09-07-2002, 12:39 PM #1
Death penalty sought in murders of Charleston Paramedic, PD officer
This incident was posted in January on the boards. I hope this scum gets what he deserves. Both were killed in the line of duty. This @#&%^* was in an MVA and the nurse/paramedic and his partner attempted to help him. He was out of the car when they got there. He got back in, got his gun and went to blazin'! He even said afterwards he knew they were not cops! then he runs and comes across the PD officer and shoots him. He hits the ground and he puts one in his forehead for good measure... just to make sure the job was done! OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoo this one burns me up...
Death penalty sought in January 19th killings
The Post and Courier
Prosecutors will seek the death penalty against Marko Dupree Drayton of James Island when he is tried on charges he murdered two people on Jan. 19, Solicitor Ralph Hoisington announced Friday.
Drayton is scheduled to go on trial Dec. 9 for allegedly gunning down Charleston police officer Dennis LaPage and Anthony Pirraglia, a liver transplant coordinator at the Medical University of South Carolina and a part-time Meducare flight nurse, Hoisington said.
Drayton also is charged with assault and battery with intent to kill in connection with the shooting and wounding of MUSC intensive care nurse Mandy Larson.
The decision to try Drayton on two capital murder charges came after considering his mental condition, the solicitor said. Although a state psychiatrist said earlier this year that Drayton suffers from a_ psychosis, the doctor also said Drayton knew right from wrong during the Jan. 19 shootings.
Drayton's mental health "was a factor, but it wasn't a factor that we couldn't overcome," Hoisington said, adding that he reached the decision after speaking with the victims' families and Charleston police.
Defense attorney Jennifer Kneece Shealy said, "I am very disappointed that the death penalty is being sought in this case." Drayton's family, Shealy said, "knew the possibility existed that the death penalty could be sought, and they were praying that would not happen."
Pirraglia and Larson were shot at the intersection of Cannon Street and Courtenay Drive. Soon after, LaPage, who was working off duty providing security at an apartment building, was gunned down on St. Philip Street.
To win a capital murder case, South Carolina prosecutors must show the existence of aggravating circumstances - separate, serious crimes described in state law. In the Drayton case, Hoisington said the two aggravating circumstances are the murder of a police officer in the line of duty and the murder of two or more persons in the same course of conduct.
If Drayton is tried and convicted, Shealy likely will focus on his mental health as a mitigating circumstance as to why a jury should not sentence him to death by lethal injection.
A judge ordered Drayton to undergo the mental evaluation that determined that he could assist in his defense at trial. Hoisington said it's not necessary to have a judge review the doctor's report and rule on Drayton's mental competency before the prosecution can seek the death penalty.
"If a defendant is incompetent to stand trial or assist in his defense, we can't proceed forward," Hoisington said. "In Drayton's case, he is competent to stand trial. The issue of competency can be raised at the time of trial."
Drayton was arrested after a shooting spree that began just before 8 p.m. on Jan. 19 with a three-car accident at Cannon Street and Courtenay Drive. According to police reports and witnesses, Drayton opened fire when bystanders Pirraglia and intensive care nurse Mandy Larson approached the accident to see if anyone needed help. Pirraglia was killed, Larson wounded.
After the first shootings, Drayton ran through the streets of Charleston with a .40-caliber semi-automatic pistol, police said.
He encountered LaPage outside the Kelly House, a private dorm that holds roughly 220 students mostly from the College of Charleston. Police said Drayton shot LaPage three times - once in the head, once in his back and once in his elbow. LaPage was wearing his police uniform along with a bulletproof vest.
Drayton continued to run until police caught up with him outside the Westin Francis Marion Hotel where the gunman fired another shot, police said. At some point, he ditched the gun before cops grabbed him on the northeast corner of Wragg Square.
Even after he was jailed, Drayton continued to make headlines. At his bond hearing, Drayton quoted the Bible and talked about love. "They might be dead in the flesh but they are not dead in the spirit," he said. "In love there is no law, so I am above the law." At one point he claimed God was his lawyer.
In late January, Drayton tried to escape from a state mental health facility where he was being held for evaluation.
09-07-2002, 10:31 PM #2
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