Arkansas death row inmate wins new hearing

PULASKI COUNTY (KATV)--A convicted killer on death row may be getting a second chance.

Andrew Engram was condemned to die in 1999 after raping and killing Laura White in 1997.

Today, the Arkansas Supreme Court ordered a new hearing, this after numerous unsuccessful appeals since 2001.

The gruesome murder of White shook the entire community of North Little Rock.

But now, another shaking event 16 years later as the convicted killer seeks to stay alive.

White had epilepsy, but still yearned for a normal life.

She was a security guard on duty, watching a lawn care tent overnight just outside of the Sears store at McCain Mall.

Sadly June 6th would be her last shift.

"It was so brutal on an innocent victim, what she suffered before she died had to have been horrific. It stained the soul of the community," said Pulaski County Prosecuting Attorney Larry Jegley.

Overwhelming evidence including DNA led to Andrew Engram's conviction.

Engram would meet his fate in 1999, when he was sentenced to death.

Now in 2013 he is appealing a denied petition filed seven years ago, arguing he could not be executed because he was mentally retarded and that he received ineffective council from his court-appointed trial lawyer.

"That's bogus, I'm sorry, and we'll prove it otherwise. We'll go ahead at tax payers' expense, have him examined at the state hospital," added Jegley.

"Got to consider not just the crime but who you are dealing with , and Andrew Engram had proven himself over and over again he has no respect for the rest of us," said Jegley.

Engram was on parole for just six months before White's murder.

He had also been convicted of manslaughter in the past.

Lawyers will meet next week to set hearing dates.


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The Arkansas Supreme Court says a lower court erred when it dismissed a petition from an inmate condemned to die for the rape and murder of a shopping mall security guard.

A Pulaski County jury in 1999 convicted Andrew Engram in the death of Laurie White, who worked at a North Little Rock mall. The state's highest court said Thursday that Engram can pursue another review of his case.
Engram's lawyers asked justices to send Engram's case back to a lower court for a hearing on whether he had good cause to file a petition after a deadline to do so had passed.
In arguments Oct. 10, Engram's legal team said a previous lawyer did poor work and that death row inmates are entitled to a full set of reviews.
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