Court denies Grayson's motion for a rehearing

Blayde Grayson (MDOC photo)

JACKSON – (AP) The Mississippi Supreme Court has denied death row inmate Blayde Grayson's petition for a rehearing.

Grayson, 37, was convicted in George County in 1997. He was found guilty of the 1996 slaying of 78-year-old Minnie Smith during a house burglary. Authorities say Smith was stabbed more than 30 times on the night she died in her rural home at the edge of the Pascagoula River flats.

The state Supreme Court upheld Grayson's capital murder conviction and death sentence in 2001.

Blayde Grayson (MDOC photo)

In April, the court denied Grayson's request to allow him another post-conviction appeal. In a post-conviction petition, an inmate argues he has found new evidence – or a possible constitutional issue – that could persuade a court to order a new trial.

In a ruling this month, the court denied his request for a rehearing.

Court records show Grayson, who was arrested in Florida, confessed to the crime, saying in a videotaped statement that he entered the house through a window and intended to steal a gun to get money for drugs. He said he killed the woman when she unexpectedly awakened.

The Supreme Court previously denied Grayson's claim that he was coerced into the confession. He contended he had demanded an attorney while jailed in Florida and that demand should have followed him on return to Mississippi.

Prosecutors said Grayson signed a waiver of his rights and initiated the interviews in Mississippi and confessed in several statement forms, including the videotape.

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld Grayson's conviction in 2005.