The Alabama Supreme Court has set a new date for Tommy Arthur’s execution to be on March29, 2012. This is the fifth time his execution date has been set. Arthur, now 70, was convicted of the murder-for-hire killing of Troy Wicker, businessman of Muscle Shoals, Alabama in 1982 and was placed on Death Row in 1983.
The story of Arthur is rather bizarre. It began on February 1, 1982. Muscle Shoals, Alabama police received an urgent call to the home of Troy and Judy Wicker. When they arrived, they found Troy Wicker dead in his bed and found 4 expended .22 caliber cartridge shells on his bed. Judy Wicker was lying on the floor with traces of blood on her head while her sister, Teresa Rowland knelt beside her.
Judy told police that she had driven the children to school and upon returning home she found a black man there who had shot her husband and that he knocked her unconscious and raped her.
However, she was subsequently charged with her husband’s murder and sentenced to life in prison. Tommy Arthur was implicated as the hit man, but the case was not certain without the testimony of Judy Wicker. So a deal was made with Wicker for an early release for here testimony.
Wicker explained that her husband Troy was physically violent with her, and that Rowland and Troy often argued when Troy threatened to turn Rowland in to the police for the arson on her home which he had committed for her.
She also testified that she had known Arthur since they were both young and worked at Tidwell Homes. She revealed that she, Rowland, and Rowland’s boyfriend, Theron McKinney had discussed killing Troy beginning in early 1981.
Arthur was hired to kill Troy and Judy testified that when Arthur went in to the house, she heard a shot and that he then hit her and knocked out some teeth and lacerated her lip. Much more evidence was shown at his trial. He was convicted and sentenced to death. After over 25 years on death row and numerous appeals, he has had 5 dates set for his execution. Barring any unexpected delays or stays, however, it is highly likely that he will be executed this time on March 29, 2012.
The other death row inmate who’s execution was set, is that of Carey Dale Grayson which is now set for April 12, 2012.
Grayson, who was 19 years old in 1994, with 3 other teenagers was traveling on Interstate 59 in north Alabama when he picked up a lady hitchhiker. Vicki DeBlieux, 37 was enroute from Chattanooga, Tennessee to West Monroe, Louisiana to see hr mother there. They promised to take her to her mother’s home, but rather drove to a wooded area where they attempted to have sexual relations with her. When she rebuffed their sexual advances, they beat her with beer bottles, kicked and stomped her and threw her over a cliff. Later, three returned and disemboweled her and cut off her fingers to try and hide her identification. They kept the fingers as souvenirs. They were soon caught when the youngest one began showing others one of her fingers. Grayson and one other were sentenced to death and the other two were given life imprisonment. Grayson is now due to be executed on April 18.