The case of Marlon Howell, convicted in 2001 of the 2000 capital murder of retired postal worker David Pernell, will be examined on the cable news program “Death Row Stories” Sunday, June 9.
The docu-series, starting its fourth year, had its first new program June 2. The New Albany-based story will be on the HLN channel at 7 p.m. and is called “Web of Lies.”
The show’s promotional material describes it as saying it “explores the fallibility of the ultimate criminal penalty, capital punishment. Told by current and former death row inmates, each episode of Death Row Stories seeks to unravel the truth behind a different capital murder case and poses tough questions about the U.S. capital punishment system.”
The program is expected to include interviews with various people involved in the case as well as some archival material.
The murder, which shocked the community, occurred about 5 p.m. May 15, 2000.
Pernell had been a carrier for the Daily Journal for several years and was killed on his route in the North Side of New Albany.
A car apparently got Pernell to pull over and an individual got out and approached Pernell. In what was believed to be a robbery gone bad, the person shot Pernell in the chest, killing him instantly.
Based on witness testimony, investigation and other evidence, police accused Howell, Adam Ray and Curtis Lipsey in participating in the crime. Lipsey and Ray said that Howell was the shooter and had been looking for someone to rob so he could get money to pay a mandated court fee later that morning.
The two pleaded guilty to armed robbery and manslaughter, getting sentences of 10 years each for the robbery and 20 years for manslaughter.
Howell, now 39, has appealed his case asking for a new trial all the way to the state Supreme Court, which refused to grant the retrial.
Howell’s attorneys have argued that Howell was not represented by an attorney during a line-up, that prosecution witnesses have recanted or were not credible and that a new witness could provide an alibi for the time of the shooting. Family members said Howell was not at the scene of the crime when it occurred.
Prosecutors argued that the eyewitness account, corroborating statements and locating the weapon used in the crime after someone said they saw Howell apparently burying it all pointed to guilt.