JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - The Mississippi Supreme Court has ordered the Copiah County Circuit Court to forward all the records in the capital murder trial of Erik Wayne Hollie.
The Supreme Court on Thursday denied the attorney general’s office request to set an execution date for Hollie, who has been on Mississippi’s death row since 2010.
Hollie was sentenced to death by a Copiah County jury after pleading guilty to capital murder in 2010 in the fatal shooting of Wesson Pawn Shop owner Denmon Ward. Authorities said the 54-year-old Ward was shot to death during a robbery at his shop on Sept. 8, 2009.
The attorney general’s argues in its Jan. 2 motion that time has run out for Hollie, now 29, to file appeals in his case.
Hollie’s lawyers argued state law requires an automatic review of all death sentence cases by the Supreme Court and that hasn’t been done.
In the court’s unanimous order, Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr. agreed with Hollie’s attorneys. Waller said once the records were received, the court would announce a schedule for both sides to file briefs and then schedule oral arguments in the case if need be.
Hollie’s lawyer, Alison Steiner with the Office of the State Capital Defense Counsel, said the Supreme Court should take a look at Hollie’s case regardless of the failure of the circuit court to file the proper documents.
“To deviate from this procedure would deprive Hollie of fundamental rights of due process,” Sterner said.
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