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Last updated 5:53AM ET
February 28, 2021
Alabama
Alabama
Death Row Inmate Expects Appeals To Fail
(2007-09-11)
(APR - Alabama Public Radio ) - Death row inmate Tommy Arthur says he expects to be executed on Sept. 27, despite his claim that he is innocent and the efforts of his daughter and others to win him a reprieve.

"But my daughter's not going to give it up," Arthur told the TimesDaily in a telephone interview reported Monday.

Arthur, 65, is scheduled to die from lethal injection on Sept. 27 at Holman Prison in Atmore. He was sentenced to die for the 1982 murder-for-hire slaying of Troy Wicker, 35, of Muscle Shoals.

The victim's wife, Judy Wicker, testified she was romantically involved with Arthur and paid him $10,000 to kill her husband. She initially said an intruder, not Arthur, killed her husband. Convicted as an accomplice, Judy Wicker served 10 years of a life sentence.

"I'm fixing to die for something I didn't do," Arthur told the TimesDaily, often yelling into the phone of his daughter, Sherrie Arthur Stone, who received the call from her father from death row.

Stone has asked Gov. Bob Riley to delay Arthur's execution so that authorities can test DNA evidence that was never tested or presented in court.

Jeff Emerson, a spokesman for Riley, said attorneys in the governor's legal office are reviewing materials about the case.

Arthur doesn't expect help from the governor. "Riley's politically driven. If he steps out on a limb to try to help me, and it hurts him politically, he's not gonna do it," the condemned man said.

Stone also does not expect help from the office of Attorney General Troy King, which she called last week.

"His office told me it was a waste of my time. That insulted me," she said.

Stone contends her father did not get proper legal representation, at one point defending himself. His first two convictions and death sentences were overturned on appeal. His third capital murder conviction and death sentence was in 1991.

Suhana S. Han, a New York attorney who is now representing Arthur, is filing motions seeking to have DNA evidence tested and challenging lethal injection, Alabama's method of execution.

In a letter to Riley, Han requested access to the evidence so it can be tested at no cost to the state. The letter also says that new testimony from a witness confirms Arthur was nowhere near the Wicker residence on the morning of the murder.

Arthur's appeal is currently pending before the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta.

While seeking to stay the execution, Stone admits her father is no angel. "He wasn't exactly the greatest father," she said.

His criminal record includes a guilty plea in 1977 to killing one woman and shooting another in Marion County. Sentenced to life in prison, he was serving his sentence at a work-release center in Decatur at the time Wicker was killed in 1982.

Arthur also escaped from the Colbert County Jail in 1986, where he was awaiting one of his retrials. Authorities said that while on the run, Arthur shot and wounded a guard and fled to Knoxville, Tenn., where he was accused of taking $9,000 in a bank robbery.

Stone still hopes DNA evidence from the Wicker killing can be tested.

"If the evidence shows he was there, let's execute him," she said. "If not, he's done the time. Let him out."

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Information from: TimesDaily, http://www.timesdaily.com/


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