Mississippi inmate Batiste challenges death sentence

By Jack Elliott Jr./The Associated Press

JACKSON — The attorney for death row inmate Bobby Batiste tells the Mississippi Supreme Court he was denied a fair trial when the judge refused to let an Oktibbeha County jury hear his side of the case.

Batiste was sentenced to death in 2009 for capital murder in the 2008 death of his roommate. Prosecutors say 28-year-old Andreas Galanis died from a blow to the head after the two college students got into a fight at their off-campus apartment.

In Mississippi, capital murder is defined as murder committed along with another crime, in this case robbery.

Batiste’s attorney says the judge erred by not letting jurors hear that the theft of Galanis’ wallet occurred so long after the death that the crime can’t be used to support a capital murder conviction.