Georgia high court upholds death sentence in brutal slayings

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The Georgia Supreme Court today unanimously upheld the 2005 death sentence for Dorian Frank O'Kelley, but returned the case to Chatham County to adjust his arson convictions.

Mr. O'Kelley was convicted in Chatham County Superior Court in November 2005 for murder and related charges in the 2002 slayings of Susan Pittman, 41, and her 13-year-old daughter, Kimberly. They were slain in their house, which was burned to the ground in an attempt to conceal the crimes.

"Considering the crimes and the defendant, we find the sentences of death are not excessive or disproportionate to the penalty imposed in similar cases,'' Justice George Carley wrote in the 29-page opinion.

According to Mr. O'Kelley's statement to police, he beat Pittman with a cane "while her young daughter, guarded by co-defendant Darryl Stinsky, listened, terrified in the next room," Justice Carley's opinion stated.

He then stabbed Ms. Pittman repeatedly, later telling police there was " (a) lot of stabbing, cutting, hitting and fighting for about an hour'' before he finally slit Ms. Pittman's throat to make her die.

He and Stinsky then beat the child with a baseball bat, stabbed her, threw bricks at her "and slit her throat a the child clad only in a shirt, kneeled helplessly on her knees,'' Justice Carley wrote.

Knowing the child was still alive, but unable to move, they set the house on fire, ԧleaving her to burn alive,'' Justice Carley wrote.

The jury recommended two death sentences for Mr. O'Kelley, one for each victim.

But the high court ruled Mr. O'Kelley should only have been convicted on one count of arson and returned it to the court for correction.

Mr. Stisky was later convicted and sentenced to death in the case. His conviction and sentence remain on appeal.

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sueboo418 11/03/08 - 12:25 pm
Am I reading something wrong

Am I reading something wrong here? He admitted to this brutal crim and his sentence is on appeal why?????? This is outrageous that our tax dollars are paying for this slime to still be alive!!!!!

CoastalDawg 11/03/08 - 12:36 pm
I presume the "on appeal" is

I presume the "on appeal" is the automatic appeal given to every person in Georgia who is given the death penalty. Like Troy Anthony Davis, it is likely that these young men will outlive their sentences by using the system to file endless appeals. Troy Anthony Davis committed murder in the presence of numerous witnesses, had a fair trial, was convicted by a proper jury of murdering a young police officer, yet almost twenty years later he's still alive although his attorneys (who is PAYING those men is an excellent unanswered question) have not presented ANYTHING new which reaches to the level of obtaining a new trial. These two young men committed horrific crimes and have been duly sentenced - there is absolutely NO ground for appeal or further review, yet the court is worried about an arson sentence? How absurd our courts have become. These two people committed crimes too awful to be mentioned in public, ONE of them went on local television and "interviewed" about seeing the fire. The evidence against them is irrefutable yet they will probably see old age in prison and might never actually be executed. The court upheld the death sentence; don't worry about the arson.

jack 11/03/08 - 12:40 pm
I believe the number and

I believe the number and types of appeals (through state and federalcourts) should be limited. Justice delayed is not justice at all.

TakeAstand 11/03/08 - 03:59 pm
I agree with everyone, its

I agree with everyone, its BS. Just go ahead and save the taxpayers money, these 2 [filtered word]'s deserve worse than the needle, so they should be greatful!!!!!!

Farful 11/03/08 - 04:44 pm
forget the arson conviction.

forget the arson conviction. please execute these 2 asap

chad6401 11/03/08 - 08:43 pm
Death Sentance is easy give

Death Sentance is easy give the criminal 1 year to get an appeal and some time during that year the sentence will be carried out the crimanal will not know the date they just wake up one day and get taken to Old Sparky and let the Execution begin,

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