Post-conviction petition denied in slaying

By The Associated Press

JACKSON — The Mississippi Supreme Court won’t hear 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. The state Court of Appeals upheld the trial judge in May.

Scruggs pleaded guilty to murder in 2006. 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.