More than a decade after a jury convicted him of murder in the death of a Hamilton County deputy sheriff, Marlon Duane Kiser is coming back to court.
Kiser's death penalty appeal is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Monday in front of Criminal Court Judge Don Poole. Kiser's attorneys say Poole should overturn his sentence and his conviction because the public defenders in his 2003 trial were not effective.
In September 2001, police say, Deputy Donald Bond stopped Kiser from setting fire to an East Brainerd fruit stand. Kiser ambushed Bond and pumped a number of bullets into him with an assault rifle.
Kiser's roommate, James Michael Chattin, testified that Kiser woke him up that September morning and bragged about killing a cop. Chattin said Kiser showed him an assault rifle, a police weapon and part of a bulletproof vest.
Investigators found Bond's body in the fruit stand's parking lot, his weapon and part of his vest missing, according to Times Free Press archives. At the end of his trial, Kiser was given to the death penalty.
Kiser filed for a new trial, but a higher court denied that appeal in 2005. In May 2009, the Tennessee Supreme Court upheld Kiser's sentence.
Kiser's execution date was scheduled in 2010, but he received a stay pending the resolution of his appeal.
In a petition for relief filed in June, Nashville attorney Paul Bruno said Kiser's original lawyers made several errors. First, they didn't explore the relationship between Chattin's estranged wife and Bond. Kiser says Chattin framed him after killing Bond because of the deputy's relationship with his wife.
"Defense counsel elicited no testimony regarding a perceived relationship between Ms. Hunt and Deputy Bond," Bruno wrote. "This constitutes fatal error on the part of counsel."
The attorney also alleges that Kiser's death penalty sentence is unconstitutional, saying both lethal injection and the electric chair are cruel and unusual punishment.
Bruno did not return multiple messages seeking comment Wednesday.
Prosecutor Neal Pinkston said his office is ready for a hearing that could last several days.
"The state is prepared to answer each of the allegations in the petition and show that the conviction and the sentence stand," he said.
Contact staff writer Tyler Jett at email@example.com or 423-757-6576.