UPDATE: Kiser tells judge: "Either exonerate or kill me" - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Kiser tells judge: "Either exonerate or kill me"

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Marlon Kiser is back in court arguing for a new trial.  WRCBtv.com photo Marlon Kiser is back in court arguing for a new trial. WRCBtv.com photo
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - A convicted cop killer was back in court Monday, making a final plea for a new trial.

Marlon Kiser is on death row for shooting and killing Hamilton County Deputy Donald Bond in 2001. A jury convicted him two years later -- and he's been appealing ever since.

Kiser's lawyers claim that an innocent man has been sentenced to death, but even the Tennessee Supreme Court has upheld his death sentence. This post-conviction petition hearing is essentially the last avenue he can take to appeal -- at least within the state court system.

Kiser gave a shackled two thumbs up while walking into the courtroom.

"Either exonerate me or kill me," Kiser told Judge Don Poole before the hearing concluded.

Kiser believes he deserves a new trial -- in part, he claims, due to incompetent lawyers. He was represented by the public defender's office when he was convicted in 2003.

"An innocent man was sentenced to death, and we have been fighting tirelessly to undo that injustice," said Luke Evans, one of Kiser's attorneys.

Over the last several months, the defense team has called numerous witnesses who never testified at trial -- ones who say Kiser's old roommate, Mike Chattin, was Deputy Bond's killer.

"Everybody that knew Mikey knew his character," testified Lisa Gray, who dated Chattin after Kiser was convicted.

While fighting back tears on the witness stand, Gray said she suspected her ex killed Bond, but she never told police.

"When you accused (Chattin) of killing Deputy Bond, did he deny it?" Evans asked.

"No," Gray replied.

Chattin was the state's star witness during Kiser's trial. But he can't fight these most recent allegations. Chattin died in 2011.

"Timing is what it is, though," Evans said. "My client's been fighting through the system, and he should not be held at a disadvantage because Mr. Chattin met an untimely demise."

Still, District Attorney General Neal Pinkston is confident that Kiser won't get a second shot.

"Overall, (there's) nothing really new showing that (Kiser's) rights were violated that should allow him to have a new trial," Pinkston said.

If Judge Don Poole doesn't rule in Kiser's favor, then Kiser can appeal that, too. He could also try getting a federal court to hear his case.

"It takes a really long time for these to resolve themselves," said Pinkston.

Because there is no jury in a post-conviction hearing, the decision whether or not to grant Kiser a new trial is solely up to Judge Poole. There is no deadline set for when that ruling will come down.

Attorneys on both sides must file written arguments in the case in June before the judge makes a final decision.

In Tennessee, there are currently 69 inmates on death row. According to state figures, it costs  $117.59 per day to house a death row offender. That means taxpayers statewide shell out more than $8,113 per day for those on death row.

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UPDATE: 
Marlon Kiser went before Judge Don Poole Monday morning, seeking a new trial for the 2001 murder of Hamilton County Deputy Donald Bond.

Kiser was convicted of shooting & killing Hamilton County Deputy Donald Bond in 2001 and was sentenced to death in 2003.




Channel 3 Eyewitness News report Sara Sidery is in court covering the Kiser hearing. You can follow her on Twitter @SaraSideryWRCB


11:26am - ...And there is no deadline on when the judge's ruling on Kiser will come down.

11:24am - What happens next: Kiser attys will submit a written argument brief to the judge by 6/5. State can respond by 6/26. Judge has final rule.

10:54am - Kiser's defense team is finished calling witnesses.

10:52am - Kiser tells Judge Poole: "Either exonerate or kill me."

10:28am - We've heard from many witnesses who never testified during his original trial. Most of them shift blame on Kiser roommate, Mike Chattin.

10:21am - This post-conviction hearing has been continued several times since last summer. Kiser says his original defense team was incompetent.

10:15am - Convicted cop killer Marlon is back in court Monday arguing for a new trial. He's on death row for killing HCSO deputy.


PREVIOUS STORY: The man on death row for killing a Hamilton County Deputy claims he was framed. For the first time ever, Marlon Kiser went public with his side of the story Tuesday, proclaiming his innocence on the witness stand.

Kiser testified that his old roommate framed him for killing Deputy Donald Bond at an East Brainerd fruit stand in 2001. But Kiser's original attorneys never argued that at his trial. And that old roommate is now dead.

"Unlike George Washington who cannot tell a lie, I can lie. But I choose not to," Kiser said on the stand.

Kiser was mostly calm and polite while testifying, but he was firm in his claims that he's telling the truth.

"I told them the truth. Mike Chattin is the killer of Deputy Bond, and he's framed me for it," he said.

Kiser is trying to pin the murder on his old roommate, Mike Chattin, who is no longer alive. Chattin was the state's key witness at Kiser's trial in 2003.

After years of appeals, even the Tennessee Supreme Court has upheld Kiser's sentence.

When Kiser was arrested, he refused to talk to police. Kiser told the court he was afraid of police. At the time of Bond's death, Kiser had a lawsuit pending against the City of Chattanooga involving an incident of alleged abuse by police officers.

"They were not looking out for my best interests, so I declined to talk to them," he said.

Kiser also chose not to testify at any of his preliminary hearings or trial, claiming his original public defenders didn't prepare him to answer any questions.

"He asked me if I wanted to testify and I said not at this time," Kiser recalled the judge asking him.

Despite forensic evidence tying Kiser to the crime, like shell casings matching Kiser's assault rifle and a sweatshirt's fibers found in Bond's patrol car, the death row inmate blames law enforcement for what Kiser says was pursuing the wrong guy.

"They would've lost their jobs and their pensions if they pointed to anybody else besides me," Kiser told District Attorney General Neal Pinkston.

"So all those individuals were part of a conspiracy along with Mr. Chattin?" asked Pinkston.

"Sir, it is not a conspiracy if it's the truth," Kiser replied.

There won't be a decision in this case anytime soon. Kiser's attorneys, Paul Bruno and Luke Evans, say they need more time. The hearing has been continued until April of next year._________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

UPDATE: "I want to be careful not to insinuate something that I don't know firsthand," said Judge Barry Steelman.

Judge Barry Steelman took the witness stand Monday, trying to answer Marlon Kiser's attorney's questions.

About a rumored courthouse romance that took place over 10 years ago. Kiser claims he was denied a fair trial.

Partly because of an alleged relationship between one of the D.A.'s victim witness coordinators..

And the judge who presided over his case. Cindy Richardson resigned from the D.A's office in October 2003.

The month before Kiser was sentenced to death. The presiding judge in question, Steve Bevil, died of cancer in 2006.

Attorney Mike Richardson asked the judge to quash his wife's subpoena last month.

Before Kiser's trial, the D.A.'s office told Kiser's public defenders about the alleged relationship.

But the office never asked the judge to remove himself from the case.


PREVIOUS STORY: The man on death row for killing a Hamilton County Sheriff's Deputy was back in court Monday.  

Marlon Kiser's execution has been on hold, because he wants a new trial.  

Kiser was found guilty of killing deputy Donald Bond, after ambushing him at an East Brainerd fruit stand in 2001.

Bullets found at the scene matched an assault rifle owned by Kiser.

Kiser is appealing his death sentence, essentially saying his original public defenders made some big mistakes.

One of them apparently involves an old rumored romance of a judge who's no longer alive.

Leading to some pretty uncomfortable testimony earlier.

More witnesses will be called tomorrow and there's a good possibility Kiser could testify.

The hearing will resume Tuesday morning.  

READ MORE| UPDATE: Marlon Kiser returns to court for hearing

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