Oct 8, 2013 10:02 PM by Samantha Ptashkin
TUCSON- A busy day in court, as convicted murderer and death row inmate Frank Jarvis Atwood marks day two of his federal hearing.
Atwood was sentenced to die in 1987 for the murder of eight-year-old Vicki Lynne Hoskinson.
Now Atwood is trying to get a re-sentence, a chance at life in prison, instead of lethal injection.
The hearing got underway at 9am with testimony from three defense witnesses Carla Ryan, Atwood's appellate attorney, John Davis, the prosecutor in Atwood's trial, and Deborah Gaynes, who worked as a paralegal for Atwood's trial attorney, Stanton Bloom.
The defense is trying to prove Atwood deserves a new sentence on the grounds that he was represented poorly in his trial because his legal team didn't bring up his past mental health problems.
Atwood also took the stand, dressed in his orange prison jumpsuit, with his graying black hair tied back in a ponytail. He answered questions about discussions he had with Bloom prior to the trial. He says he asked Bloom to investigate his mental health history and never said he wouldn't take a mental health evaluation.
The court also watched about 15 minutes of a video deposition from Bloom, since he couldn't make the hearing. After listening to Atwood's current lawyer, Larry Hammond, ask Bloom a series of questions about how he prepared for the trial, the judge decided he would like to hear Bloom testify in person. The judge is hoping to do that in Phoenix on November 4.
The judge will hear arguments on both sides starting Wednesday at 10am. The judge won't be making a final decision on whether or not Atwood deserves a re-sentencing until after hearing Bloom's in person testimony.