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Death penalty defendant accused of defacing jail cell

Dickie is charged with murder in separate case

POSTED: March 2, 2008 5:01 a.m.

A man against whom prosecutors are seeking the death penalty appeared in court Tuesday on charges of vandalizing jail property.

During a brief arraignment hearing before Superior Court Judge Jason Deal, attorneys for Allan Robert Dickie, 19, entered a plea of not guilty on charges he set fire to a shirt inside his jail cell on Oct. 29. Minutes later, a separate magistrate judge heard evidence that Dickie tried to carve his nickname, "Chipmunk," into the walls of a padded cell within the new Hall County jail in January.

A deputy conducting a routine check of the cell found the letters CHIPMU carved a quarter-inch deep into the plastic lining of the walls, according to testimony. Dickie had been held in the cell earlier and was known to have the nickname "Chipmunk," a jailer testified.

Dickie, a homeless teen from Maryland, is charged with murder, rape and kidnapping in the August death of Claudia Toppin, a homeless woman found dead of multiple stab wounds behind a Hispanic supermarket on Pearl Nix Parkway. District Attorney Lee Darragh filed notice in November to seek the death penalty.

Hall County Magistrate Court Judge Elizabeth Reisman also heard evidence Tuesday that Dickie cut bedsheets and punched holes in his jail-issued mattress using an unknown object in December. He was charged with interference with government property.

Reisman found there was probable cause for the charge and bound the case over to Superior Court.

Darragh presented evidence of Dickie’s behavior in the Hall County jail in an earlier court hearing to argue for the use of restraints in the courtroom. Deal ruled that Dickie would not wear handcuffs but would wear leg irons and a remote-activated "stun belt" around the midsection.



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