Supreme Court Declines Post-Conviction Hearings

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The Mississippi Supreme Court won't hear the post-conviction claims of Ricky Scruggs, who was sentenced to life in prison for his role in the death of an 83-year-old Olive Branch woman in 2003.

A DeSoto County judge denied Scruggs' post-conviction petition in 2009. The state Court of Appeals upheld the trial judge in May.

Scruggs pleaded guilty to murder in 2006. He sought a new trial, claiming he only pleaded guilty because he feared a death sentence.

The Appeals Court says the court record showed the trial judge questioned Scruggs about his decision and Scruggs agreed he understood the consequences of pleading guilty.

Prosecutors say Scruggs was among three men arrested after they used duct tape on Anna "Maxine" Andrews' face and head causing her to suffocate.

In a separate case, the Mississippi Supreme Court declined to hear a petition for a new trial from a man convicted in an armed robbery and shooting at a Mississippi restaurant in 2005.

Ferlando Esco had claimed a co-defendant had recanted testimony implicating him.

The state Court of Appeals in June sided with the trial judge, saying Esco's guilt had been established by other evidence in the case. It also said the co-defendant's recantation lacked credibility. Esco was sentenced to life in prison.

The Supreme Court declined to hear Esco's claims.
Prosecutors say he and two other men shot a Canton man in the parking lot of McDonald's on U.S. Highway 51 in Madison. Two other men pleaded guilty in the case.