Man in prison for life asks court to overturn conviction

Published 3:54 pm Monday, March 7, 2011


A man in prison for killing his father, his father’s fiance and her two children is asking a federal appeals court to overturn his conviction, according to the Associated Press.

Mark Anthony Duke, a Shelby County resident who was 16 at the time of his arrest, is serving a sentence of life in prison for a quadruple murder in 1997, but his attorney on March 4 asked the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn the conviction because they claimed a prosecutor wrongly encouraged a jury to question his decision to stay silent at trial.

Alabama state attorneys said the statement was an isolated comment that didn’t impact the outcome of the case.

Duke was convicted of killing his father, Randy Duke, following a dispute over the family truck. In trying to cover up the crime, Duke and an accomplice slew three people in the Pelham residence at the time:Randy Duke’s girlfriend, Dedra Hunt, and her daughters, 7-year-old Chelsea and 6-year-old Chelisa.

Tommy Lee Hunt Jr., the father of Chelsea and Chelisa, said in a statement Friday he was disappointed the incident has made its way back into the court system.

“To have to go through another trial would be devastating for the families, but the evidence hasn’t changed and I feel sure the end result would be the same,” Hunt said.