With a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, an Alabama man is another step closer to a death sentence he’s managed to escape seven times before.
Thomas Arthur was convicted of shooting Troy Wicker while he slept in Muscle Shoals in 1982 after being hired by his wife, Judy Wicker, with whom Arthur had a previous affair. Testimony from that trial revealed Arthur killed Wicker in exchange for $10,000 from a life insurance policy.
Throughout the years, however, Arthur has managed to escape death a number of times — seeing executions halted by the courts seven times after going through three trials and being convicted three times for Wicker’s murder.Arthur’s most recent brush with death was last November when four Supreme Court justices sought to stay his sentence to examine questions his attorney raised about the methods of execution used in Alabama — an order that came down hours before Arthur’s execution.
On Tuesday, the high court denied a petition to grant certiorari to hear the same challenge, their second ruling in the past two denying Arthur’s legal challenges to his death sentence. After the ruling came down, Alabama Attorney General Steven T. Marshall said, “justice is approaching” for the family of Troy Wicker.
“The long wait for justice may be nearing an end for convicted killer Thomas Arthur,” Marshall said. “For more than 30 years he has fought to delay his execution for the 1982 cold blooded murder of Troy Wicker of Muscle Shoals.”
As of Feb. 21, the Alabama Department of Corrections has not yet released a new date for Arthur’s execution. He is currently being held, as all the state’s death row inmates are, at the Homan Correctional Facility in Atmore, Ala.