Friday, 17 September 2010

Thalia Outlaw is serving life in prison for something she did NOT do. She was convicted in 1999 of murder. In fact, it was self defense in a domestic situation with a man whom she was no longer involved with and who continued to harass and stalk her. The vandalism of her property and physical assaults on her person had become overwhelming for her. Three months pregnant with her youngest child and only daughter, Thalia had moved on and was involved with another man. This did not stop her obsessed ex-boyfriend from continuing to stalk her.

On the morning of July 6, 1997, Thalia woke to find her car vandalized and the extra set of keys to her car and home missing AND a flat tire on her vehicle. Knowing who had done this (because he had called and harassed her telling her what he was going to do), she asked a friend to ride with her to retrieve her extra keys from the ex. Thalia did make a mistake that day; she did NOT call the police. But the police had failed her on the prior occasions and having had a similar incident occur approximately a week prior she felt she would be safe and be able to get her keys back without incident.

That was not the case. Upon arriving at a mutual friends home, Thalia approached her ex-boyfriend and asked for her keys back. An immediate physical attack on her person began by her ex using a knife. To this day, she carries the scars of those cuts.

At some point during the struggle over the knife, the ex received a wound to the upper clavicle area. This did not stop him; he continued to assault her with his fists hitting her in the stomach area raging that he would kill her and her unborn child. The "mutual friend" that was there interceded and the ex-boyfriend left the home and drove to the hospital. Thalia left the home and drove by the hospital in an attempt to have her injuries looked at but seeing the car there of her attacker, she proceeded to the police station to file another assault charge.

Thalia never left the police station that day. As she was finishing her report, the call came that the ex boyfriend had died; Thalia was charged with murder and spent 3 days in jail. An individual in the jail recommended an attorney to her; she called and he came to "help".

Thalia was told by several investigators and police officers that they knew this was self defense and that she didn't need to worry. Trusting the system to work, Thalia plead NOT GUILTY. After all, how could she be guilty when the alleged weapon was never in her possession?

A year and a half later Thalia went to trial. In a day and a half and less than 2 hours of deliberation, Thalia was convicted of murder and sentenced to life. Not one of the prior assault charges were presented to the Court to establish the history of domestic abuse. The missing "weapon" was not available to prove that she never had it in her possession. Further, the many discrepancies in testimony were not pursued by her counsel. In fact, he was chastised during the trial for whistling during court. 

Having no family in Mississippi to offer support, Thalia has hung on in a Mississippi prison with no help from anyone. Filing her PCR's and appeals, with no information from her case and no copies of the police reports, Thalia has found herself time barred to pursue her innocence.

Courtesy MDOC and Sondra Dillard Humphrey