[Deathpenalty]death penalty news --- S.C.
j_sommer at gmx.net
Fri Jul 23 14:22:15 CDT 2004
death penalty news
July 23, 2004
Death penalty to be sought against Mahdi -- Officials building case in
slaying of S.C. police officer
Mikal Deen Mahdi, the man accused of killing an Orangeburg police officer,
could be back in South Carolina as early as this afternoon.
Prosecutors and various law enforcement agencies already are preparing a
capital murder case against Mahdi, charged in Sundays shooting death of
Orangeburg police Capt. Jim Myers.
Mahdi also is charged in the July 15 shooting death of 29-year-old
Christopher Jason Boggs, a convenience store clerk in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Who will prosecute Mahdi first has yet to be determined, but prosecutors in
South Carolina say they have decided to pursue the death penalty.
Wed like to go first, and weve got our hands on him, said First Circuit
Solicitor Robby Robbins, who is prosecuting the Myers case.
Yet if North Carolina authorities can provide a persuasive reason for Mahdi
to be tried in Winston-Salem first, Robbins said, he would take that into
Tom Keith, the chief prosecutor in Forsyth County, where Winston-Salem is
located, said he would like to meet with Robbins to determine which case is
Robbins said he also plans to file charges of burglary, grand larceny and
use of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime against Mahdi.
During a 1½-minute hearing in a Brevard County, Fla., courtroom Thursday
afternoon, Mahdi said he would not fight attempts to return him to South
Carolina, said Assistant Florida State Attorney Michael Hunt.
Mahdi was not assigned an attorney because he is not charged in Florida,
Mahdi, who was the only defendant in the courtroom, was served the S.C.
murder warrant, Hunt said. He has not been presented North Carolinas
murder warrant, the prosecutor said.
South Carolina officers SLED agents and Calhoun County investigators
were in Brevard County to take custody of Mahdi.
Meanwhile, forensic agents with SLED were combing Myers Dodge Ram pickup
truck for evidence, said Calhoun County Sheriff Thomas Summers.
Investigators with the sheriffs department also were in Florida collecting
evidence and interviewing Mahdi, Summers said.
Mahdi is to be held in a South Carolina prison, instead of the county jail.
Lionel Cote, chief of the Satellite Beach police department, which caught
Mahdi Wednesday evening, called the arrest the biggest in his department in
the 19 years Cote has been chief.
He said officers did not know who Mahdi was when they made a traffic stop
and chased him as he ran away. A 125-pound police German shepherd named
Flex finally cornered Mahdi on a nearby condos fifth-floor balcony.
They learned after the arrest that Mahdi was accused of killing an S.C.
police officer and an N.C. store clerk.
Because the legal case against Mahdi is moving forward, authorities
declined to go into details concerning Myers death.
However, Robbins said Myers was shot multiple times inside a workshop on
Investigators believe Mahdi began a crime spree sometime after his May 12
release from a Virginia prison on a 2001 conviction for malicious wounding.
Authorities said he stole a Mercury Sable in Virginia and drove it to
Columbia, where he ditched it Sunday and carjacked a Ford Expedition.
Robbins said he consulted with Myers family and Orangeburg Department of
Public Safety Chief Wendell Davis before deciding to pursue the death
penalty against Mahdi.
Davis said Mahdis capture eased officers grief.
Were able to take another step in the grieving process. (Myers) will be
(source: The State.com)
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