The Alabama Supreme Court turned down an appeal yesterday in which lawyers sought to save confessed killer John Louis Evans III from the electric chair as a man acheduled to die Friday appealed for relief.
Evans has asked to be executed, while Jerry Wayne Jacobs is fighting to avoid the death penalty for the 1976 murder of a 79-year-old gambler in Cullman.
The St. Clair Cireuit Court rejected a 12-page petition filed on Jacobs' behalf, and the document filed with the Supreme Court urged that the execution be postipned pending appeal.
Jacobs' case was the first to reach the U.S. Supreme Court under Alabama's 1978 capital punishment law. The Nation's highes court rejused in January to consider the case.
The state Supreme Court referred the latest appeal to the Court of Criminal Appeals.
The court's 8-to-1 decision in the Evans case was issued without a written opinion after the nine justices emerged from a conference.
Evans, 29, who has said repeatedly he prefers death to life in prison, is scheduled to die at Holman Prison April 6. The decision left the execution date untouched. Evans was charged with killing Mobile pawnshop owner Edward Nassar during a holdup in January 1977. and dated Cottingham before her marriage. Cottingham was separated from her husband and was living with her mother.
Witnesses said the man kept them at bay with a gun while he dragged the screaming woman by the hair and arm about 50 feet from the church be fore shooting her in the head. She died of her wounds at Mount Siani Hospital.
In the crowd of Conlookers was Jones as well as Cottingham's 4-year-old daughter, Latika.
The gumman had been seated in the back of the church, but left shortly before the sermon, according to detectives.