Supporters of Death Row Inmate Seek SCOFLA's Help to Save Him

Arthur Rutherford is scheduled to die by lethal injection for the 1985 murder of a Santa Rosa County woman. His attorney went before the state Supreme Court Thursday morning to say there is new evidence implicating a woman named Mary Heaton, who is a witness for the state at the original trial and who has a history of mental illness.

Marty McClain, attorney for Arthur Rutherford, said, "She is the person that knows what happened, and the fact that she is crazy may be as a result of her involvement. She’s at the heart of the case."

Charmaine Millsaps, Florida Assistant Attorney General, said, "That does not undermine Rutherford’s guilt. That may increase Mary Heaton’s guilt, but that does not undermine Rutherford’s guilt. We still have four witnesses and three sets of fingerprints."

Rutherford’s attorneys are also working on an appeal to federal courts and his daughter has filed a clemency request with the governor. The execution is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday at Florida State Prison.


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