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South Carolina Wrongful Death: Men Enter Alford Plea For 2008 SC Death

South Carolina Wrongful Death: Men Enter Alford Plea For 2008 SC Death

Charleston wrongful death lawyers report on serious case. Matthew Lamar Jackson and Tyrone Akeen Gleaton entered an Alford Plea and also plead guilty to armed robbery charges Monday, February 8, 2010. The victim, Marquez Tyler, went missing in November 2008. The nine-teen year old’s body was found under an overturned bathtub in Aiken County in February 2009. The boy was a victim of a South Carolina wrongful death. This was a relief to the Tyler family that their loved one was no longer missing, but not the outcome they had been praying for. The Alford Plea stems from the United States Supreme Court case North Carolina vs. Alford in 1970. In this case Henry Alford was charged with first-degree murder in 1963. Alford admitted to committing the murder but would not admit to the murder in court. Alford pled guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced into thirty years in jail. Alford claimed he plead guilty to the second-degree murder charge in order to avoid the death penalty. This was later overturned in court when Henry Alford appealed his case numerous times saying he was forced to plead guilty to the second-degree murder charge out of fear of capital punishment. Supreme Court Justice Byron White ruled that the guilty plea still stands as is, even though Henry Alford was still proclaiming his innocence.

If the accused enters an Alford Plea they are able to maintain their innocence but are admitting that there is enough evidence against them to convince a jury and a judge that they are guilty. An Alford Plea is defined by the Dictionary of Politics: Selected American and Foreign Political and Legal Terms as “a plea under which a defendant may choose to plead guilty, not because of an admission to the crime, but because the prosecutor has sufficient evidence to place a charge and to obtain conviction in court. The plea is commonly used in local and state courts in the United States.”

Matthew Jackson and Tyrone Gleaton both were sentenced to fifteen years in prison after entering their Alford Plea for the voluntary manslaughter of Marquez Tyler. When Tyler’s body was found in February 2009,Tim Carlton, Aiken County Corner, ruled that Tyler died from a gun shot wound in November of 2008.

Source: The Post and Courier- “Two Men Enter Pleas in 2008 death in SC.” February 9, 2010.

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