California Official Wants to Execute Man Convicted in Hanahan Killings

DA targets man convicted in local deaths decades ago.

A man sentenced to death in the 1985 murders of two Hanahan pizza shop employees has been recommended for execution for a California murder, according to Los Angeles' KTLA. 

Mitchell Carleton Sims, 52, has been on death row for 25 years for murders in both states.

According to court documents, Sims shot two employees of a Hanahan Domino's Pizza in the early morning on Dec. 4, 1985.

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One of the victims, Gary Melke, walked into the Hanahan Police Department with a telephone cord hanging from one of his wrists and bleeding from gunshot wounds to his head and neck. He would later die from his wounds — four bullets in his head and neck and a fifth that exited his head and was recovered in the wall of the pizza parlor.

A co-worker, Chris Zerr, was found lying on the floor of the pizza parlor covered in blood with his hands tied behind his back with a telephone cord. He died soon after from a gunshot wound to the head. Sims took $1,164 from the cash registers, according to the court documents.

Days later, Sims killed a Domino's deliveryman in Glendale, Calif. Sims was sentenced to death on May 7, 1986.

With avenues for appeals exhausted, Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley asked the Superior Court on Wednesday to order Sims' execution.

Read the entire story, including why the DA's request may not be carried out.


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