Georgia Attorney General Samuel S. Olens offers the following information in the case against Emmanuel Fitzgerald Hammond, who is currently scheduled to be executed on January 25, 2011 at 7:00pm.
On January 13, 2011, the Superior Court of Fulton County filed an order, setting the seven-day window in which the execution of Emmanuel Fitzgerald Hammond may occur to begin at noon, January 25, 2011, and ending seven days later at noon on February 1, 2011. The Commissioner of the Department of Corrections then set the specific date and time for the execution as 7:00pm on January 25, 2011. Hammond has concluded his direct appeal proceedings and his state and federal habeas corpus proceedings.
Hammond’s Crimes (1988)
The Georgia Supreme Court summarized the facts of the case as follows:
Julie Love was last seen by her fiancé the morning of July 11, 1988. He called her that evening and she was not in. He left a message on her answering machine. He left another message the next day. When she did not return his calls, he thought at first that she was "sort of having her way" and "getting back at me a little bit." However, when she failed to return his call the next day he became concerned. He began calling her friends and family and discovered she had not been in touch with any of them either. He went to her apartment that evening with a policeman. She was not home, and they did not feel they had a right to enter her apartment at that time. However, after her car was discovered abandoned and out of gas half a mile from her fiancé’s house, a formal investigation was begun by the police. The investigation proved fruitless for over a year.
In August of 1989, Janice Weldon, a 34-year-old stripper at an Atlanta lounge and intimate companion of 26-year-old Emmanuel Hammond, had him arrested on charges of aggravated assault after he tried to strangle her. While he was in jail on these charges, Weldon reported to police that Hammond and his cousin Maurice Porter were responsible for the disappearance of Julie Love. Police followed up her report by placing a "body bug" on her and monitoring conversations between her and Maurice Porter. Porter made several incriminating statements, and he and Hammond were arrested. Porter confessed and led police to skeletal remains which were identified by her childhood dentist and next-door neighbor as the mortal remains of Julie Love. Porter and Weldon testified at Hammond’s trial.
According to them, Porter, Weldon and Hammond were driving around the evening of July 11, 1988 in Hammond’s maroon Oldsmobile Cutlass sedan. They spotted Julie Love walking by the side of Howell Mill Road. At Hammond’s command, Porter, the driver, stopped so Hammond could ask her if she wanted a ride. Love answered in the negative, and pointed to a nearby house, claiming she lived there. She walked up the driveway and they drove off. Before they got out of sight, however, Hammond saw her returning to the road. Porter was told to turn around and drive by in the opposite direction, this time with his lights on bright. They drove past Julie Love again and saw farther up the road a car which they correctly deduced was hers. Hammond told Weldon to drive, and they returned to Julie Love. Weldon stopped the car, and Hammond, armed with a sawed-off shotgun, jumped out, grabbed the victim and threw her into the back of the car.
They drove to Grove Park Elementary School (which Hammond had attended). Love’s purse was searched and Hammond instructed Weldon and Porter to take her bank cards to an automated bank teller machine and get money, using an access number given them by Love. Hammond remained at the school with his sawed-off shotgun and Julie Love. The other two returned later without money or the bank cards. The access number they had tried to use was incorrect and the machines had kept the cards. Hammond, angry at this result, struck Love repeatedly with the shotgun. Porter then raped Julie Love.
Love, pleading not to be hurt, told Hammond she had more cards at home. They drove to Love’s apartment complex but were deterred from entering by the presence of a security guard at the entrance to the complex.
At this point, Weldon demanded she be allowed to go home. She was dropped off at her apartment and the remaining three returned to the Grove Park school. Hammond got clothes hangers and a sheet from the trunk of the car. He tied Love’s feet together, tied her hands behind her back and wrapped a sheet around her body. He then wrapped a coat hanger around her neck, and, telling Porter to pull one end while he pulled the other, tried to strangle Love. She struggled and broke free. Hammond got her under control and retied her hands. He told Porter to drive to Grove Park, where they stopped by the side of the road. Leaving Porter with the car, Hammond took Julie Love into the woods. Porter heard a gunshot. A few minutes later Hammond returned alone, his face flecked with blood.
Hammond returned home at 7:00 a.m. that morning. Weldon asked him what had happened to Julie Love. He did not want to talk about it then, but later told her that after Love "put her hands in front of her face," he "blew the side of her face off." He dumped her body in a trash pile and covered her up with a board.
The sawed-off shotgun was recovered from Michael Dominick, to whom Hammond had sold the gun not long after killing Julie Love with it. The victim’s earrings were also recovered, after having been pawned for $140 by Janice Weldon.
After his arrest, Hammond gave Weldon’s photograph and address to an inmate due to be released soon, and offered him $20,000 to kill her.
In addition to the foregoing, the state offered evidence establishing that on three previous occasions Emmanuel Hammond had kidnapped young women and robbed or attempted to rob them by obtaining their bank cards to use in automated teller machines. Moreover, he stabbed the third of these women numerous times and left her for dead on a trash pile in a wooded area.
Hammondv. State, 260 Ga. 591-593, 398 S.E.2d 168 (1990).
The Trial (1989-1990)
Hammond was indicted in the Superior Court of Fulton County, Georgia on September 12, 1989 for malice murder, felony murder, kidnapping and armed robbery. On March 7, 1990, following a jury trial, Hammond was convicted on all counts. The jury’s recommendation of a death sentence was returned on March 8, 1990.
The Direct Appeal and Remand Proceedings (1990-1995)
On direct appeal, the Georgia Supreme Court rejected all of Hammond’s challenges but remanded his case to the trial court “to give the defendant the opportunity to litigate the issue of trial counsel’s effectiveness.” Hammond v. State, 260 Ga. 591, 398 S.E.2d 168 (1990). Following the remand from the Georgia Supreme Court to the trial court, Michael Mears and Clive Stafford-Smith became counsel for Hammond. An extensive, four-day hearing on Hammond’s ineffective assistance claims was held on February 22-26, 1993.
On March 14, 1994, the trial court denied Hammond’s motion to vacate his convictions and sentences in a 67-page order, finding that Hammond’s trial counsel rendered reasonably effective assistance of counsel throughout all phases of Hammond’s trial. On appeal from the remand proceedings, the Georgia Supreme Court affirmed Hammond’s convictions and death sentence. Hammond v. State, 264 Ga. 879, 452 S.E.2d 745 (1995). The court also affirmed the trial court’s ruling that Hammond’s counsel had not rendered ineffective assistance of counsel during the original trial or on direct appeal. Id. Hammond then filed a petition for writ of certiorari in the United States Supreme Court, which was denied on October 2, 1995. Hammond v. Georgia, 516 U.S. 829, 116 S.Ct. 100 (1995).
State Habeas Corpus Proceedings (1995-2003)
Hammond, represented by John Blume, filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in the Superior Court of Butts County, Georgia on December 20, 1995. Hammond filed an amended petition for writ of habeas corpus on January 9, 1998 and April 19, 1999. An evidentiary hearing was held on December 14, 1999. On November 16, 2000, the state habeas corpus court entered an order denying Hammond state habeas relief. Hammond’s application for a certificate of probable cause to appeal filed in the Georgia Supreme Court was denied on May 28, 2002. Hammond filed a petition for writ of certiorari in the United States Supreme Court, which was denied on January 27, 2003. Hammond v. Head, 537 U.S. 1173, 123 S.Ct. 997 (2003).
Federal Habeas Corpus Proceedings (2003-2008)
Hammond, represented by John Blume, filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia on June 12, 2003. Hammond filed an amended petition for writ of habeas corpus on January 5, 2004. On January 4, 2008, the district court denied Hammond federal habeas corpus relief. The district court denied a motion to alter and amend judgment on February 12, 2008. The district court granted in part a certificate of appealability on June 18, 2008.
11th Circuit Court of Appeals (2008-2010)
On July 18, 2008, the Eleventh Circuit granted Hammond’s application for an expansion of the certificate of appealability. The case was orally argued before the Eleventh Circuit on February 24, 2009. On November 4, 2009, the Eleventh Circuit issued an opinion which denied relief. Hammondv. Hall, 586 F.3d 1289 (11th Cir. 2009). Hammond filed a petition for panel rehearing, which was denied May 10, 2010.
United States Supreme Court (2010-2011)
Hammond filed a petition for writ of certiorari in the United States Supreme Court, which was denied January 10, 2011. Hammond v. Upton, 2011 U.S.LEXIS 138 (Case No. 10-7104).