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Attorney General Baker Announces Execution Date for Stephen Anthony Mobley

PRESS ADVISORY

Attorney General Baker Announces Execution Date for Stephen Anthony Mobley

February 11, 2005

Georgia Attorney General Thurbert E. Baker offers the following information in the case against Stephen Anthony Mobley, who is currently scheduled to be executed at 7:00 p.m., on March 1, 2005.

Scheduled Execution

On February 10, 2005, the Superior Court of Hall County filed an order, setting the seven-day window in which the execution of Stephen Anthony Mobley may occur to begin at noon, March 1, 2005, and ending seven days later at noon on March 8, 2005. The Commissioner of the Department of Corrections has set the specific date and time for the execution as 7:00 p.m., March 1, 2005, pursuant to the discretion given the Commissioner under state law. Mobley has concluded his direct appeal, as well as state and federal habeas corpus proceedings.

Mobley’s Crimes

Shortly after midnight on February 17, 1991, Mobley robbed a Hall County Domino’s pizza store and shot John C. Collins, the store manager, in the back of the head with a semi-automatic pistol. The physical evidence from the scene was consistent with a statement Mobley later made to a cellblock inmate that Collins was on his knees when Mobley shot him. Over the next three weeks, Mobley committed six additional armed robberies of restaurants and dry-cleaning shops. Approximately three weeks after the crimes in issue, Mobley used the pistol while robbing a dry cleaning store, and tried to dispose of it by tossing it out his car window onto the side of a road when he realized he was being followed by an unmarked police car. The pistol was later recovered and Mobley arrested, after a high-speed chase. Mobley made statements to the police confessing to the murder of Collins and the robbery of the pizza store.

Following his incarceration, Mobley had: the word “Domino” tattooed on his back, placed a Domino’s pizza box in his cell on the wall, carried a domino piece in his pocket with the same dot configuration as that used by Domino’s Pizza, told a guard that he wished the guard had been up at Domino’s instead of that other boy, in referring to the victim stated that “If that fat son-of-a-bitch had not started crying, I would never have shot him,” told another guard that he “going to apply for the night manger’s job at Domino’s because he knew they needed one,” told another guard that the guard was “beginning to look more and more like a Domino’s pizza boy everyday,” told another guard that “anywhere Mobley was put [in jail] he’d kill anybody he came in contact with” and forcibly sodomized his cellmate on two separate occasions. See Mobley v. State, 265 Ga. 292 (1995).

The Trial (1991-1994)

The Hall County Grand Jury indicted Mobley on March 19, 1991. A jury found Mobley guilty of malice murder, felony murder based on five separate underlying felonies, and guilty of those five underlying felonies (armed robbery, three counts of aggravated assault, and possession of a firearm in the commission of a crime) on February 16, 1994. The jury’s recommendation of a death sentence was returned on February 20, 1994. The trial court imposed sentence on February 28, 1994 nunc pro tunc February 20, 1994.

The Direct Appeal (1995)

The Georgia Supreme Court affirmed Mobley’s convictions and sentences on March 17, 1995. Mobley v. State, 265 Ga. 292, 455 S.E.2d 61 (1995). Mobley filed a petition for writ of certiorari in the United States Supreme Court, which was denied on October 30, 1995. Mobley v. Georgia, 516 U.S. 942 (1995).

State Habeas Corpus Petition (1996-1998)

Mobley was represented by retained counsel, August “Bud” Siemon. Mobley filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in the Superior Court of Butts County, Georgia on or about March 12, 1996. An evidentiary hearing was held February 24-25, 1997. On October 13, 1997, the state habeas corpus court granted relief as to sentence on the claim of ineffective assistance of counsel during the sentencing phase. The State appealed to the Georgia Supreme Court, which reversed the habeas corpus court’s order and reinstated Mobley’s death sentence on July 15, 1998. Head v. Mobley, 269 Ga. 635, 502 S.E.2d 458 (1998).

Federal Habeas Corpus Petition (1999-2000)

Mobley, represented by Bud Siemon and Brian Steele, filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia on February 19, 1999. Following an evidentiary hearing, the District Court denied relief on May 25, 2000. The District Court granted Mobley a certificate of appealability on August 4, 2000.

11th Circuit Court of Appeals (2001)

The case was orally argued before the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals on April 4, 2001. On October 4, 2001, the Eleventh Circuit issued an opinion which denied relief. Mobley v. Head, 267 F.3d 1312 (11th Cir. 2001). Mobley filed a petition for panel rehearing on October 29, 2001, which was denied on December 14, 2001.

United States Supreme Court (2002)

Mobley filed a petition for writ of certiorari with the United States Supreme Court on May 10, 2002, which was denied on June 28, 2002.

Extraordinary Motion for New Trial (2002)

Mobley filed an Extraordinary Motion for New Trial on July, 16, 2002, which was denied by the trial court on July 19, 2002. On July 19, 2002, the Superior Court of Hall County filed an order, setting the seven-day window in which the execution of Stephen Anthony Mobley may occur to begin at noon, August 2, 2002, and ending seven days later at noon on August 9, 2002. Mobley then filed an Application for Appeal and Motion for Stay of Execution in the Georgia Supreme Court on July 29, 2002, which was denied August 1, 2002.

Federal District Court (2002)

Mobley filed a federal motion for a new habeas hearing on August 2, 2002, which was denied on August 3, 2002.

11th Circuit Court of Appeals (2002-2004)

On August 5, 2002, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals granted Mobley a stay of execution pending the decision of a United States Supreme Court case. The United States Supreme Court subsequently dismissed the case as procedurally unripe. On April 1, 2003, the Eleventh Circuit granted an en banc oral argument. Following extensive briefing, an oral argument was held June 17, 2003. On April 26, 2004, the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court’s denial of his motion for new habeas hearing.

United States Supreme Court (2004-2005)

Mobley filed a petition for writ of certiorari in the United States Supreme Court on August 16, 2004, which was denied January 18, 2005.