The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

July 23, 2013

Family visits with condemned killer Andrew Lackey

From staff reports
The News Courier

— From staff reports.

The family of condemned killer Andrew Lackey, who is scheduled at his own request to be executed Thursday, visited his cell on Holman Prison’s death row for brief periods Tuesday, according to Department of Corrections spokesman Brian Corbett.

Lackey, 28, requested a year ago to cease all appeals, fired his attorneys and wrote personal letters to both the Alabama Supreme Court and the state Attorney General’s office in fall 2012, asking for them to set an execution date.

Lackey is scheduled to die by lethal injection for the beating, stabbing and shooting death of 80-year-old Charles Newman during a 2005 Halloween night robbery at Newman’s home off North Hine Street in Athens. He is to be executed at 6 p.m. Thursday.

“Usually, on the week of an execution, visiting hour are opened up from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.,” said Corbett. “His mom, dad, brother and aunt have had limited visits with him. These have been of short duration, 1 and a half to 2 hours, at their own request.”

Lackey’s execution was set after he wrote a letter to the Alabama Supreme Court saying that he had “an odd request.”

“Please set me an execution date. I do not wish to pursue any further appeals for my death sentence,” Lackey said in the letter to the justices, according to court records. Lackey said he would not file any further appeals.

Court records show Lackey has taken no action to stop the execution.

In a letter to Assistant Attorney General Richard Anderson, Lackey says, “I do not know what else I can do. Will you please help me get an execution date.”

Court records show that Newman made an emergency phone call to the Athens Police Department on Halloween night 2005 in which he could be heard saying, “Don’t do that,” ‘’Leave me alone” and “What do you want.”

The police operator then heard the apparent assailant repeatedly ask, “Where’s the vault?” according to the records. Newman shot Lackey twice in the chest before dying. Lackey was apprehended at a Madison gas station when he asked the owner to call for help because he was bleeding profusely. Weapons and DNA linked him to the crime scene.

Bryan Stevenson, an attorney with the Montgomery-based Equal Justice Initiative, said both the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals and the trial court have ruled that the state can go ahead with Lackey’s execution.

Stevenson said he and other attorneys are opposed to Lackey being executed and “have argued that he is mentally ill.”

“Our point is that he needs to be examined,” Stevenson said.

During Lackey’s trial his mother, Sharon Lackey, testified that her son had been autistic since birth.

Corbett said, to his knowledge, there have been no demonstrators protesting the scheduled execution at Holman Prison.