January 2001 Executions
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Eleven killers were executed in January 2001.  They had murdered at least 13 people.
Seven killers received stays of execution in January 2001.  They have murdered at least 7 people.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
January  4, 2001 Oklahoma Rhonda Timmons, 19  Robert Clayton  stayed

An Oklahoma inmate won a 30-day stay of execution Wednesday barely 24 hours before his scheduled death for a murder 15 years ago. The stay, granted by Lt. Gov. Mary Fallin, came in anticipation of DNA tests on recovered evidence that could either clear Robert William Clayton or support his conviction. Clayton, 39, was scheduled to die by lethal injection at 9 p.m. Thursday at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester. He was convicted of the 1985 murder of Rhonda Kay Timmons, 19, at a Tulsa apartment complex. Fallin granted the stay in the absence of Gov. Frank Keating, who was in Florida for the college national championship football game between Oklahoma and Florida State. Keating spokesman Phil Bacharach said the governor supported Fallin's decision. "The attorneys in October had asked for DNA testing of certain evidence that wasn't frankly recovered until today," Bacharach said. "This will simply allow that DNA testing to be done." Defense attorney James Hankins of Enid said the recovered evidence included a knife as well as a bloody sock and overalls Clayton purportedly wore during the crime. The evidence was to be examined by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. The stay stopped what would have been the 1st of a record 8 executions set for January in Oklahoma. Clayton, who has maintained his innocence, could eventually go free if DNA tests on blood on the sock, knife and overalls prove it did not belong to Timmons, Hankins said. "The state's whole theory of the case was that Robert Clayton murdered this Timmons woman and that he was wearing the socks and the overalls," he said. Prosecutors relied on blood typing - the blood type on the evidence matched Timmons' - to argue for conviction, Hankins said. The state Pardon and Parole Board denied Clayton's clemency request in late November. Hankins had requested a 60-day reprieve, the maximum allowed in Oklahoma and a federal appeal was pending Wednesday. Clayton was an apartment complex groundskeeper convicted of killing Timmons on June 25, 1985. Timmons was stabbed repeatedly and suffered a skull fracture. Prosecutors said during his trial that Clayton came upon Timmons as she was sunbathing. He beat her and stabbed her 13 times before strangling her with her bathing suit top. Timmons' husband, Bill, found her in front of their infant son's crib after he came home for lunch. The inside of the couple's apartment was covered in blood, authorities said. The child is now 16. A court reporter and the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office disagreed on who was responsible for keeping up with the evidence. Hankins said he was told the evidence was found at the Tulsa Police Department. "It would be comical if it wasn't pathetic," Hankins said before the reprieve was granted. Hankins has said Clayton had a low IQ and mental capacity. Clayton's family members, who traveled from Mississippi for his clemency hearing, said they do not believe he was capable of such an act. Timmons' family said Clayton was undeserving of clemency. UPDATE: Lt. Gov. Mary Fallin lifted the stay of execution for convicted killer Robert William Clayton on 1/19/01, three days after officials said DNA evidence confirmed Clayton’s guilt. Attorney General Drew Edmondson asked the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals to reschedule Clayton’s execution for Feb. 6. Fallin granted the 30-day stay Jan. 3, hours before Clayton, 39, was scheduled to be executed for killing Rhonda Kay Timmons, 19, at her Tulsa apartment on June 25, 1985. Fallin approved the stay after learning that misplaced evidence had been found in an evidence locker in the Tulsa County district attorney’s office. The evidence included a bloody sock, overalls and a knife. The DNA testing was done by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. The OSBI compared a blood stain on the sock worn by Clayton with samples of Timmons’ hair, Edmondson said. The blood on the sock matched the DNA profile of Timmons’ hair samples. The overalls had no blood stains on them because Clayton had washed them after the crime, Edmondson said. He said testimony at the trial was that the sock had fallen next to the washing machine. Clayton’s attorneys had asked for the DNA testing in October and December but the evidence was missing. Gov. Frank Keating, who was in Florida attending the Orange Bowl, agreed with Fallin’s decision to issue the stay until testing could be completed. Tulsa District Judge Linda Morrissey authorized another DNA test to be completed by Jan. 29 by a California laboratory. Edmondson said he doesn’t expect a different result. Clayton was a groundskeeper at the South Glen Apartments where Timmons lived when she was killed. She was stabbed 12 times in the chest, neck, side and arms and suffered a fractured skull and large bruise on the back of her head.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
January 9, 2001 Texas Melisa Ann Garcia, 23  Jack Wade Clark  executed

Jack Clark was sentenced to die for the rape and stabbing murder of 23-year-old Melisa Ann Garcia in October of 1989. Clark, a transient, told police he spotted Melissa at a telephone booth, asked her for a light for his cigarette, then stabbed her in the shoulder before forcing her into her car. She drove to an abandoned area, where she was raped and stabbed through the heart. In a brief final statement while strapped to the death chamber gurney, Clark expressed remorse and prayed. "I would like to say to the family that I am sorry and I do ask their forgiveness," he said as five members of his victim's family stood a few feet away watching through a window. He invited people to attend his funeral Mass and then recited a short prayer, closing with the words "peace and goodness." He sputtered and gasped slightly before slipping into unconsciousness. He was pronounced death at 6:27 p.m., 9 minutes after the lethal drugs started flowing. "If we confess our sins, He is just and true to forgive us of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness," Clark said. Gov. Rick Perry, in his 1st execution case since succeeding President-elect Bush 3 weeks ago, cleared the way for the execution when he rejected Clark's request for clemency. Clark, 37, led police to the body of 23-year-old Melisa Ann Garcia of Slaton, saying he spotted her body in some tall weeds off a highway while making a U-turn. "But the way he described the scene, he almost had to be the murderer," Rebecca Atchley, the former assistant prosecutor in Lubbock who tried Clark, said. Clark was arrested and confessed to the murder but insisted from death row he was innocent. "I know I didn't do that," Clark said in an interview last week. "I know for a fact I didn't rape that girl. Never happened." Recent DNA tests on evidence tied him to the crime scene. Clark contended the evidence was planted. Garcia was making a telephone call outside a convenience store the early hours of Oct. 15, 1989, when Clark approached her and asked if she had a light for a cigarette. When she finished her call, testimony showed he stabbed her in the shoulder, forced her into her own car, drove away and repeatedly raped her before fatally stabbing her in the heart. Clark said he signed his confession in frustration. "I was truly seeking a way out," he said. Clark, brandishing a knife at officers, was arrested following a brief highway police chase a few weeks after he told officers he spotted the body. "There was no possible way this guy could have seen the body," said former Lubbock District Attorney Travis Ware, who went to the murder scene. "Sometimes these guys will commit a crime like this and get to be the hero by discovering the body. That apparently was what he was up to. "Melisa Ann Garcia was a totally innocent victim of circumstance." While in the county jail, Clark bragged about the rape and murder to another inmate, who testified against him at his trial. Evidence also showed Clark was a military deserter, was accused of assaulting and attempting to rape a relative, threatening child welfare workers, neglecting and abusing his children and of threatening and assaultive behavior toward neighbors. He also had a history of making weapons while in jail, trying to intimidate guards and fighting with inmates. Garcia's death was not the 1st murder tragedy for her family. Her 69-year-old grandmother, Elizabeth Alvarado, was beaten to death during a robbery at her home a year before Garcia was killed. The man convicted of that killing, Adolph Gil Hernandez, is set for execution next month. "We have been waiting so long for this day to come," Josie Vargas, Garcia's aunt and Alvarado's daughter, told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. "It's been terrible. I don't know how we survived." "That made this case really tragic," Atchley said. "2 victims of vicious murders in one family. It's very horrific."

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
January 9, 2001 Oklahoma Ernestine Jones, 84  Eddie Trice  executed

On Friday, February 13, 1987, Trice spent most of the day drinking with his roommate, Archie Landon, and Landon's brother Walter. Trice and Archie Landon returned to their apartment between 5:30 and 6:00 p.m. Archie fell asleep on the couch and did not see Trice again until early the next morning. At some point later that evening, Trice left the apartment and drove to a house occupied by Ernestine Jones, an 84-year-old woman, and her 63-year-old, mentally retarded son Emanuel. Trice parked one block away, then walked to the Jones' house and entered through a bedroom window on the northwest side of the house. Once inside, Trice severely beat Ernestine Jones with a set of nunchucks (or nunchakus, a martial arts weapon comprised of two pieces of wood attached by a string or chain) and raped her before making off with $500. Ernestine, who was only 5' 1" tall and weighed 105 pounds, suffered a fracture to one of her eye sockets, fractures to both her lower and upper jaw, neck injuries, a crushed rib cage, internal bruises to her heart and lungs, two broken fingers, extensive bruises in the genital area, and scratches in the vaginal canal and cervix area. Although an autopsy suggested Ernestine likely survived for several hours after the attack, she ultimately died of the multiple blunt force injuries to her head, neck, and chest. Ernestine's 63-year-old retarded son, Emanuel Jones, was also severely beaten after attempting to come to his mother's aid, according to police. Trice's roommate called police after Trice returned home with a lot of money and claimed to have whipped a homosexual with his nunchakus. The roommate said Trice had hidden his bloody clothes in a nearby abandoned house. Trice was arrested 4 days after the murder and later confessed, said Oklahoma City police inspector Eric Mullenix. He was sentenced to death in June 1987. "I have not the words to describe the brutality and savagery of what I observed in the crime scene," Mullenix wrote in October to oppose clemency for Trice. Mullenix said Trice never showed remorse. The state Pardon and Parole Board rejected the clemency request in November. Jurors ruled that the death penalty was warranted because the crime met 4 of 8 aggravating circumstances. Trice had a previous felony conviction involving the use of threat of violence and knowingly created a great risk of death to more than one person during the crime. Jurors also said the killing was a heinous, atrocious or cruel act and deemed Trice a continuing threat to society. 

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
January 11, 2001 Florida Sharilyn Ritchie, 34 Robert Glock executed

Sharilyn Ritchie, a 34-year-old Manatee County schoolteacher, had just parked her car at a Bradenton mall on Aug. 16, 1983, when she was kidnapped at gunpoint by Glock and a cohort, Carl Puiatti. They stole her wedding ring, forced her to withdraw $100 from a bank, then drove her car north 60 miles to Pasco County. They released her in an orange grove just south of Dade City and handed her a sun visor, her purse and her husband's baseball mitt. They started to drive away, then decided to kill her because she could identify them. Glock and Puiatti returned three times and fired numerous shots at Mrs. Ritchie. She managed to walk about 10 yards before collapsing for the last time. When authorities found her body, she was clutching the leather mitt to her chest. 5 days later, Glock and Puiatti were picked up by a New Jersey state trooper who could not read the license plate on Mrs. Ritchie's car. Glock and Puiatti both confessed to the murder, and in 1984 they were convicted and sentenced to death by a Pasco circuit judge. Puiatti, now 38, is still on death row. A date for his execution has not been set. The relatives of Sharilyn Ritchie said Wednesday that they will take no pleasure in Glock's execution. "We forgive him," said Mrs. Ritchie's sister, Rebecca Burke. "We have no animosity for him." Glock said his biggest regret was that he "didn't find God sooner. Mrs. Ritchie wouldn't be dead." 

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
January 11, 2001 Oklahoma Detra Pettus
Gloria Jean Leathers 
Wanda Jean Allen  executed

Wanda Jean Allen's victim and one-time lover, Gloria Jean Leathers, died four days after being shot at close range in 1988 by Allen in front of the Village Police Station in Oklahoma City. Allen said she and Leathers were both out of control. Leathers had called her mother to pick her up from the house where she and Allen lived. After packing her belongings, Leathers and her mother went to the police station to file a compliant against Allen. Allen followed Leathers and shot her. Leathers' mother, Ruby Wilson of Edmond, witnessed the killing. On Oct. 13, Ruby Wilson met with her daughter's killer. "I wanted to tell her how sorry I was for taking her daughter's life. And I know there is no greater love than a mother's love for a child because I have a mother as well. And I asked for her forgiveness. She forgave me. We prayed together. And I let her know I loved her for coming that day." Leathers and Allen met in prison. Allen was serving a 4-year sentence for manslaughter. On June 29, 1981, at a motel in Oklahoma City, Allen shot to death Detra Pettus following an argument with Pettus' boyfriend. "We was friends," Allen said of Pettus. "We grew up together. We lived in the same neighborhood. We had mutual friends." While some prosecutors say that Allen and Leathers had a relationship in prison, Allen said that was not the case. Allen was released from prison before Leathers. When Leathers got out, she called Allen. "She didn't have a place to stay," Allen said. "She and her family were having problems. I allowed her to come and live with me because I know how hard it is when you get out. "By me being locked up, I understood that situation. You have to help people when they get out. Someone had helped me when I got out, so in turn I wanted to help someone as well." The pair lived together on and off for three years. She described Leathers as funny and witty. "It was the wrong type of lifestyle," she said of the lesbian relationship. "It didn't make either of us less human than if we were in a heterosexual relationship, a bisexual relationship. We are still human. We have emotions. We laugh. We cry. It was part of our life." At her trial, Oklahoma County prosecutors painted Allen as a person who hunted down her victims. Prosecutors introduced a card Allen had given Leathers. The card had a gorilla on it. The printed message said, "Patience my ass. I am going to kill something." Inside, Allen had written, "Try and leave me and you will understand this card more. Dig. For real, no joke." Leathers was portrayed as meek and timid. Allen said her attorney was not given a fair shot at defending her and was limited in what he could present. In 1979, Leathers was arrested in Tulsa for the stabbing death of Sheila Marie Barker, whom she killed outside a Tulsa disco. A judge later determined the slaying was self-defense. Ruby Wilson of Edmond can recall her daughter's murder as if it were just yesterday. The 57-year-old was an eyewitness in 1988 when Wanda Jean Allen shot Gloria Jean Leathers during a confrontation in front of the Village Police Station, where Wilson and her daughter had gone to file a report against Allen. Wilson said they had just pulled up to the station after leaving the house where Allen and Leathers had lived on and off for three years. Wilson said Leathers was moving out. Leathers was exiting the car when Allen, who had followed them, walked up with her hands underneath a sweatshirt. After exchanging words with Allen, Leathers was leaning into the car to pick up her purse when Allen "stuck it to my baby's ribs . . . she stuck it to her stomach and shot her. It sounded like a cap gun." Leathers slumped into the car. Four days later, she died following surgery, Wilson said. "I don't have any grudges against her," Wilson said. "I don't hate her, but I hate what she did. I hope she found peace with Christ about it. It does hurt. I will never forget it. I will always see it. That is in the past. I have to go on toward the future." Wilson on Oct. 13 met with Allen, who asked for forgiveness. "Being bitter won't solve anything," Wilson said. "It won't help me. It can't bring my baby back." Leathers left behind three children, whom Wilson has raised. "Her children have suffered," Wilson said. "I am too forgiving. They are not." Robert Ferguson Jr., Leathers' brother, is also not forgiving Allen. Ferguson said it is the second time that Allen has shot and killed someone. Allen served part of a four-year sentence for manslaughter stemming from the June 29, 1981, killing of Detra Pettus. "Second of all, she did it in front of my mother in front of a police station," said Ferguson, who lives in Jefferson City, Mo., and is a supervisor for the U.S. Postal Service. "So, I don't feel sorry for her, you know." Ferguson plans to witness Allen's execution, which is set for shortly after 9 p.m. Jan. 11 at Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester. "If I could say anything to her, I don't know," Ferguson said. "I would say I am sorry this had to happen, but you brought it on yourself." Mary Ann Leathers, 39, who lives in Tulsa and is a day-care provider, also plans to witness the execution. She describes her sister as sweet, friendly and a person who would "give you anything. Sometimes you didn't have to ask for it." Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson said "I have my own personal opinion about the death penalty. I don't think it should ever be treated lightly. I am no more troubled by her case than I am any other case that we handle." Twenty-four relatives of murder victim Gloria Leathers and manslaughter victim Detra Pettus traveled to McAlester for the execution. Many of those relatives watched the execution from behind a tinted window. Detra Pettus' mother, Delma Pettus, and sisters, Rhonda Pettus and Sherri Wilson said Allen spent four years in prison after their loved one "was pistol whipped and shot at point-blank range. The short prison stays are a part of the reason crimes are repeated," the Pettus' statement read. "It has taken 20 years and a second murder in order to get the death penalty." Allen's last chance for life was erased about 7:30 p.m. Thursday when the U.S. Supreme Court refused to intervene in her case. A few hours earlier, the same appeal was rejected by the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver. "Ms. Allen has failed to substantiate her allegation of a due process violation," the Denver judges concluded 3-0, referring to her claim that an assistant attorney general used false evidence against her at her unsuccessful Dec. 15 clemency hearing. Forty-five minutes after the 10th Circuit's decision, Keating denied a stay of execution. Keating said the courts had pondered the case for 12 years, and that Allen had lodged 11 different appeals since her conviction. "This is not easy because I am dealing with a fellow human being ... with a fellow Oklahoman," the governor said. "I have debated and discussed this, and now have resolved to deny the extension of 30 days. I care very deeply for the victims of crime. I have no use for killers, but I have a deep and abiding faith in the rule of law. I have to think about the woman she murdered in cold blood. I grieve for the families; I grieve for the dead. If a person takes another's life premeditated, they take their own."

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
January 16, 2001 Oklahoma Katherine Anne Busch, 7  Floyd Medlock  executed

On the afternoon of February 19, 1990, Medlock was in his apartment watching cartoons on television when he heard someone attempting to open his door. On opening the door, he found Katherine Anne Busch, a small girl with a bicycle, who walked into his apartment and told him she once lived there. When Medlock admonished her against barging into his home, Kathy said simply that she was hungry and wanted something to eat. Medlock gave her potato chips and began to prepare macaroni and cheese. While cooking, he told the police, "this real weird feeling" came over him. Precisely what Medlock did next is unclear but the following is undisputed. Medlock grabbed Kathy by the arm, she jerked away, he grabbed her again, and she jerked away again. He wrestled with her and covered her mouth when she began to scream, choking her until she passed out. According to his confession, she regained consciousness, and he dragged her to the bathroom and forced her head into the toilet bowl for approximately ten minutes, during which time she was gasping for breath. Then, while she was still alive, he stabbed her in the back of the neck with a steak knife and later with a hunting knife until she died, holding her head in the toilet bowl again so that she would not bleed on the floor. After the bleeding ceased, he placed her in the bathtub, removed her clothes, and attempted to sexually molest her lifeless body. Finally, he wrapped her body in a blanket, placed it in a box, and deposited the box and her bicycle into a dumpster behind a nearby shopping center. Judy Busch and Johnnie Cabrera remember where they were in 1990 when they learned their 7-year-old granddaughter, Kathy, had been murdered. And they know where they will be inside the towering white concrete walls of the Oklahoma State Penitentiary, where Kathy's killer, Floyd Medlock, is to be executed for the crime. The 2 grandmothers won't be seated together, though. They won't be there to comfort each other. They probably won't even speak. They are victims of the same violent crime, but they disagree sharply over Medlock's fate - Ms. Cabrera is chairwoman of the Oklahoma Coalition Against the Death Penalty, and Ms. Busch is founder of the Survivors of Homicide Support Group. Ms. Busch wants Medlock dead; Ms. Cabrera does not. The chasm is so great that the women - who say they were never close even when their children were married - haven't spoken since a 1992 confrontation inside the Oklahoma Capitol, where Ms. Cabrera was speaking against capital punishment and Ms. Busch rebuked her. "We can't sit in the same room," said Ms. Cabrera, who will be seated Tuesday night with Medlock's witnesses, on the opposite side of a glass partition from Ms. Busch. "That's really a shame because she has every right to her opinion and belief. It's not for her to say my opinion and my belief is wrong." "I couldn't tell you today exactly what she said," Ms. Busch said, "except that she was speaking against the death penalty and how horrible it is and how her granddaughter was murdered. That just absolutely devastated me that she would do that. "It wasn't a pretty picture. Kathy lived with me for a year and a half [when her parents separated and divorced]. Johnnie never called. Johnnie never came over to see Kathy. I told her, 'You didn't have anything to do with Kathy when she was alive and, by God, I don't want you using her name now that she is dead.'" For the grandmothers, Kathy's death and Medlock's sentence helped crystallize their thinking on the death penalty. A former stockbroker and longtime single mother, Ms. Busch, 58, said she already knew she supported capital punishment after serving on a jury in 1988 that sentenced two men to death. But Kathy's death steeled her resolve, especially, she said, when she discovered that victims' families often were the last to know anything about the investigation or prosecution. On the advice of her counselor, Ms. Busch searched for a support group for families of homicide victims. To her surprise, she said, there wasn't one in the Oklahoma City area. So she decided to start her own. Now, she said, her mailing list includes about 500 families affected by murder. Her group travels to the state prison in McAlester for each execution to hold a vigil for the victims. She also joined the Oklahoma City Police Department in 1993 to serve as its homicide victim liaison. "People who have had the death penalty imposed upon them are the worst of murderers," Ms. Busch said, noting that the law requires "aggravating" circumstances before capital punishment can be applied. "Some people just need to be out of society and need to just not live," she said. "Just because you leave them locked up doesn't mean they won't kill again." Ms. Cabrera was raised in a law enforcement family in northern Minnesota. Her father was a judge, her brother a police officer. The family's thinking, she said, was black and white: "What's right is right, what's wrong is wrong. If you do the wrong thing, you suffer the consequences. "When it [Kathy's murder] first happened, I was so angry I probably could] have killed him myself," she said. But her Presbyterian upbringing, Ms. Cabrera said, also left her with the conviction that "only God has the right to take a life. He put us here, and he's the only one who can take us away." At the sentencing trial, Ms. Cabrera said that she could see the pain on the face of Medlock's stepfather. She approached him to say she did not blame him for Kathy's murder. And she became convinced, she said, that the death penalty doesn't really solve anything. "The death Kathy had was horrendous," Ms. Cabrera said. "When we kill him, all he's going to do is go to sleep. I think he should sit in his prison cell the rest of his life and think about what he's done." Ms. Cabrera, a 65-year-old utility claims adjuster, joined the Oklahoma Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and is now serving as its chairwoman. Both grandmothers said they plan to continue their crusades after Medlock's execution - Ms. Busch helping victims' families, Ms. Cabrera fighting to abolish the death penalty. And neither said they expect any fireworks, should their paths cross inside the state penitentiary on Tuesday. "I don't anticipate anything bad happening," Ms. Busch said. "It's not going to be comfortable. But there's nothing she can say that will change my feelings. And I can probably never change her feelings." Ms. Cabrera expressed sadness over the conflict. "She's still so angry," she said. "The hate is just consuming her. You cannot go on with your life with hate in your life. It will eat you up. There'll never be a closure, because Kathy's not here. Executing him is not going to close this thing. What does it accomplish? All you're doing is making another family suffer grief." Ms. Busch, though, said she expects Medlock's death to provide "a certain amount of peace. Since March of 1991, I have dealt with the possibility that some court or some judge or someone would overturn this sentence and he would be out," she said. "I anguished over every appeal. It's horrible, waiting to see that decision upheld, because I feel he would do it again if he had that opportunity. "When he's executed Tuesday night, I won't have that worry." 

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
January 17, 2001 Arizona Wanda Starnes Kenneth Laird stayed

Two weeks before the murder, Kenneth Laird told two friends that he was getting a Toyota 4x4 truck. He also told another friend's mother that he would get a truck "if he had to kill for it." On September 2, 1992, Laird broke into the home of Wanda Starnes, a night-shift nurse whom he knew owned a 4x4 truck. He spent the night in her home, telephoning his friends, telling them he had moved to a house on Tatum Ranch. When Wanda returned the next morning, Laird overpowered her, tied her up, gagged her, and locked her in her bathroom. He then went to sleep in her bed. The next morning, he apparently finished her off by inserting a screwdriver in the knotted ropes encircling her neck and tightening them, then bashed in her skull. As he drove her to the desert to bury her, her blood dripped out of the truck bed, onto her driveway. He later joked with a friend about having "killed a bitch," and offered to show him the body. Laird spent the next few days driving around in Wanda's truck, forging checks drawn on her account. When picked up in connection with another matter, Laird told the police he happened on Wanda's body while bicycling through the desert. He said he took her truck and moved into her house because she would not need them anymore. Laird, a juvenile, was tried as an adult and convicted of murder, kidnapping, burglary, theft, four counts of forgery, and robbery, for which he was sentenced to death and consecutive sentences totaling 97 years. There are still appeals pending and this execution is not likely to take place on this date.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
January 18, 2001 Arizona Kimberly Lopez Jose Amaya-Ruiz stayed

Mark and Kimberly Lopez gave Amaya-Ruiz, a citizen of El Salvador, a job taking care of the stables at their ranch near Tucson. Mark and Kimberly had been married for a week and Kimberly was 4 months pregnant. On March 28,1985, as Kimberly was talking to her sister on the phone, Amaya-Ruiz entered the house. He stabbed Kimberly 23 times with a kitchen knife while chasing her throughout the home. Amaya-Ruiz also used Kimberly's handgun to shoot her in the ear. He fled in the Lopez' truck. Stayed by a US District Court.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
January 18, 2001 Texas James Douglas Tillerson  Alvin Goodwin executed

Ohio native Alvin Goodwin was sentenced to death for the November 30, 1986 abduction and shooting death of 20-year-old James Douglas Tillerson of Conroe. Goodwin and his accomplice Billy Dan Aitkens Jr. forced their way into Tillerson's mobile home and stole a VCR and tapes as well as a small amount of money while holding Tillerson at gunpoint. They then kidnapped Tillerson and took him in Aitkens' car to a wooded area where he was shot in the arm and head with a .357 caliber pistol. His body was found in a decomposed condition on January 17, 1987. The killers were arrested in Iowa a few days later. Aitkens was sentenced to life in prison for murder.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
January 18, 2001 Oklahoma Lois Frederick, 68  Dion Smallwood executed

Dion Athanasius Smallwood was sentenced to die for the 1992 beating death of Lois Frederick, 68. He hit her with a croquet mallet, placed her in a car and set the car on fire. Late on the evening of February 5, 1992, Oklahoma City police and fire fighters were called to the scene of a car fire. After extinguishing the fire, a badly burned body was discovered in the back seat of the vehicle. A check run on the vehicle's license number revealed that it was registered to Lois Frederick of Oklahoma City. Simultaneously, Oklahoma City police were at Lois's home investigating a missing person's report filed by her family. The body in the car was identified as Lois Frederick, and an autopsy revealed that she had died as a result of a severe head injury and smoke inhalation. It was determined at trial that Smallwood had arrived at Lois's home around 4p.m. Lois, a 68 year old woman, lived at the home with her daughter who was Smallwood's girlfriend. Smallwood's relationship with the daughter had begun in January of 1991, and was marked with numerous incidents of physical abuse. The two had lived together, off and on, during most of 1991, but the daughter had recently moved back in with her mother approximately one month before the murder. Lois Frederick made no secret of the fact that she disapproved of and did not like Smallwood. Likewise, animosity between Lois and her daughter was well known to neighbors, family, and the Oklahoma City police, who had been called to the residence on numerous occasions to resolve disputes between the two. Lois's daughter was not home when Smallwood arrived there looking for her. Smallwood testified that he arrived at Lois's home intending only to look for her daughter. He walked into the residence, uninvited, knowing he was not welcome, and immediately encountered Lois. She asked Smallwood to leave, grabbing his arm in the process. Smallwood then pushed her away, causing her to fall over backward. Lois, advising Smallwood she would "make him pay" for his actions, attempted to call police, but Smallwood took the phone from her and smashed it. The confrontation continued, with Smallwood conducting a room to room search of the house, looking for the daughter, with Lois in tow. During that time, Smallwood again struck Lois in the face, knocking her to the ground and bloodying her nose. As the two entered one of the bedrooms, Lois attempted to clean up, washing the blood from her face in the adjoining bathroom. Smallwood testified that Lois came out of the bathroom and kicked him in the shin. He responded by grabbing a croquet mallet, and telling Lois that he had no "beef" with her. He testified Lois then brandished a knife at him, at which point he struck her once in the head with the croquet mallet. He left Lois in the bedroom, closing the door behind him, after hearing her choking. He said had no recollection of Lois moving after he initially hit her, and thought he had killed her. Smallwood then attempted to clean up the house, wiping blood from various surfaces with a pair of Lois' socks, turning the bed mattress over to conceal a large blood stain, and placing various items in a trash bag which he then took to the garage. He closed the front door after making sure that no one was watching him, and eventually wrapped Lois' body in the sheets and a bedspread from the bed, and laid her in the back seat of her car. At about 6:30 pm, Lois's daughter told her aunt during a phone call that Smallwood was going over to kill Lois. Lois's sister called 9-1-1 requesting that someone check on Lois. and the Oklahoma City police went to the house to check on her. The officer tried to enter the house after getting no response, but the doors were locked. The officer testified that the daughter arrived home as he was in the process of investigating Lois's disappearance. The officer said she was anxious, frantic, and excited, and indicated that initially he had no idea what she was trying to tell him. Eventually he understood her to say that Smallwood had her mother, and that he had threatened to kill Lois if the daughter refused to meet him that day. The officer left after looking in the windows of the house and seeing no one. Upon hearing the police officer's knock on the door, Smallwood hid in a storage closet to avoid detection. Lois' body had already been placed in the car, and Smallwood left the residence in her car after the police left the scene. Smallwood claims he drove around for some time, trying to decide what to do. He called a friend requesting assistance, telling him he thought he had killed somebody. The friend refused to help, and Smallwood eventually stopped at a gas station and purchased some gasoline which he put in a plastic container given to him by the gas station personnel. Smallwood testified he splashed the gasoline around the outside of the car and on the front seat, but denied pouring any on Lois' body.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
January 19, 2001 North Carolina John Redd Bobby Harris stayed

Bobby Lee Harris was sentenced to die for the Onslow County murder of John Redd, owner of a commercial fishing business who was robbed and stabbed in the back before being thrown overboard in August of 1991. Testimony at the trial indicated that Harris and another man who worked in Redd's fishing business conspired to rob him so they could go to Georgia to avoid other legal problems in North Carolina. But instead of tying Redd up, as originally planned, Harris stabbed Redd three times in the back because he was "griping" too much. Harris indicated Redd was taken to shore, made comfortable, and told that help would be sent. But the high court said the evidence indicated that Redd had been dumped into the water and made it to shore on his own before bleeding to death. Harris had plenty of opportunity to safely get Redd help, but didn't. The men had gone to John Redd's house and stolen items from there before leaving for Georgia. Redd was found 10 hours after he was stabbed and lived long enough to speak to authorities before dying on the operating table. UPDATE: As convicted murderer Bobby Lee Harris was moved to a "death-watch" area and visited with family members Wednesday, a Superior Court judge granted a stay of execution until concerns by defense lawyers could be heard. Judge Wade Barber issued the stay late Wednesday afternoon and set a Feb. 20 hearing primarily over 3 jurisdictional and procedural claims posed by Harris' lawyers. Even before Barber signed the order, state prosecutors appealed to the N.C. Supreme Court to lift the stay. "Our position is that the judge should never have issued the stay, and he should have denied the application ," said N.C. Special Deputy Attorney General Edwin Welch. "I don't know what (the justices) will do, or when. It's in their hands." Mark Edwards, one of Harris' 2 lawyers, said he and partner Dan Shatz must respond to Welch's motion by 8a.m. today. Though the Supreme Court had set no hearing by late Wednesday, Edwards said he expected the justices to hear the motion today. Harris, 34, is scheduled to die by lethal injection at 2a.m. Friday for the 1991 stabbing death of John Redd, a shrimper Harris worked for in Onslow County. Harris has admitted killing Redd. The legal maneuvering means Gov. Mike Easley will wait until appeals are completed before issuing a clemency decision. Prosecutors have asked the governor to refuse clemency; the defense wants the death sentence changed to life in prison. Edwards and Shatz, both of Durham, detailed three concerns to Barber, including the allegation that the case should never have been tried in state court. They contend the murder should have been tried in federal court because it took place "in an area that should have been under the exclusive jurisdiction" of the Camp Lejeune Marine Base, Shatz said. Edwards and Shatz also allege that during Harris' trial his original lawyer became so sick with bone cancer he had to quit after his client's conviction and couldn't defend him in the sentencing phase that determines whether a defendant gets the death penalty or life in prison. The judge immediately dismissed the jury "without asking the jurors if they could reconvene in 6 weeks," Shatz said. 6 weeks later a new jury was named and the sentencing was argued in front of a new judge. In the stay order, Barber asks lawyers to address in an "evidentiary" hearing the issues of federal jurisdiction and the sentencing with a new jury. The case has attracted unusual attention from media from as far away as Germany, Scotland, Ireland and South America. Harris was featured last year in a Benetton clothing ad, as part of a controversial campaign against capital punishment that used photos of seven N.C. death row inmates and 19 others. Dagmar Polzin, a German woman who saw the ad featuring Harris displayed on a Hamburg bus, began writing to Harris and moved to North Carolina in October to be near him. The two had plans to be married until Polzin called off the wedding, saying she didn't want to be a widow. Polzin said she still hopes Easley will spare Harris' life so they can get married. Easley is the former N.C. attorney general whose office prosecuted Harris. Tuesday, he held a 5-hour clemency hearing with prosecutors and others who believe the execution should go on. He also met with lawmakers who support a moratorium on the death penalty. Defense lawyers told Easley that Harris shouldn't be executed because his IQ of 73 to 75 puts him just above the mentally retarded threshold and some states bar execution of such people. In his confession, Harris said he stabbed Redd and stole his truck and about $80. Redd, attacked while on his boat, was found on an island in Onslow County. He was picked up by a passing boat and died during surgery at the Camp Lejeune hospital. Wednesday, officers at Central Prison in Raleigh moved Harris into the "death-watch" area, where he visited for 3 1/2 hours with his mother, brother, sister and sister-in-law, all from the Chicago area, said Correction Department spokesman Keith Acree. Harris had not seen his mother since September 1999. "He's had very little contact with his family," Acree said.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
January 22, 2001 Texas Velma Clemons  Stephen Butler  stayed

When Steven Butler was arrested in September of 1986 for aggravated sexual assault, attempted capital murder and aggravated robbery, he told authorities he was also responsible for more than a dozen aggravated robberies and the capital murder of Velma Clemons, a 50-year-old clerk who was shot to death in the robbery of a dry cleaning store where she worked on August 27, 1986. Butler had entered the store and used a false name to pick up laundry. When Velma returned to the front and told Butler she could not find his order, he pulled a pistol and demanded money. Velma resisted and Butler grabbed her around the neck and threw her to the floor, then shot her in the abdomen. She later died at the hospital. Butler also received a life sentence in the aggravated sexual assault case.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
January 23, 2001 Oklahoma Rick Cast, 33
Chumpon Chaowasin, 44 John Barrier, 27
Mark Fowler executed

The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board voted 4-0 to deny clemency for Mark Fowler. Fowler was sentenced to death for the 1985 murders of Rick Cast, 33, Chumpon Chaowasin, 44, and John Barrier, 27. The three men were killed during a robbery at a supermarket in Edmond. Fowler's accomplice, Billy Ray Fox, had worked at the store and was fired shortly before the robbery. The pair herded night manager Rick Cast and employees Chumpon Chaowasin and John Barrier into a back room, where they were shot, clubbed and stabbed. Fox and Fowler were tried together, and both received death sentences. Billy Ray Fox's execution is scheduled for January 25.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
January 25, 2001 Oklahoma Rick Cast, 33
Chumpon Chaowasin, 44 John Barrier, 27
Billy Ray Fox executed

Billy Ray Fox was convicted in 1986 for the 1985 execution-style murders of three Edmond employees of a Wynn's IGA in Oklahoma County. Fox had worked at the store and was fired shortly before the robbery. He and his accomplice, Mark Andrew Fowler, herded night manager Rick Cast and employees Chumpon Chaowasin and John Barrier into a back room, where they were shot, clubbed and stabbed. Fox and Fowler were tried together, and both received death sentences. 

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
January 25, 2001 Arkansas Bethany White, 19 Robert Robbins stayed

A man who says he wants to die for the murder of his former girlfriend is set to be executed Thursday. Robert A. Robbins has not filed a clemency request, and Gov. Mike Huckabee's office said the governor therefore would not review the man's case. After he was convicted of capital murder, Robbins waived his appeals so he could die for the Nov. 4, 1997, murder of Bethany White in Jonesboro. Robbins had said he killed Bethany because she was ending their yearlong relationship. The relationship began when the two were sophomores in high school, but there were "no signs of fighting, stalking or anything out of the ordinary," a friend said. High-school classmates said the couple was always together. A friend described Bethany as "a good friend and a good person to talk to - a shoulder to cry on." Her friend described her as "very quiet. She lived in her own corner." Jonesboro police were contacted by the Poinsett County Sheriff's Office shortly before midnight Tuesday. The Poinsett agency received a 911 call from someone using a cellular phone who said he had killed White and was driving to Fayetteville. Authorities caught up with Robbins at the Ramada Inn in Conway after Jonesboro police issued a statewide bulletin naming Robbins as the suspect in White's murder. In October of 1999, the state Supreme Court cleared the way for Robbins' execution. But in December 1999, the high court stayed an April 2000 execution date for Robbins and instituted a policy of reviewing all execution cases in response to Robbins' request to be allowed to die. The high court issued the precedent-setting decision after Robbins' mother filed a request to intervene. She also asked justices to review the trial-court record to determine if Robbins was competent to waive his right to appeal, if death-case appeals should be automatic and if another lawyer should be appointed to ensure Robbins' case was properly examined. Attorney Jeff Rosenzweig represented Robbins' mother. He said after the execution date was set last month that he did not anticipate any further appeals. He noted that Robbins had asked to be executed and that Robbins' mother also has not asked him to pursue further appeals. Robbins is the son of a doctor and the step-grandson of a former mayor of Jonesboro. UPDATE: 1/25/01 - A federal judge granted a stay of execution Monday for a former UA student who scheduled to be executed Thursday for the murder of his former girlfriend. Robert A. Robbins, 21, was convicted in the Nov. 4, 1997, murder of Bethany White in Jonesboro. Robbins was a UA engineering student at the time. U.S. District Judge James M. Moody ordered the stay for Robbins, who was scheduled to be executed by lethal injection Thursday night in the Tucker Maximum Security Prison outside of Pine Bluff. “I know what crime I made, and I feel that this is a suitable punishment, and I see no reason why I should fight what is right,” Robbins told the trial court Aug. 29, 1998, according to court records. However, in his petition to the federal court Monday, Robbins said his Constitutional rights were violated by “victim impact” evidence used by the prosecution in his sentencing; the jury’s inconsistent findings concerning mitigating circumstances, which could have affected the severity of his penalty; and the reliance by the state and the jury upon the circumstance that “the capital murder was committed in an especially cruel or depraved manner.” He said his Fifth, Eighth and 14th Amendment rights were violated. Court records state that during sentencing, Jan White, the victim’s mother, “knew that her ‘victim impact’ testimony would ‘impact’ the jury and help to persuade the jury to return a sentence of death.” Since that time, White has visited Robbins on death row several times and told him that she doesn’t want him executed, according to court records. Also, Robbins stated in his petition that the jury was inconsistent when deciding whether his lack of prior criminal activity should be considered mitigating circumstances. The state and the jury also relied upon Arkansas Code Annotated 5-4-604(8) that aggravating circumstances found by the jury to exist that “the capital murder was committed in an especially cruel or depraved manner,” according to the record. This particular aggravating circumstance, both as drafted and applied, is unconstitutional under the Fifth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments,” according to court records. The petition states this statute is vague and that the Arkansas General Assembly has not provided a meaningful definition. Robbins’ attorney, Craig Lambert of Little Rock, filed the petition for stay on behalf of Robbins. Moody appointed Lambert, who according to court records, is representing Robbins pro bono, without compensation. “On January 18, 2001, attorney Craig Lambert visited me in person here on death row,” Robbins stated in an affidavit. “Mr. Lambert informed me that I still have appeals available at this time. In particular, Mr. Lambert told me that I can seek and obtain federal court review of my conviction and death sentence through a ‘petition for writ of habeas corpus.’ “It is my desire now to seek a stay of my currently scheduled execution and relief from my conviction and death sentence,” Robbins said in the affidavit. Robbins drove from the UA to Jonesboro Nov. 4, 1997, “for the express purpose of killing Bethany,” according to court documents. “He chose this time because he believed he could kill her when her mother would be gone from the home where Bethany and her mother lived.” Robbins had dated White for about a year and a half when she attempted to end the relationship. On at least one occasion during the relationship, Robbins assaulted White, records indicate. Robbins “concluded that he could not stand for Bethany to date anyone but him, and that if she would not be his girlfriend, she would be no one’s girlfriend,” court records state. Robbins planned White’s murder for several weeks. He kept some of his plans in a journal on his personal computer, records show. Robbins followed White from her workplace to her home and forced his way inside, court documents show. He confessed that he attacked White and “strangled her until his hands turned blue and he could no longer control them.” However, the medical examiner’s report showed that the bruising on the victim was more consistent with a forearm choking from behind. Robbins also said he then attempted to break White’s neck by twisting and turning it. The autopsy confirmed that White’s neck had been broken. Being uncertain of her death, Robbins stated that he then took a kitchen knife and attempted to thrust it up her nasal passage to “scramble her brains.” The autopsy report did not indicate any injury to White’s nasal cavity. However, Robbins did stab the victim several times in the chest with a kitchen knife. Robbins then wrapped duct tape over White’s mouth and nose. The medical examiner listed suffocation as the cause of death. After this point, Robbins took a decorative or novelty sword and attempted to thrust the sword into her chest, but the sword bent and would not penetrate. Believing that White was dead, Robbins placed a fortune cookie paper on the victims chest which read, “You will soon have an opportunity to make a change to your advantage.” Robbins stated that he then sat down at the kitchen table, smoked a cigarette and drank a soda while he waited to make sure she was dead. Robbins made a 911 call to Poinsett County Sheriff’s Office and confessed that he had committed a murder but would not identify whom he had killed or where the murder occurred for more than 45 minutes. He was arrested in Conway the following day.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
January 29, 2001 Texas Lori Bruch, 19 Caruthers Alexander executed

On April 23, 1981, Lori Bruch was attacked while leaving her job as a waitress at a Perrin-Beitel Road nightclub. Caruthers "Gus" Alexander was convicted of raping and strangling Lori. Alexander had previous convictions for arson, for which he served only 7 months of a two year sentence and involuntary manslaughter for which he served only 10 months of a 3 year sentence. Alexander was first convicted of capital murder and given a death sentence in October 1981. Lori's nude body was found by two children in a rain-clogged gutter in front of Flower Mound School. Her hands and feet were bound and rope was tied around her neck. In 1987, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals reversed Alexander's conviction. He was retried in May 1989 and received the death penalty again. In July of 2000, a Bexar County judge halted Alexander's scheduled execution a week before so that hair found on the victim could be examined with modern DNA testing techniques. UPDATE: A former truck driver remains on death row after DNA tests failed to clear him of raping and strangling a cocktail waitress. DNA tests showed hair found on 19-year-old Lori Bruch belonged to Caruthers Alexander, who has been convicted twice for her slaying, the San Antonio Express-News reported. Prosecutors and Alexander's lawyers agreed to delay the execution in July to conduct DNA tests not previously available. "We believed we had the right guy. However I believe there shouldn't be a question about people we execute," Prosecutor Susan Reed said. "We should leave no stone unturned." Reed said she will seek the earliest execution date possible. Alexander's attorney, Jeff Pokorak, declined comment. Alexander, 52, has been on death row since 1982. Bruch was attacked and killed in 1981 after leaving her job as a club waitress. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals threw out Alexander's original capital murder conviction, ruling certain testimony improper. Alexander was convicted and sentenced to death again in 1990. UPDATE: A man who raped and strangled a woman he abducted after a staged traffic accident in 1981 was executed by injection Monday. Caruthers Alexander, 52, was set to die last year but the execution was halted so more sophisticated DNA testing could be performed on evidence. Test results, received last month, confirmed his guilt. 19-year-old Lori Bruch, the mother of a 2-year-old, was driving home when her car was hit from behind by a van authorities said was driven by Alexander. Prosecutors said Alexander lured Bruch from the car, tied her up, and raped and strangled her. "It's every woman's worst nightmare to be driving on the street and be abducted and it's every husband's nightmare that your wife would be out and not come home," said Lyndee Bordini, a former assistant district attorney who prosecuted Alexander. Bruch's body was left in a rain-flooded gutter near an elementary school, where it was found by children walking to classes. A priest had seen the van in the area and reported it to police. When they tracked it down they found one of Bruch's earrings and her belt inside. Paint scrapes on the van matched the paint of Bruch's car. In a death row interview earlier this month, Alexander maintained his innocence. "There's a lot of stuff in the conviction that was bunk," Alexander said. "I'll say that straight off the bat: Bunk! The test shouldn't have come back positive. If anything, this last test should have come back inconclusive or not mine." After the execution, Lori's family said in a statement, "Our family and friends, as well as who knows how many countless other lives she would have touched, have lost so much. Today marks the end of a very long and tragic chapter in our lives and we are relieved it is over. Today is finally the day for this victim. Justice for Lori. We loved her then, we love her now and we will love and miss her forever."

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
January 30, 2001 Oklahoma Addie Hawley, 84  Loyd Lafevers  executed

Addie Hawley isn't around to tell the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board who kidnapped her from her Oklahoma City home, beat her so badly her dentures were knocked from her mouth, doused her with gasoline and set her on fire. But defense attorneys for death row inmate Loyd Lafevers hope that new DNA test results will convince the board Wednesday that Lafevers wasn't the one who beat and killed the 84-year-old woman. His attorneys may concede Lafevers was involved in robbing Hawley but not in her murder, which Oklahoma County Assistant District Attorney Lou Keel called the worst he'd seen in the close to 100 murder cases he's worked in nearly two decades. The DNA results are also the basis for a stay of execution request to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver. A federal judge on Friday denied such a request, saying he didn't have jurisdiction. Defense attorneys also want unidentified hairs found at the crime scene tested, according to court documents. Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson said recent DNA tests of blood from a pair of jeans used as evidence in Lafevers' trial only show that the prosecution's theory was flawed. There is ample evidence to put Lafevers at the scene as an active participant in the murder, he said. Lafevers broke into Hawley's house, helped put her in the car, filled receptacles with gasoline used to douse her and gave her well-worn wedding ring to a stripper shortly after the murder, Edmondson said. Lafevers was 19 with a 10th-grade education in June of 1985. After Lafevers' car broke down, he and Randall Eugene Cannon, 25, went to the Hawley's home and kicked in the front door. She attempted to escape but was brought back to the house, which was ransacked. Hawley was taken to another site in the trunk of her car, beaten and set on fire. Hawley was found still alive but died a few hours later. She had burns on more than 60 percent of her body. Prosecutors alleged she had been raped and sodomized. Lafevers was acquitted of the rape and sodomy charges, according to court documents. Lafevers and Cannon each blamed the other for Hawley's murder. Lafevers had said that he didn't know until the next day that Hawley had been killed. "By then I thought I had talked him into just letting her out, so I run up the street to watch down another street to see if any cars was coming and I thought he was just going to let her out there," Lafevers said in a June 27, 1985, statement. According to Lafevers, after he left, Cannon burned the car and then the pair went drinking. When the pair were tried together in 1986, it took a jury less than two hours to convict. A successful appeal brought the pair new separate trials in 1993 with the same results. Defense attorneys will say the evidence against Lafevers comes down to state's exhibit 83, a bloodied pair of jeans taken from Cannon's home. "The pants were the only direct physical evidence relied on by the state to support the allegation Mr. Lafevers was a direct participant in the murder of Addie Hawley," Catherine Burton, one of his trial attorneys, said in a Feb. 10 affidavit. Recent DNA testing showed blood on the jeans belonged to Cannon and another unidentified person. Prosecutors had originally contended that Hawley's blood was on the jeans. Federal defender Patrick Ehlers Jr. was assigned the case on Jan. 7 after the attorney representing Lafevers failed to meet an appeal deadline, resulting in a request for an execution date. Ehlers successfully won a court order for the tests. Edmondson also had his own tests done. In closing arguments at Lafevers' 1993 trial, both prosecutors mentioned the pants. One told the jury to conclude that they belonged to Lafevers and were bloodied when he was beating Hawley shortly before she was doused with gasoline and set on fire. "The prosecutor left an inference with the jury that turned out to be inaccurate," Edmondson said. "That doesn't mean (Lafevers) is innocent." Jurors were given options. One was first-degree murder with malice aforethought, meaning Lafevers planned the murder or was a participant, Edmondson said. "If you are in on planning and encouraging and supplied the materials and someone else goes to Oklahoma City and blows up the building, it doesn't matter who set the match," Edmondson said. "You are a principal and you are just as guilty as the guy who did it." The jury also could have convicted Lafevers of felony murder, in which a person dies accidentally as a result of another felony. A conviction on either charge can bring a death sentence. "A jury is less likely to give the death penalty to someone sitting in a car passed out drunk rather than doing the actual killing," said Oklahoma City attorney Jack Fisher. Fisher, who was not speaking in reference to a particular case, represents Cannon, whose appeal is at the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. Fisher says the recent DNA results don't implicate his client in Hawley's murder. "It's his blood, not the victim's," Fisher said. UPDATE: One of two men who tortured, bludgeoned, then set fire to a Colorado senator's 84-year-old aunt in Oklahoma 15 years ago won't be executed this morning. Loyd Lafevers came within hours of death before winning a stay Tuesday from the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on the basis of new DNA findings. The state of Oklahoma tried to vacate the stay so the execution could continue by filing an emergency application with the U.S. Supreme Court. But the high court denied the request Wednesday. The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board, decided unanimously Wednesday to adjourn Lafevers' clemency hearing until March 21. The delay was solidified when U.S. District Judge Tim Leonard postponed today's scheduled execution for 90 days. "We're just hoping for more time," said Lafevers' sister, Kim Lafevers. "I'm trying to be optimistic, but I don't want to be let down. He's my big brother, just thinking of him dying is treacherous." Colorado State Sen. Ken Chlouber, whose aunt was the murder victim, had a different view of Lafevers. "This guy will go to hell, and that's the place for him," the Leadville Republican said Tuesday after he was excused from legislative work to attend Wednesday's clemency hearing and witness today's scheduled execution. Lafevers, 34, was sentenced to death for the 1985 murder of 84-year-old Addie Hawley, who was kidnapped, beaten and set on fire. The appeals court ordered the stay Tuesday after recent DNA findings contradicted evidence used by prosecutors in Lafevers' trial. Recent DNA tests show that blood found on a pair of pants was not Lafevers' but his co-defendant's, Randall Eugene Cannon. Chlouber came to the hearing to speak on his aunt's behalf. "This is a surprise. I would have thought the Oklahoma Attorney General's Office would have been more prepared," he said. "Every day this guy is living has been an injustice." UPDATE: The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals set Jan. 30 as the execution date for death row inmate Loyd Winford Lafevers. It is the 2nd execution date that has been scheduled for Lafevers, whose March 2000 execution was stayed so he could pursue appeals on the basis of DNA evidence. Attorney General Drew Edmondson requested a new date a day after U.S. District Judge Tim Leonard rejected Lafevers' appeals based on a claim that new DNA tests on a pair of jeans used as evidence in his trial actually contained the blood of his co-defendant. Prosecutors alleged at the trial that the blood belonged to murder victim Addie Hawley, 84, of Oklahoma City. The woman was abducted, beaten and set on fire in 1985. "I am pleased the court has marked what should be the end of Lafevers' attempts to delay the punishment given him by a jury of his peers," Edmondson said. "I have said repeatedly from the beginning, Loyd Lafevers is guilty of the murder of Addie Hawley and warrants the punishment assessed by the jury," he said. Lafevers and Randall Cannon, the co-defendant, were tried and convicted and given the death penalty, but their convictions were reversed. They again both received the death penalty in separate trials in 1993 and both are on death row. The 10th Circuit gave Lafevers a stay in March, 32 hours before he was to be executed. In July 2000, the state Court of Criminal Appeals said new DNA evidence showed nothing to overturn the conviction. The presence of no blood of Lafevers or the victim showed at most that the jeans had no relevance in the case. "It does not show Lafevers did not commit the crimes, and we do not find that the jury might have returned a sentence of less than death based on this evidence," the court said. The 10th Circuit had granted a stay until Nov. 1, or until a ruling on Lafevers' appeal in federal court. Execution dates are scheduled in January for seven other Oklahoma death row inmates, and an execution date has been requested for another who has chosen to waive his appeals. Colorado state Sen. Ken Chlouber, nephew of the murder victim, said Lafevers' execution was long overdue. "This guy has fouled Oklahoma with every breath since he murdered my aunt," said Chlouber.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
January 31, 2001 Tennessee Ronald Oliver Philip Workman stayed

The Tennessee Supreme Court set a new execution date for death row inmate Philip Workman -- Jan. 31, 2001. The order follows a refusal by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider its Sept. 5 decision that denied Workman a hearing on recently discovered evidence that, his lawyers say, shows he did not fire the shot that killed a Memphis policeman in 1981. Workman, 46, now is scheduled to become the 2nd Tennessee inmate executed under the state's current death penalty law. The state had not executed anyone for almost 40 years before Robert Glen Coe was put to death by lethal injection on April 19. One of Workman's lawyers, Chris Minton, declined to comment on what legal action he will take next. Workman could try to pursue further appeals in either the state or federal court system, or he could ask Gov. Don Sundquist to commute his death sentence to life imprisonment. Workman came within two days of being executed in April, when the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stayed an earlier execution date set by the state Supreme Court. The federal appeals court gave Workman's lawyers time to present their argument on new evidence. But the court split 7-7 on whether to order a federal trial judge in Memphis to hold a full hearing on the evidence submitted by Workman's lawyers, meaning the request was denied. State Supreme Court Justice Adolpho A. Birch issued a separate opinion in which he restated his belief, expressed when the Supreme Court set Workman's earlier execution date, that the court should recommend that the governor commute Workman's death sentence "to life imprisonment, either with or without parole." Workman was sentenced to death in 1982 for the murder of Memphis police Lt. Ronald Oliver outside a fast-food restaurant that Workman, who was then a cocaine addict, has admitted robbing. 1/26/01 UPDATE: Death row inmate Philip Workman was granted a stay of execution this afternoon by the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Cincinnati. Workman had been scheduled to die by lethal injection at 1 a.m. Wednesday, but a majority of the Court of Appeals acted to delay his execution until the U.S. Supreme Court can decide whether to get involved in his case. The 6th Circuit court deadlocked 7-7 last September on whether to order a full hearing on recently discovered evidence that, Workman's lawyers say, shows he did not fire the shot that killed a Memphis police officer in 1981. The stay is for an indefinite period. Gov. Don Sundquist had been expected to decide this weekend whether to grant Workman's request that his death sentence be commuted to life imprisonment. Sundquist will now delay that decision until the courts have ruled on the case, a spokeswoman said. Tennessee’s Board of Probation and Parole voted 6-0 yesterday not to recommend clemency for Workman. UPDATE: 1/30/01 - The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to lift the stay of execution granted by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to Tennessee death row inmate Philip Workman. Workman, who was sentenced to death for killing a Memphis police officer in 1981, had been scheduled for execution Wednesday morning. An indefinite stay of execution was granted Friday by the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

 

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