Victims of the State

Theodore Marcinkiewicz - See Majczek & Marcinkiewicz

Cobb County, GA 

Marietta Seven

May 7, 1971

James Creamer and six co-defendants were convicted of murdering two physicians in Marietta, Georgia. The victims, Warren and Rosina Matthews, were found shot to death in their home in what appeared to be an attempted robbery. Creamer's co-defendants were George Emmett, Larry Hacker, Bill Jenkins, Hoyt Powell, Charles Roberts, and Wayne Ruff. The seven were arrested and prosecuted almost entirely on the word of Deborah Ann Kidd who said she had accompanied the men to the Matthews home. Kidd testified that Creamer was the shooter. All seven were given life sentences, except for Creamer, who was given a death sentence. In 1974, the Georgia Supreme Court unanimously upheld all the convictions and sentences.

In 1975, an investigation by the Atlanta Constitution newspaper revealed that Kidd's testimony had major credibility problems. She had claimed to be high on drugs at the time of the crime and had a hypnotist refresh her memory (whose tapes show he fed her case facts). One woman she named as part of the gang was known to be out of state at the time. Transcripts of her statements had been withheld from the defense. Kidd had given many versions of events that transpired at the crime scene. The identity of the shooter changed from one version to another, as did her identification of those who were present. At one point she confessed to shooting the victims herself. It was also discovered that Kidd was romantically involved with one of the detectives assigned to the case.

Kidd admitted she lied in her trial testimony. In addition, Billy Birt, a death-row inmate, confessed to committing the crime with two other men. In 1975, the convictions of the Marietta Seven were reversed and the state dropped charges. The DA claimed he was not convinced of the men's innocence and declined to prosecute Kidd for perjury.  (TWM) (CWC) (PC)  [3/07]

Westchester County, NY 

Luis Marin

Dec 4, 1980

“Luis Marin was convicted in Westchester County of twenty-six counts of murder arising from a [fire at a Stouffer’s Inn in Harrison, NY.] Marin successfully moved the trial court for a post-verdict order dismissing the indictments based on insufficiency of the trial evidence. The prosecution appealed. The Appellate Division and Court of Appeals upheld the trial court order of dismissal. It was held that having an empty gasoline container and siphon in his car were insufficient facts to support the inference that Marin had set the fire. In sum, the evidence presented at trial was simply insufficient to sustain the charges. ‘[T]he loss of life at the Stouffer’s Inn fire was a tragedy of staggering proportion ... However, the tragedy would be compounded by the conviction and imprisonment of a person whose criminal responsibility for that tragedy has not been proven.’” – Inevitable Error  (Appeals)

Gage County, NE 

William Jackson Marion

May 15, 1872

In 1883, a body was found in clothing that witnesses identified as John Cameron's. Cameron had disappeared 11 years before. William Jackson Marion was convicted of murdering him and hanged on Mar. 25, 1887. However, Cameron turned up alive in 1891 and explained that he had absconded to Mexico to avoid a shotgun wedding. Marion was granted a posthumous pardon on the 100th anniversary of his hanging.  (CWC) (Appeals: 1884, 1886)

 Ontario, Canada

Tammy Marquardt

Oct 9, 1993

Tammy Marquardt was convicted of the murder of her 2-year-old son, Kenneth. Marquardt said she woke from a nap to find Kenneth tangled in his bed sheets and when she freed him he wasn't moving. However, a pathologist, Charles Smith, testified that Kenneth had died from asphyxia after being smothered or strangled. Smith's findings were subsequently rejected by six forensic experts, including Newfoundland and Labrador's chief medical examiner, Dr. Simon Avis, who said Kenneth, an epileptic, could have died from a seizure. Another expert, Dr. Pekka Saukko, said Smith's conclusions in Marquardt's case were “illogical and completely against scientific evidence based reasoning.” Marquardt had rejected a plea bargain that would have given her a five-year sentence for manslaughter.

The Office of the Chief Coroner for Ontario found that Smith made serious errors in 20 of 45 criminally suspicious deaths he investigated between 1991 and 2001. Smith's findings led to homicide charges against parents and caregivers, many of which were unwarranted. In early 2009, Marquardt was the last person included in a review of of Smith's work still behind bars. She has maintained her innocence and said she discovered her son struggling and tangled in a bed sheet after he called out to her from a bedroom. Marquardt was released on bail in Mar. 2009 and her conviction was quashed in Feb. 2011. The pathologist, Dr. Charles Smith, was stripped of his license to practice medicine in Ontario.  (Toronto Star) (Ottawa Citizen) (The Record)  [3/09]

Anne Arundel County, MD 

Guy Gordon Marsh

June 28, 1971 (Glen Burnie)

Guy Gordon Marsh was convicted of murdering Charles Erdman, a customer inside a Glen Burnie 7-Eleven on Crain Highway near Aquahart Road. The victim had tried to stop a robbery that was in progress. Linda Packech, a heroin addict and the main witness against Marsh at trial, said she saw Marsh come out of the store and pull his mask up. In 1987, Packech admitted she lied. She was in jail at the time she claimed to have seen Marsh. She told a reporter and a prosecutor that she had been pressured to finger Marsh by a county police detective who was convinced Marsh was guilty. Marsh was released after 14 years of imprisonment and Packech was convicted of perjury.  (The Capital)  [1/07]

 San Diego County, CA

Ken Marsh

Apr 27, 1983

Ken Marsh was convicted of murdering his girlfriend's two-year-old son, Phillip Buell. Marsh maintained that Phillip had fallen from the back of a couch. Homicide detectives considered Marsh innocent from the time he was questioned. However, he was prosecuted at the urging of doctors who were not experts in forensic pathology and who had misdiagnosed Phillip's injuries. At trial a doctor incorrectly claimed that Phillip's injuries could only have been caused by abuse. Prosecutors ignored testimony from a homicide detective who came forward in Marsh's defense. Marsh served 21 years of 15 years to life sentence. Brenda Warter, the mother of the alleged victim, has stood by Marsh throughout his incarceration and the two married following his release. In 2006, Marsh was awarded $756,000.  (InjusticeBusters) (JD) (FJDB)  [6/05]

 Nova Scotia, Canada

Donald Marshall, Jr.

May 28, 1971 (Sydney)

Donald Marshall, Jr. was sentenced to life imprisonment for murdering his friend Sandy Seale. The two had been walking in Sydney's Wentworth Park when a stranger stabbed Seale in the belly for little apparent reason. Seale died the next day. Marshall was a Mi'kmaq Indian and Seale was a black. Both were 17 years of age. Marshall spent 11 years in jail before being acquitted in 1983. A witness came forward to say he had seen another man stab Seale. Marshall was awarded a lifetime pension of $1.5 million.  (Info)  [7/05]

Sumner County, TN

Marshall & Spurlock

Feb 20, 1989

Ronnie Marshall and Robert Spurlock were convicted of the murder of Lonnie Malone. Malone's body was found on Feb. 21, 1989 in a concrete culvert on Bug Hollow Road. He had died of multiple stab wounds. The state's theory was that Marshall and Malone sold drugs for Spurlock. When Malone failed to pay for the drugs that Spurlock furnished him, Spurlock decided to kill him. According to the state, Marshall aided and abetted Spurlock in killing Malone. Marshall supposedly found Malone, delivered him to Spurlock, and was present when Spurlock killed Malone. In 1996, Marshall's and Spurlock's convictions were vacated after the real killer confessed.  (State v. Marshall)  [5/08]

Washington County, AR

Isaac Marta

1996 (Fayetteville)

Isaac Marta was convicted of murder due to testimony from the actual killer.  (Justice: Denied)

Lubbock County, TX 

Butch Martin

Feb 25, 1998

Garland Leon Martin, also known as Butch, was convicted of the arson murders of his common law wife, Marcia Pool, her son, Michael Brady Stevens, age 3, and their joint daughter, Kristen Rhea Martin, age 1. The three died in a fire at the home they shared with Martin. The conviction was based in large part on a hypothesis that accelerants were used to start the fire. Some samples from fire remnants in the master bedroom reportedly tested positive for Norpar and deparaffinated kerosene.

Norpar can be used as lamp oil and deparaffinated kerosene can be found in lighter fluid, but they are also common chemicals found in numerous household products. Experts dispute the supposition that these chemicals indicate the presence of accelerants and are petitioning to check the state's evidence that the alleged chemicals were even found. A defense investigator thought the fire started on the back porch rather than in the master bedroom near the back door. He criticized original investigators for discounting and then disposing of an electrical cord that was used to connect a refrigerator on the back porch to an outlet inside the house. He thought the fire marshal was looking for arson from the outset.  (IP Arson)  [7/07]

Bristol County, MA 

Christina Martin

Jan 21, 1990 (Westport)

Christina Martin was convicted of murdering her boyfriend, Richard Alfredo, 61. Alfredo died in his home after a long history of heart disease. Initially, it was assumed the disease was the cause of his death and no autopsy was performed. Alfredo's assets worth about $25,000 went to his estranged wife and her children while Martin and her children continued to live in the home she had shared with Alfredo. Four weeks after Alfredo's death, rumors surfaced that Alfredo was poisoned. Martin's daughter had told high school friends that Alfredo had made sexual advances toward her, and that her mother got revenge by serving him Jell-O laced with LSD.
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Queens County, NY

Angelo Martinez

Apr 10, 1985

Angelo Martinez was convicted of the murder of Rudolph Marasco, 70. Marasco was killed while leaving an Ozone Park bingo hall. Charles Rivera, a hit man, confessed to the crime in 1989 when he entered the federal witness protection plan. Rivera said he killed Marasco because the Richmond Hill man would not move from a building that its owner wanted to sell. The information about Rivera was turned over to Martinez's attorney, Jenny Maiola, in 1991 but she never filed an appeal. Maiola was disbarred in 1995 after being indicted for stealing $300,000 from client escrow accounts. Martinez was eventually exonerated in 2002.  (Archives)  [4/08]

 Hillsborough County, FL

Joaquin Jose Martinez

Oct 30, 1995

Joaquin Jose Martinez was convicted of the shooting death of Douglas Lawson and the stabbing death of Sherrie McCoy-Ward. The pair were found in their home on Oct. 31, 1995 and it was determined that they died sometime between Oct. 27 and Oct. 30. Martinez was sentenced to death. In 2000, his conviction was overturned because during Martinez's trial Detective Conigliaro improperly gave his opinion about the guilt of Martinez, saying, “There was no doubt that he did it.” The prosecution did not seek the death penalty at retrial because key prosecution witnesses had changed their stories and recanted their testimony. An audiotape of alleged incriminating statements by Martinez, which was used at the first trial, was ruled inadmissible at the retrial because it was inaudible. The new jury, however, heard evidence that the transcript of the inaudible tape had been prepared by the victim's father, who was the manager of the sheriff's office evidence room at the time of the murder. Both the Pope and the King of Spain had tried to intervene on behalf of Martinez, who is a Spanish national. Martinez was acquitted in 2001.  (FLCC)  [12/06]

Jose Martinez - See Walsham Three

 Orange County, CA

Jose Soto Martinez

Oct 27, 1993

Following police interrogation, Jose Soto Martinez (aka Jaime Saille Higuera) confessed to starting a fire that destroyed at least 365 homes and businesses in Laguna Beach and caused an estimated $528 million in damages. Less than a week later, prosecutors dismissed arson charges against Martinez after they found out that he had been in El Cereso de Mazatlan prison in Mexico at the time the fire was set.  (Archives)  [4/08]

Fred Masembe - See Edmary & Masembe

Maricopa County, AZ

Christina Mason

Mar 6, 1993

Phoenix police elicited a confession from Christina Mason that she killed her three-month old child by letting another woman inject the child with heroin and cocaine to keep the child from crying. Autopsy results revealed no drugs other than Tylenol in the child's body. The medical examiner concluded the likely cause of death was pneumonia or a viral infection.  [9/05]

El Paso County, TX

Kenneth Massey

May 22, 1952 (El Paso)

Kenneth Massey was convicted of the armed robbery of an El Paso drug store due to eyewitness identification. Following Massey's conviction, police in Iowa arrested William G. Karston for the murder of a farmer. Among the many crimes Karston confessed to was the drug store robbery for which Massey was convicted. It was subsequently proved that Massey was working in New Mexico at the time of the drug store robbery. Texas Governor Allan Shivers subsequently pardoned Massey in Nov. 1954. Massey served 22 months of imprisonment.  (The Innocents) (Archives)  [7/09]

 Larimer County, CO

Tim Masters

Feb 11, 1987 (Fort Collins)

Tim Masters was convicted in 1999 of the 1987 murder of Peggy Hettrick. Hettrick's body had been found in a south Fort Collins field just hours after she was last seen leaving a nearby restaurant. This location was 100 feet north of the mobile home of Tim Masters. Masters' father told police that his 15-year-old son had walked through the field as he did every day to take a bus to school.
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Kings County, NY

Pietro Matera

Apr 12, 1931

Pietro Matera was convicted of the murders of Frank Zappo and Salvatore Felie during the robbery of a speak-easy at 230 Bay 49th Street. Matera was sentenced to death. The real culprit's wife confessed on her deathbed in 1960 that she had “fingered Matera to save her husband.” Matera was released in 1960.  [1/07]

Yuma County, AZ

Jimmy Lee Mathers

June 8, 1987 (Yuma)

Jimmy Lee Mathers associated with Teddy Washington and Fred Robinson. The three lived in Banning, a small town in Southern California. Robinson was in a volatile relationship with his common-law wife, Susan Hill. With Robinson's permission, Hill went to visit her father and stepmother, Ralph and Sterleen Hill. The couple lived in Yuma, Arizona. Susan then refused to return, and got a protection order to prevent Robinson from visiting her there. She then left without telling Robinson and visited her grandmother in California. Ralph and Sterleen then were shot during a home invasion. Sterleen died.

The invasion appeared to be a robbery as the intruders stated they were narcotics agents and said, “We want the dope and money.” The house was also ransacked. There was some circumstantial evidence linking Robinson and Washington to the crime. However, there was little evidence linking Mathers. Nevertheless, the three were arrested and tried together. At trial, Mathers' attorney moved for a judgment of acquittal on the grounds of insufficient evidence. The motion was denied. All three defendants were convicted and sentenced to death.

In 1990, the Arizona Supreme Court reviewed Mathers' case, and “viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the prosecution” found a “complete absence of probative facts.” It noted that the evidence presented at trial had “nothing to do with Mathers.” The court vacated Mathers' conviction and entered a judgment of acquittal.  (TWM)  [3/07]

Ovid Mathis - See Southerland & Mathis

Jefferson Parish, LA 

Matthews & Hayes

Apr 5, 1997 (Bridge City)

Ryan Matthews was sentenced to death for murdering Tommy Vanhoose, a grocer, at Comeaux's Grocery in Bridge City. Travis Hayes was thought to be Matthews' getaway driver. He was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. Under police interrogation, Hayes had confessed to a scenario presented him by police in which he drove Matthews to the store in Bridge City. Both defendants were 17 and lived more than 10 miles from Bridge City. Even by the time they were tried there were significant problems with Hayes confession: (1) DNA tests on the ski mask worn by the gunman and discarded at the scene of the crime produced a profile that matched neither Matthews nor Hayes. (2) In fleeing the crime, the gunman jumped headfirst into the side window of the getaway car. Although Hayes had a car similar to the getaway car, numerous witnesses testified the side window was broken and could not be opened. (3) Witnesses described the gunman as 5'4" to 5'7" in height. Matthews was 6'1" tall. Matthews was released in 2004. Hayes spent another 2 1/2 years in prison, but he was released in Dec. 2006.  (IP1) (IP2) (IPNO)

 Denver County, CO

Ernest Mattice

Oct 17, 1936

Ernest Mattice, a candy salesman, was convicted of the kidnapping and rape of Mrs. Margaret Cyzkosz, a 22-year-old beer parlor waitress. Cyzkosz's work shift ended at 2 a.m., and while she was walking home, she was kidnapped at Fox St. and West Colfax Ave. in Denver. Her abductors drove her to a deserted country road where they assaulted her. She was later dumped on a sidewalk near her home. Cyzkosz described her two assailants as clean shaven. Two days later Cyzkosz identified Mattice as one of her assailants even though he had a large moustache.

The conviction was due to Cyzkosz's identification. The trial judge sentenced Mattice to two concurrent life terms, plus two consecutive seven year terms. Because of the harshness of the sentence, six of the jurors regretted their verdicts and joined in a petition asking the judge to either suspend sentence or grant Mattice a new trial. Cyzkose also stated publicly that the sentence was much too harsh. However the judge was unmoved.

While investigating a series of rapes in the area, Denver police doubted Mattice's guilt and identified two other men, Frank Neill and Earl Arthur Parker, as suspects. When these suspects were shown to Cyzkose, she identified them as her assailants. Both men subsequently confessed to the crime. In June 1937 Mattice was released after Gov. Teller Ammons pardoned him. Four years later Colorado awarded Mattice $4000 for his wrongful imprisonment.  (Not Guilty) (News Article)  [11/10]

Franklin County, KY 

Herman May, Jr.

May 22, 1988 (Frankfort)

Herman Douglas May, Jr. was accused of raping a woman in 1988. He was set free in 2002 after DNA tests excluded him as the rapist.  (Enquirer) (GUPI)  [6/05]

Jefferson Davis County, MS 

Cory Maye

Dec 26, 2001 (Prentiss)

Cory Maye, a black man, was sentenced to death for the murder of a white police officer. One night while the 21-year-old Maye was drifting off to sleep in front of a television, a violent pounding on his front door awakened him. It sounded as though someone was trying to break it down. He retrieved his handgun and went to the bedroom where his 14-month-old daughter was sleeping and got down on the floor next to the bed. He hoped the noises would go away, but they shifted around to the back of the house, where after a loud crash, Maye's rear door was violently flung open, nearly separating it from its hinges. After someone kicked open the bedroom door, Maye fired three shots. The next thing Maye heard is someone scream, “Police! Police! You just shot an officer!” Maye then dropped his gun and surrendered.  The shot officer, Ron Jones, was wearing a bulletproof vest, but one of Maye's bullets hit him just below the vest and proved fatal. Jones was the son of the town's police chief.

Maye was severely beaten after his arrest. Police denied this charge, but a press photo shows him with a swollen black eye. Maye's family was prohibited from seeing him for more than a week – long enough for his bruises to heal. Police had raided Maye's duplex because a reputed drug dealer – a person Maye had never met – lived in an adjoining half of the duplex. A confidential informant said there were large stashes of marijuana in both halves of the duplex. Only the remains of a smoked joint were found in Maye's duplex. Maye had no criminal record and police did not know his name prior to the drug raid. Maye's conviction has provoked outrage not only by liberals concerned about racially charged Southern Justice, but also by conservative supporters of the right to bear arms. Maye's death sentence was overturned in Sept. 2006.  (Reason)  [4/07]

Jefferson County, GA 

Eddie Mayes

Nov 1956

Eddie Mayes lived in central Florida and visited his family in Georgia. While in a car with his half-brother and brother's friend, police arrested the trio, for a string of burglaries in five counties. Mayes's brother admitted involvement. Knowing how Southern justice worked for blacks who protested their innocence, Mayes pleaded guilty after he was told he would receive a short sentence. He was not told that his short sentence would amount to 35 years. Mayes' subsequent harsh treatment in prison inflamed his desire to escape, even at the risk of being shot.

In 1960, Mayes escaped and hitchhiked back to Florida. He lived under the alias Eddie Miller and married in 1969. In 2004, he got careless and submitted an application to visit his son who was serving a 27-month sentence for burglary in a Florida prison. A background check of his application revealed that Eddie Miller was an alias for Eddie Mayes, wanted for a 1960 escape from Georgia. He was arrested in Mar. 2004 to serve the remainder of his sentence. However, in June 2004, on its own initiative, the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles commuted his sentence to time served.  (Justice: Denied)  [2/07]

Lake County, IN 

Larry Mayes

Oct 5, 1980 (Hammond)

Larry Mayes, a black man, was convicted of the rape and robbery of a 19-year-old white gas station cashier. The victim described one of her two assailants as having a gold tooth, which Mayes had, but she was unable to identify Mayes in two live lineups. Eventually she picked his photo when presented with a photo array. Collected fingerprints could not be linked to Mayes and conventional serology of collected semen did not yield useful results.

When new prosecutors on the case contacted the victim, she revealed that the police had hypnotized her prior to her identification of Mayes from the photo lineup. DNA tests revealed Mayes innocence and he was released after serving 21 years of an 80-year sentence. Mayes was the 100th American to be exonerated by DNA testing. In 2006, Mayes was awarded $9 million.  (IP)  [6/05]

Washington County, OR

Brandon Mayfield

Mar 11, 2004

(Federal Case)  On March 11, 2004, a number of bombs were detonated on trains in Madrid, Spain, which killed 191 people and injured about 2000 others, including American citizens. A bag containing detonation caps was found outside a train station through which all the bombed trains had left or had passed through. On March 17, digital images of fingerprints found on the bag were transmitted to the FBI and run through their AFIS database of fingerprints. When latent print #17 was run, the database produced 20 possible matches. FBI Senior Print Examiner Terry Green then manually compared the potential matches and found a 100% match with the fourth ranked print on the AFIS list. The FBI has long claimed that fingerprint identification is infallible. A top FBI fingerprint official had testified to a “zero error rate.”
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Cobb County, GA 

William Mayo

Nov 3, 1991

William Mayo was sentenced to two life sentences plus 40 years for a robbery he did not commit. Even his co-defendants say he is innocent. Mayo appeared via satellite in 2002 on the John Walsh show, When False Accusations Put You Behind Bars.  (TIJ)  [11/05]

Mobile County, AL

Donnie Mays

Apr 12, 2001 (Mobile)

Donnie Mays was convicted of the murder of his wife Kaye. On the day of Kaye's death, Donnie, who worked for American General Auto Finance, received a phone call from corporate headquarters telling him that someone had forged his signature on expense reports. Kaye subsequently admitted she had forged Donnie's signature. Not knowing the severity of the wrongdoing or that Kaye had actually stolen money from his employer, Donnie suggested they call his boss, Jim Martin, whom both Donnie and Kaye were close to. However, Kaye decided it would be best to wait until the following morning.
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Knox County, TN 

Maurice Mays

Aug 30, 1919 (Knoxville)

Maurice F. Mays, a black man, was convicted of murdering Mrs. Bertie Linsey, a white woman. Mays was sentenced to death and executed in the electric chair on Mar. 15, 1922. Nevertheless, in 1926, Sadie Brown Mendil, a white woman, confessed to the crime in Virginia. She said she had dressed up as a black man to kill the woman with whom her husband was having an affair. Virginia authorities found the confession to be credible, although authorities in Tennessee dismissed it.

On a Saturday morning, a presumably black intruder shot Mrs. Linsey in her bed. The police arrested Mays that day and took him to the Knox County Jail after Ora Smyth, the only witness to the crime, had identified him as the man responsible.

Angry whites began to gather near the Knox County Jail. Some even entered the building to search for Mays, but he had been moved to a jail in Chattanooga for his own safety. In the evening, the mob outside the jail was about a thousand strong. They decided to storm the jail and lynch Mays. Using large timbers, guns, and dynamite, the mob entered the jail and freed the white prisoners.

The jailer quickly called Mayor McMillan who requested the assistance of the National Guard to break up the riot. The first 17 soldiers to arrive were stripped and beaten by the rioters. An hour later, about 150 more soldiers arrived but the storming of the jail continued. Around midnight, the National Guardsmen heard of several hold ups by a band of blacks in the black section of Knoxville, near Vine Avenue and Central Street. A platoon was sent to the scene and many civilians followed the soldiers.

The white mob then began raiding and looting many businesses, particularly pawn shops and hardware and furniture stores. There was only evidence of blacks breaking into a single establishment. Eventually snipers and the troops began to exchange fire. Hundreds were wounded in the fighting and seven people (only one of them white) were killed. After the riots, many blacks immediately started to leave Knoxville, bringing with them whatever possessions they could carry.  (TBJ) (Mays v. State)  [9/05]

Davidson County, TN 

Russell Maze

May 3, 1999

Russell Maze's 5-week-old child, Alex, suffered internal head bleeding on May 3, 1999 consistent with “Shaken Baby Syndrome.” Alex died 18 months later in Oct. 2000. Maze was convicted of Alex's death and sentenced to 51 years in prison. Recent biomechanical studies have shown “Shaken Baby Syndrome” to be a largely imaginary diagnosis as it is almost impossible for an adult to shake a baby hard enough to cause brain injury. Alex had been born underweight and 6 weeks premature.  (  [3/07]

Charleston County, SC

Paul Mazzell

Oct 30, 1978

Paul Mazzell was convicted of the murder of Ricky Lee Seagraves. Seagraves was abducted at gunpoint from a convenience store in Ladson. He was not seen again for three years until police, acting on a jailhouse tip, dug up his bones from a shallow grave off of highway S.C. 61. The tipster, Danny Hogg, said he abducted Seagraves on the orders of an associate named Paul Mazzell. Hogg said he brought Seagraves to Mazzell who killed and buried him. Because of Hogg's testimony, Mazzell was convicted of Seagraves's murder and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Hogg was given immunity in the case even though he failed a lie detector test. Witnesses who had heard Hogg brag of killing Seagraves were not allowed to testify. Even Hogg's wife gave the FBI a statement implicating Hogg as the killer. The trial judge gave improper instructions to the jury that Mazzell's attorney failed to challenge. The instructions allowed the jury to convict Mazzell of murder even if they thought he was not present at the scene of the crime. One juror was an uncle of a law enforcement agent who worked on the case.

Mazzell admitted being an accessory after the fact in that he helped to bury Seagraves. Had he known that Seagraves was dead, he said there was no way he would he would have met with Hogg. He did not contact authorities “because I ain't no damn rat.” Mazzell has been called the kingpin of the Dixie Mafia and admits he is no saint. “I ran some clubs, some gambling, and a little prostitution.” Mazzell was paroled in 2005 at age 76. A federal judge has also ordered a retrial because the trial judge had given the jury faulty instructions.  (City Paper) (Mazzell v. Evatt)  [4/07]