published Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

Convicted murderer Algie McClure seeking new trial

A man serving life in prison for the murder of a man set to testify against him in a drug case is seeking another trial after exhausting his appeals.

During a post-conviction hearing Monday in Criminal Court Judge Rebecca Stern’s courtroom, Algie McClure, 38, said the lawyer for his murder trial, John McDougal, failed to suppress evidence or provide him with information before and during the 2005 proceedings.

The post-conviction hearing is a separate effort by convicted defendants to seek a new trial after direct appeals have been denied. It will continue Wednesday.

Lloyd Levitt, McClure’s current attorney, questioned McClure when he was on the stand to explain why he thought McDougal hadn’t represented him fully.

McClure said McDougal didn’t listen to his suggestions, didn’t object often during the trial and didn’t attack the credibility of prosecution witnesses.

One jailhouse witness wrote detailed letters to Hamilton County Assistant District Attorney Boyd Patterson, describing details of the crime and saying that McClure had said he’d killed Antonius Tuggle.

During the 2005 trial, Patterson connected a pending cocaine case that involved both McClure and Tuggle as co-defendants as the motive for Tuggle’s murder in 2003. Patterson called witnesses who said McClure told them Tuggle wouldn’t live to testify and said “no witness, no case.”

McClure testified Monday that the eight- to 12-year sentences he faced for the drug charges were not enough for him to kill someone.

“I mean, it was a serious charge, but it wasn’t nothing worth taking a man’s life,” he said.

Latasha Hinton, Tuggle’s girlfriend, testified in the 2005 trial that on Dec. 23, 2003, McClure kicked in the door of the couple’s 7714A Nautical Way home and began shooting.

Tuggle rushed to the bedroom to get a gun but was shot in the chest and hip and later died. The shooter also hit Hinton.

Contact staff Writer Todd South at tsouth@timesfree press.com or 423-757-6347.

about Todd South...

Todd South covers courts, poverty, technology, military and veterans for the Times Free Press. He has worked at the paper since 2008 and previously covered crime and safety in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Todd’s hometown is Dodge City, Kan. He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq before returning to school for his journalism degree from the University of Georgia. Todd previously worked at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. Contact ...

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