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  1. #21

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    April 15, 2009

    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — A judge has ordered a DNA test in a 1982 murder case that sent a man to death row.
    Circuit Judge Teresa Pulliam ordered tests on a wig that Bobby Ray Gilbert said he wore when he killed Troy Wicker Jr. at his Muscle Shoals home. Tommy Arthur is on death row for the killing.

    The Jefferson County judge instructed the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences on Wednesday to test clothing belonging to Judy Wicker, who was convicted of murder in her husband's death and served 10 years in prison.

    The judge also ordered tests on a piece of hair found on a slipper.

    The 44-year-old Gilbert testified Tuesday during a hearing and stood behind a sworn statement he signed last year about his role in the slaying.

    The judge asked for the results in 45 days.

    http://content.usatoday.net/dist/cus...30560545.story

  2. #22

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    April 16, 2009

    DNA testing ordered in Thomas Arthur murder case

    A Jefferson County judge on Wednesday ordered DNA testing in the 1982 murder-for-hire that landed Thomas Arthur on Death Row, but only as it relates to determining whether another man who confessed to the shooting is telling the truth.

    Circuit Judge Teresa Pulliam ordered tests on an afro wig that Bobby Ray Gilbert said he wore when he killed Troy Wicker Jr. at his Muscle Shoals home. She also instructed the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences to test clothing items belonging to Judy Wicker, who was convicted of murder in her husband's death and served 10 years in prison. A piece of hair found on a slipper will be tested as well.

    The tests are to determine whether Gilbert had any contact with the items, Pulliam said.

    "It would be an easy thing for me to go ahead and make a finding. But I have the advantage and the opportunity to have science perhaps disprove my preliminary feeling about Mr. Gilbert's affidavit," she said. "Because I do have that opportunity, I'm going to let science do its work."

    The judge asked for the results in 45 days.

    The Alabama Supreme Court has stayed the execution date for Arthur while Pulliam decides if Gilbert's confession should be considered new evidence for Arthur to request a new trial. Gilbert, who is serving life without parole for 2 murders and other crimes, confessed in July 2008 - less than a week before Arthur was to be executed.

    Arthur, 67, has had 3 trials, and his conviction has been overturned twice. The 1st trial was held in Colbert County, while the last 2 were moved to Jefferson County.

    In determining Gilbert's credibility, Pulliam said she would consider his decision not to confess on the stand Tuesday, when he cited his right against self-incrimination. Gilbert instead authenticated the sworn statement he gave saying he killed Wicker at his home while having a romantic affair with Wicker's wife when he was 15.

    "It appears to me, and I certainly will consider this, that he came in the court, had his cake and ate it, too," Pulliam said. "He affirms the content of the affidavit but takes the fifth amendment in the courtroom, when it counts."

    Judy Wicker this week testified she did not know Gilbert. She first claimed her husband was killed by a burglar who also raped her, before later testifying that she hired Arthur to kill her husband.

    The judge said that while it is not uncommon for affidavits to be submitted and witnesses to come forward as an execution date nears, it is "quite extraordinary" for someone to confess to a murder at the 11th hour and to offer purported evidence that can be checked out by science.

    Arthur's daughter, Sherrie Stone, applauded the judge's decision.

    "She was big enough to step up and say, 'Let's let the technology speak here,'" said Stone, who believes the findings will give her closure.

    Pulliam also found Wednesday that no evidence was presented showing the state had done anything wrong in its handling of a rape kit collected after the crime.

    She ordered the district attorney's office and the court clerk's office in Colbert County to issue sworn statements saying thorough searches were done performed to find the rape kit. The state has said it can't locate it.

    (source: Birmingham News)

  3. #23

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    April 19, 2009

    Interesting article:


    Gary Alverson says he has no doubt the man who killed Troy Wicker in 1982 has been on death row for the past 26 years.

    "Tommy Arthur killed Troy Wicker. He's been convicted three times," said Alverson, a former Colbert County district attorney who was prosecutor for Arthur's second trial in 1987 and third trial in 1991.

    Tommy Douglas Arthur was found guilty three times of killing the Muscle Shoals businessman Feb. 1, 1982, in a murder-for-hire scheme.

    Three separate juries delivered the verdicts. Each time, Arthur received the death penalty.

    Yet, Arthur's fight to stay alive continues.

    Arthur, who has twice been within hours of being executed, won what his attorneys called a major victory last week when Jefferson County Judge Teresa Pulliam ordered DNA testing on remaining evidence collected during the initial investigation.

    Arthur, 66, said the DNA tests will prove his innocence and force the judge to either release him or order a new trial.

    Prosecutors and police investigators who built the case against him do not question Arthur's guilt.

    "I have no doubt we sent the right man to prison for murdering Troy Wicker," said former Colbert District Attorney James A. "Jap" Patton, who was prosecutor in the first trial in 1983.

    Arthur has maintained his innocence. The judge's order last week will buy Arthur more time.

    Pulliam said DNA testing will hopefully determine whether convicted murderer Bobby Ray Gilbert was telling the truth in July when he signed an affidavit confessing to killing Wicker, who was 35 at the time. Gilbert's confession came three days before Arthur was to be executed at Holman prison.

    Forensic experts will check for traces of Arthur's DNA at the same time. The judge wants a report on the tests within 45 days.

    Forensic experts will test a wig that investigators said Arthur and Troy Wicker's wife, Judy, used to support their claim that a black man broke into the house, killed Wicker, assaulted Judy Wicker and stole several items.

    Clothes worn by Judy Wicker that day also will be tested along with a hair found on a shoe in Wicker's home. DNA technology was unavailable to investigators in 1982.

    Gilbert, 43, claims to have had sex with Judy Wicker the day he shot her husband as he slept. He was 17 at the time. Arthur's attorneys contend if Gilbert's confession is credible, his DNA could be on Judy Wicker's clothing.

    Alverson said DNA testing is irrelevant.

    "Evidence has to be relevant to the issues in order to make a determination if someone is guilty of murder," Alverson said. "That is not the case in this instance. Tommy Arthur is making fools out of the judges and fools out of the court."

    Alverson said the person who killed Troy Wicker was cut while committing the crime and left blood at the scene. He said that evidence, if available, could be submitted for DNA testing to confirm the identity of the killer.

    He said the items being tested through the court order are not going to reveal any information that investigators failed to uncover while searching for the killer in the weeks after Wicker's death.

    What will DNA evidence prove?
    Suhana Han, a New York attorney representing Arthur, contends DNA testing could reveal who killed Wicker. She said if Gilbert's DNA is found, it will confirm his confession. If Arthur's is found, it could confirm what prosecutors have said all along.

    Angelo Della Manna, chief of forensic biology and DNA for the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences, said testing might not reveal DNA. He said just because someone touches an item does not mean they will leave behind DNA.

    Han declined to speculate what her legal strategy may be if neither Gilbert's nor Arthur's DNA is found. "If (Arthur's) DNA is not found, it could be very significant," she said.

    William Hovater, a Tuscumbia attorney who formerly represented Arthur, said the evidence should be tested.

    "I'm glad they are going to do it," he said. "I don't think it will prove anything incriminating."

    Joseph A. Colquitt, a professor of law and director of advocacy programs at the University of Alabama School of Law in Tuscaloosa, said the absence of DNA does not necessarily exclude someone as a suspect in a crime.

    "If no DNA evidence is found, it could only mean the suspect left no substances at the crime scene," he said.

    Assistant Attorney General Clay Crenshaw said if neither man's DNA is found, it could lead to a new round of appeals aimed at securing Arthur's release from prison or prolonging carrying out the death sentence.

    Robert Hall, former Muscle Shoals police chief of detectives, headed the investigation into Wicker's death. He said he does not expect the DNA testing to lead to Arthur's release from prison.

    "It's not going to show anything," Hall predicted. "Even if Tommy's DNA is not there, it doesn't mean he didn't do it."

    CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE KEY IN CASE

    Authorities did not find direct evidence, such as fingerprints, to link Arthur to Wicker's death, but Hall said plenty of strong circumstantial evidence was used to convict Arthur all three times.

    "His convictions were never overturned because of anything the prosecutors did or any of the evidence we used," Hall said. "They were overturned on technicalities."

    Arthur's first conviction in 1983 was overturned two years later by the Alabama Supreme Court, which stated testimony about Arthur's first murder conviction should not have been allowed.

    After being convicted again in May 1987, the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals overturned the verdict, stating an attorney was not present when Arthur was interviewed by an investigator in 1982. His third conviction was Dec. 5, 1991.

    Court officials said some of the strongest evidence was Judy Wicker's testimony in the second and third trials.

    She originally told police that an intruder forced his way into the house, killed her husband and assaulted and raped her. She changed the story after investigators questioned her.

    Judy Wicker testified that she paid Arthur $10,000 and had sex with him in exchange for the murder.

    Prosecutors contended during the trials that Judy Wicker and Arthur concocted the murder-for-hire scheme to collect Troy Wicker's insurance.

    Gilbert claims she paid him $2,000 for the murder.

    Arthur's supporters claim Judy Wicker lied on the witness stand in exchange for an early release from prison. She did receive a lighter sentence on her murder conviction in 1982, serving 10 years before her release.

    Patton said Judy Wicker told the truth. He said she was not used as a witness in Arthur's first trial because her conviction was under appeal.

    "Judy Wicker getting on the witness stand and saying she knows Tommy Arthur killed her husband because she was there is almost as good as having a photograph or video of him shooting Mr. Wicker," Hall said.

    At last week's hearing, Judy Wicker, who has remarried and has a different last name, continued to blame Arthur for her ex-husband's death. When she was asked how she knew Arthur killed Wicker she replied, "because I was there with him."

    The case against Arthur
    Former Sheffield Police Chief Doug Aycock agrees the case against Arthur was based on strong circumstantial evidence. It took three months to build the case, with an indictment being filed in April 1982.

    "Evidence in this case were like links in a chain," Aycock said. "When you put them together, there is a lot of evidence leaning toward Tommy Arthur."

    Another key piece of evidence was testimony from a Huntsville bartender and bar patron who said Arthur asked them to buy a specific brand and style of .22 caliber bullets the day before Wicker's death. Investigators said they found a casing from the same brand and style of bullet in the bedroom and it was used to kill Wicker, who was shot in the eye.

    "The woman told investigators that she sent a man to buy the ammunition," Aycock said. "The man still had the note given to him by the woman requesting that he buy the bullets. The woman said she gave them to Arthur."

    Aycock listed other key elements:


    Telephone records show dozens of calls made between the mobile home plant where Arthur worked as part of his work-release program in Decatur to Judy Wicker's sister's home. The calls were made in the weeks just before the shooting. Prosecutors argued the calls were conversations between Judy Wicker and Arthur.


    Arthur did not report to his work-release job on the day Wicker was killed. He was assigned work release after a 1977 murder conviction in Marion County.


    Judy Wicker's sister told police she picked up Arthur on the morning of the slaying and they drove to a side road near the airport where he got in a car with Judy Wicker and drove away. They met Judy Wicker at about 8 a.m. Muscle Shoals police got a call about an hour later notifying them that Troy Wicker had been killed.


    Another witness reported she was with Arthur about two hours after Wicker was killed and Arthur asked her to stop on the Interstate 65 bridge near Decatur. She said Arthur threw something off the bridge. When asked what he was throwing away, Arthur told her it was "old memories."


    Judy Wicker's mother told police she overheard her daughter talking about Arthur killing Troy Wicker and about Arthur breaking her tooth and busting her lip when he hit her to make it appear she had been assaulted.


    More than $2,000 was found in Arthur's locker at the work-release center in Decatur a few days after Wicker was killed.


    Wicker's shooting was similar to the 1977 Marion County homicide that Arthur pleaded guilty to committing. Both victims were shot in the right eye.

    "You'd like to have a confession or two eyewitnesses, but we didn't have that in this case," Aycock said. "I still think we had a strong case and obviously three separate juries felt we did, too."

    Arthur contends prosecutors ignored evidence that would have linked other suspects to Wicker's death. Before Gilbert confessed, Arthur asked investigators, court officials, governors and news reporters to conduct probes that he claimed would identify Wicker's killer.

    Arthur and Gilbert have said they never met to discuss details of Wicker's death.

    Inmates who spent time at Holman prison while Gilbert and Arthur were both housed there testified for the state at last week's hearing that they delivered notes between Arthur and Gilbert.

    "Tommy Arthur is manipulating the system," Alverson said. "He enjoys doing what he's doing."

    Arthur's supporters argue he is fighting to avoid being sent to the death chamber for a murder he did not commit.

    Han contends they are only trying to ensure that Arthur received a fair trial and the state is not ignoring any evidence that might prove his innocence.

    Patton and Alverson are confident that even if a new trial is ordered, Arthur will be convicted.

    "I'm confident that Tommy will die in prison. He will never be released," Patton said.

    http://www.timesdaily.com/article/20...95033&tc=yahoo

  4. #24

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    August 12, 2009

    An Alabama assistant attorney general said he would ask the Alabama Supreme Court to set an execution date for Thomas Arthur in a 1982 murder-for-hire, after a Jefferson County judge ruled that another inmate's confession to the crime lacked any credibility.

    Lawyers representing Arthur in his appeals asked Circuit Judge Teresa Pulliam today to order further DNA testing on a wig the killer wore when Troy Wicker Jr. was killed while asleep at his Muscle Shoals home. Earlier testing by a state forensic expert found no DNA on the wig.


    Pulliam rejected that request and referred the case back to the Supreme Court.

    In April, Pulliam had ordered DNA tests on the wig as well as on clothing that Wicker's wife, Judy, wore the day her husband was killed. Judy Wicker was convicted of murder in her husband's death and served 10 years in prison before her release.

    Arthur, 67, was days away from a scheduled execution last year in Wicker's murder when another inmate, Bobby Ray Gilbert, filed a sworn statement confessing to the crime. That led Arthur's lawyers to seek the DNA testing in an attempt to determine if the wrong man was convicted.

    Judy Wicker, who has testified that she hired Arthur to kill her husband, denied knowing Gilbert when she testified during the April hearing.

    After the April hearing, Pulliam said she was skeptical of Gilbert's story, but ordered the limited DNA testing to assess Gilbert's credibility. In his statement, Gilbert said that after killing Wicker at age 15, Gilbert and Judy Wicker had unprotected sex in the hallway during the brief time before police arrived.

    DNA testing on the clothes Mrs. Wicker was wearing showed the Wickers had sex at some point before her husband was killed.

    "Science has in fact made a liar out of Mr. Gilbert," Pulliam said today when announcing her decision denying Arthur's request for a retrial based on new evidence. "Science in this case has absolutely confirmed to me that what he had to say about being in the house was untrue."


    http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2009/08/...e_rejects.html

  5. #25

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    September 5, 2009


    New execution date to be set for Arthur

    A Jefferson County circuit judge in a final order declined to give convicted capital murderer Tommy Douglas Arthur the legal relief he seeks to avoid execution, and the attorney general’s office said Friday it soon would seek an execution date.

    Jefferson County Circuit Judge Teresa Pulliam on Wednesday ruled Arthur has had a "full and fair opportunity to present" claims that another inmate killed Muscle Shoals businessman Troy Wicker in 1982 as Wicker slept in his home.

    Clay Crenshaw, chief of the capital litigation section of the attorney general's office, said he soon will file a request for an execution date, probably Tuesday.

    Arthur was convicted 3 times and sentenced to death for killing Wicker for money paid by his wife, Judy Wicker.

    Arthur's last date with death was stayed by the Alabama Supreme Court on July 30, 2008, to give Pulliam time to consider "newly discovered evidence."

    But last year Alabama prison inmate Bobby Gilbert in a signed statement given Arthur's attorney, Suhana Han, said he had an affair with Wicker's wife and he killed Wicker, not Arthur.

    Han got a hearing on DNA evidence and on Gilbert's statement. Pulliam in her final order said Gilbert's "confession" was not credible and his affidavit was a "fraud perpetrated upon this court."

    Pulliam said attorney general witnesses "clearly indicated that the affidavit of Gilbert was prepared with Arthur's assistance."

    "Although Arthur has raised 3 claims in his amended successive (appeal) petition, the issue before this court is a narrow one and essentially concerns one sole issue: the credibility of Bobby Ray Gilbert’s affidavit," Pulliam wrote.

    "This court has carefully considered the testimony presented during the evidentiary hearing and spent countless hours examining the transcripts of Arthur's previous trials and finds Gilbert's affidavit to be contrary to the great weight of evidence presented against Mr. Arthur at trial and at the (appeal) evidentiary hearing," Pulliam wrote.

    "In short, this Court finds the affidavit to be false," she wrote, adding, "the overwhelming evidence and testimony presented before this court established that Gilbert lied, that his affidavit is false and that he had no role in the murder of Troy Wicker."

    (source: Gadsden Times)

  6. #26

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    September 10, 2009


    Alabama AG seeks execution date for Tommy Arthur

    The state attorney general sought a new execution date Tuesday for death row inmate Tommy Arthur, who has already avoided execution three times for a 1982 killing in Muscle Shoals.

    Arthur's last execution date was put on hold in July 2008 after another inmate claimed that he killed Troy Wicker Jr. in his Muscle Shoals home - and that Arthur was not involved. A Jefferson County judge reviewed the claim and ruled it false Sept. 1.

    Assistant Attorney General Clay Crenshaw said that ruling cleared the way for the state to seek a new execution date Tuesday.

    One of Arthur's attorneys, Suhana Han of New York, said Tuesday she could not comment on the attorney general's court filing because she had not yet received a copy.

    Setting a new execution date can sometimes take months.

    Arthur was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to die for the contract killing of Wicker on Feb. 1, 1982. Wicker's wife, Judy Wicker, originally claimed she was attacked and raped when her husband was killed, but she later testified she hired Arthur, a state work release inmate, to kill her husband. She was convicted for her role and served 10 years in prison.

    Arthur, 67, was last scheduled to die at Alabama's Holman Prison on July 31, 2008. But less than 24 hours before his scheduled execution, the Alabama Supreme Court decided 5-4 to put his lethal injection on hold.

    The court acted after another state prisoner, Bobby Ray Gilbert, claimed that he killed Wicker and had unprotected sex with Wicker's wife afterward. Gilbert is serving life in prison without parole for convictions in two other killings.

    After halting Arthur's execution, the Supreme Court directed Jefferson County Circuit Judge Teresa Pulliam to review Gilbert's claims.

    The judge held hearings, with Judy Wicker saying that she did not know Gilbert and that she was present when Arthur shot her husband.

    The judge said testimony from other inmates showed Arthur worked with Gilbert to develop the false claim while both were at Holman Prison.

    She also wrote that DNA testing of crime scene evidence - done for the 1st time in the case - showed that none of the semen found on Judy Wicker's clothing matched Gilbert's.

    Instead, the judge said the semen "is consistent with her having sex with her husband at some time in the close proximity of the murder and her false allegation of rape, and not with Gilbert."

    The judge wrote that the evidence "establishes that both Gilbert and Arthur have defrauded this Court."

    In addition to Gilbert's execution being halted last year, he also received court-ordered stays after execution dates were set in 2001 and 2007.

    (source: Tuscaloosa News)

  7. #27

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    September 30, 2009

    Alabama attorney general's office seeks an execution date for Thomas Arthur----Max Payne is set to die Oct. 8

    The Alabama attorney general's office has asked the Alabama Supreme Court to set an execution date for convicted murderer Thomas Arthur.

    Arthur's claims that another inmate killed Troy Wicker Jr. in 1982 were rejected by a Jefferson County judge who said Arthur and the inmate were trying "to defraud this court."

    In its motion earlier this month, the attorney general's office cited Jefferson County Circuit Judge Teresa Pulliam's August ruling that no credible evidence backed Bobby Ray Gilbert's sworn statement that he, not Arthur, shot and killed Wicker.

    Arthur, 67, has been on death row at Holman Correctional Facility since 1983. He has been scheduled for execution more than once, but the Supreme Court postponed the most recent date, July 31, 2008, to allow Pulliam to hold a hearing on Gilbert's statement.

    Pulliam ultimately ruled that the state presented "particularly convincing" evidence "that Arthur participated in the creation of Gilbert's affidavit" by feeding him information about Wicker's killing. She also noted that DNA testing refuted Gilbert's claim that he had sex with Wicker's wife, Judy, shortly after the murder.

    As of Sept. 23, 203 inmates were on Alabama's death row. One of them, Max Landon Payne, is scheduled to die by lethal injection Oct. 8.

    Payne, 38, was convicted of robbing and abducting Cullman County store owner Braxton Brown in 1992 and killing him with 2 shotgun blasts to the face.

    5 Alabama death row inmates have been executed this year.

    (source: Birmingham News)

  8. #28

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    August 14, 2010

    Supreme Court asked to review Arthur trial denial


    The oft-appealed murder-for-hire conviction of Tommy Douglas Arthur, one of the longest serving death row inmates, has been appealed again.

    Arthur Arthur's attorney filed a petition requesting the Alabama Supreme Court review a judge's 2009 decision not to grant Arthur a new trial.

    Arthur was sentenced to die by three separate juries for the Feb. 1, 1982, death of Muscle Shoals businessman, Troy Wicker.

    At the time of Wicker's death, Arthur also was serving time at the Decatur work release facility as part of a sentence for a 1977 Marion County homicide to which he confessed.

    On July 9, Arthur's New York attorney, Andrew Brinkman, filed a petition for writ of certiorari now pending before the Supreme Court.

    There is no timetable on when or if the court will agree to consider Brinkman's request.

    Brinkman was not available for comment Wednesday, but the petition on file with the court bases the request on DNA testing of evidence at the crime scene. Brinkman based his request on Alabama Rule 32 that sets terms for introducing evidence not in the original trial.

    Assistant Attorney General Clay Crenshaw said the petition before the Supreme Court is based on DNA testing.

    DNA testing did not exist when Wicker was murdered at his home in Muscle Shoals. Arthur was convicted of the killing and sentenced to die in two separate jury trials, but the convictions were overturned. Conviction by a third jury still stands.

    Arthur has been within hours of execution more than once only to have the execution delayed by appeals.

    Three days before Arthur was last scheduled for execution in July 2008, an inmate serving a life sentence without parole confessed to having sex with Wicker's wife, Judy, the day of Troy Wicker's death and killing him.

    Because inmate Bobby Ray Gilbert, now serving a life sentence without parole at St. Clair Correctional Facility, was a minor in 1982, he would not face the death penalty if found guilty.

    The confession led to a request before Jefferson County Circuit Judge Teresa Pulliam for DNA testing of crime scene evidence to back up Gilbert's confession. Arthur's attorneys sought the testing as basis for a new trial for Arthur.

    The state argued DNA testing would not prove Gilbert committed the crime. Pulliam ordered DNA testing.

    When DNA tests showed no evidence of any DNA, Pulliam denied Arthur's request for a new trial in July 2009. She termed Gilbert's confession “bogus.”

    http://www.timesdaily.com/article/20...29986&tc=yahoo

  9. #29
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    Still no word on Arthur appeal

    Six months after attorneys for death row inmate Tommy Douglas Arthur asked the Alabama Supreme Court to reconsider a Birmingham judgeís ruling on DNA evidence in his capital murder case, the request is still pending.

    Arthur, one of the longest-serving Alabama death row inmates, has been within hours of execution three times only to have the execution delayed by appeals. The most recent request was a writ of certiorari that Arthurís attorneys filed July 9 asking the Supreme Court to review the case, according to Joy Patterson, attorney generalís office spokeswoman.

    There is no word yet on whether the court plans to consider the latest request from the inmate who went to death row 28 years ago after being convicted for killing a Muscle Shoals man. Until the Supreme Court decides to take up or deny the case, the court does not issue statements about the process.

    Jefferson County Circuit Judge Teresa Pulliam denied Arthurís most recent request for a new trial in July after DNA testing she ordered proved inconclusive.

    Arthurís attorneys then filed a writ of certiorari with the Supreme Court. The writ is a method attorneys use to ask an appellate court to reconsider a lower courtís decision in a case without other available appeals.

    Arthurís appeal before Pulliam resulted from a July 2008 confession by another inmate who said he, not Arthur, killed Muscle Shoals businessman Troy Wicker.

    But the DNA testing Arthurís attorneys hoped would prove he did not commit the 1982 homicide was inconclusive. Pulliam termed inmate Bobby Ray Gilbertís confession ďbogus.Ē

    Assistant Attorney General Clay Crenshaw, the chief of capital litigation for the state, argued that the DNA evidence requested would not prove Arthur did not commit the crime.

    http://www.timesdaily.com/article/20...-Arthur-appeal

  10. #30
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    Court denies Arthur request

    Published: Saturday, April 16, 2011

    Death row inmate Tommy Arthur has exhausted all his appeals with the Alabama Supreme Court in an effort to get a new trial.

    Supreme Court Justices denied a petition for a new trial Friday without comment.

    Arthur's attorney filed a petition in August requesting the Alabama Supreme Court review a 2009 judge's decision not to grant a new trial.

    Arthur, 68, of Sheffield, was sentenced to die by three separate juries for the Feb. 1, 1982, shooting death of Troy Wicker at his home in Muscle Shoals. Wicker's wife, Judy Wicker, testified she hired Arthur to kill her husband.

    At the time of Wicker's death, Arthur also was an inmate at the Decatur work release facility as part of a sentence for a 1977 Marion County homicide, which he confessed to, according to court records.

    In July, Arthur's attorneys, filed a petition for writ of certiorari requesting the Alabama Supreme Court to grant a new trial.

    Officials with the Alabama attorney general's office said Friday's action by the Alabama Supreme Court meant the justices didn't believe there was enough of an issue to consider his appeal.

    Also, officials with the attorney general's office said this was Arthur's final recourse with the Alabama Supreme Court. They said his next appeal would have to be with the U.S. Supreme Court.

    Efforts to reach Arthur's New York-based attorneys or his daughter, Sherrie Stone, for a comment were unsuccessful Friday.

    The petition filed in 2010 based the request on DNA testing of evidence at the crime scene. DNA testing did not exist when Wicker was killed.

    Arthur was convicted of the killing and sentenced to die in two separate jury trials, but the convictions were overturned. Conviction by a third jury still stands.

    Arthur has come close to being executed three times. The last came July 31, 2008, but was stopped by the Alabama Supreme Court because another inmate, Bobby Ray Gilbert, said he killed Wicker.

    Jefferson County Circuit Judge Teresa Pulliam ruled in April 2009 that Gilbert was not telling the truth.

    Reports indicate Gilbert and Arthur were being held at the same time at Atmore prison. Gilbert is in the St. Clair Correctional Facility where he is serving a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole for a murder conviction. He claims he had an affair with Judy Wicker and killed her husband after she asked him to.

    Judy Wicker, who served 10 years of a life sentence for her role in her husband's death, said she did not know Gilbert and said it was Arthur who killed her husband.

    In making her decision, Pulliam, stated testimony from other inmates showed Arthur worked with Gilbert to developed the false claim while both were at Holman Prison.

    The judge also ordered DNA testing to be done on the clothing from the crime scene for the first time in the case.

    When DNA tests showed no evidence of any DNA, Pulliam denied Arthur's request for a new trial in July 2009. The judge termed Gilbert's confession “bogus.”

    Arthur is one of the longest-serving inmates on death row in Alabama. He was sent to death row in 1983.

    A new date of his execution has not been scheduled.

    http://www.timesdaily.com/article/20...19864&tc=yahoo

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