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Carl Junior ISAACS

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 
 
 
Classification: Mass murderer
Characteristics: Fugitive - Robbery - Rape
Number of victims: 6
Date of murder: May 14, 1973
Date of arrest: May 26, 1973
Date of birth: August 9, 1953
Victims profile: Jerry Alday, 35; Ned Alday, 62; Jimmy Alday, 25; Mary Alday, 26; Chester Alday, 32, and Aubrey Alday, 57
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Seminole County, Georgia, USA
Status: Executed by lethal injection in Georgia on May 6, 2003
 
 

 
 

Summary:

In May of 1973, Carl Isaacs escaped from a Maryland penal institution and, accompanied by his younger brother Billy Isaacs, his half-brother Wayne Coleman and a friend, George Dungee, drove to Florida.

Almost out of gas in Georgia, they saw a gas pump behind the rural mobile home belonging to Jerry Alday and Mary Alday and stopped to investigate. They discovered there was no pump; however, the trailer was empty, and they decided to burglarize it.

Jerry Alday and his father Ned Alday pulled in behind the trailer, unaware that it was being burglarized. Carl Isaacs met them and ordered them inside at gunpoint.

Carl Isaacs shot and killed Jerry Alday, and then both he and Coleman shot and killed Ned Alday. Jerry's brother Jimmy Alday drove up on a tractor and was also forced inside at gunpoint, then shot by Carl Isaacs.

Jerry's wife Mary Alday then drove up, then Chester and Aubrey Alday (Jerry’s brother and uncle) drove up in a pickup truck. All were forced inside. Aubrey was taken to the south bedroom where Carl Isaacs shot and killed him, while Chester Alday was taken to the north bedroom and killed by Coleman.

Coleman and Carl Isaacs raped Mary Alday on her kitchen table. Afterward, they drove to a heavily wooded area several miles away where Mary Alday was raped again. Dungee then killed her.

The gang drove to Alabama and were arrested a few days later in West Virginia, in possession of guns later identified as the murder weapons, and property belonging to the victims.

After his original trial, Carl Isaacs was interviewed by a film maker who was producing a documentary about the case. The defendant admitted shooting Jerry, Ned, Aubrey and Jimmy Alday, raping Mary Alday, and burglarizing the trailer. These admissions were introduced in evidence at the retrial.

Younger brother Billy Isaacs testified against his brother in exchange for a plea agreement calling for a 40 year sentence. He was paroled in 1994.

Carl Isaacs was the longest serving inmate on death row in any state in the U.S.

Citations:

Isaacs v. State, 226 S.E.2d 922 (Ga. 1976). (Direct Appeal)
Isaacs v. Kemp, 778 F.2d 1482 (11th Cir.1985). (Habeas Granted)
Isaacs v. State, 355 S.E.2d 644 (Ga. 1987). (Recusal)
Isaacs v. State, 386 S.E.2d 316 (Ga. 1989). (Direct Appeal)

Final Meal:

Isaacs asked for a "regular institutional tray" of pork and macaroni, pinto beans, cabbage, carrot salad, dinner roll, chocolate cake and fruit punch, but he pushed the meal away.

Final Words:

Isaacs declined an opportunity to make a final statement, but did ask for a final prayer. After the prayer he mouthed Amen.

ClarkProsecutor.org


Georgia Department of Corrections

Inmate #17622
DOB: 08/09/1953
RACE: WHITE
GENDER: MALE
HEIGHT: 5'08''
WEIGHT: 141
EYE COLOR: Blue
HAIR COLOR: Brown
COUNTY: Seminole County


ProDeathPenalty.com

Convicted murderer Carl Isaacs has been scheduled to die by lethal injection, after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld his death sentence, the Georgia attorney general said.

The state Department of Corrections set Isaacs' execution for May 6 at 7 p.m. at the Georgia Diagnostic & Classification Prison in Jackson. The Supreme Court denied his appeal Monday, ending his last chance to escape the death penalty.

Isaacs, convicted as the ringleader of the 1973 Alday family murders in Seminole County, has been on death row for 30 years. Isaacs, 49, and two other men, George Dungee and Wayne Coleman, were convicted and sentenced to die in 1974.

But a federal appeals court granted them a new trial on grounds that pretrial publicity and community outrage prevented them from getting a fair trial.

Isaacs was convicted again and sentenced to die after a 1988 trial in Houston County Superior Court, but Dungee and Coleman had their sentences reduced to life in prison. Isaacs appealed again in 2001 to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, claiming his rights were violated 32 times during the retrial. But that court upheld his death sentence last year.

In May of 1973, Carl Isaacs escaped from a Maryland penal institution and, accompanied by his younger brother Billy Isaacs, his half-brother Wayne Coleman and a friend, George Dungee, drove to Florida.

On the afternoon of May 14, 1973, they were in Seminole County, Georgia, and their car was almost out of gas. They thought they saw a gas pump behind the rural mobile home belonging to Jerry Alday and Mary Alday and stopped to investigate it.

They discovered there was no pump; however, the trailer was empty, and they decided to burglarize it. Dungee remained in the car while Carl Isaacs and Wayne Coleman entered the trailer. While they were inside, Billy Isaacs warned them two men were approaching in a jeep. Jerry Alday and his father Ned Alday pulled in behind the trailer, unaware that it was being burglarized.

Carl Isaacs met them and ordered them inside at gunpoint. After their pockets were emptied, Jerry Alday was taken into the south bedroom of the trailer while Ned was taken to the north bedroom.

Carl Isaacs shot and killed Jerry Alday, and then both he and Coleman shot and killed Ned Alday. Soon afterward, Jerry's brother Jimmy Alday drove up on a tractor, walked to the back door, and knocked on the door. Coleman answered the door, “stuck a pistol up in the guy’s face,” and ordered him inside.

He was taken into the living room and forced to lie on the sofa. Carl Isaacs shot and killed him. After Carl Isaacs went outside to move the tractor, which was parked in front of their car, Jerry's wife Mary Alday drove up. Carl Isaacs entered the trailer behind her and accosted her.

Meanwhile, Chester and Aubrey Alday (Jerry’s brother and uncle) drove up in a pickup truck. Leaving Coleman and Dungee to watch Mary Alday, Carl and Billy Isaacs went outside to confront the two men, and forced them at gunpoint into the trailer.

Once inside, Aubrey was taken to the south bedroom where Carl Isaacs shot and killed him, while Chester Alday was taken to the north bedroom and killed by Coleman. Coleman and Carl Isaacs raped Mary Alday on her kitchen table.

Afterward, they drove to a heavily wooded area several miles away where Mary Alday was raped again. Dungee killed her. They abandoned their car in the woods and took Mary Alday’s car, which they later abandoned in Alabama.

They stole another car there, and were arrested a few days later in West Virginia, in possession of guns later identified as the murder weapons, and property belonging to the victims. After his original trial, Carl Isaacs was interviewed by a film maker who was producing a documentary about the case.

The defendant admitted shooting Jerry, Ned, Aubrey and Jimmy Alday, raping Mary Alday, and burglarizing the trailer. These admissions were introduced in evidence at the retrial.

Prosecutors called the slayings the most gruesome murders in the state's history. A community left hanging for almost three decades by the legal tap dance of a convicted killer trying to evade execution will soon close a tragic chapter of its history. Carl Isaacs, 49, has been on death row since 1974. The U.S. Supreme Court denied his final appeal and Isaacs, convicted as the ringleader of the massacre of the Alday family, is now scheduled to die by lethal injection on May 6.

The Gateway Restaurant on U.S. Highway 84 serves as a gathering place for Donalsonville residents to swap the latest news. A table known as the "gossip table" lies in the restaurant's front left corner. Local residents sitting there Wednesday said it was high time justice was served. "I knew every one of the Aldays and they were good people who tended their own business," Don Crawford said. "For the judicial system to carry it out as far as they did -- something's wrong." Roy Ray said, "Carl Isaacs got stabbed a couple of years ago in jail. They should have let him die then." "This is coming about 29 years too late," Bob Ray said.

Isaacs, his stepbrother Wayne Coleman, and George Dungee were convicted in 1974 for the murder of the Aldays and sentenced to die. The three received retrials in another Georgia county in 1988. Isaacs was again sentenced to die, but Coleman and Dungee had their sentences reduced to life.

Isaacs appealed his sentence in 2001, claiming his rights were violated 32 times during the retrial. Isaacs' almost 30-year evasion of his date with death has long stuck in the craw of residents of this small farming community. "It ain't nothing but a damn lawyer's scheme," Ray said from his chair at the Gateway. Other Donalsonville residents also expressed their frustration with the lengthy appeals process Isaacs has gone through but said they were relieved justice would soon finally be served. "It's been long in coming, it's going to finally bring to close a wound that's needed closing for a long, long time," said Ashley Register, who sat on a jury that convicted Dungee in 1974.

Register said the 1988 retrial angered local residents, who he said gave Isaacs and his gang a fair trial. "There's always been a feeling that the murderers should finally get what's coming to them," Mayor David Fain said. "That's probably not very Christian-like but it's time to put this behind us."

The Isaacs gang gunned down Ned Alday along with three sons and a brother inside a family mobile home. A daughter-in-law was raped and killed by the gang. Just about everyone in Donalsonville has some connection to the Aldays, and thus to the crime. "There's 3,300 people in this town and 9,000 in the county," Kathy Fox, a distant Alday relative, said. "When you go downtown you pretty much know everybody."

Fox, who works as a secretary at Commerce State Bank, said she was just 18 when the killings happened. She said the tragedy changed the small farming community forever, as people who never worried about locking their doors learned the meaning of fear. "I was in college in Dothan back then, driving back and forth every day, and my mother didn't want me to go to school," she said. "We didn't know where they (the Isaacs gang) were at. People didn't want to let their children out of the house.

J.C. Earnest, a brother-in-law of Ned Alday's said, "We just didn't think things like that could happen in Seminole County. Things like that happened in other states." Fain said he hopes the execution of Isaacs next month will put some of the fear that has lingered since the killings to rest. He said he's tired of his community being known as the site of some of the most gruesome murders in state history. "It's created a lot of anguish among people," he said. "People are ready to see an end to it."

Fox said it was a shame many of the people closest to the Aldays are not alive to see their loved ones' killer finally brought to justice. Many family members and friends of the slain family have died in the almost 30 years Isaacs has been on death row. "You would like to know that they were going to finally be at peace in their hearts and minds," she said.

Over the years surviving, members of the Alday family have expressed bitterness over the length of time it has taken to get Isaacs into the Georgia death house. In a letter to the editor of a local newspaper in 1998, Faye Alday Barber, the daughter of Ned Alday, said there was something wrong with a legal system. She wrote that her family had become the victims of "legal plunder" and a justice system that acted like a "predator.

For 25 years my family has pursued justice," Barber wrote. "The only thing that stood between the Alday family and justice was the law, and it was the law, not Carl Isaacs that became our ultimate predator. Our courts and legislators are nothing but vandals at the gates of justice. It took them a quarter of a century, but they beat us; they won. Like Pontius Pilate, they simply washed their hands of innocent blood. We lost our family, our farms, and our heritage. We lost hope... but liberty was not lost; it was stolen."

She said the family dog, Tub, saw the bodies removed from the crime scene and never got over it. "He went out into the field and laid down, refused to eat or sleep, wouldn't let anyone touch him, and over a period of time his hair fell out, exposing rib bones that protruded through his skin," Barber wrote. "He was a pitiful sight. He became so thin that when it rained, he could have crawled under a honeysuckle vine to keep from getting wet. A veterinarian said (Tub) grieved himself to death. That dog had more compassion for my family than our courts."

The slain members of the Alday family are buried in Spring Creek Baptist Church Cemetery in Seminole County. They are remembered with gray marble headstones. Seminole County Sherriff Jerry Godby, who knew the Aldays before he became sheriff, said they were a hardworking family that had raised peanuts,l cotton, corn, wheat and soybeans and also had raised hogs. Godby said he has asked to witness the execution of Isaacs. If executed, Isaacs will die eight days from the 30th anniversary of the slayings. Asked what he thought of the nearly 30-year wait to get Isaacs into the death house, Godby said: "It's about time."

Last year, the Georgia legislature unanimously passed a bill requiring state officials to contact the families of victims of criminals on death row twice a year.

The proposal was inspired by the family of Ken Alday, who was killed in Seminole County in 1973. His killer, Carl Isaacs, is on death row, but Alday's family has complained they aren't informed of developments in Isaacs' case.


National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty

Carl Isaacs (GA) - May 6, 2003

The state of Georgia is scheduled to execute Carl Isaacs May 6 for the murders of six members of the Alday family in Seminole County in 1973. Isaacs, a white man, is believed to be the longest serving death row inmate in the United States.

In 1974, the state sentenced Isaacs, as well two of his co-defendants – George Dungee and Wayne Coleman – to death for the murders, but a federal appeals court later vacated the convictions on the grounds that pretrial publicity and community outrage obstructed the fairness of their initial trial. In 1988, Isaacs went to trial again and received another death sentence; however, Dungee and Coleman had their sentences reduced to life in prison.

As an inmate sentenced to death in Georgia for a crime committed in 1973, Isaacs stands in a unique and rather troubling place in history. His first death sentence, handed down in 1974, came two years after Furman v. Georgia and two years before Gregg v. Georgia.

In Furman, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Georgia’s capital punishment statute, claiming that the system’s arbitrary and often disproportionate nature constituted cruel and unusual punishment. In Gregg, the high court revisited the issue, and found the state’s new death penalty statutes constitutional; this decision effectively reinstated capital punishment in the United States.

Isaacs, who arrived on death row just two years after the court’s massive commutation in 1972, has encountered the exact problems the court criticized in its Furman decision throughout his journey through the justice system. He is the only one of his co-defendants facing execution for the murders – a fact that epitomizes the arbitrary nature of the death penalty process. Furthermore, attorneys for Isaacs have argued that errors by the trial court – including the allowance of a controversial prayer during jury selection – gave the jurors a biased opinion toward him from the very beginning.

This case, now three full decades old, has cost the state of Georgia millions of dollars. Had prosecutors simply sought a life sentence for Isaacs in 1974, they would have saved a significant portion of that money, which could have been used for education and violence prevention. Unfortunately, the state’s desire to use the justice system as a vehicle for revenge has trumped the logical arguments, and now Isaacs is facing a very serious execution date.

By state law, the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles has the sole authority to commute death sentences. Please contact the board and request clemency for Carl Isaacs.


Georgians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty

States of Georgia Executes Carl Isaacs

The state of Georgia executed Carl Isaacs on May 6, 2003. On Friday, May 2, the state Board of Pardons and Paroles denied Isaacs' request for clemency. The state Supreme Court and US Supreme Court denied requests for an appeal on May 6. Death penalty opponents observed vigils in nine locales around the state.

1) Case Background

Isaacs has served the longest time on death row of any one in the nation. To kill a 49 year old for a crime he committed when he was 19 certainly seems especially inhumane. Isaacs has also had bladder cancer and the state provided medical treatment to remove his bladder to keep him alive only to be able to eventually execute him.

Isaacs along with 3 other men were invovled in the killing of six members of the Alday family in Seminole County, Georgia. The murders were especially heinous, with one of the women being raped. The fact that of the four co-defendants, only one was sentenced to death, especially when one of the co-defendants in particular appears to have been equally culpable as Isaacs points to the arbitrary nature of the death penalty.

Isaacs had a chaotic life growing up and lived in various foster homes and was subject to abuse. He served time in prison and was badly abused before being let out and commissioning the Alday murders.

Amnesty International - Urgent Action Appeal

USA (Georgia) Carl Isaacs (m), white, aged 49

Carl Isaacs is scheduled to be executed on 6 May 2003 in Georgia. The crime for which he is set to die took place 30 years ago when he was 19 years old. He is now 49, having already served the equivalent of a life sentence.

On 14 May 1973, six members of the same family were murdered near their mobile home in Seminole County in the rural southwest corner of Georgia: Jerry Alday aged 35, Ned Alday aged 62, Jimmy Alday aged 25, Mary Alday aged 26, Chester Alday aged 32 and Aubrey Alday aged 57. Mary Alday was also raped.

Four people were tried for the crime in 1974: Carl Isaacs, his 15-year-old brother Billy Isaacs, his half-brother Wayne Coleman aged 25, and a friend George Dungee aged 34. The three adult defendants were sentenced to death. Their convictions were overturned on appeal in 1985 on the grounds that pre-trial publicity had prejudiced the fairness of their Seminole County trial. At a retrial in another county in 1988, Carl Isaacs was again sentenced to death and he has been on death row ever since. According to the state’s case, Carl Isaacs shot Jerry, Ned, Jimmy and Aubrey Alday.

Wayne Coleman and George Dungee were resentenced to life imprisonment with the possibility of parole. They are still in prison. According to the state's case, Wayne Coleman killed Chester Alday and also shot Ned Alday, while Mary Alday, who was allegedly raped by Wayne Coleman and Carl Isaacs, was killed by George Dungee. Billy Isaacs served 19 years before being released.

Carl Isaacs was diagnosed with cancer in recent years, and had to have his bladder removed.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Since Carl Isaacs was first sentenced to death in 1974, more than 60 countries have abolished the death penalty in law. Today, 112 countries are abolitionist in law or practice.

In 1972, in Furman v Georgia, the US Supreme Court overturned the USA’s capital laws because of the arbitrary way in which the death penalty was being handed out, and there was hope that the USA might move toward abolition. However, the Supreme Court did not find the death penalty to be unconstitutional per se, and state legislatures quickly set about rewriting their capital laws to take account of the Furman ruling.

In Gregg v Georgia in 1976, in a decision that would place the USA squarely on the wrong side of history in relation to the death penalty, the Supreme Court approved the new capital laws. Executions resumed in the USA with the execution of Gary Gilmore in Utah in January 1977. Since then, more than 840 men and women have been put to death in 32 states and at the federal level.

Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases, unconditionally. Every death sentence is an affront to human dignity, every execution a symptom of, rather than a solution to, a culture of violence. The death penalty has not been shown to have a unique deterrent effect, carries the risk of irrevocable error, and extends the suffering of one family – that of the murder victim – to another – the loved ones of the condemned. In effect, the death penalty for murder imitates and takes to new heights of calculation what it seeks to condemn, the deliberate taking of human life.

The death penalty in the USA is arbitrary, discriminatory, and inevitably cruel. Who is sentenced to death is influenced not only by the crime itself, but issues such as race or status of the murder victim or the defendant, where the crime is committed, the quality of legal representation and political considerations. The US capital justice system is characterised by error, both in terms of convictions and sentencing.

More than 100 people have been released from death rows since 1973 after evidence of their innocence emerged. A landmark study published in 2000, and covering a 23-year period, found that the error rate in capital cases was 68 per cent. In other words, in almost seven out of every 10 cases, appeal courts had found that the conviction or sentence should not stand. Inadequate legal representation and prosecutorial or police misconduct were the main errors. The study expressed grave doubts that the courts were finding all such errors.

Support for a moratorium on executions has grown over recent years in the USA as the evidence of the unreliability and unfairness of the death penalty system has mounted. However, most politicians have failed to offer human rights leadership, preferring to defer to perceived public support for judicial killing. Their failure of leadership has left the USA increasingly isolated on this fundamental issue, and given the lie to the USA’s self-proclaimed status as the world’s most progressive force for human rights.

As of 30 April 2003, there had been 849 executions in the USA since 1977, including 29 in 2003. Georgia has carried out 32 executions.


Alday Killer Executed 30 Years Later

Atlanta Journal-Constitution - 5/7/03

By Bill Torpy and Bill Montgomery

Jackson -- The state of Georgia on Tuesday night did what many Georgians said they were ready to do moments after Carl Isaacs was arrested 30 years ago. It executed him.

Isaacs, the leader of the notorious slaughter of six members of Donalsonville's Alday family, was put to death by lethal injection at 8:07 p.m. at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson. Witnesses said he appeared alert, laughing and talking as the restraints were tightened. He declined to make a last statement, only asking a prison chaplain to say a prayer. He said "Amen" as the prayer concluded. After the prayer, Isaacs scanned the room, looking at witnesses. His chest heaved, he shuddered and then he was dead. Isaacs had been on death row longer than anyone in the nation. "There were many who thought this wouldn't happen," said Attorney General Thurbert Baker, who described the execution as the "final chapter in the case."

Three members of the extended Alday family, including Faye Barber, daughter of slain family patriarch Ned Alday, witnessed the execution. It was the first time in memory that a victim's family members were allowed to witness an execution in Georgia. Eighteen state and local law enforcement officials were also on hand. Surviving Alday family members had remained steadfast over the years in their demand that Isaacs be executed. More than 60 relatives arrived at the prison around 4 p.m. in a caravan of six cars and a bus. "It's 200 miles from Donalsonville to Jackson, Georgia, but it's taken us 30 years to get here," said Paige Seagraves, Ned Alday's granddaughter.

Isaacs' last appeal to avoid execution argued that spending nearly 30 years on death row is "cruel and unusual" punishment. The U.S. Supreme Court briefly stayed the execution shortly before 7 p.m. but minutes later, without comment, allowed the death sentence to be carried out. Jack Martin, Isaacs' defense attorney, witnessed the execution. "I just saw a person being killed by the citizens of Georgia." he told reporters. "We have become one with the killers and we are all the lesser for it."

Isaacs, 49, declined to ask for a final meal and was given the "regular institutional tray" of pork and macaroni, pinto beans, cabbage, carrot salad, dinner roll, chocolate cake and fruit punch. He pushed the meal away.

Martin said Isaacs had apologized for his misdeeds. As of the final "cruel and unusual" claim, the attorney said: "He's been boxed up in a little cage for 30 years, a place where every now and then they take one [inmate] off and kill him. It's a strange society."

Donald E. Wilkes Jr., a University of Georgia law school professor who served as an appeals lawyer for Isaacs from 1977 to 1982, called the case Georgia's "most infamous mass murder." "There are so many oddities and quirks in this case that has kept it going," said Wilkes, referring to the decades of appeals, the retrials in 1988 and the foiled prison escapes. "Once they execute him, one of the most incredible sagas in the history of Georgia's jurisprudence will end," he said earlier in the day.

Isaacs, his half-brother Wayne Coleman and George Dungee were sentenced to death in 1974 for the May 14, 1973, murders of Ned Alday and five other members of his family in Seminole County in southwest Georgia after they interrupted a burglary. The three men were escapees from a Maryland prison. Ned Alday, his sons Jerry, Chester and Jimmy, and his brother, Aubrey, were killed in a family trailer. Jerry Alday's wife, Mary, was raped, driven to a nearby wooded spot and shot to death.

Isaacs' younger brother Billy, 15 at the time, testified against the three in exchange for being allowed to plead guilty to lesser charges. He was released from prison in 1994. The three men convicted of murder were granted new trials in 1985 when a federal appeals court ruled extensive pretrial publicity prevented them from getting a fair trial. Carl Isaacs was again sentenced to death, but a jury deadlocked on giving Coleman the death penalty. He was sentenced to life in prison. Dungee later pleaded guilty but mentally disabled and was sentenced to life in prison.

Part of the enduring notoriety of the case involved Isaacs' recalcitrance. "The only thing the Aldays ever did that stood out was getting killed by me," he once said. "Carl said some stupid things early on," said Sheila Isaacs, Billy's wife. Billy Isaacs served 20 years of a 40-year sentence for armed robbery and burglary. Days after the capture of the four men, Bud Alday, Ned's brother, was approached with an offer of vigilante justice by the outraged residents of the community.


'Final chapter'

By Mark Passwaters

Wednesday, May 7, 2003

With three Alday family members allowed to witness his execution, convicted killer Carl Isaacs chooses to say nothing before he dies. JACKSON — Just after 8 p.m. Tuesday, Carl Isaacs paid the ultimate price for a crime that horrified Southwest Georgia, with relatives of the victims allowed to witness an execution for the first time in state history.

Isaacs, 49, was put to death for his role in the murder of six members of the Alday family outside of Donalsonville on May 14, 1973. Even with members of the Alday family among the witnesses, he chose not to make a final statement. Asked whether he had any last words after the death sentence was read by Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison Warden Fredrick Head, Isaacs answered, "No, sir." Strapped to a gurney that was raised to a 45-degree angle, Isaacs could easily see into a viewing area packed with 26 witnesses and numerous Georgia Department of Corrections personnel. Instead, he chose to look up at the ceiling, scanning the crowd only once — after a prayer. At the end of the prayer, Isaacs softly said, "Amen." Those would be his last words.

About two minutes later, Isaacs began to show the effects of the chemicals that had been injected. As the lethal dose began to take effect, Isaacs gasped three times and his eyes closed — but only partially — as he lost consciousness. After the body was examined briefly by two doctors, Head officially pronounced Isaacs dead at 8:07 p.m., saying, "At 8:07 p.m. on May 6, 2003, the court-ordered execution ... was carried out." When Isaacs' death was announced to the public, a group of 20 or so death penalty supporters erupted into cheers. There was no visible emotion from any witnesses at any time during the execution process.

Ned Alday, his sons Jimmy, Jerry and Chester, as well as Jerry's wife, Mary, and Ned's brother, Aubrey Alday, were shot to death, execution style, by Isaacs, Wayne Coleman and George Dungee several days after the men escaped from a minimum security prison in Maryland. The men, accompanied by Isaacs' 15-year-old brother, Billy, who did not participate directly in the killings, broke into Jerry and Mary Alday's mobile home and were waiting there as members of the family began arriving there in the late afternoon. Mary Alday was raped by Carl Isaacs, Coleman and Dungee before Dungee shot her to death.

In a first for the state of Georgia, three of the witnesses at Isaacs' execution were members of the victims' family. Acting GDOC Commissioner Joe Ferrero allowed Robert Campbell, Mary Alday's brother; Benny Alday, Aubrey Alday's son; and Fay Barber, Ned Alday's daughter, to watch the killer die by lethal injection. They were part of a group of about 65 people who made the about 200 mile trip from Donalsonville to the prison in Jackson.

Isaacs' execution had been delayed by repeated appeals, the last of which were rejected by the Georgia and United States Supreme Courts Tuesday. The Georgia Supreme Court rejected Isaacs' appeal at 2:20 p.m., but final word from the U.S. Supreme Court was not received until shortly after 7 p.m., the scheduled time of execution. Isaacs did not request a final last meal and declined the dinner prepared for the inmate population — pork and macaroni, with cabbage — when it was given to him.

Isaacs' attorney, John Martin of Atlanta, condemned the execution during his brief comments to reporters afterward. "We became one with a killer tonight," he said. "We all became less of a person." Members of the Alday family, speaking in the pouring rain, disagreed. "I know angels in heaven are rejoicing," said Sue White, Aubrey Alday's daughter. "We think his punishment was too humane," said Paige Seagraves, Ned Alday's granddaughter. "To those who object ... we say, 'walk in our shoes.' " While Isaacs' execution closes a bitter chapter in Southwest Georgia history, Susan Chambliss, another of Ned Alday's granddaughters, said the story of the Alday murders is far from over. "It's some closure, and we'll deal with that," she said. "It'll never be over."

An appeals court granted Isaacs, Coleman and Dungee second trials after their initial convictions and death sentences, saying publicity surrounding the case had made fair trials in Seminole County highly unlikely. Coleman and Dungee received life sentences after their second trials, while Isaacs received another death sentence. Billy Isaacs received a 40-year sentence. He has been released and is thought to be living in Florida.


Aldays Gather for Closure

A hot spring day in Donalsonville draws to a close with word that Alday family killer Carl Isaacs is dead.

Ben Holcombe, Staff Writer

DONALSONVILLE — Thirty years ago, Carl Isaacs stopped the world here. But he did not stop it on Tuesday. Kids went to school and played baseball in the late afternoon. Shops downtown stayed open. Customers came and went. Diners at the Gateway Restaurant on U.S. Highway 84 ate cornbread and watched "Law & Order" — not live from Jackson, where convicted Alday family killer Carl Isaacs was executed, but on the satellite channel TNT. "I hope they got him," said Edwina Skipper, a Tuesday evening diner at the Gateway and owner of the stockyard here. Skipper and others at the packed restaurant did not watch news bulletins about the execution because they were not broadcast on satellite channels. The execution was on their minds, just not on the TV. "It's great" that Isaacs is gone, said Bryant Garland as he left the diner. "Should have happened a long time ago."

While life here in this town of about 2,800 went on as normal for most of the day, it did not start out that way for members of the Alday family, who boarded a charter bus about 1 p.m. at the Seminole County courthouse. Their destination: the gates of the state prison in Jackson. As a throng of television and newspaper reporters swarmed around family members waiting for the bus to leave, the mood was anxious, cautiously optimistic and in a way, almost light. Family members hugged and laughed. Some held up light blue T-shirts bearing a photo of Ned, Aubrey, Chester, Jerry, Jimmy and Mary Alday and the words "Gone but not forgotten, May 14, 1973."

Patricia Miller, 62, the daughter of Ned Alday, dressed in black for the trip. As she stood on the hot pavement beside the bus, she quietly related thoughts about her father. "I am the same age my daddy was when he was killed," Martin said. "I felt like I owed it to the family to go." Linda Blackburn, 58, an Alday niece, also boarded the bus to Jackson. "I have been to every trial and everything else that has gone on," she said. "And I want to see some closure."

An anxious Patricia Miller, 38, niece of the slain Alday children and one of the family members who spoke to the state Board of Pardons and Paroles last week, said she was anxious, nervous and maybe still just a little bit doubtful. "I'm more nervous than I was last Friday, because I was saying what good people our family was," she said, and stopped for a moment. Then: "I've lived longer than my aunts and all three uncles were when they were killed. It's a weird feeling, and it's sad to imagine what they could have done with their lives."

In all, more than 40 Alday family members either loaded the bus or followed in their trucks and SUVs, with more planning to join along the route. Joseph Alday, nephew to Ned and Aubrey, was one of the last ones to get on. Dressed as he often is, in jeans and a plaid shirt, behind tinted glasses and a beard, Alday called Tuesday a "double-good day." "It's not revenge," he said. "It's justice."

Then the bus, led by Seminole County Sheriff Jerry Godby's police cruiser, rolled out shortly after 1 p.m., leaving the town to itself and a life that was little changed.

Not far from the streets of downtown, life in the fields and farms plowed ahead, the smoke-gray dust clouds rising up from the same earth the Aldays used to plow. Out on state Highway 39, a group of workers drove metal fence posts into the ground. Sweating men huddled around a broken-down tractor, half in the shade, half out. Cows grazed. Crops grew. The sun sent 90-degree heat drilling through the clouds.

And in the late evening, young corn stalks swayed in a hot breeze blowing around the lonely spot on Ned Alday River Road where the six Alday family members were killed 30 years ago next week. And on Tuesday night, the long black marble burial plot at the cemetery of Spring Creek Baptist Church, the one unmistakably marked ALDAY, stood quiet. And just about the same time the sun set on Seminole County, at 8:07 p.m., Carl Isaacs was dead.


Outside Prison, Opinions Mixed

Tim Wesselman, Staff Writer

JACKSON — Moments after death penalty supporters cheered through falling rain Tuesday night, Alday family members greeted reporters with forced smiles, a few brief statements and tears of relief outside a state prison in Jackson.

After the execution of Carl Isaacs, put to death for the murder of six members of the Ned Alday family in 1973, Alday family members spoke briefly with reporters about the execution, which was delayed 20 minutes by an 11th-hour appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. The court rejected the appeal, which was based on claims that 30 years waiting for the implementation of the death sentence amounted to cruel and unusual punishment.

Alday relatives sharply attacked that claim. "We feel that Carl Isaacs' end was too humane," said Paige Seagraves, Ned Alday's granddaughter. "We want to emphasize that we do not believe this to be justice. In fact, the last 30 years have been cruel and unusual punishment for our family," she said.

She read a prepared statement that spoke of the hardship the family endured as the case of the longest death row inmate in the nation wound its way through the courts, changing laws along the way. In Georgia, Seagraves said, the Alday Family Bill ensures that crime victims' families are kept abreast of the death penalty appeal process, and other changes have limited death penalty appeals. Sue White, daughter of slain family member Aubrey Alday, said she did not intend to speak. "We are at a loss for words. But I know that angels in heaven rejoice over what has taken place," White said.

Like other relatives, she said her family's faith has helped pull them through the past three decades. Alday family members made the trip with a group of about 60 people from Donalsonville in a chartered bus escorted by Seminole County Sheriff Jerry Godby. Georgia has never allowed a victim's family members to witness an execution, but the acting commissioner of the state Department of Corrections decided that three Alday family members would be allowed in this time. Most of the family was gathered in a training room at the front of the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification prison in Jackson as Isaacs was executed in a building about half a mile away, prison spokeswoman Scheree C. Lipscomb said. The Alday family members spoke at the end of a long day that saw nearly 20 death penalty supporters and about five protestors brave steady rain to hold their respective vigils at the prison's front gate.

Isaacs' attorney, John R. Martin, said he could have made sense of the execution if it made the public safer or could console Alday family members. "But it won't," he said. "I just saw a defenseless person killed by the citizens of Georgia." State Attorney General Thurbert Baker observed the execution from an adjacent room. He told reporters Isaacs' death "closed a final chapter" on the most horrific crime in the state's history. Before the execution, Amnesty International field organizer Laura Moye said protesters in Jackson, Americus and seven other Georgia cities gathered to hold vigils protesting the execution. "If we are against killing, we should not ask the state of Georgia to kill in our name," she said.

Marvin Chisnell, 73, a Morrow retiree, said he followed the Isaacs case from its beginning and wanted to attend the execution — his first — to see justice done. "They are going to have to bring back vigilante justice," he said. "Too many of them are getting off with slick lawyers." A friend from Baltimore will pick up Isaacs' remains, returning them to Maryland for burial, state officials said.


Isaacs Orders Normal Last Meal as Appeal Fails; Execution Hours Away

By Bill Torpy

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

May 7, 2003

One of Carl Isaacs-last minute appeals to avoid being executed tonight was denied today in a 7-0 vote from the Supreme Court of Georgia. The convicted killer's remaining chance is now a brief filed before the U.S. Supreme Court that argues spending nearly 30 years on death row is "cruel and unusual" punishment.

Isaacs, the nation's longest serving death row inmate, is sceduled to die by lethal injection after 7 p.m. tonight at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson. Isaacs was first convicted in 1974 for the murders of six members of the Alday family in rural southwest Georgia.

His appeal to U.S. Supreme Court appeal argues a 1995 high court case. The Lackey vs. Texas, a decision, however, failed to halt stop the 1997 execution of Clarence Lackey. Lackey was on death row 17 years when that decision came down. The Isaacs appeal, filed by defense attorney Jack Martin, points to a dissenting opinion by Justice John Paul Stevens, who wrote that said such a prolonged death row stay was not dreamed of by the framers of the Constitution. Stevens further said it's arguable that retribution and deterrence retain "any force" after such an extended period.

Martin said Isaacs has asked him to witness his execution. The lawyer said he preferred not to witness such an event but said he would go to "provide him a friendly face." For his final meal, Isaacs has asked for the "regular institutional tray," which includes pork and macaroni mixed, pinto beans, cabbage, carrot salad, dinner roll, chocolate cake and fruit punch. "The whole ritual of the thing is macabre; it sounds like an Aztec ritual," said Martin. "He's just taking a tray from the cafeteria. He's not going to buy into that." Martin said that Isaacs has apologized for his misdeeds. As of the "cruel and unusual claim," Martin said, "He's been boxed up in a little cage for 30 years, a place where every now and then they take on (inmate) off and kill him. It's a strange society."

Part of Isaacs' last hope was finding a long-lost recording of an invocation by a minister at the 1988 retrial. Issacs' unsuccessful state appeal, filed Monday in the Supreme Court of Georgia, claimed the judge presiding over the 1988 retrial erred when he did not tell defense attorneys that a prayer was not transcribed by the court reporter. Martin said the minister "apparently instructed the jurors to follow 'God's will,' rather than their own individual ideas about what should be done." Martin said that "raises serious questions as to whether religious principles were improperly interjected into Petitioner's trial." The appeal says the judge knew of this error and should have immediately informed attorneys, so that a media tape recording could have been used for the trial record.

Isaacs, and fellow prison escapees Wayne Coleman and George Dungee were sentenced to death in 1974 and again in 1988 of shooting to death six members of a Seminole County farm family in southwest Georgia after they interrupted a burglary. The three men were granted new trials in 1985 when a federal appeals court ruled extensive pre-trial publicity prevented them from getting a fair trial. Isaacs was again sentenced to death, but a jury deadlocked on giving Coleman the death penalty. He was sentenced to life. Dungee later pleaded guilty but mentally retarded and was sentenced to life in prison.


Alday Killer's Appeal Rejected

Bill Montgomery – Atlanta Journal Constitution

Saturday, May 3, 2003

Condemned Alday family killer Carl Isaacs moved closer to execution when the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles rejected on Friday his appeal for clemency in one of Georgia's most notorious multiple murders.

Isaacs, 49, on death row longer than any other prisoner in the nation, faces execution by lethal injection Tuesday for the 1973 killings of six members of the Ned Alday family. The six Aldays were killed after interrupting a burglary in a mobile home on the family's farm in southwest Georgia by Isaacs, two fellow Maryland prison escapees and Isaacs' younger brother.

The board voted about 3 p.m. Friday to deny Isaacs clemency. Earlier in the day, the five-member board heard from Isaacs' defense attorney and from nine relatives of the slain family. The board found no extraordinary circumstances that would have justified commuting Isaacs to life in prison, said board spokeswoman Heather Hedrick. Isaacs' defense lawyer, Jack Martin, said he would appeal the case to the courts. Martin argued that Isaacs' life should be spared because he was abused as a child, gang raped in prison, has cancer and "is not the damaged, out of control youth he was at 19 years old."

But Alday family members argued Isaacs should be executed. "We've waited 30 years and this will be some justice and closure, said Susan Chambliss, a granddaughter of Ned Alday. She said 60 family members will travel from southwest Georgia to the prison in Butts County for the execution. Ned Alday, his sons Jerry, Chester and Jimmy, and his brother, Aubrey, were slain May 13, 1973, by Isaacs, his half-brother Wayne Coleman and George Dungee. Jerry Alday's wife, Mary, was raped, driven to a nearby wooded spot and shot to death.

Dungee and Coleman are serving life prison terms for the slayings. Billy Isaacs, who testified against the others, pleaded guilty to burglary and armed robbery and was paroled in 1994. Authorities consider Carl Isaacs the ringleader and say he wanted to eliminate witnesses to avoid going back to prison. "I'm amazed any person on the planet could defend him; Carl Isaacs is not even a human being," said Paige Seagraves, a granddaughter of Ned Alday. "If I had anything to say to him, it would be, 'May God have mercy on your soul, because you had no mercy on my family.' "

In his appeal for clemency, Martin argued that "as are all of us, Carl Isaacs is far from perfect, but he is not the devil." But Chambliss said Isaacs' execution "will be bring some closure." "We need peace," she said. "We need to go on with our lives."


Ringleader of Alday Murders Due to Die

Bill Montgomery – Atlanta Journal Constitution

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

The day after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld his death sentence, and 30 years after the crime, the man considered the longest-serving U.S. prisoner on death row was scheduled by a Georgia court for execution May 6. The Houston County Superior Court on Tuesday scheduled Carl Isaacs, 49, to die by lethal injection at 7 p.m. May 6 at the maximum- security prison in Butts County, said Russ Willard, spokesman for Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker.

Isaacs --- convicted as the ringleader in the murder of six members of the Alday family --- will be executed eight days before the 30th anniversary of the crime, which is one of the most notorious in Georgia.

Isaacs' attorney, veteran Atlanta defense lawyer Jack Martin, said he would "pursue every avenue available to Carl, including a clemency petition to the pardons and parole board, and we still have appeal issues we can raise in the Houston and Butts County Superior courts." Isaacs is the only defendant in the case facing execution, while a convicted co-defendant told authorities just weeks after the murders that he had killed all the victims, Martin contended. "To execute Carl in this case is categorically unfair."

Isaacs, his half brother Wayne Carl Coleman and George Elder Dungee were convicted and sentenced to die in 1974 by a Seminole County jury for the murders of farm patriarch Ned Alday, Ned's brother Aubrey, his sons Jerry, Chester and Jimmy Alday, and Jerry's wife, Mary. They were killed on May 14, 1973, in a bungled burglary. The suspects, who were escapees from a Maryland prison camp, were arrested in West Virginia less than a week later.

A federal appeals court granted them a new trial on grounds that pretrial publicity and community outrage prevented them from getting a fair trial. Isaacs was convicted again and sentenced to die after a 1988 retrial in Houston County Superior Court; Dungee and Coleman had their sentences reduced to life in prison and are at the Georgia State Prison in Reidsville.

None of Ned Alday's immediate family --- including his widow, Ernestine, and two surviving brothers --- are living. Baker said Tuesday that the Supreme Court "took a giant step yesterday toward bringing peace to the Alday family." "We are closer to seeing that justice is served for the victims of the Isaacs crime spree and the survivors who have lived with the aftermath of that horror," the attorney general said. "I will not rest until justice is served."

Isaacs appealed again in 2001 to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, claiming his rights were violated 32 times during his retrial. But that court upheld his death sentence last year. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld that decision Monday. The six Aldays, a family of farmers in rural southwest Georgia, were shot to death as they arrived home for lunch during a burglary of Jerry Alday's mobile home outside Donalsonville. Ned Alday and the other men were gunned down, along with daughter-in- law Mary Campbell Alday, who was raped before being killed. Prosecutors called the slayings the most gruesome murders in the state's history.


Isaacs Executed for 1973 Murders of Six in Farm Family

AccessNorthGeorgia.com

AP - May 8, 2003

JACKSON, Ga. -- Six members of a farming family were slaughtered in 1973 in the most gruesome slayings in state history. Thirty years later, the victims relatives got their wish that someone pay with his life for the crime.

Carl Isaacs, 49, was given a lethal injection at the state prison in Jackson Tuesday night for orchestrating the Alday family killings at their southwest Georgia home on May 14, 1973. Appeals kept him on death row longer than anyone else in the nation.

Relatives of the Aldays never wavered in their public push for Isaacs to be executed. The repeated delays angered them; some relatives died waiting for the execution. Three members of the family were witnesses. Its 200 miles from Donalsonville to Jackson, but its taken us 30 years to get here, said Paige Seagraves, a granddaughter of Ned Alday, one of the victims. She described the execution as too humane.

The U.S. Supreme Court refused to grant a last-minute stay, although Justices John Paul Stevens and Stephen Breyer said the court should have agreed to consider Isaacs claim that it was unconstitutional to execute him after his long imprisonment. Justice Clarence Thomas, a native of Georgia, did not participate.

Isaacs was pronounced dead at 8:07 p.m. He had ordered a last meal of pork and macaroni, pinto beans, sauteed cabbage, carrot salad, dinner roll, chocolate cake and fruit punch but refused it, a state Corrections Department spokeswoman said. Isaacs declined an opportunity to make a final statement, but did ask for a final prayer. After the prayer he mouthed Amen. After the prayer, Isaacs scanned the room, looking at witnesses. Then the chemicals started pumping, his cheeks puffed, his breathing fluttered and his eyes began to close, although they never closed completely.

The killings near Donalsonville prompted more residents to buy guns, sparked legislation that requires victims families to be notified of developments in death penalty cases and inspired the 1988 movie Murder One, starring James Wilder as Isaacs. Over the years, Isaacs lawyers argued that publicity prevented him from receiving a fair trial and tried to explain his actions by shedding light on his abusive childhood in Baltimore. A retrial ended in the same verdict and sentence.

In his final days, Isaacs, through his lawyer, offered remorse for the killings, saying he was not the same hotheaded person who committed the crime at 19. The Alday family was unmoved, citing Isaacs own boastful words in a series of 1975 prison interviews. Id like to get out and kill more of them, he said at the time. They represent the type of society I dont like. I didnt know them, had never seen them before May 14, but I didnt like them. Working people dont do a damn thing for me.

Isaacs, during the interviews, compared himself to notorious 1930s outlaw John Dillinger. The Aldays were shot to death as they returned home for lunch. Ned Alday was gunned down along with three sons, a brother and a daughter-in-law, who was raped and then taken to a field where she was shot in the head. Prosecutors called the slayings the most gruesome in the states history.

There were many who thought this wouldnt happen, said Attorney General Thurbert Baker. He described the execution as a final chapter in the case. Isaacs lawyer, Jack Martin, and two ministers also witnessed the execution. We became one with the killer tonight. All of us are less of a person, Martin said.

It was the first time in state history that Georgia officials allowed members of the victims family to witness the execution. At the time of the murders, Isaacs was on the run from authorities after having escaped from a minimum-security prison camp in Wicomico County, Md. Two other men are serving life sentences for the murders. A third was released from prison in 1993.


Fight the Death Penalty in the USA

Carl Isaacs, 49, 2003-05-06, Georgia

A man who helped kill 6 members of a farm family during a burglary to fuel his escape from a Maryland prison camp was executed Tuesday, 30 years after his crime shook a community.

Carl Isaacs, 49, was given a lethal injection at the state prison in Jackson for orchestrating the Alday family killings at their southwest Georgia home on May 14, 1973. Appeals kept him on death row longer than anyone else in the nation.

The Supreme Court refused to grant a last-minute stay, although Justices John Paul Stevens and Stephen Breyer said the court should have agreed to consider Isaacs' claim that it was unconstitutional to execute him after his long imprisonment. Justice Clarence Thomas, a native of Georgia, did not participate. Isaacs was pronounced dead at 8:07 p.m.

The killings near Donalsonville prompted more residents to buy guns, sparked legislation that requires victims' families to be notified of developments in death penalty cases and inspired the 1988 movie "Murder One," starring James Wilder as Isaacs. Over the years, Isaacs' lawyers argued that publicity prevented him from receiving a fair trial and tried to explain his actions by shedding light on his abusive childhood in Baltimore. A retrial ended in the same verdict and sentence. His final appeal was rejected Tuesday after Isaacs' lawyer said a minister's opening prayer at the retrial prejudiced the jury against him.

Relatives of the Aldays never wavered in their public push for Isaacs to be executed. The repeated delays angered them; some relatives died waiting for the execution. Three members of the family were witnesses. In his final days, Isaacs, through his lawyer, offered remorse for the killings, saying he was not the same hotheaded person who committed the crime at 19. The Alday family was unmoved, citing Isaacs' own boastful words in a series of 1975 prison interviews. "I'd like to get out and kill more of them," he said at the time. "They represent the type of society I don't like. I didn't know them, had never seen them before May 14, but I didn't like them. Working people don't do a damn thing for me."

Isaacs, during the interviews, compared himself to notorious 1930s outlaw John Dillinger. The Aldays were shot to death as they returned home for lunch. Ned Alday was gunned down along with 3 sons, a brother and a daughter-in-law, who was raped and then taken to a field where she was shot in the head. Prosecutors called the slayings the most gruesome in the state's history.

Isaacs declined an opportunity to make a final statement, but did ask for a final prayer. After the prayer he mouthed "Amen." After the prayer, Isaacs scanned the room, looking at witnesses. Then the chemicals started pumping, his cheeks puffed, his breathing fluttered and his eyes began to close, although they never closed completely. "There were many who thought this wouldn't happen," said Attorney General Thurbert Baker. He described the execution as a "final chapter in the case." It was the 1st time in state history that Georgia officials allowed members of the victims' family to witness the execution.

At the time of the murders, Isaacs was on the run from authorities after having escaped from a minimum-security prison camp in Wicomico County, Md. 2 other men are serving life sentences for the murders. A 3rd was released from prison in 1993. A friend from Baltimore will pick up the remains, state officials said. The execution had been scheduled for 7 p.m. and the delay was partly attributable for the U.S. Supreme Court's deliberations.

There was no one from Isaacs family present at the execution. His attorney and 2 ministers, who visited with him in the hours before his death, were witnesses. Isaacs becomes the 2nd condemned inmate to be put to death this year in Georgia and the 33rd overall since the state resumed capital punishment in 1983.

(sources: Associated Press & Rick Halperin)


Isaacs v. State, 386 S.E.2d 316 (Ga. 1989). (Direct Appeal)

Defendant was convicted of six counts of murder and sentenced to death by the Superior Court, Seminole County, W.I. Geer, J., and defendant appealed. The Supreme Court, 237 Ga. 105, 226 S.E.2d 922, affirmed. The United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia, J. Robert Elliott, J., denied petition for habeas corpus. On appeal, the Court of Appeals, 709 F.2d 634, remanded with instructions. On remand, the District Court denied relief and appeal was again taken. The Court of Appeals, Anderson, Circuit Judge, 778 F.2d 1482, reversed and remanded. Following remand, the Superior Court, Seminole County, A. Blend Taylor, Jr., J., denied defendant's motion to recuse judge assigned to conduct retrial, and appeal was taken. The Supreme Court, 257 Ga. 126, 355 S.E.2d 644, reversed. On retrial, defendant was convicted of murder and sentenced to death by the Superior Court, Houston County, Hugh Lawson, J., and defendant appealed. The Supreme Court, Hunt, J., held that: (1) even if there was some error in grand jury proceedings, verdict of guilty demonstrated that there was probable cause to charge defendant with offenses for which he was convicted; (2) defendant was not entitled to bail; and (3) jury instructions were not defective. Affirmed.

HUNT, Justice.

This is a death penalty case. The defendant, Carl J. Isaacs, was originally convicted in Seminole County and sentenced to death in 1974. His conviction and sentence were affirmed on direct appeal to this court. Isaacs v. State, 237 Ga. 105, 226 S.E.2d 922 (1976). However, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals granted habeas relief. Isaacs v. Kemp, 778 F.2d 1482 (11th Cir.1985). Isaacs was retried in Houston County Superior Court and again was convicted and sentenced to death. We affirm.

crime occurred on May 14, 1973. After the grant of habeas relief by the 11th Circuit, the case was returned to Seminole County. Pretrial proceedings resulted in the recusal of the trial judge assigned to preside over the retrial, see Isaacs v. State, 257 Ga. 126, 355 S.E.2d 644 (1987), and Superior Court Judge Hugh Lawson was assigned to the case.

Judge Lawson granted a change of venue to Houston County and quashed the Seminole County indictment. Isaacs was re-indicted in Houston County on August 17, 1987. The trial began on January 4, 1988, with the commencement of the voir dire proceedings, and ended on January 30, 1988, when the jury reached its verdict on the issue of sentence. A motion for new trial was timely filed, and heard on June 9, June 23 and June 30, 1988. The motion for new trial was denied on July 15, 1988.

An appeal originally was docketed in this court on September 16, 1988. On motion by the defendant for a remand to complete the record, the case was remanded for that purpose on November 16, 1988. The case was redocketed in this court on February 27, 1989. Oral arguments were heard on June 13, 1989.

In May of 1973, Carl Isaacs escaped from a Maryland penal institution and, accompanied by his younger brother Billy Isaacs, his half- brother Wayne Coleman and a friend, George Dungee, drove to Florida. On the afternoon of May 14, 1973, they were in Seminole County, Georgia, and their car was almost out of gas. They thought they saw a gas pump behind the rural mobile home belonging to Jerry Alday and Mary Alday and stopped to investigate it.

They discovered there was no pump; however, the trailer was empty, and they decided to burglarize it. Dungee remained in the car while the defendant and Wayne Coleman entered the trailer. While they were inside, Billy Isaacs warned them two men were approaching in a jeep. Jerry Alday and his father Ned Alday pulled in behind the trailer, unaware that it was being burglarized. Carl Isaacs met them and ordered them inside at gunpoint. After their pockets were emptied, Jerry Alday was taken into the south bedroom of the trailer while Ned was taken to the north bedroom. Carl Isaacs shot and killed Jerry Alday, and then both he and Coleman shot and killed Ned Alday.

Soon afterward, Jimmy Alday (Jerry Alday's brother) drove up on a tractor, walked to the back door, and knocked on the door. Coleman answered the door, "stuck a pistol up in the guy's face," and ordered him inside. He was taken into the living room and forced to lie on the sofa. Carl Isaacs shot and killed him.

After Carl Isaacs went outside to move the tractor, which was parked in front of their car, Mary Alday (Jerry Alday's wife) drove up. Carl Isaacs entered the trailer behind her and accosted her. Meanwhile, Chester Alday (Jerry Alday's brother) and Aubrey Alday (Jerry Alday's uncle) drove up in a pickup truck. Leaving Coleman and Dungee to watch Mary Alday, Carl and Billy Isaacs went outside to confront the two men, and forced them at gunpoint into the trailer. Once inside, Aubrey was taken to the south bedroom where Carl Isaacs shot and killed him, while Chester Alday was taken to the north bedroom and killed by Coleman.

Coleman and Carl Isaacs raped Mary Alday on her kitchen table. Afterward, they drove to a heavily wooded area several miles away where Mary Alday was raped again. Dungee killed her. They abandoned their car in the woods and took Mary Alday's car, which they later abandoned in Alabama. They stole another car there, and were arrested a few days later in West Virginia, in possession of guns later identified as the murder weapons, and property belonging to the victims.

After his original trial, Carl Isaacs was interviewed by a film maker who was producing a documentary about the case. The defendant admitted shooting Jerry, Ned, Aubrey and Jimmy Alday, raping Mary Alday, and burglarizing the trailer. These admissions were introduced in evidence at the retrial. Carl Isaacs was convicted of six counts of murder. The evidence supports the verdict.

* * * *

We do not find that the sentences of death were imposed under the influence of impermissible passion, prejudice or other arbitrary factor. OCGA § 17-10-35(c)(1). The sentences of death are neither excessive nor disproportionate to sentences imposed in similar cases, considering the crime and the defendant. The similar cases listed in the Appendix support the imposition of a death sentence in this case. Judgment affirmed.

 

 

 
 
 
 
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