Supreme Court rejects Augusta man's death penalty appeal

Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2009 3:28 PM
Last updated 10:31 PM
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The U.S. Supreme Court won’t hear an appeal from an Augusta man who has been on death row for 14 years.

Mark H. McClain  File
File
Mark H. McClain

On Monday, the high court rejected hundreds of petitions for appeals, including one filed on behalf of Mark H. McClain who was convicted of murder and armed robbery and sentenced to death by a Richmond County Superior Court jury in September 1995.

Mr. McClain, 43, shot to death 28-year-old Domino’s Pizza manager, Kevin Brown, the night of Nov. 20, 1994.

Mr. McClain is basically out of appeals now. His lawyers have filed a motion for a rehearing with the Supreme Court, but that does not prohibit the setting a new execution date, said Daryl Robinson, deputy counsel in the Georgia Attorney General’s office.

District Attorney Ashley Wright was out of the office Wednesday.

Mr. McClain has lost appeals at every stage as attorneys tried to convince state and federal judges that he did not have a fair trial. The courts have consistently ruled there was no reason to overturn Mr. McClain’s conviction or death sentence.

Mr. McClain had been on parole for about six months when he walked into the Azalea Plaza pizza store just after closing time. According to trial testimony, Mr. McClain held Mr. Brown up at gunpoint, turned to leave the store and fired on Mr. Brown from the doorway. Mr. Brown was unarmed. A delivery man who ran from the store when Mr. McClain pulled a gun was able to get the license plate number when the shooter left.

Mr. McClain served about four years of a 10-year sentence he received for a South Carolina armed robbery.

Mr. Brown’s only living relative, his father, Albert Brown, died in 1998.

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OTHER AUGUSTA AREA RESIDENTS ON DEATH ROW

According to a report prepared by the Attorney General’s office in September, this is the status of other death row inmates from the Augusta area:

-- Earnest U. Morrison, 49: habeas petition denied in state court and petition to the U.S. Supreme Court pending. Mr. Morrison can still challenge his conviction and sentence by filing a federal habeas petition. He was sentenced to death in Richmond County Superior Court for the Jan. 9, 1987, rape, robbery and murder of a family acquaintance, Mary Edna Griffin, 54.

-- Willie W. Palmer, 46: granted a second trial in Burke County Superior Court at which he was convicted and sentenced to death again in August 2007. The appellate process has not begun. Mr. Palmer murdered his estranged wife and stepdaughter, 31-year-old Brenda Palmer and 15-year-old Christine Jenkins, on Sept. 10, 1995.

-- Reinaldo Rivera, 46: has a pending state habeas petition. There was a hearing last month and the judge has allowed the parties to submit any new matters by Dec. 4. Mr. Rivera was sentenced to death in Richmond County Superior Court for the Sept. 9, 2000, death of Army Sgt. Marni Glista, 21. Mr. Rivera confessed to raping and killing Sgt. Glista, Tabita Bosdell, 17, Melissa Gingess, 17, and Tiffaney Wilson, also 17.

-- Robert O. Arrington, 62: first, direct appeal to the Georgia Supreme Court is pending. Court heard oral arguments in August. Mr. Arrington was sentenced to death in Richmond County Superior Court for the April 4, 2001, murder of 46-year-old Kathy Lynn Hutchens after she forced him to move out of her home. Mr. Arrington also killed his wife, Elizabeth Arrington, in 1986.

Comments (14) Add comment
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backer
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backer 10/07/09 - 03:30 pm
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fry him

fry him

roundaboutway
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roundaboutway 10/07/09 - 03:40 pm
0
0
twice bake him

twice bake him

lifelongresidient
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lifelongresidient 10/07/09 - 03:54 pm
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see ya..wouldn't want to be

see ya..wouldn't want to be ya

charlesd
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charlesd 10/07/09 - 04:06 pm
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What are they waiting on now?

What are they waiting on now?

LolaJean
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LolaJean 10/07/09 - 04:18 pm
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The US Supreme Court must be

The US Supreme Court must be filled with all Minorities because this man is a Non Minority-Sincerely, JUSTUS4

wannabehome
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wannabehome 10/07/09 - 04:41 pm
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Its a true shame that any of

Its a true shame that any of them are allowed ANY appeals or second trials. What a joke of a judicial system we have. Hang them all in the streets!

sueboo418
36
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sueboo418 10/07/09 - 05:05 pm
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Yep, he is being taken care

Yep, he is being taken care of with 3 meals a day, roof over his head at OUR expense for all these years. Unfair trial, yeah right!! He did it, so what is the hold up here?????

Rob Pavey
533
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Rob Pavey 10/07/09 - 05:10 pm
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good reporting - nice touch,

good reporting - nice touch, adding sketches of the other capital offenders here. I wondered what was up with the rivera case.

asustudent75
2
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asustudent75 10/07/09 - 05:44 pm
0
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Kind of confused with the

Kind of confused with the reason as to why they are still alive??? Tax dollars are continuing to feed, clothe and house them. If reason happens to be that the executioners "office" is short on manpower, I will flip the switch for free!!!

old school graduate
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old school graduate 10/07/09 - 07:22 pm
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Augusta's man??? or maybe,

Augusta's man??? or maybe, Augusta man's

The Perfect Poster
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The Perfect Poster 10/07/09 - 07:52 pm
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either way..he's toast.

either way..he's toast.

jsherrill
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jsherrill 10/08/09 - 12:29 am
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After the second or third

After the second or third appeals and no new evidence to the contrary, let's carry out the order of the court.

littlettolate
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littlettolate 10/08/09 - 08:01 am
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He is right where he needs to

He is right where he needs to be

corgimom
28047
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corgimom 10/08/09 - 12:37 pm
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LolaJean, that was terrific!

LolaJean, that was terrific! McCain is a low-life scum and it's sickening how he has been able to live while his victim didn't have that choice. Now when it comes to Reinaldo, I could personally give him the black needle and I wouldn't feel an ounce of remorse.

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