She would be the first woman Mississippi has put to death in seven decades."I sit in my room for a good 1 1/2-2 hours, and dad comes in my room, and goes off on me, calling me bastard, nogood, mistake, and telling me I'm inconciderate [sic] and just care about my self, and he slaps me, then goes back to his room.Byrom and the State of Mississippi cannot merely agree for the trial judge to have sentencing authority where the statute does not give the judge such power." Prosecutor: Gillis Not Killer On the morning of June 4, 1999, Edward Sr. With no evidence of forced entry, their suspicions fell on Junior.Determining that Junior and Gillis had been together earlier, they also questioned Gillis."Instead, it is happening now in our Mississippi." Junior's confession isn't the only evidence the jury did not get to see.Sexual and domestic violence filled Michelle's life.When Michelle was 15, she ran away from home and became a stripper. He forced her to have sex with other men, which he videotaped. Caruso, a forensic psychiatrist who has testified in numerous death-penalty trials, diagnosed Michelle with borderline personality disorder, depression, alcoholism and Muenchausen syndrome, a serious mental illness that caused her to ingest rat poison to make herself ill.
"When they got me here, I gave them a bullsh*t story after another, trying to save my own ass, but when (Tishomingo County Sheriff) David Smith started questioning me, and told me what happened, I was so scared, confused, and high, I just started spitting the first thought out, which turned in to this big conspiracy thing, for money, which was all BS, that's why I had so many different stories," Junior wrote in his letter. Gillis, whom prosecutors said Michelle paid to kill her husband, got an even lighter sentence. Michelle is now down to what could be her final appeal. "In any reasonable world, this would be a short story by Flannery O'Connor," Yoder wrote in an email.
Courtesy MDOC Michelle Byrom, 57, is serving a sentence at Central Mississippi Correctional Facility in Pearl for the 1999 murder of her husband.
Despite serious questions about her guilt, Byrom could be executed soon.
Criss Lott, a court-appointed forensic psychologist. Lott did not include the confession in his report to the court. "I contacted the presiding Judge and asked him what I should do in the hypothetical situation where I had received specific information about the facts and details of a crime during the course of a forensic evaluation for mental competency and sanity," Lott said in an affidavit dated Feb. "The Judge told me I should tell him what I knew and so I told him about Edward Byrom Jr.'s confession to me that he had killed his father." That confession, never heard by Michelle's jury, is the centerpiece of her most recent appeal, now under consideration with the state supreme court. "It's one thing to dismiss one incriminating statement as an offhand remark, but when someone writes two letters, one of them very detailed, and then also makes a confession to a court-appointed psychologist, after a while, you have to think this guy is telling the truth," Voisin said. He testified that Gillis was the killer and that Michelle had hired him. Michelle's attorneys then waived her right for a jury to hear the penalty phase of the trial, and they did not have any witnesses testify on Michelle's behalf—namely, that she was mentally ill and a long-term abuse victim. In March 2001, Gillis pled guilty to conspiracy to commit capital murder and accessory after the fact in a plea agreement.
"When (Lott) evaluated Joey Gillis, Gillis said, 'I didn't shoot anybody. "They didn't even make him plead to a murder charge, and he's out in the free world," Voisin said.