View Full Version : State appeals court rules on death penalty cases

02-28-2003, 09:56 PM
The Associated Press
2/28/03 7:21 PM

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- A state appeals court Friday upheld the death sentence of a man convicted of fatally stabbing a store owner, and sent two other capital murder cases back to lower courts for further review.

Charles Gregory Clark, a former logger, was sentenced to death in the October 1998 stabbing death of Fort Morgan store owner William "Manzy" Ewing. Court testimony showed Clark, who was 41 when convicted, was high on crack cocaine when he stabbed Ewing 17 times.

The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals rejected 15 claims Clark made in his appeal from Baldwin County Circuit Court. Those included arguments that there were misstatements of fact by prosecutors, that the evidence and testimony Clark could present on his behalf were limted, and that improper evidence or testimony was used.

In a second case, the appeals court ordered a Jefferson County Circuit Court judge to review claims of ineffective counsel made by Demetrius Terrence Frazier.

Frazier was convicted of the 1991 shooting death of Pauline Brown. The Alabama Supreme Court refused to hear a previous appeal he had made claiming his lawyers were ineffective.

The appeals court also ordered the Jefferson County court to clarify its findings on other matters raised on appeal in Frazier's case.

The lower court held that some claims couldn't be considered because they were raised at trial, then held the same claims were invalid because they could have been raised at trial, but were not.

In the third case, the appeals court upheld the conviction of William John Ziegler but ordered the trial court to decide whether all "aggravating" or mitigating circumstances outlined in Alabama law had been considered.

A Mobile Circuit Court jury convicted Ziegler of the 2000 torture-slaying of Russell Allen Baker Jr., a 19-year-old friend who used a racial slur against Ziegler.