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Court reverses Blount County death penalty; rules for death penalty in Dale County case


MONTGOMERY, Alabama — An Alabama appeals court struck down a death penalty conviction Friday and re-instated another.

In a case from Blount County, the appeals court reversed the capital murder conviction and death sentence that Thomas Doyle Crowe received for the November 2009 killing and robbery of Marvin Dailey. The appeals court said the trial judge gave improper instructions to the jury about Alabama's capital murder law. The ruling would allow a new trial.

The appeals court ordered the capital murder conviction and death sentence be reinstated for Emanuel Aaron Gissendanner Jr. in Dale County. A lower court had ruled that he should get a new trial because of ineffective attorneys at trial. The appeals court reversed that in a 3-2 decision.

Gissendanner was convicted of killing Margaret Snellgrove during a kidnapping and robbery in November 2009.

In other cases, the appeals court:

—Split 3-2 in upholding the capital murder conviction and death sentence that Corey Allen Wimbley received in Washington County for the shooting and robbery of Connie Ray Wheat at a grocery store in Wagarville in December 2008.

—Unanimously affirmed the capital murder conviction and death sentence that Clayton Antwain Shaklin received in Walker County for the shooting death of Michael Crumpton during a robbery at his home in October 2009.

—Unanimously affirmed the capital murder conviction and death sentence that Ronnie Lynn Kirksey got for causing fatal injuries to 23-month-old Cornell Norwood in April 2006 in Etowah County. Kirksey lived with the child's mother in Gadsden and was watching the boy while the mother was away, the court said.

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