Execution Ordered Despite Jury’s Second Thoughts About Suspect

A videocassette recorder (VCR) stolen from a home was the only evidence that purportedly linked a victim to her murderer.

Ludie Mae Tucker was a Decatur resident who was murdered in October 1991. Robin “Rocky” Myers, her neighbor, was arrested and tried for the heinous crime.

Twelve jurors found “Rocky” guilty of murder despite a lack of physical evidence. There was no murder weapon. No bloodstained clothing. No hair samples. No DNA.

Tucker, who lay dying in the hospital,  said her attacker was a stocky black male in what seemed to be a plaid shirt over a blood-stained white or light-colored T-shirt. Ludie died. Her cousin Marie Dutton was also at the scene of the crime. She was stabbed and lived through it, but she said she never saw the perpetrator.

Marzell Ewing, who testified in 2004 that she saw Myers sell Tucker’s VCR on the night of the crime, later revealed that she had lied.

Mae Puckett, a juror in the 1994 case in Morgan County, was skeptical. She said the prosecutors never placed Myers in the house that night.”  She felt a hung jury seemed likely because of the holes in the prosecution’s case that she anticipated would lead to an acquittal for Myers.

Pucket tried her best, probably feeling like Henry Fonda in 12 Angry Men. But she claimed that several jurors were adamant about not changing their decision of guilty. She agreed to convict Myers of murder and give him a life sentence in prison without the possibility of release rather than see a second trial end with a death penalty sentence. The only option to save his life was to deem him guilty.

But it backfired. Judge Claude Bennett McRae of the Morgan County Circuit Court overturned the jury’s verdict and condemned Myers, 61, to death. He has spent the last 29 of them on Alabama’s death row.

Kacey Keeton, Myers’ current attorney, has appealed to Alabama Governor Kay Ivey for clemency, hoping for a reduction of Myers’ sentence to life in prison without parole. 

He avoided execution in the summer of 2015 by challenging the state’s use of drugs in its lethal injection protocol through legislation. In the summer of 2015, he was scheduled to be executed. He chose nitrogen asphyxiation as his method of suicide in 2018.

Myers, despite everything, keeps holding on to optimism. He has said that he hopes to be freed from prison soon and often looks at a picture of flowers hanging on the wall of his cell.

Myers quoted, “I’ve got to stay strong. I really can’t keep my bottom lip out like that in here. It’s not the kind of lifestyle I want to have.”