'Mr. X' killer's appeal denied

8:50 AM, Apr 15, 2013   |    comments
(Fulton County Jail)
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ATLANTA -- The Supreme Court of Georgia has rejected an appeal from a man convicted of raping and murdering a woman in 1994.

Michael Harvey was found guilty in 2010 of killing Valerie Payton. DNA collected at the scene was investigated by a cold case squad in 2004, which led to Harvey's arrest a year later.

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Payton's body was found in a vacant lot at the intersection of Wylie Street and Flat Shoals Avenue in southeast Atlanta. She had been raped, sodomized and strangled, and her body had more than 50 postmortem slashes. A photo of Payton's then-8-year-old son was found on her stomach; someone wrote "I'm back Atlanta, Mr. X" on the back of the photo.

Harvey was convicted on charges of murder, rape, sodomy and aggravated assault, and give three consecutive life sentences.

He appealed the conviction, saying that insufficient evidence was shown at his trial. He also argued that testimony from three women who claimed he sexually assaulted them was improperly presented.

A Supreme Court Justice denied the appeal Monday, saying "the evidence adduced at trial was sufficient to authorize a rational trier of fact to find him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of the crimes for which he was convicted."

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