany of alleged procedural errors at trial, claimed a juror was tainted and said the sentence didn't fit the crime. The Supreme Court disagreed in a unanimous ruling.

    http://www.dailyjournal.net/view/sto.../#.UgqGV6zb1Xg
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  5. #5
    Administrator Jan's Avatar
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    In today's United States Supreme Court orders, Shockley's petition for writ of certiorari was DENIED.

    Lower Ct: Supreme Court of Missouri
    Case Nos.: (SC90286)
    Decision Date: August 13, 2013
    Rehearing Denied: October 29, 2013

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    In today's orders, the United States Supreme Court declined to review Shockley's petition for certiorari.

    Lower Ct: Supreme Court of Missouri
    Case Nos.: (SC90286)
    Decision Date: January 26, 2016
    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

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    Man facing death for murder of Missouri trooper loses appeal

    SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A circuit judge ruled Monday that a man from Van Buren received effective legal defense when he was convicted of killing a state trooper. The ruling came in a post-conviction appeal by Lance Shockley, who faces a death penalty.

    Shockley killed Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Dewayne Graham on March 20, 2005. A jury convicted him of first-degree murder and armed criminal action for the shooting. It also convicted him of leaving the scene of an accident in November 2004.

    Graham was outside his home near Van Buren when he was ambushed and shot. Investigators said Shockley killed Graham because Graham was investigating Shockley for involuntary manslaughter and leaving the scene of a one-vehicle fatality crash in which the person who died was initially thought to have been the driver.

    Greene County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Patterson was appointed as a special prosecutor to handle Shockley's post-conviction claim that he deserves a new trial because his defense attorneys were ineffective.

    Judge Kelly Parker of Salem entered a 75-page order on Monday denying all Shockley’s claims. The judge, who was appointed by the Missouri Supreme Court in 2014 to hear the post-conviction appeal, ruled that Shockley’s conviction and death sentence will stand.

    Greene County Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Todd Myers and Senior Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Emily Shook represented the State of Missouri in this case.

    Shockley once had an execution date set for Jan. 31, 2014. The Missouri Supreme Court stayed the execution, however, because of pending appeals. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to take the case in 2014 and 2016. As in all death penalty cases, Shockley is entitled to more appeals, including to the Missouri Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court again.

    http://www.kspr.com/content/news/lan...433906783.html
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  8. #8
    Senior Member CnCP Legend Mike's Avatar
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    Missouri Supreme Court hears appeal from man sentenced to death for killing state trooper, for a second time

    By Jason Taylor
    Missouri Net

    The Missouri Supreme Court in Jefferson City is considering a death sentence appeal from Lance Shockley, who was convicted of killing a state trooper in 2005. Arguments were made Tuesday before the high bench for a second time after the judges affirmed his conviction and sentence once before in 2013.

    Shockley killed Missouri State Highway Patrol Sergeant Dewayne Graham on March 20, 2005. In 2009, a jury convicted him of first-degree murder and armed criminal action for the shooting. It also convicted him of leaving the scene of an accident in November 2004.

    Sergeant Graham was outside his home near southeastern Missouri’s Van Buren when he was gunned down. Investigators said Shockley killed Graham because Graham was investigating Shockley for involuntary manslaughter and leaving the scene of a one-vehicle fatality crash in which the person who died was initially thought to have been the driver.

    The jury that found Shockley guilty in 2009 failed to agree on a sentence, leaving the responsibility with the judge. On May 22, 2009, Judge David Evans sentenced Shockley to death. After the Missouri Supreme Court upheld the decision four years later,

    Shockley had an execution date set for Jan. 31, 2014. But the state high court stayed the execution because of pending litigation.

    Shockley had filed a post-conviction request in a lower court to have his judgment reversed and a new trial set. He claimed his defense attorney was ineffective.

    Judge Kelly Parker of southern Missouri’s Salem, who was appointed by the Missouri Supreme Court to hear the post-conviction appeal, denied Shockley’s claim and upheld his conviction and death sentence in June of 2017.

    In the interim, the U.S. Supreme Court had declined to take the case in 2014 and 2016, and after the 2017 lower state court decision, Shockley once again appealed to the Missouri Supreme Court.

    Those arguments were heard Tuesday, where Shockley’s defense focused on a juror it claimed had tainted the jury trial in 2009. According to court documents, Juror 58 told the judge during jury selection that he thought everyone would want to know his son was a Springfield, Missouri police officer and that he was a “published author”.

    Shockley claims his trial attorney was ineffective because he failed to inquire about the contents of Juror 58’s book, even though he did raise concern of possible bias because the juror’s son was an officer. The trial attorney sought unsuccessfully to have the case tossed much later in the penalty phase of the case when he was given a copy of the book.

    In the Supreme Court Tuesday, Shockley also claimed the trial court erred by not disqualifying Juror 58 after he shared the book with his peers. Juror 58 had brought four copies that he distributed to other jurors and a deputy during the trial.

    Shockley’s attorney, Bill Swift, opened up Tuesday’s proceedings by describing the front and back cover of the book as being covered in blood spatter and characterized themes on the back cover as being about vengeance, murder and a court system that’s unsympathetic to the plight of victims.

    The book is described in court papers filed by Swift as sympathetic to its protagonist, a former Green Beret who assassinates a drunk driver who was freed after killing his wife. Swift said the novel did irreparable harm to the case.

    “His book is an indictment of the court system, and specifically how judges and courts handle criminal defendants, so it goes to the substance of what the jury is being required to decide,” argued Swift before the high court.

    In court documents submitted by Swift, he said “Juror 58 initially disavowed his book’s plot that the protagonist intended to make America pay for allowing murderers to go free. But when he was confronted with his book’s Amazon/Barnes and Noble web postings he authored that said exactly that, he had to admit the plot.”

    Arguing for the state before the Supreme Court, Assistant Attorney General Dan McPherson defended the juror. “If he was really so biased that he was trying to get on this jury to fulfill some kind of personal agenda, why would he even volunteer in the first place that he wrote a book,” said McPherson. “He could have kept his mouth shut. Nobody would ever have known about it.”

    McPherson further state that Juror 58’s book wasn’t a reflection of his views. “He wrote these to make an entertaining story, not because he felt that way personally,” McPherson said.

    Juror 58 ended up being discharged from the trial later on during the penalty phase of the case. According to court documents filed by Shockley attorney Swift, the judge informed Juror 58 that his decision was based on matters associated with Juror 58’s book, and informed Juror 58 he could be “subject to subpoena at a later date regarding these matters.”

    The death penalty case has now stretched out over 13 years and Shockley has aged from 28 to 41 years old. He’s incarcerated at the Potosi Correctional Center in southeastern Missouri.

    His appeal was one of four cases heard Tuesday by the Missouri Supreme Court. The bench could hand down a decision at any time.

    https://www.missourinet.com/2018/09/...a-second-time/

  9. #9
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    In today's orders, the United States Supreme Court declined to review Shockley's petition for certiorari.

    Lower Ct: Supreme Court of Missouri
    Case Numbers: (SC96694)
    Decision Date: November 21, 2017

    https://www.supremecourt.gov/search....c/17-8599.html

  10. #10
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    On September 9, 2019, Shockley filed a habeas petition in Federal District Court.

    https://dockets.justia.com/docket/mi...cv02520/174737

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