October 2004 Executions
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Eight killers were executed in October 2004.  They had murdered at least 14 people.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
October 5, 2004      Texas  Edward Perry Haden, 72
Helen Halphen O'Sullivan, 63 
Edward Green III  executed

The suspect charged in the murders of two people in southeast Houston said he shot them because one of the victims laughed at him. Edward "Peanut" Green III, 18, has been charged with capital murder in connection with the shooting deaths of Edward Perry Haden, 72, and Helen O'Sullivan, 63. Both victims worked at Forest Park-Lawndale Cemetery and Haden was taking Helen home. Both were shot as they sat in Haden's car at a stop sign at Morley and Dover near Hobby Airport. The gunman got out the passenger door and shot Haden in the head and O'Sullivan in the abdomen, investigators said. Haden died at the scene, and O'Sullivan died hours later in surgery at Ben Taub Hospital. Green said, "He laughed at me so I shot him." Houston police homicide Sgt. Boyd Smith said of Green, "He showed no remorse during our conversations with him. He spoke freely to us, but I never noticed any remorse." Police also were searching for Jimmy Lee "Juice" Daniels, 18, who was the driver of the stolen car that blocked Edward Haden's car at the intersection, Smith said. Daniels is on probation for assault and is wanted on a unrelated felony theft charge, he said. Once in custody he is expected to be charged with capital murder, Smith said. Green told investigators that the two suspects stopped Haden's car with the intention of robbing them, Smith said. Edward Haden tried to put the car in reverse, but missed the gear, he said. "I'm not sure if he was laughing at him. It was probably a nervous laugh or an "excuse me' laugh. I don't think that he would be laughing at a man holding a gun on him," Smith said. The suspects committed a similar robbery about an hour before the couple were shot and killed, Smith said. They were possibly committing the robberies to get money for drugs, he said. Green was arrested on an unrelated charge the day after Haden and O'Sullivan were killed, Smith said. A Crime Stoppers tip led authorities to Green, Smith said. "He was trying to get on a Metro bus without paying and there happened to be Metro police on board," Smith said. "He refused to identify himself, so they arrested him." Police got the Crime Stoppers tip the same day of Green's arrest, Smith said. Green allegedly bragged to someone about the killings and that person informed police, he said. "When we got the tip, we didn't know that he was in jail. When we found him, he told us what happened," Smith said. UPDATE: The second man wanted in the shooting death of a man and woman inside a car in southeast Houston last month turned himself in Sunday. Jimmy Lee "Juice" Daniels, 18, was booked into the Harris County Jail about 12:30 a.m. Sunday, said Houston police homicide Sgt. Boyd Smith. Daniels has been charged with two counts of aggravated robbery and was being held in lieu of $80,000 bond, he said. Daniels is suspected of being involved in the murders of Edward Perry Haden, 72, and Helen O'Sullivan, 63, as they sat at a stop sign at the intersection of Morley and Dover near Hobby Airport. Edward "Peanut" Green III, 18, has been charged with capital murder and was being held in jail without bond. Green is believed to be the trigger man in the murder and attempted robbery, Smith said. Daniels was allegedly driving the car used to block Haden and O'Sullivan at the stop sign, he said. Green told authorities that he shot the two victims because Haden laughed at him. UPDATE: A 20-year-old man whose life has become a study in rape, robbery and auto theft has been sentenced to die by injection for murdering an elderly couple because one of them laughed when he tried to rob them. Jurors in state District Judge George Godwin's court deliberated 9 1/2 hours before deciding Saturday to condemn Edward "Peanut" Green III for the Aug. 31, 1992, killings of Edward Perry Haden , 72, and Helen O'Sullivan, 63. "Edward Green showed absolutely no emotion throughout his whole trial until the judge said the words ". . . transferred to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to await the setting of a date for your execution,' and then his head popped up and his mouth fell open," prosecutor Don Smyth said. "That's when it hit him that it was serious." The victims, inseparable friends, were shot at a southeast Houston street corner after Green spotted their Lincoln, figured they had money enough for him to buy marijuana, and ran up holding the revolver he'd just acquired. According to his confession, Green pointed his pistol at Haden and demanded that he get out of his Lincoln. When Haden laughed and put the car in reverse, Green said, he fired three shots, killing Haden and leaving O'Sullivan fatally wounded. Green went on to confess to being the "Jason" bandit, a name he may have given himself after he took to wearing a horror movie mask while sticking up dope dealers. The existence of such a bandit was news to police. The latter portion of Green's week-long trial was dominated by testimony from victims of Green's various crimes and witnesses to them. A teen-ager said Green and a friend held her down and took turns raping her in 1990, when she was 13. A policeman said Green and his friends stole rental cars at Hobby Airport. His juvenile parole officer said Green once came to his office stoned on marijuana, which was established by a quick urine test. A series of witnesses went into detail about Green's behavior in juvenile jails and the Harris County Jail: He attacked prisoners with shanks, plugged toilets with T-shirts, antagonized and even assaulted jailers, they said. Prosecutors Jim Mount and Smyth argued that Green is guaranteed to continue committing violent acts, in or out of jail. "Will Rogers never met Edward Green," Mount told jurors, referring to the humorist's famous comment that he never met a man he didn't like. Defense attorneys Ricardo Rodriguez and Ron Hayes asked jurors to spare Green's life, arguing that events in his life mitigated his violent record. They said Green was the son of a professional boxer who was killed in 1985 by being hanged from a tree, and a mother whose drug habits were costing as much as $300 a day. Although defense lawyers couldn't say Green had been physically or sexually abused when he was growing up, they suggested he had to watch his mother being abused by men after his father's death. They said numerous institutions -- Houston schools, the Texas Youth Commission, parole and probation agencies -- failed to save Green. Mount scoffed at that idea, saying Green has "an unbelievable fascination with violence. There was a suggestion that the defendant had so many problems he couldn't cope," Mount argued. "His problem is that he places no value on human life." UPDATE: After spending 11 years on death row, Edward Green III was feeling "a lot of pressure" in the days leading up to his execution, which is scheduled tonight at the Huntsville "Walls" Unit sometime after 6 p.m. Green pled not guilty in a Harris County court in 1993 to the shooting death of Edward Perry Haden, 72, and 63-year-old Helen O'Sullivan in Houston in 1992. He and co-defendant Jimmy Lee Daniels spotted the victims at a traffic light and decided to rob them for "weed" money. "I've been here since 1993, and I can't really remember any details," Green said in an interview from death row last week. "We were really smoking and smoking (marijuana laced with embalming fluid). It was a real act of ignorance, and there really was no motivating factor." As unveiled in trail testimony, the 18-year-old Green jumped from the car Daniels was driving and pointed a gun at Haden, who was seated on the passenger side of the car, driven by O'Sullivan. When Haden failed to react quickly to Green's threats, Green fired three times through the window, striking Haden twice and O'Sullivan once. But even after his arrest and conviction, Green said he never really understood he would end up on death row. "I think that when I first got here, I felt like I was not going to stay. I was in a stage of denial," Green said. "I mean, when you think about death row, you think about people like Charles Manson." Green's lawyers were trying to stop the punishment by raising questions over the reliability of ballistics evidence presented at his trial. Another appeal suggested he was ineligible for execution because he was mentally impaired since birth due to his mother's alcohol abuse. Green already was jailed on unrelated charges when police received a tip that led to his arrest for the Aug, 31, 1992, shootings of Haden and O'Sullivan. Green told authorities he and a partner pulled their car in front of the couple's Lincoln at a stop sign to rob them because the pair wanted money for marijuana and rent. When Green ran up and pointed his pistol at Haden, the man shifted his car into reverse and Green opened fire. Green said he has gone through different emotional stages on death row, and he realized after a while that he had to begin to make changes in the time he had left.  A lot of people have given up on me in my life," he said. "But other inmates here have helped me stay motivated, and now I believe I am on a righteous path. "Had this situation not occurred, I would not be the person I am today. I would probably already be dead or homeless. I wonder if I would have ended up here if I had somebody to take me in and show me what being a man is all about. "I think the violence in me came from the lifestyle I was living and not being comfortable in myself. I used to be a real fool, and I liked to show everyone I was a fool." As for his victims' families, Green said he has never had contact. "I've never talked to the victims' families, but I would love to - to give them a sense of closure if they need it. I never wanted to put them through that pain." Green and a corrections officer became romantically involved while he was on death row, then housed at the Ellis Unit, and had a daughter, now 5. The woman resigned rather than be fired. The couple was married by proxy. Green stands firm that the child is his, and has seen her during visitation at the prison. "I wrote many, many letters to her over the years, and I just want her to know she is a perfect blend of me and her mother," Green said. "I was walked through the process of what will happen in court," he said. "You can only prepare yourself so much. In a sense, I am ready, but that kind of defeats the purpose of life. I accept responsibility for my actions, but to admit guilt would be admitting I deserve the death penalty."

 

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
October 6, 2004    Texas  Paul Manier, 21  Peter Miniel  executed 

On October 7, 1988, Peter Miniel was convicted of the felony murder of Paul Manier. On May 7, 1987, Peter Miniel and James Warren Russell were on the beach at Galveston when they decided to go to Paul Manier's apartment at the Northpoint Square Apartments and have a party. After arriving at Paul’s house to procure marijuana, Miniel concocted a plan to rob him. Miniel’s co-defendant, Russell, Jr., distracted Paul by telling him he was going to get cocaine. Paul cleaned a small mirror to use to snort the cocaine. When Paul leaned over the mirror, Miniel struck him on the back of the head with a beer mug. Miniel continued to strike Paul until he fell to the ground. When Russell returned, he joined Miniel and struck Paul several times with a shock absorber that was nearby, resulting in six skull fractures. Dissatisfied with Russell’s efforts, Miniel took the shock absorber and began striking Paul with it. When Miniel could not knock out Paul, he stabbed Paul 39 times with a small knife in the back and neck. Thirteen of the stabs were shallow wounds on the victim's neck, suggesting the victim had been tortured. After this proved ineffective, Miniel attempted to slit Paul's throat while Russell held him. Finally, Miniel attempted to asphyxiate Paul by shoving a blanket down his throat. After the murder, Miniel became angry when he realized that he had killed Paul for only twenty dollars. Miniel and Russell searched the apartment for drugs or money but all they could find to steal was stereo equipment. They washed off Paul’s blood and hid the knife. Afterwards, Miniel and Russell went to Burger King to eat hamburgers. Miniel fled to Indiana and then to Chicago where he was arrested on May 22, 1986, while in possession of a sawed-off single-barrel shotgun. Part of the stolen stereo system was recovered in Chicago from a neighbor who bought it from Miniel for $100. The rest of the stereo was recovered in Huntsville, Texas after Minier gave police an oral confession. Russell, who fled to Brookshire, Texas following the murder, testified against Miniel in exchange for a 50-year prison sentence for murder with a deadly weapon. A jury convicted Miniel of capital murder. On October 10, 1988, the jury took only five minutes of deliberation time to return a guilty verdict. Miniel had prior convictions in Illinois for theft, disorderly conduct, unlawful possession of a weapon and aggravated battery for beating up his girlfriend with martial arts sticks. Two days later, Miniel showed no emotion when the jury sentenced him to death. UPDATE: Texas put an Illinois man to death by lethal injection on Wednesday for killing a Houston-area man and robbing his apartment in 1986. Peter Miniel, 42, was condemned for killing Paul Manier, 20, with an accomplice on May 9, 1986 in Manier's apartment and stealing $20 and a stereo. Miniel and James Russell beat Manier with a beer mug and an automobile shock absorber, stabbed him 39 times with a knife and suffocated him with a blanket. Miniel pleaded not guilty at his 1988 trial, while Russell pleaded guilty and testified against him in exchange for a 50-year sentence. The jury convicted Miniel of murder after five minutes' deliberation. Miniel has told Texas newspapers in recent weeks that he lied at his trial and is guilty of Manier's murder. In a final statement while strapped to a gurney in the death chamber, Miniel prayed. "Into your hands, oh Lord, I commence my spirit. Amen," he said.

 

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
October 8, 2004    North Carolina  Lashenna "Jo Jo" Moore, 7 Sammy Perkins executed 

The state set an Oct. 8 execution date for Sammy Perkins. Perkins was convicted of killing 7-year-old Lashenna Moore. Perkins was dating the little girl's grandmother. Authorities say Perkins raped and killed Moore in the grandmother's home in 1992. Perkins was scheduled to die by lethal injection earlier this year, but a U.S. District Court Judge stayed the execution because of a legal challenge. On December 15, 1993, Perkins was sentenced to death in Pitt County Superior Court for the April 18, 1992 murder of 7-year-old Lashenna “Jo Jo” Moore, who died April 19, 1992. Perkins, who was sentenced to death Dec. 15, 1993, was convicted of raping JoJo, then smothering her with a pillow in her bed in a Greenville public housing project. Her school picture showed a pretty girl with pigtails and a gap-toothed smile. Her teacher said she was a child with a great laugh, the kind you wanted to take home. On April 18, 1992 Perkins was living with his mother in Greenville. After visiting with his family and drinking several beers, Perkins went to the home of a woman he had been dating for two months and had known for ten or eleven years. She lived in the house with her two children and four grandchildren, one of whom was JoJo. The woman shared a room with two of her grandchildren, a three-year-old boy and JoJo, who slept together on a daybed. After leaving the woman's home for a short time, Perkins returned and drank more beer and smoked crack cocaine. At approximately 3:00 am on April 19, Perkins entered the woman’s bedroom, where she and her two grandchildren were sleeping. Perkins watched a pornographic video and then tried to have sex with the woman, who was surprised that he was in the room. She discovered a large butcher knife under her pillow, and Perkins explained that he had used it to open a can of beer. She ordered Perkins out of the house. As she walked him to the door, the young boy rose from his bed and claimed that Perkins had bitten his finger. After Perkins left, he called the woman twice to insist that he had not bitten the boy. The woman then went to sleep; when she awoke at around 9:00 am, she observed that the boy’s finger was swollen. At approximately 11:30 am, while the family was preparing to go to church for Easter services, the woman discovered that JoJo was dead. The evidence tended to show that sometime early that morning, Perkins had mounted the victim, held a pillow over her face, and had sex with her. The medical examiner determined that JoJo died of suffocation and estimated that her mouth and nose were covered for a period of between three to seven minutes before she became unconscious. Perkins testified that on the night and morning in question, he had been drinking and smoking crack cocaine. He stated that JoJo awoke while he was having sex with her grandmother. He put a pillow over her face so that she would not see them. He said that he administered CPR, which he thought was successful in resuscitating her. He then went to the kitchen for a beer, used a knife to open the can, and placed the knife by the grandmother’s bed. Sometime in the morning, he took the boy to the bathroom. The boy stuck his finger in Perkins’s mouth, and Perkins bit it. He said the woman threw him out of the house after discovering the knife and the biting incident. Perkins, who was in a wheelchair by the time of trial, explained that he suffers from a debilitative muscular disease called myasthenia gravis which precluded him from having sexual intercourse in any position where he would have to support himself with his arms. On cross examination Perkins admitted that he had a prior conviction for attempted rape in 1981 and was released from prison in 1986. He also had prior convictions for possession with intent to sell and deliver heroin and cocaine in 1988 and 1989. In May of 2004, a federal judge has ordered a halt to plans to execute Perkins while the U.S. Supreme Court considered a case that challenged the constitutionality of lethal injection for some inmates. Another inmate contended that his collapsed veins would require prison officials to cut deep into his flesh to insert the needle, constituting cruel and unusual punishment. During clemency hearings for the previous execution date, Perkins' attorneys asked Gov. Mike Easley to spare the killer's life because jurors improperly discussed the case before deliberations began. Perkins also suffered from bipolar disorder at the time of the April 1992 slaying of Lashenna in Greenville, the lawyers said. Authorities said Perkins sexually assaulted the girl, who was his girlfriend's granddaughter, and smothered her with a pillow. He was sent to death row the following year. Lawyers for Perkins said two court officials in Perkins' trial told a judge that members of the jury had decided Perkins was guilty before beginning deliberations. When jurors were questioned individually, they denied that. Clark Everett, Pitt County's district attorney, and retired investigator Ricky Best both asked Easley to allow the execution. "It's a horrible, horrible crime. This was a young girl, 7 years old, brutally raped and murdered in her own bed," Everett said. "If there was ever a case for the death penalty, this is it." Moore's grandmother, who was dating Perkins at the time, says she is outraged at the decision to stay the execution. "Its been painful -- mostly on Easter and her birthday. She would have been 18 this year," Thiea Moore said. Perkins was charged and eventually convicted of Jo Jo's murder. Authorities say he sexually assaulted the little girl, then smothered her with a pillow. When Perkins was sentenced to death, the girl's family thought their ordeal was over. Moore says she was furious when she learned Perkins death sentence was put on hold. "It is not fair, because my baby didn't get a second chance. You know, I never believed in capital punishment until this happened, but people need to realize Jo Jo didn't get a second chance. She won't ever be able to play with her brothers and sisters or go to school," she said. Moore says the death penalty is the only fair punishment for Perkins' crime. She has not given up hope, and says she has faith in the legal system. "Yes, it hurts, but I know in the end justice will prevail," Moore said. Pitt County District Attorney, Clark Everett, also supports execution in this case. He says no one is more deserving of the death penalty than Perkins. UPDATE: Lawyers for the state attorney general's office have appealed a federal judge's order that stops the execution of a man sentenced to death for the 1992 murder and rape of a seven-year-old girl in Pitt County. The order by U.S. District Court Judge Terrence Boyle on Friday said the execution should be stopped while attorneys for Sammy Perkins and other death row inmates pursue a lawsuit over the legality of the state's lethal injection method. Perkins is scheduled to be executed at 2 a.m. Friday at Central Prison in Raleigh. Attorneys for Perkins also have asked Governor Mike Easley to hear more arguments for clemency in Perkins case. A hearing was held earlier this year before Perkins received another stay of execution. The governor's office says Easley has reviewed supplement materials but won't have another meeting with lawyers. The defense attorneys say Perkins' trial was marred by jury discussions of the case before the jury was told to decide the case. And the lawyers say Perkins' mental illness wasn't fully presented to the jury because of poor testimony by a defense expert. UPDATE: The U.S. Supreme Court issued two decisions Thursday that cleared the way for the execution of Sammy Crystal Perkins, who was sentenced to death in 1993 for the rape and slaying of a 7-year-old girl. Defense attorneys asked the court to leave a federal judge's stay in place so Perkins, 51, could contest the lethal injection execution method used by the state of North Carolina. That request was denied on a 5-4 vote. His attorneys also asked the court to reverse state court rulings against Perkins on the issue of whether improper hearsay was allowed as evidence during his trial in Pitt County Superior Court. The high court's order against Perkins was unanimous on that issue. The only barrier between Perkins and the death chamber after the court decisions was possible clemency from Gov. Mike Easley. There was no immediate announcement from Easley, who typically waits until after courts have ruled before issuing clemency decisions. "No one knows how long they have to live, but Sammy Perkins has a clearer idea," said defense lawyer Nora Hargrove during a break in visitation at Central Prison, where death row inmates are housed. Perkins was convicted for the rape and killing of Lashenna "Jo Jo" Moore, his girlfriend's daughter in Pitt County. UPDATE: A North Carolina death row inmate has been executed for the 1992 rape and murder of a seven-year-old girl. Sammy Perkins died after the Supreme Court turned down a defense request for a stay of execution. Perkins was trying to challenge the state's lethal injection method of execution. The court unanimously rejected a second defense request to overturn state court rulings against Perkins. Those rulings dealt with whether improper evidence was allowed during his trial. Perkins was convicted for the rape and killing of his girlfriend's granddaughter.

 

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
October 12, 2004    Texas  Nicholas West Donald Aldrich executed 

Donald Aldrich is scheduled to die for the 1993 murder of a Tyler man. The case involved the kidnapping of 23-year-old Nicholas West of Tyler, who was targeted because he was gay. On the evening of Nov. 30, 1993, Nicholas was kidnapped from a Montgomery Ward parking lot in Tyler, driven to a clay pit, robbed and shot at least 9 times. There were two other people charged with his murder. Henry Dunn, who was executed for his part in the crime in February of 2003, and David McMillan, who was given a life sentence for aggravated robbery and kidnapping. The murder was the culmination of a string of crimes of escalating violence and severity perpetrated by the trio of Dunn, Aldrich, and McMillan. The night Nicholas was abducted was bitterly cold. Dunn later confessed that he, Aldrich and McMillan decided to find and assault homosexuals at Bergfield Park in Tyler. Aldrich, McMillan and Dunn went to the park, which was known as a local meeting place for homosexuals. Upon arrival, Aldrich spotted a red Nissan truck that he recognized from a previous visit to the park. Aldrich approached the red truck, occupied by Nicholas, and posed as a homosexual in order to gain his attention. Nicholas invited Aldrich to join him and the two drove together to a nearby Montgomery Ward parking lot. Dunn and McMillan followed in another car. Once in the parking lot, Dunn, Aldrich and McMillan brandished weapons and forced Nicholas into the passenger seat of their car. While Aldrich drove the red Nissan truck, Dunn held a gun on Nicholas, and McMillan drove the car to a clay pit approximately 10 miles outside of Tyler. Once they arrived, Dunn, Aldrich and McMillan led Nicholas at gunpoint away from the road and into the clay pit. They began to push and taunt Nicholas as they continued toward the clay pit. Before marching him to the pit where he was murdered (which was located several hundred yards from the road), he was stripped of his clothes, but not his underwear. He had defecated in his underwear and the trio wanted to further humiliate him by making him wear his dirty underwear. Nicholas was then pistol-whipped. Blinded by the flow of blood from the gashes on his forehead and eyebrow, stripped of his shoes and clothes, he was then forced in the bitter cold to embark on his death march. If he fell, he was kicked, jeered, and taunted. When they reached the clearing where the clay pit was located, Dunn fired his pistol into the air. According to Dunn's videotaped confession, this act triggered a fusillade of gunfire from Aldrich and McMillan, and Nicholas was knocked face down into the mud. At the pit, the shooting began - methodically, slowly, intentionally - apparently to prolong his life and to prolong the suffering as long as possible. Dunn then walked toward Nicholas's body and fired at least four and as many as six shots into Nicholas. Dunn admitted that one of his shots probably struck Nicholas in the head. The first shots were to the hand. Then there were shots to the arms. These were followed by superficial shots to the torso. A shot to the abdomen, which the forensic expert testified was not the killing shot, would have left Nicholas in terrific pain. And then finally came the coup de grace, a shot to the back of the head. Nicholas was shot as many as 15 times. As Nicholas writhed on the ground and begged for the shooting to stop, Aldrich, McMillan and Dunn ran back to the road where the vehicles were parked. Aldrich drove Nicholas's truck and McMillan and Dunn fled in the car. Two days later, on December 2, a pair of dirt-bikers found Nicholas's body lying face-down in the clay pit. A day after the body was found, the authorities, acting on an informer's tip, arrested 29-year-old Donald Aldrich, 17-year-old David Ray McMillan and 19-year-old Henry Dunn, Jr. for the murder of Nicholas West. Dunn was arrested in possession of the red Nissan pickup. He gave a videotaped confession on December 3. Authorities in East Texas almost immediately classified the murder as a hate crime, noting that evidence obtained during suspect questioning made "it quite clear they targeted Mr. West because he was a homosexual." In fact, Donald Aldrich, the reported leader of the group, told authorities, "If you can walk into a 7-11 and rob a 7-11 for 15, 20 bucks, get your face on videotape, have somebody that's gonna call the police; or if you can go into a park, rob somebody that's out in the dark, come away with a hell of a lot more - because of the fact that they're homosexual and they don't want people to know it, they're not gonna go report it to the police. Who you gonna go rob? Where you're gonna get in the least amount of trouble." UPDATE: An inmate convicted of abducting and killing a gay man 11 years ago was executed Tuesday, after apologizing to his victim's family and his own. Donald Aldrich, who had admitted the kidnapping but denied taking part in the murder, asked forgiveness from Nicholas West's family, although no relatives were present. Before he was killed by injection, he also apologized to his own family and friends, saying, "I'm sorry for the pain and hurt I have caused you."

 

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
October 13, 2004    Ohio  Kurt O. Kyle Adremy Dennis executed 

Late on Saturday, June 4, and in the early morning hours of Sunday, June 5, Adremy Dennis and Leroy Anderson decided to go to a bar and "meet some chicks." Anderson spoke of "robbing somebody," and the pair armed themselves with weapons: Dennis with a sawed-off shotgun and Anderson with a .25 caliber handgun. As the pair proceeded to the bar, the shotgun, according to Dennis, accidentally went off. Dennis then reloaded the weapon. Before arriving at the bar, the two smoked marijuana. After some drinks, Anderson and Dennis left the bar and encountered a man in an alley near West Market Street and South Highland Avenue. The "taller one" of the two, whom the man later identified as Dennis, was wearing a long black leather coat and told him, "Give me your money. Don’t try and run, don’t try and run. You are going to die tonight, you are going to die." The victim testified that he went backwards, slid and rolled down a hill, then ran away unharmed. He heard a gunshot "just left of me. There was a trash can or something got hit." That same night, Kurt Kyle had raced at Barberton Speedway and afterwards hosted several friends and family members at his home for a cookout and socializing. Later, as one of his guests was leaving, Kyle walked with him to his car where the two continued conversing for a short time. While the guest was seated in his car talking with Kyle, they heard a loud noise, which Kyle told the guest was a gunshot. About three minutes later, two black males approached them in the driveway, out of the view of Kyle’s other guests. The man the guest later identified as Anderson was wearing a green and orange Miami Hurricanes starter jacket, and demanded money while pointing a gun at the guest’s neck. He slowly reached under the car seat for his wallet and handed Anderson $15. At the same time, Dennis, whom the guest described as wearing a long, three-quarter length dark coat, asked Kyle for money. However, Kyle searched through his pockets and told Dennis that he had no money with him. Dennis then pulled out a sawed-off shotgun and shot Kyle in the head at point-blank range. Kyle died instantly of hypovolemic shock (loss of blood) due to a gunshot wound that severed both carotid arteries. According to the witness, the two assailants ran away together "sprinting very fast." A woman who lived in the neighborhood was out walking her dog at around 1:30 a.m. that morning and heard a "loud pop type of sound." About a minute later, she observed two young black males headed in the opposite direction running by her on the other side of Bloomfield Road. She heard one say to the other, "Did you get it?" A few days after the murder, Akron police received an anonymous phone call stating that someone at 371 Grand Avenue knew about the homicide that past weekend. Detectives went to the address, where they met Anderson's mother and told her that a possible suspect was staying at her house. She invited the detectives in and gave them permission to look around the house and to speak to her son, seventeen year-old Lavar Anderson. When the detectives went down to the basement, they noticed a Miami Hurricanes jacket and a long, dark overcoat hanging up in the far corner on a bedrail. At that time, they took Anderson into custody, and he provided detectives information about the location of the murder weapon. After procuring a search warrant, police seized several items from the basement, including the two coats, a .25 caliber pearl handle handgun, a 20 gauge sawed-off shotgun, and seven shotgun shells. Upon completing the search of Anderson’s home, detectives received a call from two officers at 120 Burton Avenue, which was in the same general neighborhood. The police surrounded the house on Burton and thereafter apprehended Adremy Dennis. At the police station, Dennis was advised of his Miranda rights, which he waived. Dennis told several versions as to his whereabouts on June 4-5, 1994 to detectives. After Dennis’s second statement, the officers produced a sawed-off shotgun, which Dennis immediately claimed was his own. In his fourth statement to detectives, Dennis admitted that he and Anderson had planned some robberies that night and admitted holding up the first man they had robbed, and Kyle and his guest. However, while Dennis admitted aiming the sawed-off shotgun at Kyle, he also claimed the gun went off accidentally. Dennis agreed to allow detectives to tape his statement. In his taped statement, Dennis said that he and Anderson had smoked marijuana and then drank at a bar before the robberies and murder. While Dennis admitted he fired the sawed-off shotgun three times that night, he asserted that each shot was accidental and that he "could barely focus" when they came upon Kyle and his party guest. After shooting Kyle, Dennis claimed he almost fell down and that Anderson had to help him flee the scene. Yellow shotgun shell casings were found a few days after the murder. One was found in the area where the first man was accosted, the other was discovered in front of Kyle’s home. A forensic scientist with the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation ("BCI") determined that the two casings were fired from the sawed-off shotgun that Dennis identified as his own. UPDATE: A man convicted of murder during a $15 robbery a decade ago was executed in Ohio on Wednesday, the seventh in the state this year. Adremy Dennis, 28, was pronounced dead at 10:10 a.m. EDT at the state prison in Lucasville, Ohio, following an injection of lethal chemicals, prison officials said. Ohio Gov. Bob Taft had denied clemency the day before, saying the case had been thoroughly reviewed and the crime was brutal. Dennis was convicted of aggravated murder for killing Kurt Kyle with a sawed-off shotgun after encountering Kyle and a companion in a driveway in Akron, Ohio. He took $15 from the companion but killed Kyle when he said he had no money, police said. Dennis was 18 when the crime occurred in June 1994.

 

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
October 20, 2004    Texas  Mark A. Frazier  Ricky Morrow  executed 

In the late morning of January 19, 1982, Morrow and Linda Ferguson, who married Morrow after the crime, proceeded to a Laundromat so that Ferguson could do their laundry while Morrow went to a pawnshop to purchase a radio. He later returned for Ferguson and they in turn went back to the pawnshop ostensibly to purchase a television. They instead purchased two handguns – a smaller .25 pistol and a larger .38 revolver. After purchasing the weapons, they proceeded to a mall to purchase ammunition. Ferguson and Morrow arrived at Metropolitan Savings at around 4:15 p.m. Morrow went inside the bank and “started screaming and cursing and hollering and directing profanities at everyone in the bank and demanding the money.” Five employees were working at Metropolitan at the time of the robbery. Morrow exited the bank with a sack of money, including coins. As he exited, the sack ripped and his gun discharged. He stopped to retrieve the dropped money. Two bystanders witnessed a man leaving the scene with money falling from a ripped sack. No one disputes that the man they saw was Ricky Morrow. After leaving Metropolitan, Morrow and Ferguson arrived at First Texas Savings between 4:30 and 5:00 p.m. As Morrow entered First Texas he approached an employee at her desk. When Mark Frazier, another bank employee, asked Morrow if he needed assistance, Morrow “started screaming and ranting and raving and cursing and hollering it was a robbery.” He led Frazier at gunpoint to a teller's window and pointed one pistol at her and another pistol at Frazier. After getting a sack of money from the teller, Morrow shot and killed Frazier and exited the bank with just slightly over $5000. Two employees of the bank witnessed the murder. One testified that when Morrow entered the bank, Frazier approached him, asking if he could be of help; that Morrow had a big gun in his right hand and a smaller one in his left. Her account of the shooting was graphic, telling the jury that Morrow picked up the money bag with his left hand, turned his head slightly, raised the .38 pistol very deliberately and shot Frazier in the face as he stood two feet away. In her words, it “was as deliberate as anything I have ever seen”; there was a “slight pause” before he pulled the trigger. Finally, she testified that Morrow “turned around and very calmly walked out with a springy little step right up on the balls of his feet with a smirky little look on his face” – a “satisfied look,” and an “I don’t care attitude.” A real estate agent with an office in the same building at First Texas witnessed Morrow and Ferguson leave the scene in their vehicle. She testified at trial that she worked as a realtor in the bank building and was leaving for her car when she heard a shot. She got into her car, arranged her things, and then learned as she looked back that a car blocked her exit. The male passenger bent down as if he were putting something down or picking something up; when he looked up, their eyes met, and he was laughing and smiling, which “chilled” her. She watched him for a brief period, perhaps 30 to 60 seconds, until the car entered traffic. Because the car “whipped around” in a dangerous manner, she felt that something was wrong and obtained a partial license plate number. When she arrived at her destination, having seen police cars traveling toward the scene with flashing lights, she called First Texas, learned of the robbery, and went to the bank to describe the car to the officers. On the following day, she identified a photo of Morrow as the man she had observed. After robbing First Texas, Morrow and Ferguson proceeded to the Park Cities Inn and rented Room 311. A police officer then employed by the University Park Police Department, spotted their vehicle at the inn. He spoke with the clerk-receptionist for the inn and ascertained that Morrow and Ferguson were in room 311. He called for assistance and several units arrived on the scene soon thereafter. Numerous law enforcement officers from the FBI, Dallas Police Department, and University Park Police Department arrived at the inn, converged on Room 311, and demanded that Morrow and Ferguson surrender. An FBI Agent armed with an assault rifle, and a Dallas police officer armed with a shotgun crouched behind a toppled coke machine in the hall outside the room. Six other Dallas police officers were also present at the inn. Ferguson voluntarily surrendered. Morrow then fired his .38 revolver. Law enforcement officers fired weapons and Morrow subsequently surrendered. UPDATE: Ricky Morrow of Houston has been tried three times on capital murder charges in the January 1982 shooting death of a savings and loan security guard. His initial November 1983 capital murder conviction was overturned by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in March 1988 because of an improper question posed to prospective jurors. A second trial ended in a mistrial in July 1989. Morrow admits killing Mark Frazier, but said the shooting occurred accidentally while he was trying to rob First Texas Savings and Loan. "I'm not innocent of a crime. I'm innocent of capital murder," Morrow said from his cell at the Lew Sterrett Justice Center in Dallas. Under Texas law, a killing during the commission of a felony can bring the death penalty. "It was a complete accident, something I never intended to happen. I was drunk, I was on psychiatric medication, I had just been released from a hospital seven days before," he said. "In my own mind, I do not think that it would be any more wrong for me to die than it was for him.... He should be living today and would be living today had I not gone out and got drunk and decided to rob a bank. But I did and it happened," Morrow said. An employee of Metropolitan Bank testified that Morrow was not intoxicated on drugs or alcohol. She denied telling police officers a different story, explaining that she told the officers that Morrow was “high like on adrenaline,” an appeared to be “excited with the thrill of what was going on.” An employee of Metropolitan testified that Morrow was not drunk out of his senses, that he did not stagger or slur his words. A police officer present at Morrow’s arrest testified that Morrow appeared “high” on drugs or adrenaline, and prompted by the prosecutor, accepted that Morrow could have been on a “murder high.”  The Fifth Circuit Court of appeals found that "it is important that Morrow plead guilty to the robbery of the Metropolitan Savings & Loan and to attempted capital murder of the police officers who arrested him at the Park City Inn. These pleas of guilty were to offenses having an element of intentionality and were put before the jury by Dan Hagood, the prosecutor, in his cross-examination of Morrow. This left Morrow confessing that he was sober enough in his first robbery, minutes before the fatal shooting in the second robbery - where he claims he was stoned. Yet he was again sufficiently sober a short while after the homicide to have the intent to kill arresting officers. With his claims of intoxication now tightly sandwiched between another bank robbery and shooting, Morrow attempted to explain in his trial testimony that he did not intend to shoot Frazier; rather, concerned that the cocked .38 pistol he had trained on Frazier at a distance of two feet might accidentally discharge, he testified that he attempted to uncock the gun by lowering the hammer with his thumb while releasing it by pulling the trigger. The detailing at trial of his thought processes while attempting this maneuver was plainly in (conflict) with his claim that he was so drunk that he had no intent to kill and even more so his pleas of guilty to the first robbery and to attempting to kill the arresting officers a short while after the second robbery with its fatal shooting. Evidence of some impairment is relevant to the claim that the shooting was accidental, but evidence that he was so drunk as to lack cognitive awareness was undercut by his detailed explanation of how the shooting occurred. On this record accidental shooting was Morrow’s only arguably plausible defense to capital murder." Morrow had previous convictions including a 25-year sentence for possession of dangerous drugs, theft and burglary. He served 5 years before being paroled in October of 1975.  Less than a year later, he was returned to prison with a parole violation and a new sentence of 25 years for aggravated robbery. He was again paroled after serving 5 years and committed this murder less than 6 months later.

 

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
October 22, 2004 North Carolina  Mitzi Phillips
Katie Phillips, 14
Earl Phillips
Cora Owens Philips
Eddie Lewis Phillips
Chad Watt
Charles Roache executed 

Correction Secretary Theodis Beck has set Oct. 22, 2004 as the execution date for inmate Charles Wesley Roache. The execution is scheduled for 2:00 a.m. at Central Prison in Raleigh. Roache, 30, was sentenced to death April 24 and 25, 2001 in Haywood County Superior Court for the murders of Mitzi and Katie Phillips. He also received life sentences without parole for the murders of Earl Phillips, Cora Owens Philips and Eddie Lewis Phillips. An additional sentence of life imprisonment was imposed in Alexander County Superior Court for the murder of Chad Watt. On the morning of September 29, 1999 Chris Lippert and Chad Watt had been drinking and looking for marijuana. Lippert had met Chad Watt earlier that month. Lippert and Watt went to Mark Stout's house and picked up Stout and his friend, Charles Roache. While Lippert was driving Watts' car, he ran over something and punctured the car's gas tank. When Watt became upset about the damage, Roache and Stout beat him and threw him in the trunk of the car. Lippert drove to a wooded area where Roache hit Watt with a shotgun and, according to Lippert, broke Watt's neck. Roache shot Watt in the eye, and Lippert shot Watt in the head. The three men buried Watt in the woods and got a ride to Roache's house and Stout's house. The men left the shotgun at Stout's house and put their clothes in a bag, which they later threw in a dumpster at a fish camp. Lippert returned to his grandparents' house and spent the night there. The next morning, Lippert stole a 1970 Ford truck and went to Stout's house. Stout, Lippert and Roache went to Wal-Mart, where Lippert and Roache stole two pairs of boots. The men also stole a license plate from a similar truck in the parking lot. Stout gave Lippert and Roache a sawed-off .20-gauge shotgun, ammunition, and a can of mace. As Lippert and Roache left the area, they stole items from several vehicles and bought beer. They also stopped at a rest area and tried to rob a man, but he did not have a wallet. The two traveled to Haywood County, situated near the North Carolina-Tennessee border, and exited Interstate 40 at Jonathan Creek. As Lippert attempted a three-point turn, he backed the truck over a roadside embankment and was unable to get out. Lippert and Roache began walking down Rabbit Skin Road and looked for a car to steal. As the two walked along Earl Lane, they discovered the home of Earl and Cora Phillips. Roache entered the house first, while Lippert said he remained outside. Upon hearing screams and gunshots, Lippert entered the house and saw Earl and Cora Phillips on the living room floor. Roache told exactly the opposite story, saying that Lippert entered the home while he had remained outside until he heard screams and gunshots. Roache demanded guns, money, and car keys and searched for those items while Lippert took $50 from Mr. Phillips' wallet. Lippert put his hands on Mrs. Phillips' head to quiet her, and Roache shot her in the head. Lippert's shirt was covered with blood spatter from the wound. Roache shot Mr. Phillips in the head; he and Lippert stole Mr. Phillips' Ford truck and left the house. Lippert lost control of the vehicle and flipped it a short distance from the house. Lippert and Roache returned to the Phillips house to find another car to steal. As they stood in the yard, the Phillips' son Eddie grabbed Lippert by the hair and the two fought. Roache shot Eddie, then went into the house alone. Lippert said he followed Roache inside after hearing more screams and gunshots and saw the body of Mitzi Phillips, Eddie's wife, in the kitchen. Lippert and Roache stole a maroon Saturn and soon wrecked it on Interstate 40. The two then split up. Lippert was befriended by Mr. Ricky Prestwood shortly after the murders. Mr. Prestwood bought Lippert some clothes at the Salvation Army, let him wash his bloody clothes with Clorox and Dawn, and let him stay at his campsite overnight. The next day, Mr. Prestwood purchased a bus ticket to New Orleans for Lippert and took him to the bus station. Police were dispatched to the Phillips home at 9:59 p.m. Once there, they discovered the bodies of Earl and Cora Phillips in the living room of their home. The bodies of Mitzi Phillips and Eddie's and Mitzi's youngest daughter Katie Phillips were found in other rooms of the house. Eddie Phillips' body was found on the side of the road close to his parents' house. When he was discovered by a neighbor, he was still alive and tried to speak; however, he died shortly thereafter. Police found a Ford truck off Rabbit Skin Road, and also discovered Earl Phillips' Ford wrecked and lying upside down a short distance from the home. Witnesses saw two white men driving Mitzi Phillips' maroon Saturn at a high rate of speed. The car was headed toward Tennessee. The officers collected shotgun shells and DNA evidence. The shells at the murder scene and near the stolen vehicles were fired from guns found in the maroon Saturn and near the Phillips home. Shells were found in all three vehicles. Lippert's DNA was found on the sawed-off shotgun retrieved from the Saturn. On October 1, 1999, Roache was arrested near the Phillips home. He made an inculpatory statement to State Bureau of Investigation agents admitting he shot the five members of the Phillips family, though he maintained two of the victims “were already dead” when he shot them. Roache also told the agents that Lippert was with him at the Phillips home. Lippert was promptly charged with five counts of first-degree murder and a manhunt ensued. On October 8, 1999, Lippert was apprehended in New Orleans and taken into custody by Louisiana authorities.

 

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
October 26, 2004    Texas  Andrew Lastrapes Jr., 41   Dominique Green  executed 

Three men charged with capital murder in the killing of a man found shot to death in his truck went on a robbery spree two days after the slaying according to police. Andrew Lastrapes was parking his truck in a shopping center when he was shot once in the chest, robbed and left in his truck in Houston on October 14, 1992. The victim's pockets were ripped and his wallet was missing. A woman found Andrew and notified authorities. He was rushed to Ben Taub Hospital, where he died during surgery. Dominique Jerome Green, 18, Michael K. Neal, 19, and Paul George Lyman II, 19, were charged on Oct. 22, 1992. A fourth man, Mark Potter, 20, was charged with aggravated robbery in connection with the slaying. One of the suspects was carrying a TEC-9, 9mm semi-automatic pistol, authorities said. Lastrapes was shot once in the chest when he did not immediately hand over his wallet. The suspects tore Lastrapes' pants as they took his wallet, investigators said. Another person was robbed by the same two men in front of the center just before Lastrapes was shot and killed. Two days later, the same two suspects and a third man were involved in a string of robberies in southeast Houston, police said. Vehicles were taken in two of the robberies and they were caught after a police officer spotted the second stolen car, authorities said. They rammed the police car during the chase and headed to Freeport, where they abandoned the vehicle. Two were captured immediately, police said. The other suspects was caught with the help of bloodhounds and mounted officers, authorities said. The suspects had the gun that was used in the Lastrapes slaying with them when they were captured, police said. A check confirmed that the gun matched the one used in the killing. The suspects told officers of their involvement in the killing and led police to the getaway driver in the Lastrapes case. UPDATE: A Houston teen-ager who made a living selling crack cocaine was sentenced to die by injection for the capital killing of one of 10 people he robbed in a three-day crime spree. Jurors in state District Judge Doug Shaver's court sentenced Dominique "Stumpa" Green, 19, after deciding he deliberately killed Andrew Lastrapes Jr., 41, during a robbery and will remain a menace to society. Testimony showed Green was thrown out of his home at age 15 when his mother, Stephanie Green, found crack in her refrigerator. He went straight into the crack business and amassed a considerable juvenile record for carrying guns, drug offenses and burglary. Lastrapes was slain about 5:30 a.m. on Oct. 14, 1992, after going to the 7100 block of Fannin to meet two co-workers so they could travel together to a construction job. He became the fifth person robbed by Green that morning, prosecutor Kate Dolan said, but he was the only one who was shot. "Lastrapes either told (Green), "I'm not giving you the money' or "I've got something for you,' " Dolan said. Green killed Lastrapes with a 9 mm shot from a TEC-9 pistol. Defense attorney Sanford Melamed contended Lastrapes , just before he was shot in the chest, may have made a move that caused Green to think he was about to pull out a weapon. Three days later, Green and several youths went on a second robbery spree, robbing another five victims in a brief span. They also stole one victim's red Ford Escort, which soon was spotted by police. Green and the other youths led police on a 50-mile chase that ended in Brazoria County when the Escort crashed into a ditch by the county fairgrounds. Two youths were apprehended near the car, but it took prison system bloodhounds to catch Green hiding in the woods. At trial, Dolan paraded all of Green's surviving robbery victims into court to identify Green's face, his distinctive leather coat with a fur-trimmed hood or his TEC-9 pistol. Melamed countered with a psychologist who described Green as having been sexually abused by a teacher and reared by a family that was mostly indifferent to him. The psychologist said Green never managed to develop a conscience. While the teen was in jail awaiting trial, prosecutor Catherine Baen said, he wrote his mother a letter saying he'll likely be "trigger-happy" forever.  UPDATE: Texas death row inmate Dominique Green received a lethal injection Tuesday night in the state’s death chamber in Huntsville after a roller coaster day of appeals. Green was sentenced to die for the 1992 slaying of a man in Houston during a $50 robbery. His attorneys won a stay of execution early in the day Tuesday from a U.S. District Judge in Houston, but late in the day the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans lifted the stay. Green’s attorneys then turned unsuccessfully to the U.S. Supreme Court, which refused to step in to halt the execution. Defense attorneys argued that recently discovered boxes of improperly stored and catalogued evidence could help Green’s case, but prosecutors said say all evidence has been accounted for.

 

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