Crime

Judge: Inmate can't ask trial court to re-hear Biloxi murder case

AMANDA McCOY/SUN HERALD 2009Korry Breland grieves for the loss of his friend, Marshall Still, at a makeshift memorial created at Snappy Car Wash on Pass Road where Still was found shot to death in April 2013. MIchael Ambrose was convicted of Still's murder. DeShawn Brown, who had been with them, is serving time on lesser convictions.
AMANDA McCOY/SUN HERALD 2009Korry Breland grieves for the loss of his friend, Marshall Still, at a makeshift memorial created at Snappy Car Wash on Pass Road where Still was found shot to death in April 2013. MIchael Ambrose was convicted of Still's murder. DeShawn Brown, who had been with them, is serving time on lesser convictions. SUN HERALD

GULFPORT -- A federal judge has ruled Michael Ambrose cannot ask Harrison County Circuit Court to reconsider his murder conviction and sentence in the 2009 shooting death of Marshall Still in Biloxi.

Ambrose, 36, is serving life in prison for the fatal shooting of Still, a 24-year-old roofer. Still was shot in the chest April 3, 2009, and found dead behind Snappy Car Wash on Pass Road at Gulfwater Drive.

U.S. District Judge Sul Ozerden dismissed Ambrose's civil complaint for a re-hearing in a judgment signed May 17. In short, the state Supreme Court has upheld the conviction and sentence.

Ambrose wanted the trial judge to reconsider if there was insufficient evidence for a murder conviction, or if the killing was manslaughter or self-defense. He also claimed he did not have effective legal defense.

The murder and trial

Ambrose had been indicted on a capital murder charge that alleged he killed Still while trying to rob him of two pounds of marijuana.

Harrison County Circuit Court Judge Roger Clark declared a mistrial in 2011 when a jury in Biloxi was unable to reach a verdict. The jury's instructions included possible verdicts on capital murder, murder and manslaughter.

A different jury in Biloxi convicted him of murder at a second trial in 2012. Judge Clark gave Ambrose the only penalty for murder by deliberate design.

Ambrose had picked up Still at the Shell gas station at Pass and DeBuys roads, and a co-defendant was in the back seat of the car, according to testimony. Evidence showed Ambrose shot Still in the car and left him at the car wash.

Deshawn Brown, who was with them, also was indicted on a capital murder charge. Brown was convicted on lesser charges.

The federal complaint

Ozerden's order said he dismissed Ambrose's complaint based on a review by U.S. Magistrate Judge John Gargiulo.

Ambrose had appealed his case to the state Supreme Court, which upheld his conviction and sentence in 2013. The high court gave Ambrose a deadline of Jan. 19, 2014, to ask the Supreme Court for a re-hearing. Ambrose did not ask the Supreme Court for a re-hearing, but asked for a hearing in Harrison County Circuit Court in 2015, Gargiulo wrote.

The Supreme Court dismissed Ambrose's complaint.

The trial court also dismissed his complaint, citing the Supreme Court's earlier ruling.

Ambrose did not handle his court filings in a timely manner and had no "extraordinary circumstances" to justify extending a one-year statute of limitations, Gargiulo wrote.

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