Michelle Byrom, one of two women on Mississippi’s Death Row, must take her appeal up the federal ladder.
Chief U.S. District Judge Michael P. Mills recently denied Byrom’s federal district court appeal challenging her capital murder conviction and death sentence imposed by the circuit court in Tishomingo County.
But he granted her the go-ahead to take some legal issues to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.
Her husband, Edward Byrom Sr., was fatally shot four times on June 4, 1999, in their Iuka home.
Their son, Edward Byrom Jr., discovered the body while his mother was hospitalized for double pneumonia.
Ultimately, she, Edward Jr. and his friend, Joey Gillis, were arrested in a scheme to kill Byrom. Authorities said she offered Gillis $15,000 to be paid from her husband’s insurance proceeds.
In Mills’ 82-page opinion, he denied her request for a re-examination of her case and dismissed the appeal.
Mills said she may proceed with five legal issues, including that evidence which might have helped her case was suppressed, that her statements were taken in violation of her rights against self-incrimination and that trial counsel was ineffective for failing to investigate and present all evidence favorable to her.
But he denied her appeals on claims of actual innocence and various other issues.
Byrom, 54, took her case to federal court after she used up all her state appeals.
She’s been in state custody since Nov. 18, 2000.
Mississippi’s Death Row has 57 occupants all either awaiting execution or with appeals moving through the judicial system.
Chamberlain was one of two people charged in the March 2004 deaths of Linda Heintzelman and Heintzelman’s boyfriend, Vernon Hulett, both of Hattiesburg. Their bodies were found inside a freezer at an abandoned farm in Russell County, Kan., by law officers who were searching for drugs.
Chamberlain was convicted in 2006 and sentenced to death.
Byrom’s son, Edward Jr., 31, is serving a 30-year sentence in the Chickasaw County Correctional Facility for conspiracy to commit capital murder, accessory before the fact to grand larceny and accessory before the fact to burglary with intent to commit assault.
Gillis pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact to capital murder and to conspiracy to commit capital murder. He is no longer listed as an inmate with the state.
An Iuka woman on death row is asking a federal judge to hold a court hearing and have the state defend why she should remain in prison.
Michelle Byrom, 54, is one of three people arrested in the murder of her husband, Edward Byrom, at the couple’s home in 1999.
During her trial in November of 2000, testimony focused on a plan with her son and another man to kill her husband.
Byrom was in an Iuka hospital when Edward Byrom was shot and killed.
She was tried and convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death for her role in the murder.
On August 22nd, a federal judge issued a written opinion denying her writ of habeus corpus.
The 82 page document did grant her a certificate of appealability because of some issues Byrom raised in the request.
Attorney’s for Byrom on Monday have asked the judge to alter his judgement and issue the writ.
She is currently being held in the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility Women’s Maximum Security unit.