Charged with murder in connection with the death of his grandmother, Lillian Irene Mize, 67, Autry stood trial twice, with each trial ending in a hung jury.
Mize’s body was found in Armuchee Creek at Armuchee Park on Jones Mill Road.
Autry, who was 19 at the time and had been living with his grandmother, was charged with her murder.
In June 1997, 10 out of 12 jurors voted to acquit Autry. During a second trial, the vote was in his favor nine to three. Autry said he was told the case would not be brought up again. He could walk away, move to a new town and try to forget.
But that’s not what Autry is doing. He has stayed in Floyd County and now he is doing what he claims proves that he is either really crazy or innocent — Autry has asked Floyd County police to reopen his case.
The police have complied with Autry’s request, said Maj. Mark Wallace of the Floyd County Police Department.
The case has been assigned to two investigators who were not involved in the original investigation. And Wallace said the case is not being reopened because there is any new evidence, but because of Autry’s request.
A father of three children, Autry said he wants to clear his name. He is adamant that he did not kill his grandmother.
“There are still people out there that believe I am guilty,” Autry said.
Autry was accused of killing his grandmother for financial gain. She had been missing for nearly two days before her body was found in the creek with cement blocks tied around her ankles and neck, according to autopsy reports provided by Autry.
The medical examiner determined that Mize died “as a result of ligature strangulation and did not die as the result of water immersion. It is my opinion that the ligature strangulation occurred prior to submersion of the body in water.”
Autry lived with his grandmother at her home at 458 Floyd Springs Road at the time but said he had an alibi for the time she was killed.
According to an investigative report provided by Autry, he had lunch with his girlfriend, rode his motorcycle on Shorter Avenue, returned home for a while, then left to go to the mall with a friend to play video games.
Autry said an eyewitness that claimed to have seen him sitting in his grandmother’s car that day didn’t tell the truth.
In an interview with the Rome News-Tribune four years ago, Autry remarked that the case was all circumstantial. “They didn’t have any DNA or physical evidence,” he said.
Autry said he wished another agency would investigate the case because he his doesn’t have any confidence in the FCPD.
But he is hoping that his name will be cleared for the sake of his three children.
“The truth is, I didn’t do it,” Autry said.
Click here to see a previous report about the case