|Contact Ronald Patrick Swiney|
|DOB October 24,1944
DOD July 28, 2009
|Ronald Patrick Swiney's case data|
|State and County||Alabama, Shelby County|
|Case No.||CC 88-077|
|Crime||(2) two counts of capital murder|
|Date of Crime||December 10, 1987|
|Date of Arrest|
|Date of Conviction||June 12, 1989|
|Sentence||Life without parole|
|Age at the Date of Crime||43|
|Contributing Factors||official misconduct, perjury, ineffectiveness of counsel|
|Did DNA evidence contribute to the conviction?||No|
|Is there DNA evidence to test?||No|
Ronald Patrick Swiney allegedly killed his wife Betty Snow Swiney and her ex-husband Ronald Pate on December 10, 1987 in Saginaw, Alabama. He was convicted in the Shelby County Circuit Court of two (2) counts of Capital Murder in violation of Alabama Code §13A-5-40(a) (10) on June 12, 1989.
The Alabaster Police Department and the Columbiana Sheriff’s Department investigated the case. Swiney had been a police officer himself, but by 1977, he turned in his badge. Swiney’s widow Sherry Swiney explains that her late husband did not agree “to accept under-the-table payoffs to turn a blind eye toward what was going on around him. He then went to work in the private sector as an investigator for a well-known attorney.” (More at www.patrickcrusade.org/sherryinterview061308_page1.html)
The State knew that he was (4) four miles away when the victims were shot to death. The police reports contain false statements:
- Incident/Offense Report Supplement 05-100-00 12/14/1987 Case 7G-872488 by Lt. Tom Smitherman: “Robbie Carter stated that Pat ‘did it’” is a false statement because Robbie Carter swears she never said that.
- Statement by Lt. Stanley Oliver dated 12/14/01 states that Swiney’s mother (Odelle Swiney) hid the rifle, but she swears she never did that.
- Police Report by Richard Fox 12/11/1987 states Betty Snow was found lying on her back.
- Police Report by P. Harris/Lt. Matherson/E. Harris 12/10/01 states Betty Snow was found lying face down.
- Police reports indicate that Patrick Swiney’s mother and sister were inside the house when they arrived. Both Robbie and Odelle swear they were not, and in fact, the police would not let them come in to see if they could be of assistance to Ronnie and Betty.
While District Attorney J. Michael Campbell used mere hearsay and circumstantial evidence against Swiney, his defense attorney did not prepare an effective defense. There were no defense witnesses and no Motion for Discovery. Now it is known that there was no blood on Swiney’s clothes, skin, or shoes. There was no gun shot residue on Swiney’s hands. The State itself had an alibi for him! Police reports verify Patrick Swiney was (4) four miles away from the crime scene when the victims were shot and killed.
Exculpatory evidence exists that has been withheld for years by the State of Alabama, preventing any Brady claims (Brady v. Maryland) until 2004. An Appeal brief was filed in the Court of Criminal Appeals on June 18, 2004 by attorney Joe Morgan.
Appeal and Post-Conviction Motions
The conviction was affirmed on appeal. Swiney v. State, 555 So. 2d 1207 (Ala. Crim. App. 1989).
In 1993, Swiney filed a Rule 32 petition, which was denied following an evidentiary hearing. The denial was affirmed, Swiney v State, 662 So. 2d 305 (Ala. Crim. App. 1994), cert. denied, Ex Parte Swiney, 668 So. 2d 579 (Ala. 1995).
A petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus was denied in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama on June 23, 1998.
The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals denied cert. of Appealability on August 13, 1999.
On August 13, 2003, Swiney filed a subsequent Rule 32 Petition in the Shelby County Circuit Court challenging his conviction under Rule 32.1(e) claiming newly discovered evidence of factual innocence. This petition was denied with prejudice on March 5, 2004. Appeal brief was filed in the Court of Criminal Appeals on June 18, 2004.
Ronald Patrick Swiney did not quit fighting until he died in prison on July 28, 2009. Share this article and go to the IIPPI Forum to read more!
Ronald Patrick Swiney’s widow provides all the details on this case.