Wednesday, 27 December 2006

Reid execution set for Jan. 3, 2008

Reid execution set for Jan. 3, 2008

NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Supreme Court set a new execution date today for Paul Dennis Reid and upheld his conviction for murdering three McDonald's employees.

Reid is now scheduled to die Jan. 3, 2008, but he still has state and federal appeals pending.

Reid has twice come within hours of execution, most recently in June when a federal court stopped a planned lethal injection to hold a hearing on his sanity.

Reid, a former Texas drifter who had musical ambitions, got seven death sentences for killing seven people at three fast-food restaurants in Nashville and Clarksville in 1997.

All the sentences have been upheld by the state Supreme Court.

In the McDonald's case, Reid filed an appeal claiming that Criminal Court Judge Cheryl Blackburn erred by finding him competent to stand trial.

But the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled against him, saying the trial court had evidence to find the defendant was competent to stand trial.

"The trial court applied the correct legal standard: whether the defendant had the 'capacity to understand the nature and object of the proceedings against him, to consult with counsel and to assist in preparing his defense,"' Justice Gary W. Wade wrote for the majority.

More details as they develop online and in Thursday's News Sentinel.

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