A circuit judge has dismissed a petition filed by a man who said he was filing the petition on behalf of a death row inmate, with the judge saying the man had no legal standing whatsoever.

Circuit Judge Dan Ritchey said in a court filing Wednesday that the petition filed by Jeremy Edward Ellis lacked legal standing.

Ellis filed the paperwork in February 2022 on behalf of Jerry Lard. Lard was sentenced to death in 2012 for the 2011 capital murder of Trumann Police Officer Jonathan Schmidt.

The Arkansas Attorney General’s office filed a motion March 14 to quash the motion, which named Arkansas Department of Correction Director Dexter Payne and then-Circuit Judge Brent Davis as respondents.

However, Lard filed a letter and Notarized petition March 23, saying the petition was “unauthorized” and an “abuse of a writ.” Ellis filed a motion in April asking for additional DNA testing to be done in the case and Lard also filed a letter, objecting to Ellis acting on his behalf whatsoever.

In the four-page ruling, Ritchey said Lard had knowingly and intellectually waived his post conviction remedies in the case and that summonses issued to Payne and Davis were improperly issued.

“The petition and motions filed by Jeremy Edward Ellis are each frivolous and facially invalid and have no basis in law or fact. In addition to the lack of standing, the habeas corpus petition was not filed in the custodial county, the habeas corpus petition lacks probable cause regarding invalidity and jurisdiction of the commitment and identity is not at issue in this case as it relates to motion to conduct additional DNA testing,” Judge Ritchey said.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.