Post-conviction petition denied in slaying

By The Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The state Court of Appeals on Tuesday upheld the dismissal of the post-conviction claims of Ricky Scruggs, who was sentenced to life in prison for his role in the death of an 83-year-old Olive Branch woman in 2003.

A Desoto County judge denied Scruggs’ post-conviction petition in 2009.

Scruggs pleaded guilty to murder in 2006 shortly after his capital murder trial began. He sought a new trial, claiming he only pleaded guilty because he feared a death sentence.

The Appeals Court says the court record showed the trial judge questioned Scruggs about his decision and Scruggs agreed he understood the consequences of pleading guilty.

Prosecutors say Scruggs was among three men arrested after they used duct tape on Anna “Maxine” Andrews’ face and head causing her to suffocate.