Saturday, September 20, 2008

Henyard's Lawyers Prepare Final Appeal, Search for his Father

posted by Steve Hudak on Sep 18, 2008 3:04:22 PM

Lawyers for condemned killer Richard Henyard of Eustis were preparing a last-minute federal appeal today in an effort to persuade the U.S. Supreme Court to issue a reprieve before he is executed Tuesday.

Mark S. Gruber, who has represented Henyard in his state appeals, said staff members with the Capital Collateral Regional Counsel also were searching for Henyard's father, Richard Henyard Sr., to arrange a final visit.

Henyard, 34, is set to die by lethal injection for the 1993 murders of sisters Jamily Lewis, 7, and Jasmine Lewis, 3, both of whom were shot in the face at close range after witnessing the rape of their mother.

Using a stolen gun, Henyard and a 14-year-old accomplice, Alfonza Smalls, carjacked the girls and their mother, Dorothy, from a grocery store lot in Eustis where the mother and daughters stopped for groceries.

Arranging a visit between father and son might seem a little ironic.

Trial and appellate court transcripts show that Henyard, who lived with his Godmother at the time, had planned the carjacking, in part, because he needed transportation to visit his truck-driving father in Pahokee.

As of this morning, there were no pending appeals on Henyard's behalf, according to Sandi Copes, press secretary for Attorney General Bill McCollum, whose office handles death-penalty challenges for the state.

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