Arkansas Court Rejects New Hearing For Death Row Inmate

May 19, 2016

The Arkansas Supreme Court says it will not reconsider its decision rejecting an appeal by an inmate sentenced to death for the killing of a prison guard in eastern Arkansas.

Without comment, justices said Thursday they would not grant a rehearing to inmate Latavious Johnson, who was convicted of capital murder in the death of guard Barbara Ester. The court rejected Johnson's appeal last month after he argued jurors at his 2014 trial should have considered a lesser manslaughter charge.

Ester was stabbed to death at the East Arkansas Regional Unit when she and another guard tried to confiscate contraband sneakers. Johnson, who was serving a life sentence for killing his father, argued that he acted because of the psychological distress of being in prison.