March 2000 Executions
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Nine killers were executed in the month of March 2000.  They had murdered at least 16 people.
Eleven killers were issued stays of execution.  They have murdered at least 20 people.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
March 1, 2000 Texas Helen Bass Odell Barnes, Jr.  executed

Odell Barnes was 21 when he robbed, raped and murdered Helen Bass.  Helen was in her home when she was beaten with a lamp and a rifle, stabbed in the neck and then shot in the head.  Her nude body was found on her bed, where she had been sexually assaulted prior to her death.  Barnes stole a pistol and an unknown amount of money from Helen's home and was later seen trying to sell the stolen pistol to several people. The Nov. 29, 1989 slaying occurred 3 weeks after Barnes was paroled after serving 19 months of a 10-year prison term for robbery. Earlier, he had been paroled after serving only 3 months of an 8-year sentence for robbery.  The paroles came during a period when Texas had too many inmates and not enough prisons and state officials were forced to release inmates to comply with federal court orders governing prison crowding. Barnes and his supporters contended his trial was botched, too hasty and based on fabricated evidence.  "That's a farce," Wichita County District Attorney Barry Macha, who prosecuted Barnes, said this week. "The evidence in this case is compelling. It's actually gotten better since the trial. The DNA techniques were not as good then as they are now... The DNA evidence is absolutely conclusive.  He is a dangerous and violent individual. And very appropriately, the jury concluded he would be a continuing threat to our society. What's been overlooked in this case is this individual's record."  Witnesses said they saw Barnes jumping over the fence around the woman's house and with a gun later in the night and that he was wearing coveralls.  Coveralls taken from Barnes' brother's car, and identified as always worn by Barnes, had blood stains that matched the blood of the victim. A ballistics expert testified a gun linked to Barnes could not be positively identified as the murder weapon also a bullet fired from the weapon showed some consistencies with the bullet recovered from the victim. Barnes' fingerprint was found on a lamp that was used to beat the victim. Barnes said he knew the woman, had been in her house previously and that the couple had sex more than a day earlier, accounting for the presence of his semen. He said he could have left his fingerprint on the lamp during his earlier visits. Barnes never claimed that he had a sexual relationship with Bass until two years ago, after DNA tests proved the semen was his, Macha said.  "This is probably the thing that bothers me the most, and it's just outrageous," Macha said. "This is the second violation of Helen Bass, the second time he's raped her. Before two years ago, he said he worked for her, and that's why his fingerprints were in her house. Now he says they were lovers. That's disgusting. He's still victimizing Helen Bass and the Bass family."

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
March 3, 2000 Alabama  Warren Green
Lois Green
 
Freddie Wright executed

Warren and Lois Green owned and operated a Western Auto Store in Mount Vernon, Alabama, a small town located approximately 30 miles north of the City of Mobile. On December 1, 1977, (Warren's 40th birthday) they were murdered during a robbery of their store. They were forced into a back room, bound back to back with extension cords and shot in the head at point blank range. Warren was pronounced dead at the scene and Lois died about two hours later at a local hospital. They left behind one daughter who was sixteen years old at the time of their murders.  Freddie Lee Wright was found guilty of the robbery and of their murders in 1979 and sentenced to die in Alabama's electric chair. He along with three other accomplices were on their way to another town 30 miles north of Mount Vernon to rob a store there when they stopped along the way at the Western Auto to purchase tape to repair a rip in the seat of their car. They made the decision to rob this store instead of going on to the other town. One of the items stolen was Warren's new Seiko watch his wife and daughter had given him the night before for his birthday. It was recovered at a pawn shop in Mobile.  

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
March 9, 2000 Oklahoma  Addie Hawley, 84 Loyd Lafevers stayed

Oklahoma County killer Loyd Winford Lafevers is set to die March 9 for the 1985 murder of Addie Hawley, 84.  On June 24, 1985, LaFevers and co-defendant Randall Cannon decided to steal a car after LaFevers' car broke down in a northwest Oklahoma City neighborhood. After selecting a house in the neighborhood, the two men forced their way into the home of eighty-four year old Addie Hawley. They ransacked her home, taking eight dollars from her purse, along with the keys to her car and the garage door opener. The two took her out of the house and into the car. Cannon, who was driving the car, drove for just over a mile before pulling over so that they could put Hawley in the trunk. The two men drove to a convenience store where they bought a two liter bottle of orange soda. After drinking some of the soda, they poured the rest out and filled the bottle with gasoline. LaFevers directed Cannon to drive to a secluded area where he removed Hawley from the trunk of the car. Although there was evidence presented at trial that indicated that Hawley was raped, neither defendant admitted having committed rape or sodomy. Each man indicated in his pretrial confession to police and during his testimony at trial that the other man had committed the sexual offenses while he remained as a lookout.  After the completion of the sex acts, one of the two men, again each blamed the other, poured gasoline from the orange soda bottle on Hawley and set her on fire. They drove the car a short distance away and also set it on fire.  Rescue personnel were called to the scene soon after the fires were set.  Although Hawley had been burned over sixty percent of her body, she was still alive. She had suffered a blunt injury to the forehead and had two black eyes along with multiple cuts and bruises. She died a short time after being taken to the hospital.  LaFevers and Cannon were tried jointly in March of 1986. A jury convicted both defendants of first-degree murder, burglary in the first degree, robbery in the first degree, kidnapping, larceny of a motor vehicle, arson in the third degree, rape in the first degree, and anal sodomy. The state trial court sentenced LaFevers to death for the first-degree murder charge and to terms of years on the remaining counts. The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals reversed LaFevers' convictions and LaFevers was retried soon thereafter. The second jury convicted him on counts of first-degree murder and arson in the third degree but acquitted him on charges of rape in the first degree and anal sodomy and again LaFevers was sentenced to death.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
March 14, 2000 Texas Chung Myong Yi  Ponchai Wilkerson  executed

Ponchai Wilkerson was sentenced to die for the Nov. 28, 1990, robbery-shooting of Chung Myong Yi in a Houston jewelry store. Wilkerson shot him in the head from less than a foot away and stole a box of jewelry. Wilkerson never denied shooting Yi during the robbery, but he contended he fired the shot after becoming alarmed by the jeweler's movements behind the counter. Before November 1990, Wilkerson, the son of a retired deputy sheriff, had run afoul of the law only once, for auto theft. He is believed to have committed a string of felonies before the incident in which he shot and killed Yi, including three additional burglaries, three auto thefts and had shot four other people in two separate drive-by shootings.  Prosecutors also claimed that Wilkerson was a party to attempted capital murder when another store clerk was shot with a shotgun.  Wilkerson was involved in two escape attempts and a hostage situation during his time on death row.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
March 15, 2000 Texas Elizabeth "Libby" Jones, 36
Donna Weis 
Timothy Gribble  executed

Timothy Gribble was sentenced to die for the September 9, 1987 rape and strangulation of Elizabeth "Libby" Jone of Clear Lake Shores, Texas.  Gribble was working as a roofer at Libby's home while it was being remodeled.  He told police he returned to the house several hours after work and raped Jones after she let him in to search for the wallet he claimed to have left behind.  He admitted to later driving her to an isolated area and strangling her with the belt of her robe.  He was arrested on 9/30/87 and led police to her body after he confessed.  Libby's purse was recovered from a nearby creek.  Gribble had previously served less than a year and a half of a 5 year sentence on a rape and false imprisonment conviction and was released under mandatory release in May 1985.  He has also been indicted in the June 13, 1987 strangulation death of Donna Weis in Galveston County.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
March 15, 2000 California Annette Selix, 11
Annette Edwards
Patricia Moore
Linda Slavik 
Darrell Keith Rich executed

Darrell Rich was convicted of murdering 3 women and an 11-year-old girl in Shasta County, California.  "This is a day that has been long in coming for the citizens of Shasta County," McGregor Scott, the Shasta County district attorney, said after the execution date was set. "This man wreaked havoc over the course of 1978. There is no one more deserving of the death penalty than Darrell Keith Rich." Rich's 1981 trial was moved to Yolo County because of extensive news coverage in Shasta County.  Rich, 44, of Cottonwood, sexually assaulted and killed girls and young women in the Redding area between June and August 1978 and became known as the "Hilltop Rapist". He did not deny most of the attacks and offered a defense based on his mental condition.  He was convicted of three 1st-degree murders, one 2nd-degree murder, sexual assaults on 4 other women and an attempted sexual assault on a 5th.  One of the victims was 11-year-old Annette Selix, whose mother had previously employed Rich. The girl left her Cottonwood home one day in August 1978 to buy groceries. Her partially clad body was found the next day under a 105-foot bridge, from which she had apparently been thrown to her death. An autopsy determined that she had been alive at the time he threw her off the bridge and that she survived for a time after landing on the rocky area. "I'm just glad it has come to this and that it's finally going to be over," the girl's mother, Sharon Tidwell, said.  Annette's stepfather David Tidwell, said, "We're wasting time -- just kill him.  He better pray there's not a life after death -- if there is, he better hide."  Other relatives of Rich's victims echoed such comments, and the courts over the years have taken note of the brutal nature of Rich's crimes, which included beatings, a shooting, strangulation and bludgeoning.  "To even the most hardened eye, the crimes were almost unimaginably brutal -- savage attacks on defenseless young women, all sexually ravaged," 9th U.S. District Court of Appeals Judge Michael Daly Hawkins wrote.  The other murder victims were Annette Edwards and Patricia Moore of Redding, both beaten to death, and Linda Slavik, who disappeared from a Chico bar and was found shot to death at a dump in Shasta County. The Moore killing was ruled to be 2nd-degree murder.  None of Rich's relatives spoke at his clemency hearing and his lawyers did not attend. The only people who spoke on his behalf were death penalty opponents, whose comments drew hisses and a few walkouts from angry victims' relatives.  "We've been unjustly sentenced to 22 years of hell," said Linda Hines, Annette Selix's aunt. "Please, please, put all of us out of our much-prolonged misery."  Mike Yates, whose sister, Linda Slavik, was murdered by Rich, said the case has meant "22 years of legalized torture" for his family.  A woman who survived an attack by Rich sobbed, her hand pressed over her face, as a victim's rights coordinator read her written statement to the board recounting how she had pleaded with Rich for her life, begging him to spare her for the sake of her baby daughter.  In her statement, the woman described in poignant detail how the attack has haunted her life, reaching into her dreams and shadowing her relationship with her husband.  "We are never alone. Darrell Rich is always there between us," she wrote. 

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
March 15, 2000 Arizona Russell Dempsey
Cecil Newkirk
Patrick Poland executed

On May 24, 1977, two Purolator guards, Russell Dempsey and Cecil Newkirk, left Phoenix in an armored van on their run to banks in Prescott, Sedona and Flagstaff. At the Bumblebee Road exit on Interstate-17, they were stopped by Michael and Patrick Poland, who were disguised as highway patrolmen and were driving a car fitted with emergency lights. The Polands took the guards captive and removed close to $300,000 in cash. On May 25, 1977, authorities found the abandoned Purolator van. That morning, Michael rented a boat at the Lake Mead marina and piloted the boat to a little used landing, where he met his brother. They put the guards into canvas bags, took them across the lake, and dumped them into the water. The bodies surfaced 3 weeks later in a cove on the Nevada side of the lake. The Polands were convicted in federal court on robbery and kidnapping charges, and in state court on the murder charges.  The Polands stole about $280,000, but only $127,000 was accounted for when they were arrested the next year.  Michael Poland was executed on June 16, 1999.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
March 16, 2000 Virginia Jose Cavazos, 50  Lonnie Weeks executed

Lonnie Weeks was convicted of murdering a state trooper during a 1993 traffic stop in Dale City, Virginia.  Weeks, 26, shot Trooper Jose Cavazos six times in the back, as he was walking away, with a Glock 9mm handgun, using hollow-point bullets known on the street as "man-stoppers."  Weeks was a passenger in a car being driven by his uncle, Louis Dukes.  The officer had pulled over the car for speeding on Interstate 95.  Weeks and Dukes were captured within an hour of the crime, after being tracked by dogs to a nearby motel.  Weeks was convicted of capital murder, grand larceny and illegal possession of a handgun.  One state trooper describes the upcoming execution as "an eye for an eye."  Virginia State Trooper Jose M. Cavazos was assigned to traffic patrol in the Dale City area on Feb. 23, 1993, when he became the 45th state trooper killed in the line of duty.  Senior state trooper Richard Powell, who worked the midnight shift along with Cavazos, was called to the scene at the Dale City exit ramp off Interstate 95 after learning his friend had been killed - the victim of hollow-tipped bullets known as "man-stoppers." He said the loss of an officer is always a hard reality to accept.  "It's something that you accept when you take the job," Powell said Tuesday. "When it happens, I think, reality sets in."  Cavazos, originally from Edinburg, Texas, began working for the state in 1969 with the Department of Motor Vehicles.  After entering trooper training in 1985, Cavazos began patrolling Prince William County on July 18, 1986.  He was promoted a year later.  "He was a good man," Powell said. "He was the kind of person you want wearing a blue-and-gray uniform, out there enforcing the law."  In 1993 at age 50, Cavazos could have retired, Powell said, but he wanted to earn money to put his children through college. That aspect of his life made his murder that much more senseless, Powell said.  "Jose always had a smile on his face," Powell said. "He was easy-going; he really seemed to enjoy life. ... He was a big man. He was a very impressive figure in uniform. He demanded respect and authority when he walked up to someone."  According to court records, at around 12:40 a.m. the morning of the shooting, Cavazos pulled over a speeding 1987 Volkswagen Jetta traveling from Washington, D.C., to North Carolina. The car pulled over on the Dale City exit ramp in Prince William County just off the interstate. When Cavazos approached the Jetta, driven by Weeks' his uncle Lewis J. Dukes Jr., he asked Weeks to get out and the North Carolina man complied.  Weeks, carrying a loaded Glock Model 17, 9 mm semi-automatic weapon, fired at least 6 bullets at Cavazos, 2 of which entered his body beside the right and left should straps of the protective vest the trooper was wearing, records state.  The car stopped by Casavos turned out to be stolen.  "And as I stepped out the car, it was like something had just took over me that I couldn't understand," Weeks testified at his 1994 trial. "It was like something - I felt like something - the best way I can describe it is like something - I can't say something. I knew what it - well, to me, I felt like it was evil - evil spirit or something."  Both of Cavazos' children, Leslie Susan Cavazos-Almagia, 26, of California, and Trevor Virgilio Cavazos, 23, of Virginia, have written letters to the governor asking that Weeks' life be spared.  The trooper's wife, Linda Cavazos, has expressed her desire for the state's punishment to be carried out.  Powell said that in a state agency with 1,500 troopers, it is impossible to know how everyone feels about the scheduled execution of Weeks. If the execution is carried out, he hopes it will act as a deterrent, he said.  "To have someone just come out and shoot him because they were afraid to go to jail for a stolen car...," Powell said, pausing before adding, "For me personally, I feel like it's closure. We reap what we sow, I guess. Police put themselves out there every night so people can sleep at night. We have to have something that makes people think twice."  Craig W. Floyd, chairman of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, a Washington, D.C.-based organization, said he remembers Cavazos' murder because the case was local, and the trooper's wife has attended several tributes at the D.C. memorial.  "I remember how devastating it was, for (Linda Cavazos) in particular," Floyd said. "It shattered a life. A life of a family."  He said he hopes Weeks' execution will bring "closure'' to Cavazos' wife.  Floyd also spoke about the "solidarity and support" of fellow officers when one of their own is killed in the line of duty. He said officers from all over the country will travel when a fellow officer is killed, as was the case following the murders of Capitol police officers John Gibson and Jacob Chestnut in July 1998.  "There is this amazing sense of brotherhood and sisterhood that comes from being a law enforcement officer," Floyd said. "Their mortality is very fragile and when an officer is gunned down in the manner Trooper Cavazos was ... it reminds all of these officers that it could happen to them at any time."  

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
March 16, 2000 Ohio Deborah Thorpe
Julie Schrey 
Clifton White stayed

Clifton White was convicted in the Dec. 24, 1994 murder of Deborah Thorpe.  White also shot and killed another woman, Julie Schrey, who was the mother of his ex-girlfriend, Heather Kawczk. White told police he accidentally shot and killed Julie, then shot Deborah to spare her the memory of seeing her friend killed.  The women went to White's Akron apartment to collect Heather's belongings on Christmas Eve when White shot them with 12-gauge deer slugs.  After the shootings, White took a shotgun to a restaurant to confront Heather. When Michael Thorpe, a co-worker and Deborah Thorpe's son, tried to intervene, White shot him in the head, but he survived. 

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
March 22, 2000 Texas Leona McBee, 47
Libby Best, 24
Reba Best, 4
Tassy Boone 14
George Barry, 63
Dennis Bagwell  stayed

A San Antonio man convicted in the 1995 slayings of 4 relatives has had his execution date set for March 22.  Dennis Bagwell, 35, was found guilty in the September 1995 murders of his mother, Leona McBee, 47; her niece, Libby Best, 24; Best's daughter, Reba, 4; and Tassy Boone 14, the granddaughter of McBee's common-law, husband, Ronald Boone.  The 4 were killed in their home north of Stockdale in Wilson County after Bagwell tried to rob his mother.  Libby Best was shot twice in the head, her 4-year-old daughter was beaten to death with a metal exercise bar and the other victims were strangled and their necks were crushed.  An Atascosa County jury, trying him in November 1996 in a change of venue, recommended the death penalty.  Bagwell, at the time of the murders, was on parole from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. He had served less than 8 years for a 1982 attempted capital murder in Hidalgo County, where he was convicted of robbing and slitting the throat of an undocumented immigrant.  In 1997, he was convicted of kicking to death George Barry, a 63-year-old janitor in a Seguin bar two weeks before the quadruple murder, and was sentenced to life in prison.  There are still appeals pending and the execution is not likely to take place on this date.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
March 22, 2000 Missouri Frances Keaton, 58
Christine Schurman, 48
James Hampton executed

James Hampton was convicted and sentenced to death for the 1992 murder of Frances Keaton. At approximately 9:00 p.m. on the evening of August 2, 1992, Hampton parked a green Pontiac Bonneville in the lot of Fellowship Baptist Church in Warrenton, Missouri. Hampton told passersby that he was having car trouble, but declined offers of assistance, saying that he had a bicycle. Leaving a note on his windshield that read: "Car trouble. Gone for help. S.G. Gambosi," Hampton rode the bicycle about three miles to the neighborhood where Frances Keaton, a 58-year old hairdresser lived. Hampton knew, through his acquaintance with Frances Keaton's realtor-- that Frances and her fiancée, Allen Mulholland, had access to a checking account containing at least $30,000. Using a copy of Frances' house key provided to him by the realtor, Hampton entered her house dressed in dark clothing, wearing a stocking cap over his face, and carrying a sawed-off shotgun. Some time after 10 p.m., Hampton awoke Frances and Allen Mulholland, who were asleep in their bedroom, and told them: "I've come here to rob you." After binding their hands and feet, Hampton demanded $30,000 from them. They replied that they didn't have that much money, but Frances said she thought that she could get $10,000 from her pastor. Hampton untied her and allowed her to get dressed. When she attempted to escape, Hampton overpowered her, and eventually placed a coat hanger around her neck and threatened to kill her if she again resisted him. Hampton told Allen Mulholland that he had a police scanner and that, if the police learned of the kidnapping, he would kill Frances. Hampton then took Frances outside to her car and drove her towards the realtor's farm in Callaway County. While they were driving, at 1:15 a.m. on August 3, Hampton had Frances call her pastor on Allen Mulholland's cellular phone and ask him if he could provide her with $10,000 cash by nine o'clock that morning. The pastor called her back on the cellular phone, but all contact with Frances was lost at 2:24 a.m. At some point during the drive, Hampton learned from his police scanner that law enforcement authorities had been alerted to the kidnapping. According to his own testimony, Hampton had decided in advance to kill his hostage if police learned of the kidnapping before he received the ransom. Carrying through with his plan, Hampton bound and blindfolded Frances and took her to a wooded area one half mile from the realtor's farm. Once there, he killed Frances with several hammer blows to her head and then buried her body. The morning after killing Frances, Hampton drove her car back to Warrenton, and attempted to retrieve the green Pontiac he had left at the Fellowship Baptist Church. He abandoned his attempt when he saw that police were keeping the car under surveillance. Late that night, after police had impounded the car, he was apprehended attempting to enter the locked impound lot, but gave an alias and was released. On Sept. 16, 1992, he killed Christine Schurman, 48, of Wantage Township, whose body was found by her husband, Dr. Alan Schurman. She died of a single bullet wound to the head, also after a failed kidnapping attempt.  Hampton was finally captured on Dec. 19, 1992, one day after he was featured on the television show "America's Most Wanted." A New Jersey pastor recognized Hampton from the television program and alerted police.  As he was about to be taken into custody, Hampton shot himself in the head, injuring his brain's frontal lobes. Hampton has dropped his appeals, stating that he does not want to live his life out in prison or wait 15 years for his execution to take place.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
March 23, 2000 Pennsylvania unnamed woman
her 9 year old son 
John Koehler stayed

In April 1996, John Koehler was convicted of 1st-degree murder and sentenced to death for the murders of his girlfriend and her 9-year-old son in April 1995. There are still appeals pending and the execution is not likely to take place on this date. 

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
March 23, 2000 Tennessee Cary Ann Medlin, 8 Robert Coe stayed

One of the death sentences that U.S. District Judge John T. Nixon reversed, prompting calls for his impeachment, was reinstated by a federal appeals court. A three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 3-0 that Nixon wrongly reversed the conviction that Robert Glen Coe received for raping and murdering an 8-year-old girl in rural West Tennessee in 1979. The appeals court reinstated both the conviction and the death sentence that a Shelby County jury gave Coe in 1981 for the torture-murder of Cary Ann Medlin.  In February 1981, Coe was convicted of the Labor Day 1979 kidnapping, rape and murder of 8-year-old Cary Ann. U.S. District Judge John Nixon in 1996 threw out Coe's convictions for 1st-degree murder, aggravated rape and aggravated kidnapping. Nixon's ruling -- which angered supporters of the death penalty -- wiped out Coe's death sentence for the murder conviction and his 2 life in prison sentences for the rape and kidnapping convictions. Coe told police in 1979 that he kidnapped the girl, sexually assaulted her and cut her throat. He also said that just before he killed her, she said to him, "Jesus loves you."  He tried unsuccessfully to withdraw the confession and was convicted. Tennessee appeals courts upheld Coe's conviction. But Nixon threw it out, saying the trial jury was given improper instructions on when capital punishment should be applied, including on the issue of whether the killing was done with malice. Medlin's mother, Charlotte Stout of Greenfield, Tenn. said she was "really relieved" by the appeals court action, since Nixon's December 1996 ruling would have given Coe a new trial. "I couldn't imagine going through that again," Stout said.  Coe admitted, three days after Cary Medlin disappeared in September 1979, that he lured her into his car as she rode a bicycle near her parents' home in Greenfield, Tenn. Coe, who had a history of mental illness, told authorities that he sexually molested the girl, then tried to choke her and, when that did not work, stabbed her and watched her bleed to death. Nixon reversed Coe's conviction and death sentence in December 1996 because of what he called errors the trial judge made in instructing the jury. Nixon said the judge at Coe's trial did not give the jury enough guidance when he defined the terms "heinous, atrocious and cruel," "reasonable doubt" and "malice." The 6th Circuit panel disagreed with Nixon on each of those points. Nixon has reversed five death sentences imposed by Tennessee juries, and higher federal courts have affirmed his rulings in four of those cases. But his reversal of Coe's conviction and death sentence stirred a grass-roots campaign, based in Greenfield, calling for his impeachment. Nixon has a well-known anti-death penalty stance and has accepted awards for such.  Both houses of the Tennessee legislature jumped on the impeach-Nixon bandwagon, and Stout went to Washington to testify before a congressional committee. But Congress took no action against the judge. Nixon, 65, has now "taken senior status," or semi-retirement, as a trial judge.  3/20/00 - Coe's execution was stayed by Judge Nixon.  A spokeswoman for the state Attorney General's office said the state will ask a federal appeals court to vacate the stay of execution. If the request to vacate the stay is granted, Coe's execution would be back on as scheduled. If the federal appeals court denies the state's request, the execution will be put on hold while Coe pursues another appeal.  3/21/00 - The 6th Circuit Court vacated the stay, saying Judge Nixon had no authority to issue it and sent the appeal back to another federal judge.  3/22/00 - A federal judge this morning halted the execution of Robert Glen Coe, just 16 hours before he was scheduled to become the 1st person to be put to death by the state in four decades.  U.S. District Judge Aleta A. Trauger said she needed more time to consider claims by Coe's attorneys that state courts had not properly reviewed whether the convicted child-killer is competent enough to be executed.  In a ruling issued at 9:30 a.m. this morning, Trauger wrote: "The court finds that some 16 hours is not sufficient time within which to review 5 inches of briefs and other papers filed by the parties, 2 feet of trial transcript and 4 videotapes." Coe had been scheduled to die by lethal injection at 1 a.m tomorrow. Trauger had scheduled a hearing on the competency matter - and whether Coe had the right to have an attorney present at the execution - this morning at 9:30 a.m.  Instead, she issued the 3-page decision. One of his attorneys, Robert Hutton, pumped his fist as he bolted from Trauger's courtroom this morning, mouthing the word, "Yes." Hutton declined comment. Attorneys for the state could not be reached for comment.  Trauger, quoting a past Supreme Court case, noted that she recognizes the stay "frustrates both the state's sovereign power to punish offenders and their good faith effort to honor constitutional rights.  But she also wrote that "the Supreme Court has made it clear that a district court must enter a stay of execution" when it harbors any doubt about a case. Trauger said wrote that she "intends to give this case its first priority and will decide it promptly."  The Tennessee Attorney General's office filed a motion with the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to vacate Trauger's stay, but the appeals court refused.  As all the legal wrangling went on in Nashville, the girl's family held a memorial service at her grave in Greenfield, about 100 miles north of Memphis.  They had planned to travel to Nashville to witness Coe's execution. "I keep hearing the words 'due process' and 'I have to be fair.' I understand all that with my head, but my heart doesn't really hear it. I want it to be over,'' said Charlotte Stout, the girl's mother.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
March 23, 2000 Oklahoma Karen Marie Lauffenburger, 21 Kelly Rogers executed

The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals has set March 23 as the execution date for Kelly Lamont Rogers in the stabbing death of a Stillwater woman.  The court, acting Thursday on a request this week by Attorney General Drew Edmondson, noted that Rogers had exhausted all his state and federal appeals.  Rogers, from Bartlesville, was sentenced to death for the Dec. 19, 1990, murder of Lauffenburger at her apartment in Stillwater. Lauffenburger was found dead a short time after delivering a pizza to Rogers' girlfriend's apartment. The 21-year-old Oklahoma State University student had been stabbed 9 times in the chest, neck and abdomen.  Investigators found bank records showing that Lauffenburger's bank account had practically been emptied at an ATM machine between the time she left to deliver the pizza and when her body was found.  At trial, Rogers' girlfriend, Audra Lynn Todd, testified that Rogers told her he was going to rob the pizza delivery person. She told the court that Rogers bought crack cocaine and drank wine after telling her he had just killed "a pizza girl."  Lauffenburger had worked part time for about 5 weeks for Buy 'N Bye Pizza when she was killed.  A jury of 6 women and 6 men took 80 minutes to convict the 23-year-old Rogers of kidnapping, rape and murder charges in December of 1991. Along with the death sentence, he received 325 years in prison -- 150 years for rape, 75 years for robbery, 50 years for robbery of the pizza money and 50 years for stealing Lauffenburger's car.  Prosecutors said Rogers raped Lauffenburger while she was alive and again after she was stabbed.  Several members of Lauffenburger's family have indicated that they will attend Rogers' execution.  3/23/00 - Several of Lauffenburger's relatives, including her parents, witnessed the execution.  A lengthy letter written by the victim's mother, Pat Lauffenburger, was distributed by death penalty supporters outside the prison walls.  "To our misfortune, you never knew our Karen," the letter read. "By this letter, I hope to give you a small picture of this girl we were proud to call daughter and what her life was like before Rogers ended it that December."

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
March 27, 2000 Ohio Dave Kreamelmeyer
Christine Teetzel 
Bob Kinney
Gerald Clemons stayed

On the morning of December 15, 1995, Gerald L. Clemons, went to the main office of his employer, Trans-Continental Systems, Inc., in Evendale, and fatally shot three co-workers. Clemons was subsequently convicted of three counts of aggravated murder and sentenced to death. Clemons had worked at various jobs in both Florida and the Cincinnati area. By November 1995, Clemons had become a company driver for Trans-Continental. On the evening of December 13, 1995, a dispatcher for Trans-Continental phoned Clemons at home and asked him to pick up a load in Ironton, which is a regular run for Trans-Continental. Clemons declined to make the pickup and John Stirsman, chief dispatcher, told Clemons that he was putting the company “in a bad spot.” The company apparently then made other arrangements for the Ironton run. The next day, December 14, Clemons phoned Stirsman several times hoping to secure a new run. During one conversation, Clemons asked Stirsman why another dispatcher, Dave Kreamelmeyer, was “screwing him around.” Stirsman replied that Kreamelmeyer was not doing that to him. Stirsman told Clemons that he was saving the Ironton run for the Clemons again that evening. While Clemons thanked Stirsman for assigning him the Ironton run again, Clemons never showed up to make the run. Clemons later testified that he did not make the Ironton run because “it wasn’t a good run for the mere fact that there is no good roads going that way and all secondary roads instead of interstate highways and it burns up a lot of time.” At 7:45 a.m. on the morning of December 15, 1995, Clemons called Trans-Continental, according to an entry made by Kreamelmeyer on the company’s telephone log sheet. Evelyn Dinkgrave, who works in accounts payable for Trans-Continental, testified that she overheard Kreamelmeyer have a loud conversation with a driver at 7:45 a.m. that morning, and she observed that Kreamelmeyer “was kind of angry.” After Kreamelmeyer hung up the phone, Dinkgrave testified that “he got more vocal about how mad he was that this guy had not been on time to pick up a load” the night before. At trial, Clemons testified that during their phone conversation, Kreamelmeyer appeared to be angry and informed Clemons that he was not going to give Clemons a load to deliver that day. At approximately 8:15 a.m. that morning, Clemons entered the Trans-Continental garage and asked the mechanic whether his truck was ready for work. Both the mechanic and  another driver testified that Clemons had a cream-colored bag attached to his waist at that time and he appeared to be in a “normal mood.” A secretary observed Clemons in the administrative offices of Trans-Continental that morning. Clemons waved and smiled at her, then walked away. Moments later, the secretary heard Kreamelmeyer say, “I’m going to have this man arrested for felonious assault.” Then, she heard gunshots and heard Kreamelmeyer say, “What did I do, I didn’t do anything.” She testified that she heard more gunshots and heard someone say, “Oh, my God.” A woman who shared an office with Christine Teetzel in the Trans-Continental administrative offices where both worked on payroll testified that she heard Kreamelmeyer arguing with someone around 8:15 that morning and heard “a punch, like a bang.” Both she and Teetzel stood up and heard Kreamelmeyer say, “Assault, call 911.” As she and Teetzel tried to phone for help, they heard shots and both women hid under their desks. Teetzel pulled her chair underneath her desk in an attempt to hide herself. The other woman testified that as they hid under their desks, she saw Clemons walk up to Teetzel’s desk, move her chair out of the way, look under the desk, and shoot her. As Clemons turned around, the woman thought she was next, but Clemons proceeded upstairs. A woman who worked in accounts receivable for Trans-Continental on the second floor of the administrative office building. On the morning of December 15, she heard some commotion on the first floor around 8:15 a.m. and began walking downstairs. Before she made it to the first floor, she saw Clemons shoot Kreamelmeyer in the back. She ran back upstairs, panic-stricken, and could hear Clemons climbing the staircase. She then fled into an office and stood up against a concrete wall. Clemons walked up to her and told her that he was not going to hurt her, and that “he was only after the ones who screwed him over.” Clemons left the room. She was going back downstairs when she heard dispatcher Bob Kinney scream for help from his office. She found Kinney in the dispatcher’s office, shot twice, holding his chest, and asking for help. She saw Kreamelmeyer lying on the floor too so she ran back upstairs to call 911. A female Glendale police officer was working off-duty near the Trans-Continental office at the time of the shootings. Upon hearing a radio dispatch, she responded to the scene and followed an Evendale police officer into the Trans-Continental parking lot. She found Teetzel lying wounded on the front lawn of the premises. She heard Teetzel name Gerald Clemons as her assailant. As she approached the office building with the Evendale officer, she noticed Clemons smiling and walking steadily towards her. At that point, she heard Teetzel exclaim again, “That’s the bastard that shot me.” She testified that Clemons told her, “I’m the guy you are looking for. I just shot the people,” and he motioned his head toward the office building. She handcuffed Clemons and turned him over to Evendale police officers. All three shooting victims, Kreamelmeyer, Kinney, and Teetzel, died of gunshot wounds. Bullets recovered during the autopsies and casings found at the crime scene were determined to have been fired from Clemons’s gun, which was found lying on top of his car trunk in the Trans-Continental parking lot that morning.  There are still appeals pending and the execution is not likely to take place on this date.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
March 28, 2000 Pennsylvania Rashawn Bass, 23  Antyane Robinson stayed

Antyane Robinson was sentenced to death on April 1, 1997, for shooting his former girlfriend's boyfriend, 23-year-old Rashawn Bass, in Carlisle, Cumberland County. There are still appeals pending and the execution is not likely to take place on this date.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
March 28, 2000 Illinois unnamed woman  Patrick Wright  stayed

Patrick Wright was convicted in the 1983 murder of a Coles County woman and the attempted murder of her daughter.  Wright argued the judge and prosecutor in his case had conflicts of interest and his attorney did a poor job, but the court disagreed. This execution will be stayed due to the moratorium on executions enacted by Illinois governor George Ryan.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
March 29, 2000 Pennsylvania Guy Goodman, 74
unnamed woman 
Carolyn King stayed

Carolyn King was sentenced to death for her role in the killing of Guy Goodman, 74, a Palmyra, Lebanon County, florist. King also received a life sentence in Nevada for aiding in the kidnapping and killing of a Bismarck, N.D., woman. There are still appeals pending and the execution is not likely to take place on this date.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
March 30, 2000 Pennsylvania Guy Goodman, 74  Brad Martin stayed

Brad Martin was sentenced to death for his role in the killing of Guy Goodman, 74, a Palmyra, Lebanon County, florist.  There are still appeals pending and the execution is not likely to take place on this date.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
March 31, 2000 Ohio Edward Kozlowski   Troy Tenace stayed

Troy Tenace was twice sentenced to death for the murder of Edward Kozlowski. Troy was first sentenced to death for Edward's murder in 1994, but his conviction was reversed by the Lucas County Court of Appeals in July 1997. Troy was retried and again found guilty. There are still appeals pending and the execution is not likely to take place on this date.

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