Awaiting execution, Marvin Gabrion says he deserved mistrial f punching attorny

Started by turboprinz, May 30, 2015, 11:26:50 AM

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May 29, 2015

GRAND RAPIDS, MI - Marvin Gabrion has asked a federal judge to vacate his death sentence in the 1997 killing of Rachel Timmerman.

Among the reasons: the trial judge failed to declare a mistrial when Gabrion punched one of his attorneys.

Gabrion's voluminous filing - 604 pages - asks U.S. District Judge Robert Holmes Bell to grant him a new trial, vacate a jury's guilty verdict for murder, or vacate, set aside or correct his sentence. It also asks that Bell recuse himself and set an evidentiary hearing over what it considers disputed issues.

Bell presided over Gabrion's trial.

The government showed that Gabrion kidnapped and killed Timmerman, 19, two days before he was to stand trial in Newaygo County Circuit Court for raping her. Her body was found in a remote lake. She was bound, gagged and weighed down by a concrete block.

The body of her 11-month-old daughter, Shannon Verhage, has never been found. The government believes he killed her as well as three others. The federal government, which allows use of the death penalty, prosecuted Gabrion because the killing occurred on federal land.

State law in Michigan does not allow executions.

His attorneys say in motion filed Friday, May 29, that he should not be executed because he has suffered severe mental illness for decades. They also say he was provided ineffective assistance of counsel at trial.

Gabrion, 61, recently asked that he be allowed to file his Section 2255 motion under seal. The judge said that only sensitive information about third-parties could be redacted.

Gabrion has filed numerous appeals over the years. A federal appeals panel once overturned his death penalty but the entire Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati re-instated the sentence.

Among questions Gabrion's three attorney cite as grounds for a new trial or sentence:

Did the grand jury allege an aggravating circumstance to make Gabrion eligible for the death penalty?

Was there insufficient proof to show Timmerman's killing happened on federal land?

Whether the judge erred by refusing to relieve one of Gabrion's attorneys and declare a mistrial after he punched the lawyer during the penalty phase of proceedings.

Whether the judge erred in refusing a defense request for another competency evaluation "after a neurologist testified that Mr. Gabrion was brain damaged and after Mr. Gabrion's mental state deteriorated during the trial to the point that he punched his attorney in front of the jury during the penalty phase."

Whether the court wrongly denied Gabrion's attempt to confront a Newaygo County prosecutor about a report that alleged "prosecutorial misconduct and evidence of a vendetta against Mr. Gabrion."

Whether the judge should have instructed the jury about Gabrion's courtroom behavior or allow argument about it.

Whether witnesses should have been allowed to testify during the penalty phase of trial about other bad acts by Gabrion.

Whether evidence should have been allowed that three men with connections to Gabrion had disappeared.

Whether the victim's mother should have been allowed to testify that she wanted Gabrion executed.

Whether Gabrion's rights were denied because the jury foreman told The Grand Rapids Press after the sentencing that "I knew he was off the wall before the trial."
I apologize for my not perfect English. Hopefully you understand what I mean. If not - ask me. I will try to explain.

Jim S

I think his execution should be moved up for his actions!

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