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Death penalty upheld for Md. man

A federal appeals court on Wednesday upheld the death penalty for a Maryland man convicted of kidnapping and killing a Washington, D.C., police officer's son.

A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond said Wednesday that mistakes were made in Kenneth Lighty's case, but none of them were serious enough to warrant reversal.

“It is well established that a criminal defendant is entitled to a fair trial, not a perfect one,” Senior Judge Clyde H. Hamilton wrote in the unanimous opinion, which was joined by judges Diana Gribbon Motz and G. Steve Agee.

Lighty's attorney, Amanda Michelle Raines, did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment.

Lighty, of Hillcrest Heights, Md., was sentenced to death for the 2002 slaying of Eric L. Hayes II. The 19-year-old Hayes was abducted from a southeast Washington street and driven to Prince George's County, where he was shot in the head and the body execution-style.

The appeals court also upheld the kidnapping convictions and life sentences of two accomplices, James Everett Flood III and Lorenzo Anthony Wilson.

Lighty claimed that the prosecution should not have been allowed to introduce evidence of his involvement in a drive-by shooting that left another man dead less than a month after the Hayes kidnapping and murder. The appeals court agreed that the evidence should have been disallowed but said the error was harmless.

“The evidence of guilt presented by the government was overwhelming,” the court said, and the details of the drive-by shooting had no bearing on the jury's decision.

The court also rejected Lighty's claim that he and Flood should have been tried separately. Those two were tried together. Wilson was tried separately.

-- Associated Press

By Washington Post Editors  |  August 12, 2010; 7:56 AM ET
Categories:  Death Penalty , From the Courthouse , Homicide , Pr. George's , Updates  
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Posted by: COOLCHILLY | August 12, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

I know the father of young Eric Hayes. Metropolitan Police Department Lieuteant Hayes is a good man. No father should have to go through what Lieutenant Hayes has had to endure.

My condolences to Lieutenant Hayes and his family.

And you, THUG, Mr. Lighty, you earned your penalty!

Posted by: | August 12, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

GOOD! I guess he now knows what it's like to have a date with death.

Posted by: keedrow | August 12, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Cases like this are very interesting. This convicted killer obviously showed a pattern of this behavior with his involvement in another shooting. So he clearly didn't see anything wrong with shooting people somewhat indiscriminately.
But he wants to cry foul over his trial and evidence used to send him away.

Posted by: BigDaddy651 | August 12, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Some nerve!! He had no feelings when he killed that man; so why fight now..don't cry now big man!!

Posted by: shadon1 | August 12, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Another gutless wonder...really tough when holding a gun but not so tough without one.
"I didn't get a fair trial! Wah! Wah! Wah!"
Try not shooting people then you don't need to worry about getting a fair trial.

Posted by: BigDaddy651 | August 12, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

I just hope this vermin gets rammed repeatedly in jail, before he gets offed!!

Posted by: trenda | August 12, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

O'Malley would keep this predator alive, whatever the laws of Maryland.

Thankfully, this case is a federal prosecution.

Condolences to the Hayes family.

Good riddance to Kenneth Lighty.

Posted by: RealityCheckerInEffect | August 12, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

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