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  1. #11
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    December 1, 2009

    EXECUTION DATE - CASPER

    A DISTRICT COURT JUDGE IN CASPER HAS CANCELED A COURT DATE TO SET THE EXECUTION FOR WYOMING'S ONLY DEATH ROW INMATE. DALE WAYNE EATON'S ATTORNEY SUBMITTED A MOTION TO HAVE THE HEARING DROPPED. THE DEATH WARRANT HEARING WAS SET FOR DECEMBER 14TH, BUT DISTRICT COURT JUDGE DAVID PARK GRANTED THE MOTION TO CANCEL THE PROCEEDING. EATON FACES THE DEATH PENALTY AFTER BEING CONVICTED IN 2004 FOR THE 1988 KIDNAPPING, RAPE AND MURDER OF 18-YEAR-OLD LISA MARIE KIMMEL

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  2. #12
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    December 17, 2009

    Judge stays death penalty for Wyoming inmate Eaton

    CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A federal judge has granted a request from Wyoming’s lone death row inmate to delay his scheduled execution.

    U.S. District Judge Alan Johnson of Cheyenne on Thursday granted a request from lawyers representing inmate Dale Wayne Eaton to stay his scheduled Feb. 12 execution date pending a review of his case in federal court.

    Eaton received a death penalty sentence for the 1988 rape and murder of 18-year-old Lisa Marie Kimmell, who disappeared while driving from Denver to Cody.

    Natrona County District Judge David Park on Monday had ordered Eaton to be executed Feb. 12.

    Eaton’s lawyers filed a request on Thursday arguing that Eaton was mentally incompetent to stand trial and that his constitutional rights were violated.

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    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ______

    Eaton's federal habeas petition filing can be found here: http://dockets.justia.com/docket/wyo...9cv00261/20175

  3. #13
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    August 21, 2010

    Lawyers File Petition For Death Row Inmate

    Lawyers for Wyoming death row inmate Dale Eaton have filed a 300-page petition in federal court claiming he didn't get a fair trial.

    Eaton is sentenced to die for the 1988 rape and murder of 18-year-old Lisa Marie Kimmell, of Billings, Mont.

    His appellate lawyers, Terry Harris and Sean O'Brien, have asked U.S. District Judge Alan B. Johnson to overturn the death sentence. They claim Eaton's trial lawyer, Wyatt Skaggs of Laramie, failed to develop a good relationship with Eaton, violating his right to effective legal assistance.

    Among other complaints that Harris and O'Brien level against Skaggs, they claim he failed to investigate Eaton's background and therefore wasn't able to present effective witnesses in the trial's death penalty phase. The lawyers say some witnesses could have testified that Eaton suffered a tortured childhood and likely was mentally ill when Kimmell was killed.

    Harris and O'Brien also criticize Skaggs for not allocating more resources to the defense investigation for financial reasons. And they say Skaggs should have pushed to move the trial out of Casper due to heavy pretrial publicity.

    Skaggs declined comment Friday. "Even if I did have a reaction, I couldn't tell you what that was. It's in litigation," he said.

    An attempt to reach Harris for comment was unsuccessful Friday.

    The Wyoming Attorney General's Office will file a response to Eaton's petition in the coming weeks. Attorney General Bruce Salzburg declined comment Friday.

    Kimmell disappeared in 1988 while driving from Colorado to Cody. A fisherman later found her body in the North Platte River. Investigators made little progress until 2002, when DNA evidence linked Eaton to the case while he was in prison on unrelated charges.

    Investigators later unearthed Kimmell's car on Eaton's property near Moneta. The Wyoming Supreme Court has already upheld his death sentence.

    Harris and O'Brien allege in their petition that Casper District Attorney Michael Blonigen, who prosecuted Eaton, misled the trial court about whether an inmate who testified against Eaton got a break in another criminal case. The inmate claimed Eaton discussed Kimmell's slaying with him.

    Blonigen said Friday he hasn't seen Eaton's petition. However, he said he was familiar with similar claims that Harris and O'Brien leveled earlier this year when they unsuccessfully asked Johnson to allow them to subpoena state records to support their claims.

    On the issue of the other inmate's testimony, Blonigen said, "They basically try to make it sound like there was some secret plea agreement, and there just never was. That's just not true."

    Blonigen said the lawyers' claims are typical in death penalty defense cases. "They say whatever they want to say, and then we have to spend years combatting them," he said.

    Blonigen said the state's case against Eaton was one of the strongest criminal cases he's ever seen at any level.

    "It's just a very incredibly strong job done by the forensic people and the sheriff's office," he said.

    (source: Associated Press)

  4. #14
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    September 3, 2010

    Judge: Eaton's Death Penalty Appeal To Take Years

    The judge handling Wyoming death row inmate Dale Eaton's federal appeal indicates it could take years to work though his case.

    U.S. District Judge Alan B. Johnson this week released the schedule for Eaton's appeal. If it's necessary to hold a hearing on evidence, the judge says it would be in the summer of 2012.

    Eaton is Wyoming's only death row inmate. He claims he didn't get a fair trial for the 1988 rape and murder of 18-year-old Lisa Marie Kimmell, of Billings, Mont.

    Kimmell disappeared in 1988 while driving from across Wyoming and her body was later found in the North Platte River. Investigators in 2002 tied Eaton to her death through DNA evidence and later found her car buried on his property.

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  5. #15
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    November 16, 2010

    Wyoming AG: Reject Death Row Inmate Eaton's Appeal

    Death row inmate Dale Eaton doesn't deserve lengthy federal appeals hearings before the state executes him, lawyers for the state of Wyoming told a federal judge.

    Eaton, the only person on Wyoming's death row, is challenging the constitutionality of the state death sentence he received in the 1988 rape and murder of 18-year-old Lisa Marie Kimmell, of Billings, Mont.

    Eaton's lawyers this summer filed a 300-page petition in federal court claiming he didn't get a fair trial.

    Lawyers Terry Harris of Cheyenne and Sean O'Brien of Missouri represent Eaton. They have asked U.S. District Judge Alan B. Johnson to grant them hearings to develop evidence in Eaton's case.

    Johnson has stated it could take years to resolve if it's necessary to hold hearings on the evidence.

    The Wyoming Attorney General's Office filed its response Monday to Eaton's petition. The state discounts Eaton's claims that his state court trial was flawed. The state says Eaton doesn't deserve evidentiary hearings in federal court.

    The AG's Office said the Wyoming Supreme Court already considered and shot down many of Eaton's claims and said his other claims have other flaws.

    Wyoming Attorney General Bruce Salzburg declined comment Tuesday. An attempt to reach Harris for comment was unsuccessful.

    Kimmell disappeared while driving from Colorado to Cody and her body was later found in the North Platte River. The case languished until 2002, when DNA evidence linked Eaton to the case while he was in prison on unrelated charges.

    Investigators later unearthed Kimmell's car on Eaton's property near Moneta.

    The federal petition Harris and O'Brien filed this summer criticized the performance of Eaton's trial lawyer, Wyatt Skaggs of Laramie. Skaggs this summer declined comment.

    Harris and O'Brien charged that Skaggs failed to develop a good relationship with Eaton, which they said violated Eaton's right to effective legal assistance.

    Harris and O'Brien also criticized Skaggs for not allocating more resources to the defense investigation for financial reasons. They claimed Skaggs should have pushed to move the trial out of Casper due to heavy pretrial publicity.

    Harris and O'Brien also claimed Skaggs failed to investigate Eaton's background, preventing him from presenting effective witnesses in the trial's death penalty phase. The lawyers say some witnesses could have testified that Eaton had a bad childhood and probably was mentally ill when Kimmell was killed.

    Harris and O'Brien also leveled criticism against Casper District Attorney Michael Blonigen, who prosecuted Eaton.

    Eaton's lawyers essentially charged that Blonigen misled the trial court about whether an inmate who testified against Eaton got a break in another criminal case. The inmate had claimed Eaton discussed Kimmell's slaying with him.

    Blonigen has said there's no truth to the claim from Harris and O'Brien that the other inmate received a break in exchange for testimony.

    Blonigen said the case against Eaton was one of the strongest criminal cases he's ever seen at any level.

    (source: Associated Press)

  6. #16
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    Death row inmate Eaton challenges conviction

    Lawyers representing Wyoming's lone death row inmate in his federal appeal continue to hammer on the Wyoming Public Defender's Office, saying it failed to provide the man an adequate defense at trial.

    Inmate Dale Eaton is challenging the constitutionality of the state death sentence he received in the 1988 rape and murder of 18-year-old Lisa Marie Kimmell, of Billings, Mont.

    Eaton's lawyers this month filed papers with a federal judge in Cheyenne. The lawyers dispute the Wyoming attorney general's office's position that Eaton received a fair trial and doesn't deserve lengthy federal appeals hearings before the state executes him.

    Eaton's lawyers say the Public Defender's Office refused to hire a specialist to investigate Eaton's past to help inform the jury why he should have been spared the death penalty.

    http://www.kgwn.tv/Global/story.asp?S=14316594

  7. #17
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    Judge to consider Eaton's request for hearing

    A federal judge in Cheyenne has scheduled a hearing on claims from the state's lone death row inmate that he didn't receive a fair trial in state court.

    Dale Eaton is challenging the constitutionality of the state death sentence he received in the 1988 rape and murder of 18-year-old Lisa Marie Kimmell, of Billings, Mont.

    U.S. District Judge Alan B. Johnson has set a Wednesday hearing to consider a request from Eaton's lawyers to allow them to call witnesses in support of Eaton's claim he didn't receive an adequate defense in state court.

    Eaton's current lawyers claim his trial lawyer should have called witnesses to testify that Eaton likely was mentally ill when Kimmell was killed. The Wyoming Attorney General's Office opposes the request.

    Read more: http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/news...#ixzz1OgVJ0kZB

  8. #18
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    Judge mulls murdererís request for information

    A federal judge said Wednesday he may rule in August whether to allow lawyers representing Wyomingís lone death-row inmate to demand more information from state agencies and others to support their contention their client didnít get a fair trial in state court.

    Dale Wayne Eaton is challenging the constitutionality of the state death sentence he received in the 1988 rape and murder of an 18-year-old Montana woman. Eaton has asked U.S. District Judge Alan B. Johnson of Cheyenne to rule that the death sentence violated his constitutional rights.

    Eatonís lawyers donít dispute he killed Lisa Marie Kimmell of Billings. Investigators matched DNA found in her body to Eaton and later dug up his car on his rural property in central Wyoming.

    ďThe issue is life or death ...Ē said Eaton attorney Sean OíBrien. ďWeíre not saying that an innocent man here has been convicted of a crime.Ē

    OíBrien and Cheyenne lawyer Terry Harris contend the state violated Eatonís rights by failing to give him an adequate defense at trial.

    They claim attorney Wyatt Skaggs of the public defenderís office, who represented Eaton at trial, failed to investigate Eatonís background and wasnít able to present effective witnesses in the trialís death penalty phase. OíBrien and Harris say some witnesses could have testified that Eaton suffered a tortured childhood and likely was mentally ill when Kimmell was killed. Skaggs has declined to comment on the allegations by Eatonís lawyers.

    OíBrien and Harris allege law enforcement poisoned public opinion against Eaton by leaking damaging materials to the press before trial.

    They also argue Casper District Attorney Mike Blonigen failed to reveal his background with a jailhouse witness who testified he heard Eaton refer to Kimmell in disparaging terms and describe his attack on her. Eatonís attorneys claim the witness was cooperating with law enforcement on other investigations to reduce his own pending prison sentences.

    Blonigen said last summer that Eatonís lawyers were ďimplying something that just never happened,Ē and said he was disappointed with some of their legal filings.

    On Wednesday, Johnson seemed to show some impatience as Harris argued in detail that Eatonís legal team needed access to more records to delve into the nature of any agreements between Blonigen and the witness.

    ďAll that seems to me to be pretty thin,Ē the judge responded. ďNude body. The stab wounds to the chest. Throwing the body over the bridge. Thatís pretty horrendous stuff, isnít it?Ē

    Harris agreed but said Eaton still needs to explore the witnessís testimony. He said Blonigen relied on it to show Eaton had malice against Kimmell, a necessary component of proving first-degree murder.

    Eatonís lawyers ultimately want Johnson to grant them an evidentiary hearing in which they could question witnesses about his case. The Wyoming attorney generalís office opposes their request for more documents and a hearing.

    Jenny Craig, with the attorney generalís office, told Johnson that Eaton was barred from raising many of the issues in federal court because he either had not raised them or received final rulings on them in state court. She said Eaton was now blocked from raising his claims again in state court or bringing them up in his federal appeal.

    Meanwhile, a recent ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in a California death penalty case apparently could affect the outcome of Eatonís appeal. The high court ruled in April that federal reviews of death penalty cases are limited to facts that were before the state court that made the original ruling on the caseís merits.

    ďThe landscape of this case has been changed somewhat,Ē Johnson said at the beginning of his hearing on Eatonís case. ďThis is becoming a very, very interesting case and one that is not subject to any easy answer under the current landscape.Ē

    http://helenair.com/news/article_da2...cc4c002e0.html

  9. #19
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    Wyoming death row inmate's attorneys allege more errors in sentencing

    Attorneys for Wyomingís only death row inmate have made additional claims in federal court that he didnít receive a fair trial when he was sentenced to death for killing a Montana teenager in 1988.

    The new allegations, filed Sept. 30 in U.S. District Court, say that Dale Wayne Eaton should get a new sentencing hearing because of an error his trial attorney made and because Natrona County District Attorney Mike Blonigen didnít disclose a working relationship he had with a key prosecution witness.

    State of Wyoming attorneys have repudiated both claims, claiming they are without merit and wouldnít have affected Eatonís death sentence.

    The claims were added to a 300-page petition filed by Eatonís attorneys in August alleging his trial attorney, Wyatt Skaggs of Laramie, didnít provide effective legal assistance as required by the U.S. Constitution.

    The full petition, scheduled to be heard starting in December, is among the last legal recourses for Eaton to avoid being executed for the 1988 rape and murder in Natrona County of 18-year-old Lisa Marie Kimmell of Billings, Mont.

    Kimmell disappeared in 1988 while driving from Colorado to Cody. A fisherman later found her body in the North Platte River. Investigators made little progress until 2002, when DNA evidence linked Eaton to the case while he was in prison on unrelated charges.

    Investigators later unearthed Kimmellís car on Eatonís property near Moneta. The Wyoming Supreme Court has already upheld his death sentence.

    Eatonís petition only requests a new sentencing process; it doesnít seek to overturn his conviction.

    In the Sept. 30 supplemental brief, Eatonís attorneys claimed Blonigen never disclosed that witness Joe Dax was assisting him in another murder trial, nor that Blonigen told others that he planned to recommend that Daxís state aggravated burglary sentence run concurrent with his federal firearms sentence.

    During Eatonís trial, Dax testified that while they were both in jail, Eaton recounted the story of how Eaton got a ride from Kimmell and attacked her after she rejected his sexual advances. Daxís testimony was a key part of the prosecutionís case, Eatonís attorneys stated.

    In their response, state attorneys said Daxís relationship with Blonigen was irrelevant, as thereís no evidence it would have affected Eaton being sentenced to death instead of life in prison.

    Eatonís attorneys also claim that Skaggs failed to make a hearsay objection during the trial when Natrona County Detective Dan Tholson testified that Eaton confessed his guilt to federal inmate Bret Hudson.

    State attorneys responded that Tholson never made that claim during his testimony.

    If Eatonís petition is rejected, he could appeal to U.S. Circuit Court and to the U.S. Supreme Court before his legal options would be exhausted.

    Read more: http://trib.com/news/state-and-regio...#ixzz1aZcnWtLW

  10. #20
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    Judge to consider Lisa Kimmell's killer's challenge to death penalty

    Lawyers for Wyoming's lone death row inmate are telling a federal judge that their client didn't get a fair trial.

    Dale Wayne Eaton is challenging the constitutionality of the state death sentence he received in the 1988 rape and murder of an 18-year-old Lisa Marie Kimmell of Billings, Mont.

    Eaton's lawyers told U.S. District Judge Alan B. Johnson of Cheyenne on Monday that Eaton's trial lawyers did an inadequate job of researching his background and failed to make good arguments that he deserved only a life sentence.

    State lawyers maintain that Eaton received a fair trial. Johnson started a hearing Monday on the state's request to dismiss Eaton's claims. The hearing will continue on Tuesday.

    Read more: http://billingsgazette.com/news/stat...#ixzz1h20XFPoE

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