source : Court of criminal appeals of alabama november 1999
The trial court made the following findings of fact concerning the crime and the appellant’s participation in it:
“On the night of [February 21, 1994,] Vickie Deblieux, age 37, was dropped off by a friend on I-59 near Chattanooga, Tennessee, to hitchhike to her mother’s home in Louisiana.
“Four teenagers, the defendant ( Carey Dale Grayson), Kenny Loggins, Trace Duncan, and Louis Mangione, all who had been drinking alcohol and using drugs, saw her hitchhiking on I-59 at the Trussville exit in Jefferson County, Alabama. They offered to take her to Louisiana; instead they took her to a wooded area, on the pretense of picking up another vehicle.“After arriving in this area, they all got out of the vehicle, and began to drink. The defendant, along with the others threw bottles at Ms. Deblieux, who began to run from them. They tackled her to the ground and began to kick her repeatedly all over her body. When they noticed that she was still alive, one of them stood on her throat, supported by the Defendant, until she gurgled blood and said ‘Okay, I’ll party,’ then died.
“They then put her body in the back of a pickup truck and took her and her luggage to Bald Rock Mountain, after removing her clothing and a ring, and they played with her body and then threw her off a cliff.
“They then went to a car wash in Pell City to wash the blood out of the truck. After rummaging through her luggage, they hid the luggage in the woods.
“On their return to Birmingham, they took Mangione home and then returned to Bald Rock Mountain, where they began to mutilate the body by stabbing and cutting her 180 times, removing part of a lung, and removing her fingers and thumbs.
“The next morning defendant’s girlfriend found the three of them in Birmingham asleep in the truck all covered in mud and blood. The defendant told her they got blood on them from a dog.
“On [February 26, 1994,] three rock climbers found Ms. Deblieux’s body and called the police. Her body was taken to the medical examiner’s office.
“The medical examiner found the following injuries; almost every bone in her skull was fractured, every bone in her face was fractured at least once, lacerations on the face over these fractures, a missing tooth, left eye was collapsed, right eye was hemorrhaged, tongue discolored, 180 stab wounds (postmortem), two large incisions in her chest, her left lung had been removed and all her fingers and both thumbs were cut off.
“The medical examiner opined that the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head and that she was alive during the beating.
“All defendants were later arrested after Mangione began showing one of Ms. Deblieux’s fingers to friends.
“Ralph Wiley, the defendant’s uncle testified that he was disabled because of a bipolar disorder, which is a prevalent disorder in the defendant’s family. That Defendant’s mother died when he was age three and his father has been married four or five times. He had not been around defendant in many years.
“Dora Roper, the defendant’s second cousin testified that her mother had mental problems for which she had to be hospitalized.
“Jan Arnett, testified that she was defendant’s junior high school teacher when he was ages 13-16. That he was hyperactive in class, not interested in school, and wouldn’t do classwork or homework․ She tried to get defendant’s father to help the defendant. That defendant was not violent and knew right from wrong․
“Dr. Rebert, a forensic psychologist for the State of Alabama, Department of Mental Health, opined that the defendant at the time of the incident suffered from a mental disease or defect. She described this as a bipolar disorder and said he was in a manic state at the time of the incident; however, he did know the difference between right and wrong and was able to appreciate the nature and quality or wrongfulness of his acts.
“Dr. Goff, a private psychologist who opined that at the time of the incident the defendant suffered from a mental disease or defect, bipolar I disorder, which involves extreme mood swings. However, the defendant did know right from wrong but would not be able to respond to the rightness or wrongness of his acts.
“Jan Deblieux, the victim’s mother testified that she was not involved in a lawsuit filed by her daughter’s estranged husband.”
The record further indicates that, although the investigation originally involved suspects in Chattanooga because the victim was from that area, the investigation eventually led the police to the Jefferson County jail, where the appellant was incarcerated. He was interviewed by the police at the jail where he agreed to give a statement, indicating that “they were not hanging this case on him and [he wanted] to tell his side of the story.” The appellant then gave the following statement which was admitted at trial:
“Kenny, T.R., Louis and myself were all drinking very heavily when T.R. and Louis suggested that we get into a fight. We left and went riding around and found a hitchhiker at I-59 exit in Trussville, Alabama. We picked her up and took her to the pipeline․ Medical Center East. We were all talking when she made a remark about killing us all when I threw a beer bottle at her, then Kenny hit her with his bottle, Louis hit her with his and T.R. with his. After that she began to run when Kenny got her in the back of the head with another bottle, causing her to fall. We all ran over and began to kick her and hit her. When she stopped moving, Kenny saw she was still alive and stood on her throat [until] she died. Then we took her to Pell City and left the body. We then went to the car wash and washed out the bed of Kenny’s truck and we took Louis home. When we got back to my car, T.R. and Kenny asked me to show them the way to the body and I did. When we got there, T.R. and Kenny began to mutilate the body by cutting off the fingers and cutting open the stomach. T.R. had found a bottle and shoved it into the [vagina] while Kenny took out her eyes. After this we dumped the body and left for T.R.’s house. Kenny and I returned to my car and we went ․ to Hardee’s in Chalkville and all three of us fell asleep in the truck, where Kenny’s girlfriend woke us up later that morning.”
Upon further questioning, by the authorities, the appellant made other statements concerning the details of the offense. The appellant stated that while T.R. was standing on the victim’s throat, he placed his hands on the appellant for balance. He further indicated that, when they dumped the victim’s clothes over the cliff, T.R. took some of the clothing and Kenny took a ring from the victim. The appellant indicated that he took nothing from her. The appellant was then asked why he and his accomplices had killed the victim; the appellant responded that he did not know why they had killed her, “but it was not his problem.” The officer who took the appellant’s statement noted that he was very cooperative and that his attitude was “almost one of humor. He had a smile during the entire time we were speaking with him.”
The appellant argues that the trial court committed reversible error by refusing to allow the defense to question a State’s witness concerning a civil suit involving the appellant, because, he says, this questioning would have tended to show the bias of the witness. Specifically, the appellant argues that he was improperly prevented from questioning the victim’s mother, Jan Deblieux, concerning a wrongful-death action that had been filed by the victim’s estranged husband against the Miller Brewing Company. The appellant argues that the suit was being brought by the decedent’s estate and that the decedent’s mother clearly had a financial interest in the civil suit, and allowing him to question her about it would prove her bias in seeing that the appellant was convicted.
The record indicates that the victim’s mother had testified during the State’s case-in-chief to establish that the victim was her daughter, and had also testified that, just before the offense, the victim had telephoned her, stating that she would be traveling home to Louisiana very shortly, by bus or by plane. The witness further testified that she never heard from her daughter after that conversation. There after, during the appellant’s presentation of his defense, the victim’s mother was called as a witness. She was asked whether she knew an attorney who had been hired by her daughter’s estranged husband. She stated that she had not met with the attorney, nor had she participated in hiring him. More over, when asked if she was “familiar with the nature of the lawsuit filed on behalf on the decedent,” the victim’s mother responded that she had received “a pack like this,” indicating a large stack of materials, but that she had “no idea what it means.” The prosecutor objected to the questioning on the grounds of relevance and defense counsel asked to make a proffer as to what he expected the evidence to show. The trial court then allowed defense counsel to make his statement outside the presence of the jury. Defense counsel stated that they sought to admit a certified copy of the complaint and other papers in the lawsuit as well as testimony concerning it, because the lawsuit sought to hold Miller Brewing Company responsible for the victim’s death, because the appellant and his accomplices were drinking Ice House beer to the point of intoxication which caused the death. Thus, defense counsel argued that the lawsuit, filed by the ex-husband, portrayed the death as caused by intoxication rather than by the appellant’s “meanness” or as part of a satanic ritual, both of which were suggested as causes by the State’s evidence. Defense counsel stated that convicting the appellant would further the victim’s mother’s cause in her lawsuit and therefore affected her bias and credibility, because she had a financial interest in the outcome of the criminal case.
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april 09, 2012 source : http://www.therepublic.com
The Alabama Department of Corrections said the Supreme Court had stopped the execution Monday. Officials with the AlabamaAttorney General’s office could not be reached for comment on whether the state would appeal the decision. Last month the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stopped the scheduled execution of death row inmate Tommy Arthur after his attorneys challenged a change that had been made to the drugs used in Alabamaexecutions.
Grayson was one of four teenagers convicted for the 1994 torture and murder of Vicki Lynn DeBlieux, who was hitchhiking on Interstate 59. She was beaten and her body was thrown off a cliff and later mutilated.
feb.24, 2012 source : http://www.dailyhome.com
A Birmingham man convicted of a 1994 murder that was discovered in St. Clair County received his execution date from the Alabama Supreme Court on Thursday.The court ordered that Carey Dale Grayson, now 37 years old, be executed by lethal injection on April 12 at Holman Prison in Atmore. Grayson is on death row for the Feb. 21, 1994, kidnapping and murder of Vicki Lynn Deblieux. Grayson was one of four men charged with torturing and killing Deblieux and throwing her body off Bald Rock Mountain, between Odenville and Pell City.
St. Clair County chief investigator Joe Sweatt said he remembers the case as “one of the most horrific murders” to ever occur in the area.
“It’s one I’ll always remember,” Sweatt said. “She was hitchhiking on I-59 back to Louisiana, back to her mother’s house.
“The murder actually happened in Jefferson County, and they dumped her body in St. Clair County. They actually mutilated the body … trying to make it hard to identify.”
Sweatt said he recalled that all four of the men involved were teenagers, and all were from the Birmingham area. Grayson, the oldest, was 19 at the time.
“The truck they hauled her body in, they went to Pell City to the car wash across from the high school and pressure washed the back of the truck and threw some of her belongings in the woods back there,” Sweatt said. “We signed petitions on them here in St. Clair, but we actually had to transfer them in Jefferson County. We had to certify them as adults and went through four separate trials.”
According to Sweatt, the three others involved in the crime were initially sentenced to death, but received life in prison without the possibility of parole.