Murder Conviction Re-Affirmed After Being Sent Back To Fayetteville

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A Washington County judge has re-affirmed a Fayetteville man’s murder conviction after the state Supreme Court sent the double-murder case back to the county earlier this year.

In court documents released this week, Gregory Decay asks that the county’s decision to re-affirm his 2008 conviction be again reconsidered by the Arkansas Supreme Court. The Supreme Court sent Decay’s case back to Washington County in May after Decay claimed his lawyer failed to adequately defend him in his capital murder trial.

The county had originally denied Decay’s appeal, but the Supreme Court ordered Washington County take the case back up to show “specific written findings of fact and conclusions of law” associated with the denial.

After reconsidering Decay’s murder conviction as ordered by the Supreme Court, Judge William Storey found last month that the actions of Decay’s attorney “did not fall below an objective standard of reasonable assistance,” according to court documents.

Decay then gave notice of his intention to appeal the decision to the state Supreme Court, according to court documents released this week.

Decay, 27, was convicted in 2008 of two counts of capital murder in the 2007 deaths of Kevin Barkley Jones and Kendall Rachell Rice, both 24. Decay was sentenced the same year to die by execution, according to court records.

Decay later filed for post-conviction relief. Post-conviction relief seeks appeal of a criminal conviction based on several possible factors, including an incompetent defense attorney or a lack of due process, according to Arkansas state law.

The Washington County Circuit Court earlier this year denied Decay’s petition for post-conviction relief, after which the petition was appealed to the Arkansas Supreme Court, which found in May that “the circuit court failed to make specific written findings of fact and conclusions of law,” according to the Supreme Court majority decision written by Chief Justice Jim Hannah.

The Washington County Circuit Court was ordered to supply a new order defending its rejection of Decay’s appeal within 60 days, according to the state Supreme Court opinion.

Decay told police he shot and killed Jones and Rice at their Fayetteville home over a dispute concerning marijuana, according to court documents.

Decay relocated to Fayetteville from New Orleans following the Hurricane Katrina disaster, according to his profile on LostVault.com

Lost Vault is a social media website for prison inmates to help them connect with outsiders and keep in contact with pen pals, the site states.