Inmate Who Pleaded For Fingerprints To Be Tested Before Execution Gets Results Back

Inmate Who Pleaded For Fingerprints To Be Tested Before Execution Gets Results Back

There’s a saying that it is better for 10 guilty men to go free, than for one innocent man to be convicted. But while our justice system strives to ensure that only the guilty are incarcerated — or worse, executed — it’s not foolproof. Mistakes are made and justice sometimes is willfully blind. One man claimes to be innocent of a horrific crime… and he also says there is proof that he is innocent in the 2001 slaying of Hamilton County Deputy Donald Bond.

Marlon Kiser was found guilty of murder in 2003 and he was sentenced to death. He was then placed on death row in Tennessee for killing Hamilton County Deputy Donald Bond. Kiser has always maintained his innocence, claiming that he was framed for the crime by his former roommate, James Michael Chattin. Most didn’t believe him as that is a typical claim by inmates. Kiser set up a website, www.freemarlonkiser.com, where he made his case… a somewhat compelling one.

“James Michael Chattin had discovered that a Hamilton County Sheriff’s Deputy named Donald Kenneth Bond Jr. was seemingly having an affair with Tina Chattin who was Mike Chattin’s wife,” Kiser wrote. “On several different occasions, Mike Chattin has stated to several different individuals that his wife was seeing a cop and that he was going to kill him, and in the early morning hours of September 6th, 2001, that is exactly what Mike Chattin did.”

“And then, to throw suspicion off of Mike Chattin, he ran to police pointing his finger at me because I had a pending police brutality lawsuit against the Chattanooga Police Department since 1998 which was scheduled to be heard on September 17th, eleven days after Deputy Donald Bond’s death,” he added. Kiser never budged and never backed down on his claims.

Kiser then claimed that when he discovered Chattin’s drug habit, he told him to leave. And that, he said, was ultimately the catalyst that put him up in prison. “In Mike Chattin’s perry old mind, he could not allow me to leave because I knew entirely too many secrets about him,” Kiser claimed and then he said that Chattin had previously asked him to kill the police officer. Throughout numerous hearings on the petition, multiple witnesses testified they believed a different man, Mike Chattin, had killed Bond and then threatened them into silence. They said Chattin’s wife was having an affair with Bond. Chattin, then Kiser’s roommate, has since died.

Kiser also started a petition to get him off of death row, hoping to get over 1,000 signatures. “Marlon Kiser is on death row, because of police corruption, and police ineptness,” one person wrote. “Marlon knew about Mike Chattin’s criminal activities, and therefore Marlon was a liability to Mike Chattin.”

Kiser had begged authorities to test the fingerprints at the crime scene, insisting they would exonerate him. But did they?

In short: no. In fact, the new evidence was even more damning. Kiser’s attorney had authorities test palm and fingerprints found on Officer Bond’s flashlight and police vehicle. They matched Kiser. Fibers from Bond’s clothing also linked Kiser to the crime, which was particularly brutal.

Bond caught Kiser in the act of trying to set fire to a fruit stand and tried to intervene. Kiser then shot Bond, spraying him with bullets from a high-powered rifle. The fingerprint evidence seems to make it clear: Kiser was not framed and is guilty as charged. It’s not unusual at all in cases like this for the criminal to blame the victim… especially if it is a police officer. The Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals upheld Kiser’s 2003 conviction. The Tennessee Supreme Court did the same, even though it returned his case to Hamilton County to merge the judgments into one conviction for first-degree murder.

Marlon Kiser has appealed his case, been denied a new trial, had his death sentence upheld, filed motions for post-conviction relief, had his death sentence delayed and has hired new counsel. He has once more been denied a new trial. He’s almost exhausted all legal options here. He is still going through the appeals process. The evidence is damning here. It looks to me as if due diligence was done and justice was served. The executioner cometh, but not anytime soon. It could be years before Kiser is executed.

Do you believe that he might be innocent?

Terresa Monroe-Hamilton

Terresa Monroe-Hamilton is an editor and writer for Right Wing News. She owns and blogs at NoisyRoom.net. She is a Constitutional Conservative and NoisyRoom focuses on political and national issues of interest to the American public. Terresa is the editor at Trevor Loudon's site, New Zeal - trevorloudon.com. She also does research at KeyWiki.org. You can email Terresa here. NoisyRoom can be found on Facebook and on Twitter.

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