United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Savannah Division
WILLIAM T. MOORE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE
2005, Petitioner Dorian Frank O'Kelley was convicted and
sentenced to death by the Superior Court of Chatham County
for -the murders of Susan Pittman and her thirteen-year-old
daughter, Kimberly Pittman. After the completion of his
direct appeal and state habeas court proceedings, Petitioner
filed a petition for habeas corpus in this Court, pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 2254, challenging his conviction and death
sentence on a number of grounds. Petitioner also filed the
instant Motion for Leave to Conduct Discovery. (Doc. 61.)
Petitioner contends that discovery is necessary for the full
and proper development of evidence and the presentation of
his habeas case. After careful consideration,
Petitioner's motion is DENIED.
facts of this case were set forth by the Supreme Court of
[S]hortly before midnight on April 10, 2002, O'Kelley and
his co-defendant, Darryl Stinski, were observed at a
convenience store by two Chatham County police officers. The
officers noticed the defendants because they were dressed in
black clothing, they carried a black duffle bag that appeared
empty, and Stinski had several facial and ear piercings.
Shortly after O'Kelley and Stinski left the store, the
officers responded to a burglar alarm at a residence within
walking distance of the store and discovered a broken window
there. The occupant of the residence, who was not home at the
time, testified at trial that she returned to find that
someone had apparently tried to kick in her back door and had
broken a window and bent the curtain rod inside the home.
O'Kelley admitted in his first statement to police that
he and Stinski went to a residence in order to commit a theft
therein on the night in question but fled after the alarm
A few hours later, at approximately 5:30 a.m. on April 11,
the same police officers were leaving the convenience store
when they spotted a fire in the distance. Rushing to the
scene, they found the Pittman residence engulfed in flames.
This home was in close proximity to the residence which had
been burglarized earlier. In the headlights of the police
car, one of the officers again observed O'Kelley and
Stinski, this time standing in a wooded area across the
street from the burning house. However, they had disappeared
by the time the officers exited the vehicle. Once the fire
was extinguished, officials discovered the remains of the
That evening, O'Kelley and Stinski brought a duffle bag
to the mobile home where Stinski was staying, and
O'Kelley told the group of people present that he and
Stinski had stolen items from automobiles in the
neighborhood. He also confided in one member of the group
that he had burglarized and set fire to the Pittman
residence, and he claimed to have slit Ms. Pittman's
throat and to have raped Kimberly. O'Kelley then removed
from his wallet a tooth in a ziplock bag and stated that he
had "busted it out of the little girl's mouth."
After O'Kelley and Stinski left the mobile home, the
group opened the duffle bag and discovered several items,
including compact discs marked with Kimberly's initials
and prescription pill bottles containing oxycodone with Ms.
Pittman's name and address on the labels. A group member
phoned the police and advised them of the bag's contents
and O'Kelley's comments. After the contents of the
bag were identified by a family member as belonging to the
victims, O'Kelley and Stinski were arrested, and a human
tooth later determined through DNA evidence to belong to
Kimberly was found inside O'Kelley's wallet.
In his second statement to police, O'Kelley confessed to
killing Ms. Pittman by repeatedly beating and stabbing her,
to beating and stabbing Kimberly, to setting the Pittman
residence on fire while Kimberly was still alive, and to
taking numerous items from the residence. O'Kelley told
police that items stolen from the home and from automobiles
in the neighborhood were located in the attic of his house
and that he had discarded the clothing and shoes that he was
wearing during the murders in a garbage bag on top of an
abandoned mobile home near his house. Police located these
items as O'Kelley described. Blood on the clothing was
identified as Ms. Pittman's, and blood on the shoes was
identified as that of both victims.
Four witnesses testified that, early on the day following the
murders, they discovered that someone had broken into and
removed personal belongings from their automobiles parked in
O'Kelley's neighborhood. O'Kelley's
fingerprint was found inside one of these vehicles, and the
witnesses identified their stolen property from items
recovered by the police from O'Kelley's attic.
O'Kelley v. Georgia, 284 Ga. 758, 759-60, 670
S.E.2d 388, 392-93 (2008) .
was charged with two counts of malice murder, two counts each
of burglary and arson in the first degree, one count of
cruelty to children, one count of possession of a controlled
substance, one count of possession of a controlled substance
with intent to distribute, and five counts of entering an
automobile with intent to commit theft. Id. at 758.
Petitioner's trial began on October 21, 2005, and he was
found guilty on November 3, 2005 of all charges in the
indictment with the exception of possession of a controlled
substance with intent to distribute. (Doc. 33, Attach. 5 at
15-16.) Five days later, Petitioner was sentenced to death
for the murders of Susan Pittman and her daughter. (Doc. 16,
Attach. 19 at 2-5.) The jury found, beyond a reasonable
doubt, the existence of six statutory aggravating factors;
(1) The murders were committed while Petitioner was engaged
in the commission of a burglary.
(2) The murders were committed while Petitioner was engaged
in the commission of arson ...