Court upholds hearing for Death Row molester

first_imgThe U.S. Supreme Court on Monday let stand an appeals court ruling ordering a federal judge to hold a hearing for a Death Row inmate who says prosecutors committed misconduct during his trial on charges of raping and killing a toddler. The justices let stand the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ September ruling in the case of Ricky Lee Earp, 46, who was convicted of first-degree murder for the 1988 death of 1 1/2-year-old Amanda Doshier. Earp is seeking to overturn his conviction, which includes special circumstances of rape, sodomy and lewd and lascivious conduct on a child under 14. Attorney General Bill Lockyer’s office appealed to the high court following the 9th Circuit decision. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2“I was pleased to see that the Supreme Court did not grant review in the case. We believe that the 9th Circuit made a sound and good decision,” Earp’s attorney, Robert Gerstein, said. Authorities said the toddler had been left for several days with Earp and his girlfriend when she was attacked while alone with him. A call received by authorities on Aug. 25, 1988, came from a man who said the girl had fallen down stairs. Doshier died at a hospital two days later. Earp claimed that Doshier’s injuries took place while he left the child alone for a half-hour with her grandmother’s boyfriend, Dennis Morgan. Morgan, who has since died, testified at Earp’s trial, denying he had been to the house. Gerstein said the hearing will address Earp’s claim that prosecutors intimidated jailhouse informant Michael Taylor into retracting a statement saying Morgan had committed the crime. “There was no forensic evidence or physical evidence as to who did this,” Gerstein said. “It was basically an issue of who was telling the truth. … The evidence was so slim against Earp.” Gerstein also said Morgan lied on the stand, adding Taylor’s testimony could influence a new jury to reconsider Earp’s conviction. Senior Assistant Attorney General Dane Gillette was skeptical of Earp’s innocence. “They make those claims pretty regularly when there’s a dead person they can put the blame on,” Gillette said. “I don’t think the Supreme Court decision is hugely significant at this point,” Gillette added. “They still have to prove the case.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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