Jury to Continue Work at Trial for Former Tennessee Death Row Inmate

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) -- Jurors return to work today at the retrial of a man who spent more than 15 years on death row for the fatal shooting of a Chattanooga pharmacist.

The jury yesterday began deliberating at the second trial of 55-year-old Michael Lee McCormick.

He spent more than 15 years on Death Row for the slaying of 23-year-old Donna Jean Nichols on Valentines' Day in 1985. The pharmacist was shot in the head and hand and her body dumped in a mall parking lot.

The retrial stems from an appeals court ruling that McCormick had inadequate defense at the trial where a jury sentenced him to death in 1987. DNA test results in 2001 showed that a hair found in the victim's car and used to link McCormick to the killing was not his.

The jury heard six days of testimony, and deliberated five hours yesterday before recessing for the night.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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