By Ray King
An Arkansas prison inmate has failed for a fourth time to convince the Arkansas Supreme Court that his trial was flawed.
Saba K. Makkali, 45, formerly known as Gary Cloird, contended in the latest petition to the court that prosecutors concealed DNA evidence derived from a vaginal swab taken from the victim and the evidence was material because the victim claimed he had raped her while she was being held down by two other persons.
Makkali also asked that he be appointed an attorney, but that request was also denied.
He was convicted in Jefferson County in 1992 on charges of rape and theft of property and sentenced to 360 months in prison for the rape and 60 months for theft of property, a van, with those sentences to run consecutively.
In his first attempt to get a new trial, Makkali alleged that the DNA evidence had not been turned over to his attorney and the presence of the swab had also not been disclosed. That petition was denied after a hearing in Jefferson County Circuit Court which ruled that the DNA evidence would not eliminate Makkali since the victim testified that he had orally raped her.
The high court rejected Makkali’s claims in part because at the hearing, Makkali testified that the DNA evidence had been turned over to attorneys for a co-defendant, who was tried at the same time as Makkali for raping the victim.
Other allegations amounted to an attack on the sufficiency of the evidence used to convict him. Those allegations, the court said, are not accepted in a claim of trial error.
Makkali is serving his sentence at the Varner Unit.