Batiste loses challenge to death sentence

By The Associated Press

JACKSON — The Mississippi Supreme Court has rejected arguments from Bobby Batiste that prosecutors failed to prove Batiste robbed his victim.

Robbery was a key element required for an Oktibbeha County jury to convict him of capital murder and sentence him to death.

Batiste, of Preston, was sentenced to death in 2009 for the death of his roommate. Prosecutors say 28-year-old Andreas Galanis of Biloxi died in 2008 from a blow to the head after the two fought at their apartment.

In Mississippi, capital murder is defined as murder committed along with another crime, called an underlying felony. In this case, it is robbery.

Batiste’s attorney argued that Batiste didn’t intend to steal Galanis’ wallet. They say had the jury been instructed about intent, Batiste might have avoided a death sentence.