Appeal filed for Derrick Todd Lee

Published: Apr. 20, 2011 at 12:56 AM CDT|Updated: Apr. 24, 2011 at 7:20 PM CDT
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Derrick Todd Lee
Derrick Todd Lee

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Time after time, Derrick Todd Lee's attorneys asked for delays due in large part to the huge amounts of paper generated by the case.  District Court Judge Richard D. Anderson finally had enough and ordered them to file Lee's post-conviction appeal.

Nearly three inches of legal paper thick, the petition for post-conviction relief was filed Monday on behalf of Lee.

"The only reason we've actually gotten where we are is because he held their feet to the fire," said Lee prosecutor Dana Cummings. "He had them keep coming back until they filed their post. I mean, he gave them plenty of time and he gave them leeway but he did stay on them until they did it."

The petition filed by the Capital Appeals Project is asking Lee's conviction be overturned.  They're asking for a new trial on the grounds that Lee's defense lawyers, Mike Mitchell and Nelvil Hollingsworth were ineffective.  That's a common defense in these cases.  It also accuses prosecutors of not turning over evidence that might have freed Lee.

"Derrick Todd Lee got an extremely fair trial," said Cummings.  "All the evidence was presented, everything was done appropriately and correctly and maybe it just took them that long to come up with this stuff."

District Attorney Moore says he's disturbed the Capital Appeals Project is contacting jurors.  Moore says one juror told him the attorneys had been to their house three times and they do not want to talk to them.

"If there are other jurors out there, they may try to make contact with you and we'd like to know if they do," said Moore.

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