New murder trial ordered for Dale County man

By  | 

Montgomery (WTVY)-- The Alabama Supreme Court has ordered a new trial for an inmate who has been on death row for 15 years.

Justices reinstated a lower court's order granting a new trial to Emanuel Aaron Gissendanner because his defense counsel failed to do basic investigations to challenge the state's case more than a decade ago.

Gissendanner was convicted in the 2001 killing of the 77-year-old Margaret Snellgrove in Dale County.

Dale County Circuit Judge Kenneth Quattlebaum had ordered a new trial after finding attorneys didn't do things like call alibi witnesses or consult a handwriting expert. The judge said there was a "reasonable probability" the outcome of the trial would have been different.

Snellgrove's body was found in a ravine near the Johntown community.