In Gaston County, evidence emerged today that the police did not turn over their complete files in the case of Michael Mead. Mead is accused of an arson-murder which occurred in 2008. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty; Mead has always maintained his innocence.
A Pitt County jury has just returned two life sentences for Shelton Mills.
Having found Shelton Mills guilty of two counts of first-degree murder, a Pitt County jury is now hearing evidence to help them decide what sentence he should receive. The only options are death or life without the possibility of parole.
The defense has presented testimony from experts who evaluated Mills and found him to be mentally retarded, as well as teachers who observed similar limitations when Mills was a child. The defense also presented testimony from a former corrections commissioner who testified that Mills is the sort of inmate who will not pose a security threat to guards or other inmates if he were to be housed in the non-death row population.
The legal definition of mental retardation in North Carolina is not the same as the medical definition. Mills is, medically speaking, mentally retarded (or what doctors now call intellectually disabled). Legally speaking, Mills’ IQ is one point too high for him to be automatically exempt from the death penalty. There is no functional difference between a person with Mills’ IQ (71) and a person whose IQ meets to legal threshold for mental retardation (70).
The jury can still consider Mills’ mental limitations in deciding what sentence is most appropriate.
In Pitt County, a jury is deciding whether to convict Shelton Mills of first-degree murder. Mills is accused of a 2007 double shooting. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.
After over twenty hours of deliberation and multiple allegations of juror misconduct, the judge declared a mistrial today in the sentencing phase of the Columbus County trial of Danny Thomas. Thomas was sentenced to four consecutive terms of life without the possibility of parole.
In Columbus County, a jury is deciding the fate of Danny Thomas. Having been found guilty of first-degree murder, Thomas will either be sentenced to death or to life without the possibility of parole.
In Pitt County, the trial of Shelton Mills started yesterday. Mills, who is borderline mentally retarded, is accused of a 2007 double homicide.
3 – Cary Kerr (TX)
6 – Jeffrey Motts (SC)
10 – Benny Stevens (MS)
17 – Daniel Bedford (OH)
17 – Rodney Gray (MS)
19 – Jason Williams (AL)
25 – Don Beaty (AZ)