Court refuses request for stay of execution Gilliam expected to ask Glendening for mercy

November 14, 1998|By Caitlin Francke | Caitlin Francke,SUN STAFF

Condemned killer Tyrone X. Gilliam lost another round of appeals yesterday after Maryland's highest court refused to halt his execution.

His attorney, Jerome Nickerson, was expected to file another appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday.

Today, Gilliam, 32, who is scheduled to die by lethal injection next week, will ask Gov. Parris N. Glendening for mercy in what may be Gilliam's last chance to stop the execution he has been fighting for nine years. He was convicted in 1989 of murdering 21-year-old Christine Doerfler, a hardware store accountant, during a robbery and carjacking.

As part of the clemency request, Nickerson will present an affidavit from Kelvin Drummond, one of Gilliam's two co-defendants, saying that Gilliam did not fire the gun that killed Doerfler, said Mike Stark, district coordinator for the Campaign to End the Death Penalty. Drummond testified against Gilliam at trial.

Like another affidavit, from Drummond's brother and co-defendant Delano "Tony" Drummond, the new one does not say who the shooter was, Stark said. Both men are serving life sentences.

The latest rejection from the Maryland Court of Appeals stemmed from an appeal filed this week.

Nickerson asked Chief Judge Robert M. Bell -- who had referred the case to Baltimore County on Monday -- to order that court to hear the case. Bell refused.

In refusing to hear the case Thursday, Baltimore Circuit Judge John G. Turnbull II wrote that Gilliam's pleas had been heard and rejected.

"It is eminently clear that the Petitioner, Gilliam, has thoroughly exhausted all remedies available to him in the State Court, and the filing of a Writ of Habeas Corpus merely is a vehicle by which he attempts to circumvent and/or overturn the Courts' previous rulings," Turnbull wrote.

Gilliam confessed twice but now disavows both confessions. His conviction has been upheld by several courts in the past 10 days. Montgomery County Circuit Court refused to hear the case, as did Maryland's Court of Appeals and Baltimore County Circuit Court.

Pub Date: 11/14/98

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