Mississippi Supreme Court sets execution date for Gary Carl Simmons Jr.- June 20


June 5, 2012 source : http://www.therepublic.com

JACKSON, Miss. — The Mississippi Supreme Court set a June 20 execution date Tuesday for 49-year-old Gary Carl Simmons Jr.

The court set the date and granted Simmons’ request for in-person contact visits with a forensic psychologist and a neuropsychologist for the purpose of conducting mental health evaluations. His attorneys had argued that the mental evaluation was necessary because Simmons may have post-traumatic stress disorder or other illnesses and had suffered from abuse as a child.

Simmons was convicted for shooting and dismembering Jeffrey Wolfe, who was killed in August 1996 after going to Simmons’ Pascagoula home to collect on a drug debt.

Timothy Milano, Simmons’ co-defendant and the person authorities said shot Wolfe, was convicted on the same charges and sentenced to life in prison.

Simmons worked as a grocery store butcher when he and Milano were charged with killing Wolfe. Police said the pair kidnapped Wolfe and his female friend and later assaulted the woman and locked her in a box. Police later found parts of Wolfe’s dismembered body at Simmons’ house, in the yard and in a nearby bayou.

Simmons also argued his original lawyers were ineffective at trial and that he never later had lawyers good enough to point out shortcomings.

In addition, he argued his legal cause suffered in part because of ineffective assistance by Bob Ryan, formerly head of the state office meant to handle post-conviction appeals for people sentenced to death.

The state’s high court, however, denied Simmons’ request to challenge the performance of prior post-conviction counsel.

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