JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Stephen McGilberry, 37, was back in a Jackson County courtroom Thursday morning. He was just 16 years old when he killed his St. Martin family with a baseball bat in 1994.
Now, McGilberry is awaiting his third resentencing. Two previous punishments were dismissed by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Shackled and wearing a yellow jail jumpsuit, McGilberry appeared with two defense attorneys for the brief hearing before Judge Robert Krebs.
His 1994 crime rocked the community. Then just a teenager, he killed four family members with a baseball bat, including a 3-year-old boy.
"The court has received a mandate from the Supreme Court ordering a resentencing only," said Krebs.
McGilberry was first sentenced to death, but the U.S. Supreme Court then abolished the death penalty for juveniles.
A subsequent sentence of four life terms without parole was also overturned. Justices considered it cruel and unusual punishment.
"Do you have, in your mind, a time frame? Because the court is, quite frankly, would like to move this case on. I don't know why we can't put everything together in three months," Krebs told both sides.
Defense attorneys said more time was needed for a psychological evaluation and to line up expert
witnesses to address the defendant's history.
"There was some evidence presented at his trial and records we've received and reviewed about alcohol fetal syndrome issues. The factors that Miller sets forth as to the impetuosity of a youthful offender," said attorney Michael Cunningham.
McGilberry was mostly quiet during the brief hearing, except for a time when he conferred with his attorneys during the recess.
Another hearing to update the progress was set for March 10. The resentencing hearing is scheduled for Nov. 14. Attorneys say it could last up to a week.
The new sentence will be decided by Krebs.