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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Convicted Murderer of TN Tow Truck Driver & Two Others Wants Case Overturned

Here's the story from The Messenger:
An Oklahoma man arrested in Union City in 2000 after allegedly killing people in three states has appeared in a Dyer County court claiming his defense attorneys provided ineffective counsel at trial in 2002.
Steven Ray Thacker, 39, of Chouteau, Okla., who is seeking post-conviction relief, asked the court last week to overturn his 2002 murder conviction and his death sentence.
Testimony in the case was heard Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in Dyer County Circuit Court by retired Judge Allen Wallace of the 23rd Judicial District in Waverly. He took the case under advisement Wednesday afternoon and is scheduled to issue a decision at a later time, The Dyersburg State Gazette reported.
Circuit Court Judge Lee Moore, who presided over Thacker’s trial in Lake County in 2002, recused himself from hearing the request for post-conviction relief.
In his request for post-conviction relief in Tennessee, Thacker claims court-appointed attorneys Charles Kelly and Tom Strawn provided ineffective counsel. He was represented at last week’s hearing by Donald E. Dawson, a state-employed post-conviction defender.
Thacker was convicted Feb. 8, 2002, of first-degree murder and felony murder in the death of Dyersburg tow truck driver Ray Patterson, 52, who had answered Thacker’s call for assistance Jan. 2, 2000, on Interstate 155. Patterson reportedly towed Thacker’s stolen car to Patterson Brothers service station. When Thacker’s credit card was denied, Thacker allegedly stabbed Patterson to death and stole his tow truck, cash, credit cards and an unloaded pistol.
Police tracked Thacker to a Union City motel, where he was arrested.
According to authorities, Patterson is one of three people Thacker allegedly killed during a 10-day spree that started in Oklahoma and continued in Missouri and Tennessee. He pleaded guilty to kidnapping, raping and killing 25-year-old Laci Dawn Hill in Bixby, Okla., and to killing restaurant supervisor Forrest Reed Boyd, 24, of Aldrich, Mo.
Thacker was sentenced to death in Oklahoma and life without parole in Missouri. He apparently also sought post-conviction relief in the Oklahoma case, but the request was denied.
Thacker is being held at Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in Nashville.
Published in The Messenger 3.1.10

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