Violated Rights? What rights? GGrrrr!!
Hiker killer says his rights violated
By JEFFRY SCOTT
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Life in a Georgia prison isn't agreeing with convicted killer Gary Michael Hilton. Nor is the prospect of facing the death penalty in Florida.
In a hand-scrawled note to authorities Hilton â€” who pleaded guilty to the January murder of Georgia hiker Meredith Emerson â€” complains he is being held "virtually incommunicado" and his constitutional rights are being violated.
Hilton, an inmate at Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson, said he should be appointed a lawyer to fight extradition to Florida, where he now faces similar charges involving another woman.
Hilton kept Emerson hostage for three days after he abducted her on a hiking trail in North Georgia, then killed and decapitated her on Jan. 4.
"I have no access to the telephone, the Internet, and very little U.S. mail," he wrote in an Extradition Habeas Petition filed Monday to the Superior Court of Butts County, which has jurisdiction over the prison in Jackson.
"The postage stamp and envelope that I am using to mail this was given to me by another inmate," wrote Hilton, 61, in the three-page filing.
"I am being held so closely that it was only today, April 16, that I was able to obtain the address to the court, and I'm not really sure that it's the correct address. That means that it took me 13 days just to get this courts' possible address."
Hilton said he has also been denied his rights because he has not been given a copy of the Florida arrest warrant.
He was indicted Feb. 28 in the murder of Crawfordville, Fla., nurse and Sunday school teacher Cheryl Dunlap, whose decapitated body was found Dec. 15 in Apalachicola National Forest, near Tallahassee.
Leon County State Attorney William Meggs has said he will seek the death penalty.
Richard Milam, the Georgia district attorney handling Hilton's extradition, said Thursday Hilton's complaints are "just a delaying tactic."
"In my opinion, his filing is not sufficient to challenge the legality of his extradition," said Milam, adding he'll press ahead with the extradition in a May 2 hearing where Hilton will have "plenty of opportunity to tell his side."
He said the law only provides for mandatory counsel in criminal cases, while extradition is a civil matter.
Hilton led investigators to Emerson's body on Jan. 4, after cutting a deal to avoid the death penalty. Florida prosecutors are not bound by that agreement.
Hilton abducted Emerson on New Year's Day near Blood Mountain in north Georgia, where she had gone to day-hike with her dog. Florida authorities connected him to Dunlap's killing after reading about the Emerson case and determining he was in that area when Dunlap disappeared Dec. 1. Hilton is also a suspect in the killings of a pair of elderly North Carolina hikers, John and Irene Bryant, but has not been charged in their deaths.
Life is a Journey -
Enjoy The Trip!
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