A man on federal death row for killing a South Carolina woman will not get a new trial on the premise that his original defense attorneys made mistakes, a judge ruled Tuesday.
U.S. District Judge Joseph F. Anderson Jr. denied the motion by 33-year-old Chadrick Fulks, writing in a 175-page opinion that Fulks' trial attorneys were qualified to handle the case, called appropriate experts and presented adequate evidence about their client's alleged cognitive problems.
"Chadrick Evan Fulks received world-class representation from a highly skilled, motivated team of four lawyers with death penalty experience, together with innumerable investigators and experts, law students, and others who contributed to mounting a vigorous defense marshaling all the evidence available in the best light to the defendant," Anderson wrote.
Anderson presided over a weeklong hearing in February, when Fulks' new attorneys argued he should get a new trial and sentence for the death of Alice Donovan, 44. Fulks pleaded guilty and co-defendant Brandon Basham was convicted of kidnapping and killing Donovan during a two-week crime spree after they escaped from a Hopkins County, Ky., jail in 2002.
Both men were sentenced to death by federal juries, and the U.S. Supreme Court has turned down their individual appeals. Fulks and Basham also have pleaded guilty to killing a West Virginia woman, 19-year-old Marshall University student Samantha Burns, during their spree.