lawrence rice

Lawrence Rice was sentenced to death by the State of Georgia for a double murder

According to court documents Lawrence Rice would be jailed for violating a restraining order and when he was inside the family would move. Once out of jail Rice would track the family down and break into the home killing Connie Mincher and her 14–year–old son, Ethan Mincher

Lawrence Rice would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death

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Lawrence Rice Case

Viewed in the light most favorable to the State, the evidence presented at trial showed the following. Lawrence Rice met Trevor Mincher in or around 1990, when Rice began working at a video production company under Mr. Mincher’s supervision. Shortly afterward, another man was hired at the company, and Rice resigned in anger after he came to believe that this other man was being paid more than he was. After resigning, Rice began a 13–year course of harassing Mr. Mincher and his wife, beginning with his standing around at a convenience store near Mr. Mincher’s work and then repeatedly making unwanted telephone calls. Rice also was the likely source of a Christmas card sent to Mr. Mincher that had been altered to depict an angel with a blackened eye and blood dripping from its wings, that contained feathers and Carribean coins, and that stated that the “curse of Akbar” had been placed on Mr. Mincher and his family. Rice’s motive and plan for the crimes were most clearly demonstrated in a lengthy manuscript that he had written, titled “Culture Shock,” in which he detailed his belief that Mr. Mincher had been speaking ill of him within the video production industry and thus preventing him from finding employment, his evolving financial difficulties, and his plan to murder Mr. Mincher’s family with a hatchet if his situation did not improve.

In the days leading up to the murders, several witnesses observed Lawrence Rice in the Minchers’ neighborhood sitting in his damaged gold Mercedes and walking around. On the day of the murders, April 17, 2003, several neighbors and a school bus driver described seeing Rice’s automobile parked in the Minchers’ driveway around the time of the murders, Rice getting something out of the trunk of his automobile and going into the Minchers’ house, Ethan Mincher arriving from school and entering the house, and Rice leaving the house hurriedly in his automobile. Trevor and Connie Mincher’s daughter arrived home from school shortly after Rice was seen fleeing the scene. She observed an automobile-sized dry spot on the driveway, which, because there was drizzling rain that day, showed that Rice had only recently departed. Inside the house, Connie Mincher was lying face down on a bed with a rug over her head and was already dead. Ethan Mincher was lying face down in a large pool of blood in the kitchen, but he was still alive. Ethan Mincher died shortly afterward.

When investigators told Mr. Mincher about the gold Mercedes that had been seen at the Minchers’ house, Mr. Mincher told them about Lawrence Rice. Investigators met up with Lawrence Rice, and he admitted that he had been at the Minchers’ house around the time of the murders. However, Rice claimed that he had been at the Minchers’ house to receive money from Connie Mincher, that he had gone into the house when Ethan Mincher arrived, that a man named “Jason” had arrived later, and that he had left because “Jason” was not “cordial” to him. Contrary to Rice’s account, a number of witnesses testified at trial that the Minchers had never mentioned anything about lending money to Rice or anything about someone named “Jason.” A search of Rice’s automobile revealed a map with the Minchers’ neighborhood circled and a handgun containing one bullet. Mr. Mincher’s video-recorded deposition testimony, which was seen by the jury, confirmed other evidence of Rice’s motive, Rice’s history of harassing and threatening Mr. Mincher and his wife, and the fact that the Minchers did not know someone named “Jason.”

A paramedic testified that Ethan Mincher had duct tape over his mouth and in his hair when unsuccessful medical treatment on him was begun, and the medical examiner testified that Connie Mincher had duct tape over her mouth and around her head and neck. The medical examiner further testified as follows. Connie Mincher’s hands had been bound behind her back, and Ethan Mincher had a set of handcuffs attached to one of his wrists. Connie Mincher had a black eye, a bruise on her upper back, fractured ribs, and petechial hemorrhages in her eyes indicative of her having been asphyxiated by the duct tape that was wrapped around her neck. She had suffered at least 5 and perhaps 11 or more blows to her head with an instrument or instruments consistent with the sharp and blunt ends of a hatchet, and her skull was fractured and depressed into her brain. Ethan Mincher’s body showed signs of having been in a struggle, including bruises to his eye, cheek, lips, chin, scalp, and upper chest and abrasions to his arm and neck. Ethan Mincher’s most serious wounds, like Connie Mincher’s, were consistent with the murder weapon’s having been a hatchet. He had suffered at least two blunt force blows to his back, which broke his ribs and left a rectangular abrasion. He had also suffered multiple blunt force blows to his skull, which was fractured and depressed into his brain.

Upon our review of the record, we conclude that the evidence presented at trial was sufficient to authorize a rational trier of fact to find Rice guilty beyond a reasonable doubt on all counts. See Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U.S. 307, 99 S.Ct. 2781, 61 L.Ed.2d 560 (1979). See also U.A.P. IV(B)(2) (providing that, in all death penalty cases, this Court will determine whether the verdicts are supported by the evidence).

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