Post by SoulTrainOz on Jul 26, 2006 20:11:49 GMT -5
The South Carolina Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence of a man who killed 2 Beaufort County sheriff's deputies.
Abdiyyah ben Alkebulanyahh was sentenced to death by a jury in 2003 for killing Lance Cpl. Dana Lyle Tate and Cpl. d**e "A.J." Coursen in a shootout Jan. 8, 2002.
The focus of Alkebulanyahh's last appeal was whether it was unconstitutional for a judge to deny his request to skip the sentencing portion of his trial.
"There is simply no basis to conclude that his death sentence resulted from his presence in a holding cell at the back of the courtroom," according to Monday's Supreme Court decision written by Justice John Waller Jr.
Alkebulanyahh, formerly known as Tyree Roberts, was convicted of shooting Coursen six times and Tate seven times with an M-14 assault rifle during a shootout when police entered his trailer because of a report Alkebulanyahh was hitting his girlfriend.
Alkebulanyahh represented himself during his trial with stand-by counsel and said he didn't want to participate in his sentencing. He began chanting as soon as the first witness was sworn in for the sentencing phase and refused to sit down. He was taken to a room and restrained on and off throughout the sentencing.
Forcing him to sit in the back of the courtroom where the jury could see him created prejudice, said Robert Dudek, Alkebulanyahh's attorney from South Carolina Office of Appellate Defense.