US high court rejects Miss. inmate appeal

By The Associated Press

JACKSON — The U.S. Supreme Court refused Tuesday to hear the post-conviction claims of Mississippi death row inmate Larry Matthew Puckett.

Puckett was convicted and sentenced to death in 1996 for the sexual assault and beating death of a woman in her Forrest County home.

Puckett had sought a new trial on grounds that blacks were kept off his trial jury and that prosecutors shouldn’t have been allowed to discuss his post-arrest silence. Federal courts in Mississippi and Louisiana rejected Puckett’s claims.

Puckett was convicted in the 1995 death of Rhonda Griffis, 28, of the Sunrise community. Authorities said Griffis died from blows to the head.

The Mississippi Supreme Court upheld Puckett’s conviction in 2000.