The state Court of Appeals turned down the post conviction petition of a Harrison County man seeking to overturn his conviction for killing a cab driver in 1996. On November 16, 1996, cab driver Ricky Spratt was robbed and killed. Michael Bolton pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of murder and was sentenced to life imprisonment. In 2001, he filed a post conviction petition claiming his plea was involuntary and that his counsel was ineffective.
The petition was rejected by Circuit Judge Stephen Simpson. Inmates use post-conviction petitions to try to convince a judge that new evidence has surfaced in their case that warrants a new trial.