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Execution Window Set for Andrew Grant DeYoung, Convicted of 1993 Murder of His Parents and Sister

PRESS ADVISORY

Execution Window Set for Andrew Grant DeYoung, Convicted of 1993 Murder of His Parents and Sister

July 6, 2011

Georgia Attorney General Samuel S. Olens offers the following information in the case against Andrew Grant DeYoung, who is currently scheduled to be executed during the execution window starting at noon on July 20, 2011, and ending at noon on July 27, 2011.

Scheduled Execution

On July 6, 2011, the SuperiorCourtofCobbCounty filed an order, setting the seven-day window in which the execution of Andrew Grant DeYoung may occur to begin at noon, July 20, 2011, and ending seven days later at noon on July 27, 2011. The Commissioner of the Department of Corrections has not yet set the specific date and time for the execution. DeYoung has concluded his direct appeal proceedings and his state and federal habeas corpus proceedings.

DeYoung’s Crimes (1993)

The Georgia Supreme Court summarized the facts of the case as follows:

During the months preceding the crime, DeYoung told his accomplice David Michael Hagerty that he wanted to start a business and hoped to find investors to finance the project. He later confided in Hagerty that he had been unsuccessful in finding financial backing, but that he had another solution. He estimated his parents’ estate to be worth $480,000, and, as Hagerty testified, “he felt that the only means to acquire the money was take his family’s life.” Subsequently, DeYoung told Hagerty that “the murders were going to have to take place,” and the two met to discuss preparations.

DeYoung formulated the plan to murder his parents and two siblings by slashing their throats, and then setting fire to the house. Several days before the planned event, DeYoung drove Hagerty to the DeYoung family’s church in Dunwoody. There they buried two containers -- a footlocker and another box -- which contained what DeYoung described to Hagerty as evidence which would incriminate him. In preparation for the murders, DeYoung and Hagerty purchased clothing and supplies, including an eleven-inch filet knife and two gasoline containers.

According to the plan, DeYoung and Hagerty traveled on foot to the DeYoung home at 2:00 a.m. on June 14, 1993. On the way, they retrieved boots, gloves and knives from a duffle bag which DeYoung had left in the woods earlier that evening. Both men were armed with knives. They approached the DeYoung home from the rear of the property where they retrieved two containers of gasoline they had left there earlier. When they reached the house, DeYoung took a handgun from his duffle bag and tucked it into his waistband. After he cut the telephone wires, he and Hagerty entered the house. DeYoung went upstairs where his parents and sister were asleep. He instructed Hagerty to go to a downstairs bedroom where his 16-year-old brother Nathan was asleep, and to cut his throat with the filet knife.

DeYoung stabbed his mother repeatedly while she was sleeping in her bedroom upstairs; her screams awakened his father. As he struggled with his father, DeYoung’s sister Sarah came to the doorway of their parents’ bedroom. DeYoung slashed his father to death, and then stabbed and killed Sarah in the hallway. Hagerty heard a commotion upstairs, and changed his mind about killing Nathan.

Nathan testified that he heard stomping and banging noises coming from upstairs, and he heard his sister cry out and call his name. Upon finding that the phone was dead, Nathan escaped through his bedroom window and ran to a neighbor’s house for assistance. Instead of setting fire to the house as they had planned, DeYoung and Hagerty searched the area for Nathan. Nathan returned with a neighbor who was armed with a gun. The neighbor noticed movement in the driveway, and observed a figure clad in black. As the neighbor was about to shoot at the man, he observed that it was Andrew DeYoung, and he called out, “Andy, what did you do?” The neighbor testified that he had no doubt the man he saw was the defendant. Nathan did not see the suspect’s face, but he testified that his “movements and his body size resembled Andy, my brother.”

DeYoung and Hagerty fled from the house in separate directions. Both had discarded their clothing, boots, and weapons along the way. They eventually met up later that morning at Hagerty’s home, where they concocted an alibi. Hagerty observed that DeYoung had injuries to his neck and forehead.

DeYoung drove back to his home at 10:30 a.m., seven hours after the murders. He told police that he had spent most of the night at Hagerty’s home, and he denied any involvement in the crimes. Authorities noted that he was calm and showed no grief over the deaths of his family members. There were scratches and abrasions present on his face, neck, hands and right arm. Hagerty was interviewed by police and gave several statements in which he admitted his participation in the crimes. He also led authorities to the clothing worn by him during the killings, and to the footlocker and box which had been concealed on the church property. These contained DeYoung’s shoulder holster and ammunition pouch and a hand-drawn map depicting the route to the DeYoung home. An arrow on the map pointed to a cul-de-sac where the house was located and was accompanied by the words “Just Do It.” Hagerty also led police to a gun that fit the holster recovered in the footlocker, and a Glock Model 81 military survival knife, which he identified as similar to the knife DeYoung used on the night of the crime. The victims’ wounds were consistent with that knife. DeYoung and Hagerty were arrested on the same day, and charged with the three murders.

DeYoung v. State, 268 Ga. 780, 781-782, 493 S.E.2d 157 (1997).

The Trial (1993-1995)

DeYoung was indicted in the Superior Court of Cobb County, Georgia on September 9, 1993, for three counts of malice murder. On October 11, 1995, following a jury trial, DeYoung was convicted on all counts. The jury’s recommendation of a death sentence was returned on October 13, 1995. 

The Direct Appeal (1997-1998)

The Georgia Supreme Court affirmed DeYoung’s convictions and sentences on November 24, 1997.  DeYoungv. State,  268 Ga. 780, 493 S.E.2d 157 (1997).  DeYoung filed a petition for writ of certiorari in the United States Supreme Court, which was denied on May 26, 1998.   DeYoung v. Georgia, 523 U.S. 1141 (1998).

State Habeas Corpus Proceedings (1999-2004)

DeYoung, represented by Lisa Heller, filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in the Superior Court of Butts County, Georgia on February 4, 1999. DeYoung filed an amended petition for writ of habeas corpus on December 8, 2000. An evidentiary hearing was held on May 1, 2001. On June 2, 2003, the state habeas corpus court entered an order denying DeYoung state habeas relief. DeYoung’s application for a certificate of probable cause to appeal filed in the Georgia Supreme Court was denied on January 20, 2004. 

Federal Habeas Corpus Proceedings (2004-2009)

DeYoung, represented by Lisa Heller, filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia on May 28, 2004.  DeYoung filed amendments thereto on August 19, 2005 and March 30, 2006. On August 22, 2008, the district court denied DeYoung federal habeas corpus relief. The district court denied a motion to alter and amend judgment on January 21, 2009. The district court granted DeYoung a certificate of appealability on April 10, 2009.

11th Circuit Court of Appeals (2009-2010)

On June 4, 2009, the Eleventh Circuit denied DeYoung’s application for expansion of certificate of appealability. The case was orally argued before the Eleventh Circuit on April 21, 2010. On June 25, 2010, the Eleventh Circuit issued an opinion which denied relief. DeYoung v. Schofield, 609 F.3d 1260 (11th Cir. 2010).  DeYoung filed a petition for panel rehearing, which was denied August 17, 2010.

United States Supreme Court (2011)

DeYoung filed a petition for writ of certiorari in the United States Supreme Court, which was denied March 21, 2011. DeYoung v. Schofield, 131 S.Ct. 1691 (2011)   DeYoung then filed a petition for rehearing in the United States Supreme Court, which was denied on May 16, 2011. DeYoung v. Schofield, 2011 U.S. LEXIS 3587 (Case No. 10-8456).