ALLEN, HOWARD A. # 56
ON DEATH ROW SINCE 08-30-88
DOB: 02-10-1949 DOC#: 881978 Black Male
Marion County Superior Court
Judge John R. Barney, Jr.
Farlow, Robert Thomas, John Commons
Defense: Alex Voils,
David B. Sexton
Date of Murder: July 14,
Griffin W/F/73 (No relationship to Allen)
Method of Murder:
stabbing with butcher knife
Summary: Ernestine Griffin was an elderly lady who
lived alone near 57th and Keystone in Indianapolis. She
lived next to the dental office of Dr. Seaman, who knew
her quite well. One day Griffin called and advised that a
man had stopped by her house inquiring about an old car
Dr. Seaman had for sale. Griffin stated that she had the
man write down his name and number and she passed it
along to Dr. Seaman: "Howard Allen 545-4109."
The next morning, Dr. Seaman walked over to her house and
discovered Griffin's body lying on the floor with a
butcher knife in her chest. Griffin also suffered a blunt
force injury to her face. A note with the name and phone
number of Allen was found in the kitchen. A handwriting
expert would later testify that Allen had indeed written
the note. Allen at first denied all knowledge of Griffin
or Dr. Seaman. Over several hours of questioning, he
finally admitted that he had been in the home asking
about the car and had struck her with his fist. He stated
that he did so only after Dr. Seaman had insulted him on
the phone and Griffin had cussed him. Finally, he said,
"I didn't stab the lady, but if I did, I need
help." A co-worker at the car wash where Allen
worked testified that Allen had given him a camera on the
day of the murder to put in a locker. The camera was
identified by serial number and the film still in the
camera as belonging to Griffin.
Felony-Murder, Robbery (A Felony)
Sentencing: August 30,
1988 (Death Sentence, 50 years - Murder/Felony Murder
b (1) Robbery
dysfunctional family, education, and social environment,
parents separated and divorced, mental retardation, low
intelligence, mental instability.
Allen v. State, 686 N.E.2d 760 (Ind. September 25, 1997)
Conviction Affirmed 5-0 DP Affirmed 5-0
Shepard Opinion; Dickson, Sullivan, Selby, Boehm concur.
In the Matter of Hatfield, 607 N.E.2d 384
(Ind. January 25, 1993)
(Court Reporter found in contempt for
failure to meet deadlines)
In the Matter of Sexton, 666 N.E.2d 402
(Ind. June 14, 1996)
(Disciplinary proceeding; By agreement,
Sexton suspended from practice for 6 months with
automatic reinstatement - Missed appellate deadlines,
filed 20-page brief, was paid $40,743.50 and billed an
additional $13,097.00 for appellate work) Per Curiam
Opinion; Shepard, Debruler, Sullivan, Selby concur;
Dickson dissents believing sanction inadequate.
PCR: Petition filed 12-15-98; Denied by Special Judge Raymond Kickbush on 10-06-99.
Allen v. State, 749 N.E.2d 1158 (Ind. June 29, 2001).
(Appeal of PCR denial; Affirmed 5-0; Opinion by Justice Sullivan; Shepard, Dickson, Boehm, Rucker concur.)
Allen v. Indiana, 122 S.Ct. 1925 (2002) (Cert. denied).
Successive PCR Petition tendered, claiming retardation and citing Atkins v. Virginia.
07-15-03 Indiana Supreme Court declines to authorize Successive PCR.
03-18-02 Petition for Habeas Corpus filed in U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana.
Judge John D. Tinder.
AWAITING RULING ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS IN U.S. DISTRICT COURT, SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA, JUDGE JOHN D. TINDER. (FULLY BRIEFED SINCE 11-07-03).
As of July 1, 2006