HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - A Hattiesburg man convicted of two counts of capital murder in the gruesome 2004 slayings of two people appeared Monday in a Forrest County Courtroom.
Roger Gillett appeared before Judge Bob Helfrich where a date to re-hear the sentencing portion of his trial is set to begin November 16th. On June 12, the Mississippi Supreme Court overturned Gillett's death sentence in connection to the 2007 conviction on two counts of capital murder.
Gillett was convicted in the murders of his cousin Vernon Hulett and Hulett's girlfriend Linda Heintzelman.
In late November, Forrest County Circuit Court officials requested Gillett be transferred to the Forrest County Jail from Parchman until the re-sentencing.
The 6-3 decision by the state Supreme Court it was addressed that not every escape is considered a crime of violence under Kansas law. This played into the death sentence in Mississippi, and according to Justice Ann Lamar, cannot be used in the sentence.
This ruling was granted after Gillett's post conviction appeal.
Gillett and his then-girlfriend Lisa Jo Chamberlin were arrested March 29, 2004, after Kansas law enforcement officers raided an abandoned farm house near Russell, Kansas. The property that was owned by Gillett's father is where the pair of dismembered bodies of Hulet and Heintzelman were discovered in a freezer.
At the time of the murders, the pair was living with Hulet and Heintzelman at a Hattiesburg home.
According to court documents Gillett claimed he raped Heinzelman with a beer bottle, before killing her, and he hit Hulet in the head with a hammer before cutting off his head and arms. Details also listed that Chamberlin admitted to helping Gillett dispose of the bodies in the freezer, bury the evidence and clean up the crime scene.
Court records also stated that during a taped confession played during the trial, Chamberlin said the victims were killed because they wouldn't open a safe in Hulet's home.
Chamberlin was also convicted of capital murder in 2006 for the killings, and the Supreme Court upheld her conviction in 2008.