Myrtle Beach killers seek appeal in case - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Mom speaks out after daughter's killers appeal for freedom

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Jimmy Lee Sessions is serving life in prison while Christopher Stephens is only a few years into his 40 year jail sentence. Jimmy Lee Sessions is serving life in prison while Christopher Stephens is only a few years into his 40 year jail sentence.

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Two Grand Strand men convicted in a 2009 murder are now appealing their convictions, claiming errors on the part of law enforcement.

Jimmy Lee Sessions is serving life in prison while Christopher Stephens is only a few years into his 40 year jail sentence. Both men were found guilty in connection to the 2006 deaths of Jamila Hytower and Monica Wall.

Wednesday, attorneys for both Sessions and Stephens were in court appealing their clients' convictions.

Barbara Hytower, mother of victim Jamila, says she was shocked when she received the letter saying they were trying for an appeal.

She said it is reopening old wounds, bringing back memories from the trial in 2009, and she is dreading it. She was in Columbia, at court, on Wednesday when Stephens and Sessions were asking to appeal their convictions.

"It's hard enough, just living, and walking in your house when your child ain't coming in the door no more, you don't get to hug her, don't get to kiss her. Now all this appeal, it's really weighing down heavy on me," Barbara admits.

She says there is no doubt in her mind that the men are guilty, and that she believes MBPD and SLED did a wonderful job presenting evidence throughout the trial. She believes the one or two things that the men are appealing are small facts compared to the overall trial.

"You have to sit in the trial, hear the testimonies, see the evidence. They take one piece of evidence and think that they should get a retrial. But its more than just that," Barbara cries.

She says the state has appointed her an attorney, and that he plans to bring it to the Supreme Court before the men can get an appeal.

"I'm going to be there, because Jamila cannot take a stand, I'm testifying on her behalf. I have to do it," Barbara adds.

"It is all I have left. To go to the graveyard, celebrate her birthday, a memorial service. But at least, Ms. Session, Ms. Stephens, they can call their children up or write them a letter. I can't even do that,"says Barbara

The attorneys claim SLED and Myrtle Beach Police mishandled evidence during the trial. The lawyers also claim the judge was wrong to admit hearsay testimony during the case.

A panel is now considering those arguments. There is no time line as to when the panel will return with their decision.

Copyright 2012 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

SIDEBAR: Double murder appeal

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Judge declares hung jury in double murder trialStephens dismissed of charges in murder trialJury deliberating fate of 2 men in 2006 murderSessions double murder trial continues More>>

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