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Gary Bradford Cone v. Wayne Carpenter

Case Summary: 97-cv-02312

Petitioner Gary Bradford Cone brought this action against Respondent Ricky Bell, warden of the Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in Tennessee where Petitioner was detained, asking the court to grant Petitioner a Writ of Habeas Corpus. On August 19, 1980, Petitioner was convicted of first-degree murder of two individuals in the perpetration of burglary and assault with the intent to murder. At his trial, witnesses were called by Petitioner and the State to testify about Petitioner’s mental health. Some witnesses testified that Petitioner suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and substance abuse as a result of his service in the Vietnam War. Others testified that Plaintiff did not show any signs of mental or physical problems. Petitioner was ultimately convicted. Petitioner alleges that he was falsely imprisoned for murder, raising mental illness as his defense.

In this video, Petitioner argues for a Writ of Habeas Corpus, asking the court to demand Respondent produce Petitioner in court for a hearing on the validity of his imprisonment. Petitioner argues that the State failed to conduct a reasonable investigation into the facts and circumstances of the offense. Petitioner also argues that the State failed to investigate the mental health evidence that was presented at trial. Respondent counters by arguing that no mistake was made because Petitioner’s attorney at trial called two psychologists as witnesses to testify on his behalf. Respondent also argues that a full investigation was completed, and that despite their findings, Petitioner was convicted. In this proceeding, Petitioner calls several witnesses, including a neurology professor and a medicinal professor, to testify about the function of his brain and substance abuse. Respondent cross-examines these witnesses and calls a neuro-radiology professor to testify. The Court will review the arguments and come to a decision at a later time.  

Case Highlights

  • Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus filed 07/1/1997 (Doc #71)

Case-related documents, including those referenced above, are available via the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) service. For more information, visit