For convicted Cobby County killer and death row inmate Marcus Wellons, an “erotically shaped chocolates” gift from one juror to the trial judge and a bailiff could spell the difference between life and death.
Wellons’ lawyer, Mary Elizabeth Wells, said that her client could not have received a fair trial because the jurors who sentenced him gave erotically shaped chocolate “gifts” to the trial judge and a bailiff.
Wellons is on death row for the 1989 rape and strangling death of 15-year-old Campbell High School sophomore India Roberts, whom he abducted on her way to school, and was sentenced to death in 1993.
The penis and breast shaped chocolates were sent to one of the jurors, Mary Jo Hooper, by a friend that ran a candy store. The gift was screened by the bailiff who then told Judge Staley about the contents of the package.
The U.S. Supreme Court put a halt to Wellons’ expected execution in early 2010 when the facts of the case surfaced and required further scrutiny.
According to the Atlanta Journal- Constitution, Wellons’ lawyer, Mary Elizabeth Wells, argued that she is unsure if the lewd gifts influenced the jury’s deliberation, and if “the jury conducted itself with dignity and respect for a death penalty trial.”