Georgia Attorney General Thurbert E. Baker offers the following information on the execution of Terry Michael Mincey.


On October 11, 2001, the Superior Court of Bibb County filed an order, setting the seven-day window in which the execution of Terry Michael Mincey could occur to begin at 12:00pm on October 25, 2001 and end seven days later at 12:00pm on November 1, 2001. The Commissioner of the Department of Corrections set the specific date and time for the execution as 7:00p.m. on October 25, 2001, pursuant to the discretion given the Commissioner under state law. Mincey had previously concluded his direct appeal, as well as state and federal habeas corpus proceedings. The scheduled execution of Mincey was carried out at approximately 8:06pm on Thursday, October 25, 2001.

Mincey’s Crimes

On April 12, 1982, sometime after 10:00 p.m., Terry Mincey, Robert Jones and Timothy Jenkins, decided to rob a Mini Food Store at the corner of Houston Avenue and Hartley Bridge Road in Macon, Georgia. Mincey and Jenkins got out of the car and Jones remained behind the wheel, leaving the motor running. While Jenkins positioned himself besides an ice machine outside the store where he could see the store’s counter area through the storefront window.

Mincey entered the store and pulled his pistol from under his coat. Two teenagers saw Mincey in the store and Mincey told them to get into the car parked outside and ordered the store’s cashier, Paulette Riggs, to empty the cash register into the bag that Mincey was carrying. When the teenagers left the store, Jenkins, told them to stay put. At this point, Russell Peterman, a Bibb County firefighter, pulled up to the gas pumps and began pumping gas. Meanwhile, Mincey escorted Riggs from the store at gunpoint, told her to stand next to Jenkins and headed toward Peterman. Mincey told Peterman, “come go with me.” Peterman did not respond and Mincey, exhibiting a flash of anger, said, “You think I’m joking, don’t you.” Mincey then fired once, hitting Peterman in the chest. While Peterman lay there, still conscious, Mincey fired point-blank at Peterman’s head. As the second shot rang out, the two teenagers fled to a nearby field.

Mincey believed that the second shot had killed Peterman and headed for the car. When Riggs started to run away, Mincey shot at her and she fell near a dumpster behind the store. Mincey walked to where Riggs was lying, shot her in the head and ran to the Mustang. As they were driving away, Jones asked Mincey if both people were dead and Mincey said, “yes, they are dead, I know they are dead, I shot both of them.” When Mincey realized that the two teenagers had escaped, he said, “well, I just got a death sentence . . .a murder rap for $40.”

Mincey made several incriminating statements.

The Trial

The Bibb County Grand Jury indicted Mincey, Jones, and Jenkins for the murder of Paulette Riggs, the aggravated battery of Russell Peterman, and the armed robbery of the Mini Food Store. (Jones and Jenkins pled guilty. Jones was sentenced to life for murder and ten years for armed robbery and Jenkins was sentenced to life for armed robbery.)

Mincey was found guilty as charged by a jury in the Superior Court of Bibb County, Georgia on August 23, 1982. On August 26, 1982, Mincey was sentenced to death for the murder and received a life sentence for armed robbery and a consecutive twenty-year sentence for aggravated battery.

The Direct Appeal

The Supreme Court of Georgia affirmed Mincey’s convictions and sentences in Mincey v. State, 251 Ga. 255 (1983). A petition for a writ of certiorari was denied on November 7, 1983. Mincey v. Georgia, 464 U.S. 977 (1983), rehearing denied, 464 U.S. 1064 (1984).

First State Habeas Corpus Petition

Mincey, represented by Michael Hauptman, filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in the Superior Court of Butts County, Georgia, which was denied, following an evidentiary hearing, on February 7, 1988. The Supreme Court of Georgia subsequently denied a application for a certificate of probable cause to appeal and then the Supreme Court denied certiorari in Mincey v. Georgia, 488 U.S. 871 (1988), rehearing denied, 488 U.S. 977 (1988).

First Federal Habeas Corpus Petition

Mincey filed petition for a writ of habeas corpus in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia, which was dismissed without prejudice.

Second State Habeas Corpus Petition

Mincey filed a second state habeas corpus petition which was dismissed on March 3, 1984.

Second Federal Habeas Corpus Petition

Mincey’s second federal habeas corpus petition was filed in the Middle District of Georgia and the District Court denied relief on May 7, 1997. Mincey’s motion to alter or amend judgment was denied on August 26, 1997.

Appeal to the Eleventh Circuit

Following the filing of briefs and oral argument, the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the denial of federal habeas corpus relief to Mincey on March 16, 2000 in Mincey v. Head, 206 F. 3d. 1106 (11th Cir. 2000) and rehearing en banc was denied on August 10, 2000. Mincey’s petition for certiorari was denied on March 19, 2001 and rehearing was denied on May 14, 2001.

Third State Habeas Corpus Petition

Following the entering of the abovementioned execution order, Mincey filed his third petition for a writ of habeas corpus on October 19, 2001. Mincey amended his third state habeas corpus petition on October 22, 2001. On October 23, 2001, the state habeas corpus court denied Mincey’s petition and motion for a stay of execution and granted the Respondent’s (Warden Fredrick Head, represented by the Attorney General’s Office) motion to dismiss the petition.

On October 24, 2001, Mincey filed a motion for stay of execution in the Supreme Court of Georgia and an application for a certificate of probable cause to appeal from the denial and dismissal of Mincey’s third state habeas corpus petition, which were denied on October 25, 2001.