June 2006 Executions
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Five killers were executed in June 2006.  They had murdered at least 17 people.
Nine
killers were given a stay in June 2006.  They have murdered at least 21 people.
 

Date of scheduled execution

State

Victim name

Inmate name

Status

June 1, 2006  

Oklahoma

Doug Kirby 

John Boltz

executed 

On April 18, 1984, at approximately 9:30 p.m., the Shawnee Police Department received a call from John Boltz's wife who informed the police that she was at her mother's house and that Boltz, who had been drinking, had forced his way into the house and had made accusations about her to her mother. She further stated that when she threatened to call the police, Boltz left. She gave the dispatcher Boltz's car tag number and his home address. His wife called the police department later and inquired as to whether Boltz had been taken into custody. When she was informed that he had not been arrested, she went to her son Doug's house. After they had been there for a short time, Boltz called and talked to Doug. The conversation lasted only a few minutes. A short time later, Boltz called back and again talked to Doug. After this call, Doug left to go to Boltz's trailer house. Immediately thereafter, Boltz called a third time and his wife answered. Boltz told her, "I'm going to cut your loving little boy's head off." Boltz also threatened his wife who immediately called the police and reported the threats. She told the dispatcher where Boltz lived and stated that she was going over there. A woman who lived next door to Boltz, testified that during that evening she heard the screeching of brakes, a car door slam and loud and angry voices. When she heard a sound like someone getting the wind knocked out of him, she looked out the window and observed a man later identified as Doug Kirby, lying on the ground on his back, not moving. She testified that Boltz was standing over him screaming obscenities and beating him. Ms. Witt told her son to call the police. Ms. Witt testified that she observed Boltz pull something shiny from his belt and point the object at the man. Ms. Witt testified that when Boltz looked up and saw her watching, she turned away out of fear. Boltz was arrested in Midwest City, Oklahoma, at the American Legion Hall after a friend informed the police of Boltz's location. Boltz had informed the friend that he had killed his stepson and had probably cut his head off. Boltz surrendered to the police upon their arrival. Dr. Fred Jordan testified that the autopsy of Doug Kirby revealed a total of eleven wounds, including eight stab wounds to the neck, chest and abdomen, and three cutting wounds to the neck. One of the wounds to the neck was so deep that it had cut into the spinal column. The carotid arteries on both sides of the neck were cut in half and the major arteries in the heart were also cut. Boltz testified that Doug Kirby had called him that evening and threatened to kill him. Boltz claimed that when Doug arrived at his house, he kicked in the front door and as he went for a gun, Boltz stabbed him twice, but did not remember anything after that point. A .22 caliber revolver was recovered from the passenger seat of Doug's car. The gun had no blood on it although the seat was splattered with blood.

 

Date of scheduled execution

State

Victim name

Inmate name

Status

June 6, 2006  

Texas

Christine Marie Sossaman 

Timothy Titsworth

executed 

In 1993, a jury in Randall County, Texas, convicted Timothy Titsworth of the capital murder of Christine Marie Sossaman by striking her with an ax in the course of a robbery. The evidence shows Titsworth and Christine had been living together for approximately two months when the murder occurred. A friend of Christine testified that on the day before Christine’s murder Christine told her she intended to ask Titsworth to move out of the house because Christine believed Titsworth was stealing from her. The next day Titsworth killed Christine in her bedroom by striking her with a dull two-bladed ax approximately sixteen times, excluding the defensive wounds on Christine's hands and legs. Christine probably was asleep in bed when the attack began. At some point during the attack Christine “was either taken off or came off the bed.” Christine suffered at least seven blows from the ax while she was on the floor. After the attack, Titsworth left Christine on the floor. The medical examiner testified Christine could have lived anywhere from twenty minutes to “a number of hours” after the initial attack. After she died, Christine suffered at least one more blow from the ax in a separate episode from the initial attack. After the initial attack, Titsworth took Christine’s car and some of Christine’s personal property. Titsworth sold Christine’s personal property and used the money to buy crack cocaine. Over the next couple of days Titsworth and other admitted crack cocaine users made a couple of trips to Christine’s home and took more of her property. They used Christine’s property to buy more crack cocaine. One of these witnesses testified Titsworth acted like he was “just having a good time.” After Titsworth exhausted his supply of money and drugs, he slept for approximately ten or eleven hours. After he awoke, he and another person decided to make another trip to Christine’s home in Christine’s car to get more of her property. However, by this time Christine’s mother had found Christine’s body and had alerted the police who were then looking for Titsworth. The police arrested Titsworth and another person in Christine’s car while, according to this other person, they were on their way to Christine’s home. Later that day, after initially denying any involvement in the offense, Titsworth confessed to killing Christine and taking her property. In his confession, Titsworth claimed he and Christine had some type of argument after she accused Titsworth of “messing around.” After slapping Titsworth around, Christine went to bed. Titsworth left the house and bought some crack cocaine and a pill he thought was LSD. Titsworth ingested the drugs and went back to the house. Titsworth retrieved an ax from a closet while Christine was asleep in bed. Titsworth claimed he blacked out but he remembered hitting Christine with the ax. He claimed he hit Christine four or five times with the ax. He claimed that when he realized what he had done he did not know what to do so he sold some of Christine’s property and bought more crack cocaine. On his first trip back to Christine’s home, Titsworth claimed Christine “was still breathing and it looked like she had tried to crawl into the bathroom.” However, Titsworth left the house with more of Christine’s property which Titsworth sold to buy more crack cocaine. Titsworth claimed he was taking a friend home when the police arrested him. Titsworth’s theory at trial was that he was not guilty of capital murder because the evidence showed only that he killed Christine under the influence of drugs as a result of a “lover’s spat” and not with the intent to take her property. Megan Sossaman was only four years old when her mother was murdered. "She was a good person. She was real fun," Megan said. Megan had spent the weekend with her grandparents, and they had brought her back to her mom's house in Amarillo. "I remember the weekend it happened. We knocked. Nobody answered... We didn't know what happened." Christine Sossaman was dead inside, killed with 16 blows from a dull ax. Megan Sossaman is now a young woman of 18.  She watched beside her aunt, grandmother and two uncles as Timothy Titsworth was executed for killing her mother. "There are no words to describe the pain and suffering you went through all the years I've had. All these years, that is something that I cannot take back from you all," Titsworth said in the seconds before he received lethal injection. "My family all knows the sincerity in my heart when I say these words to you. If these words can ever touch your heart, I am sorry, I am truly sorry," he said. "It won't fix it," said Megan. "It can't be undone." Her grandmother said, "He orphaned Megan." Inez Zetzsche added, "He left us with a void in our lives." Of the apology, Zetzsche said, "I was shocked, shocked in a good sense. I didn't expect him to apologize to Megan because he ruined her life and our lives." While she credited Titsworth with sincerity, she said his death likely won't bring the closure he sought. "But I know he won't ever harm anyone else," she said.

 

Date of scheduled execution

State

Victim name

Inmate name

Status/

June 8, 2006  

Virginia

Archie Moore
Elizabeth Kendrick
Jessie Kendrick 

Percy Walton

stayed 

Percy Levar Walton murdered three people in the same neighborhood in Danville, Virginia, in two separate incidents. Two of the victims were an elderly couple, Elizabeth and Jessie Kendrick. While burglarizing their home, Walton shot both of them at close range in the top of the head. Walton murdered the a young man, Archie Moore, in his home by shooting him above his left eye. Although the physical evidence alone overwhelmingly established Walton’s guilt, Walton also admitted to several other jail inmates that he committed the murders and described the graphic details of the murders to his cellmate. Two mental health professionals determined that Walton was competent to stand trial, i.e. that Walton understood precisely the charges against him, he knew that evidence was required to convict him, he was able to assist his lawyers in his own defense, and he realized that he could get the death penalty for his crimes. Based on this evidence and the fact that Walton had told at least two of his fellow inmates that he intended to "play crazy," Walton’s counsel ultimately decided not to pursue further a claim that Walton was incompetent to stand trial or plead guilty. With the assistance of counsel, on October 7, 1997 Walton pled guilty to all three murders, three counts of robbery, one count of burglary, and six counts of using a firearm in the commission of a felony. After determining that Walton would likely commit additional criminal acts and would be a continuing serious threat to society, the Danville Circuit Court sentenced Walton to death for the three murders.  Walton was no stranger to crime before he murdered these three people. His prior convictions include burglary, grand larceny, resisting arrest, assault and battery on a police officer, juvenile possession of a firearm, and assault and battery. The state trial court sentenced Walton to death. Walton has tried to play the mental retardation trump card so popular among condemned inmates these days, however, his IQ score in 1996, shortly before he turned 18, was 90 - well above the accepted threshold for mild mental retardation of 70.

 

Date of scheduled execution

State

Victim name

Inmate name

Status

June 8, 2006  

Tennessee

Stephen Edward Holton, 12
Brent Holton, 10
Eric Holton, 7
Kayla Marie Holton, 4

Daryl Holton

stayed until 9/19/06  

Daryl Holton was convicted of four counts of premeditated first degree murder for killing his four children in 1997. All four children, twelve-year-old Stephen Edward Holton, ten-year-old Brent Holton, six-year-old Eric Holton, and four-year-old Kayla Marie Holton, were shot to death with a Russian SKS semi-automatic assault rifle, police said. Kayla was not Holton’s daughter, but he considered her his child. Holton, who had been involved in a custody fight with his ex-wife, turned himself in at the police station and said he had killed the children. They were found, shot to death, in rooms Holton had been living in behind an auto repair shop owned by his uncle. Holton and his ex-wife had married in 1984. Holton was in the Army at the time and was deployed to Germany. The couple had two sons during the Germany assignment. Holton was then stationed in Georgia for a time before volunteering for service in Saudi Arabia. His family remained in the US, and their third son was born during this time. Around this time, Holton's paychecks began to be routed incorrectly and his wife experienced some serious financial problems. Additionally, she left the children alone overnight while out at a dance hall. police and children's services representatives greeted her upon her return. She was allowed to retain custody of the children, but voluntarily placed them in the care of Daryl Holton's father in Tennessee and went to live with a friend in Georgia. Holton secured an emergency leave of absence when he learned of these problems, but could not resolve the problems in the marriage and eventually returned to the middle east and left the children in his father's custody. Their mother lived for a time in Indiana then South Carolina. Upon his return to Georgia in 1992, Holton obtained a divorce from his wife on grounds of desertion, and gained custody of the children. He obtained an honorable discharge from the Army and moved to Tennessee. Holton took the children to South Carolina to visit their mother two or three times a month. In 1993, Holton's ex-wife gave birth to Kayla who was the result of a one-night stand with a black man. Holton accepted Kayla as his own child and suggested that she be given his last name. During the pregnancy, the couple began living together again. They did not remarry but lived together as a family again for about 2 years. However, Ms. Holton was drinking very heavily during this period and this resulted in some violent fights with her husband. She eventually moved out of the apartment and went to a shelter with the children. They then moved into public housing in Murfreesboro. When Holton finally learned of their location, he began visiting the kids daily. Eventually the court awarded him weekend visitation. He told his ex-wife that he was concerned about the crime rate where she lived and also complained to her about the lack of housekeeping and the condition of the apartment. In 1995, an incident occurred where Holton had the children for the weekend and upon returning them, refused to let them get out of the car. He told his ex-wife that she had to get into the car in order to see them. She said she did not see any weapons, but got the impression that Holton was armed. She refused to get in the car, and Holton drove away, saying that she was "going to regret it." She immediately called the police, and Holton heard the report on a police scanner in his car so he drove to the police station and surrendered the children. Thereafter, Holton periodically threatened his ex-wife that she would regret it if she ever took his children away from him. Holton continued visitation with the children until the late summer or early fall of 1997, at which time his ex-wife obtained an order of protection against Holton and moved to a new address. Holton was not informed of the move and did not see the children again until November 30, 1997, the day he murdered them. Ms. Holton had begun living with a man who had a young daughter. On Thanksgiving, she called Holton and told him that the children missed him and wanted to see him. They made arrangements for him to pick them up on Sunday, November 30th and return them by 9:30 that evening.  On Sunday, the children appeared to be excited about the scheduled visit with their father. Brent drew his father a picture inscribed with the words, “From Brent and Kayla. I love you Daddy.” Also, when the Holtons met at the Wal-Mart at 3:00 p.m., the children ran to Holton and hugged him. He returned his children’s embraces, however, Ms. Holton recalled that Holton appeared detached or “numb.” After leaving her children with Holton, their mother never saw them alive again. At approximately 9:44 p.m. on November 30, 1997, Holton walked into the lobby of the Shelbyville Police Department and informed the dispatcher that he wished to report a “homicide times four.” The dispatcher testified at trial that Holton appeared to be calm and, indeed, displayed no emotion. She asked him to wait in the lobby and, because there were no officers present at the police station, radioed for assistance. An officer testified at trial that he was driving into the parking lot of the police station when he overheard the dispatcher on the radio requesting assistance. When the officer approached Holton, he stated his name, address, and birth date and again indicated that he wished to report four homicides. When the officer further inquired how Holton had learned of the homicides, he responded that he had killed his four children. Holton then spontaneously stood and placed his hands behind his back in order to allow the officer to handcuff him. Holton continued talking, explaining to the officer that he had murdered his children because his wife and the Department of Human Services had withheld them for several months without permitting him visitation. Holton also informed the officer that he had killed the children in his uncle’s automobile repair garage with an SKS semi-automatic rifle and indicated that both the murder weapon and the bodies were still inside the garage. He also told police he had made some bombs that were located in his apartment.  Police found five incendiary devices that were described as similar to molotov cocktails. Holton had planned to return to Murfreesboro after murdering his children and “to basically shoot” the young daughter of his ex-wife’s current boyfriend, in addition to firebombing his ex-wife’s new residence. For the purpose of firebombing his ex-wife’s residence, he prepared five incendiary devices or “fire bombs.” He also ascertained his ex-wife’s new address using a telephone book, street maps, and the number that he had retrieved from the caller ID unit on his telephone. On Sunday, November 30, Holton retrieved his children from his ex-wife at a Wal-Mart in Murfreesboro. He recalled that Ms. Holton “was dressed nicely. She was wearing makeup. She said she was happy. And that did not make me happy.” He also related that his children “all came up and hugged me. Kayla just wouldn’t let go of me. As many times that I hadn’t seen them for a while, and she grabbed me and she wouldn’t let me go.” Notwithstanding his children’s obvious joy at reuniting with their father, Holton never reconsidered his plan to murder them. Holton took his children to a McDonald’s restaurant to eat dinner and to an amusement park or arcade before driving them to his uncle’s garage. He noted to police that he “had to play along to avoid any suspicion on the children’s part.” At the garage, Holton showed the children several motors and permitted them to play with some of the tools. Holton also recalled, “We just told each other we missed each other.” Finally, at approximately 7:00 pm or 7:30 pm, Holton left Eric and Kayla playing in a front bay of the garage with an electric drill and a hammer and led Stephen and Brent to the rear bay where he had earlier hidden the SKS rifle. In the rear bay, Holton indicated to his older sons that he “had something for them.” He then instructed them to close their eyes and stand in a line facing away from him, with Stephen in front and the shorter Brent behind. Holton cautioned, “Don’t peek,” before removing the SKS rifle from its hiding place, kneeling behind the children, and aiming the rifle. Holton explained that he positioned the children to enable him to pierce their hearts with a single shot. When he fired the first shot, the barrel of the rifle was angled upward and touching Brent’s back. Holton conceded that he “used multiple shots to ensure that I killed them both” and recalled that he covered their bodies with a tarpaulin to conceal them from their younger siblings. Holton next brought Eric and Kayla to the rear bay, again indicating that he “had something for them.” The two children evidently had not heard any gunshots and inquired about their older brothers. In response, Holton positioned them in a line as he had their brothers, “placed their hands over their eyes,” and instructed them not to peek before kneeling behind them and firing the rifle into Kayla’s back. Both children were struck by the first bullet, and Holton recalled firing his weapon at least one more time into Kayla’s chest. Holton placed Kayla’s and Eric’s bodies with their older brothers’ underneath the tarpaulin, “squared away the area,” and washed his hands. Holton noted to police that “there was no enjoyment to the murders at all.” After murdering his children, Holton prepared to execute the next phase of his plan, i.e., the murder of Kiki and the firebombing of his ex-wife’s residence. Holton reloaded the SKS rifle and placed the murder weapon and the five “fire bombs” inside the car that he previously had parked outside. He also “checked out the entrance of the shop to see if there was
anything amiss, if anyone could have seen me.” Moreover, he was listening to a “police scanner” “to see if there had been any reports of gunshots or anything.” He then began to drive toward Murfreesboro but soon decided that he did not have enough time to execute the remainder of his plan. Accordingly, he returned to his uncle’s garage. Holton noted that, at the garage, he had difficulty looking at his children’s bodies. He considered committing suicide but ultimately resolved to surrender to the police. In explaining his decision to curtail his original plan, Holton noted, “I planned a lot of different scenarios and chose the one that time permitted. I was constantly subtracting - - going over what . . . options . . . - - were left.” Holton also observed, “I had done what I wanted to do. I wanted to shock [my ex-wife] to death. I was done. I was done.” As to his decision to forego suicide, Holton added that the murders were the culmination of a lot of work . . . [and] people would come up with their own conclusions if I had killed myself. . . . This is only part, one part of the story of what happened here. This is gruesome. This is awful. But it’s only part of it. This has been going on for a long time. And if you’re going to have a chance of understanding this, then you’re going to have to talk to somebody that was involved. And I’m the only one that was involved that’s still living. Holton concluded that he loved his children but conceded that he would have difficulty convincing anyone of his love. He felt no remorse or regret for murdering his children. The State also presented the testimony of a consulting forensic pathologist and assistant medical examiner for Bedford County. The pathologist testified that he performed autopsies on Holton’s four children, and he described the findings relating to each child in turn. First, Harlan related that ten-year-old Brent Holton died as a result of multiple gunshot wounds to the chest. Specifically, the doctor discovered two “contact gunshot wound entrances” in Brent’s posterior chest or back and two corresponding exit wounds in Brent’s anterior chest. The pathologist opined that the contact entry gunshot wounds and the corresponding exit wounds were consistent with a scenario in which “a person . . . knelt down behind Brent Holton pointing the gun in an upward angle and pulled the trigger.” The doctor further noted that the wounds occurred in “very close time proximity.” Finally, the pathologist recounted that he also discovered one “re-entry gunshot wound” in Brent’s anterior chest or “front right shoulder area.” He explained that a “re-entry gunshot wound” is caused by “a bullet which . . . passed through an intermediate target” or “bounced off of something” prior to striking a person’s body. He posited that one of the bullets causing the contact entry gunshot wounds and the corresponding exit wounds may have ricocheted off the concrete floor of the garage and re-entered Brent’s body. He recovered the bullet from the child’s body. The pathologist next testified that twelve-year-old Stephen Holton died as a result of multiple gunshot wounds to the chest and abdomen. Specifically, he discovered one “reentry gunshot wound” in Stephen’s posterior chest or back. The doctor reiterated that a “re-entry gunshot wound” is one caused by a bullet that “has either gone through some intermediate target or been deflected.” A corresponding exit wound was located in Stephen’s anterior chest. The doctor confirmed that the wounds were consistent “with someone kneeling . . . holding a gun at an angle upward, shooting through Brent, that bullet passing through his body and entering Stephen’s and then still having enough force and velocity to pass through.” The pathologist continued that the same bullet inflicted a “graze gunshot wound” to Stephen’s chin and nose. The pathologist further noted a contact gunshot wound to Stephen’s anterior chest and abdomen and a corresponding exit wound. Finally, he attested to entry and exit gunshot wounds to Stephen’s right hand. As to the four-year-old Kayla Holton, he testified that she too died as a result of multiple gunshot wounds. Specifically, Kayla suffered a contact entry gunshot wound to the posterior chest or back and a corresponding exit wound. The doctor confirmed that the wounds were consistent with a scenario in which a person knelt behind Kayla, held a gun at an upward angle with the barrel touching her back, and pulled the trigger. Additionally, the doctor observed another entry gunshot wound to Kayla’s anterior chest and a corresponding “partial exit” wound. He testified that these wounds were consistent with a scenario in which “the child is standing up. Shooter is kneeling down . . . . Shoots her in the back. She falls down. Falls on her back. She is lying front up . . . on concrete. Concrete floor. Then the shooter stands over her with a gun . . . and goes bang.” The doctor retrieved “an extremely deformed bullet” and “smaller lead fragments” from Kayla’s body. Lastly, the pathologist testified that the six-year-old Eric Holton died as a result of multiple gunshot wounds to his chest and abdomen. Specifically, the doctor recorded four entry gunshot wounds to Eric’s posterior chest or back, at least one of which was possibly a “re-entry gunshot wound.” He noted that he was unable to determine whether the wounds were caused by three or four bullets. He explained that, if a bullet first passed through another person, the projectile might have split in two and inflicted two separate wounds to Eric’s back. Eric also suffered two exit wounds to his anterior chest and abdomen, one of which was extremely large and likely resulted from more than one bullet. Finally, Eric suffered a gunshot wound to his right wrist. The pathologist concluded that Eric’s wounds were consistent with a scenario in which “he was standing in front of Kayla when she was shot. . . . The shooter was kneeling down . . . he fired a shot through Kayla’s back . . . . Eric had been told not to peek. . . . He was told to close his eyes and place his hands over his eyes.” He recovered one bullet and several bullet fragments from Eric’s body. The jury imposed a death sentence for each offense.  

 

Date of scheduled execution

State

Victim name

Inmate name

Status

June 15, 2006  

Ohio

Emma Hill, 61 

Jeffrey Hill

stayed 

On 3/23/91, Hill murdered his 61-year-old mother, Emma Hill, in her Cincinnati apartment. After getting into an argument with his mother over the frequency of his visits, he stabbed her 10 times in the chest and back. He then stole $20 and left in her car. After spending the money on crack cocaine, he returned to his mother's apartment and stole another $80 from her. Hill confessed to the police three days later. 

 

Date of scheduled execution

State

Victim name

Inmate name

Status

June 20, 2006  

Texas

Anthony Roney, 26
Riki Jackson, 17
Alonzo Stewart, 25

Lamont Reese

executed 

Lamont Reese was convicted by a jury and sentenced to death for murdering Anthony Roney, Riki Jackson, and Alonzo Stewart during the same criminal transaction.  Also injured were a 13-year-old black male and a 24-year-old black male. Just before the shooting, Lamont Reese, his girlfriend Kareema Kimbrough and several friends went to a convenience store in Fort Worth, Texas.  According to testimony at trial, while Reese was inside, Kimbrough got into an argument with several men hanging out at the store getting high, getting drunk and playing dice. Some of those men belonged to a gang faction that often feuded with Reese's friends, who belonged to a rival faction. After Reese and his friends left, and the men at the store resumed their party. A while later, Reese and his friends returned. Within minutes, the 3 men were dead, and a 24-year-old and a 13-year-old were wounded. After the shooting, Reese and his friends bragged about the killing, witnesses said. Some of the men outside the convenience store were gang members, but they were unarmed that night, prosecutors conceded during their closing arguments. "They were not posing a threat to anyone."

 

Date of scheduled execution

State

Victim name

Inmate name

Status

June 27, 2006  

Texas

Jesse Howell, 19 
Wendy VonHuben, 16
Christopher Maier, 21
Leafie Mason, 81
Claudia Benton, 39
Norman J. Sirnic, 46
Karen Sirnic, 47
Noemi Dominguez, 26
Josephine Konvicka, 73
George Morber, Sr., 80
Carolyn Frederick, 52

Angel Resendiz

executed 

Serial killer Angel Maturino Resendiz, also called the Railway Killer, was an illegal immigrant from Mexico who wandered the country on trains to commit his crimes and facilitate his getaways. He evaded capture for a considerable time, having no fixed addresses, and making undocumented international transit between Mexico, the United States, and Canada until he was captured. On March 23, 1997 in Ocala, Florida, Jesse Howell, 19, was bludgeoned to death with an air hose coupling and left beside some railroad tracks. His fiance,16-year-old Wendy VonHuben was raped, strangled, suffocated and buried in a shallow grave approximately 30 miles away in We Hope, Florida. Christopher Maier of Lexington, Kentucky was bludgeoned to death on August 29, 1997 by Resendiz. Resendiz also raped and severely beat Christopher's girlfriend, who nearly died as a result. Christopher was 21 years old. He was a University of Kentucky student who was walking along nearby railroad tracks with his girlfriend when the two were attacked by Resendiz. On October 4, 1998, in Hughes Spring, Texas, Leafie Mason, 81, was hammered to death with a fire iron by Resendiz, who entered her home through a window. Her house was right in front of the railroad tracks. Claudia Benton, 39 was a doctor in Houston who worked with children. On December 17, 1998, Claudia was raped, stabbed, and bludgeoned repeatedly after she entered her home, which was near the train tracks. Police found her Jeep Cherokee in San Antonio and found Resendiz's fingerprints on the steering column. Norman J. Sirnic, 46, and Karen Sirnic, 47, were bludgeoned to death on May 2, 1999, by a sledgehammer. The murders occurred in a parsonage of the United Church of Christ in Weimar, Texas where Norman was the pastor. The building was located adjacent to a railroad. The Sirnics' red Mazda was also found in San Antonio three weeks later, and fingerprints linked their case with the Claudia Benton case. Noemi Dominguez, a 26-year-old schoolteacher in Houston, was bludgeoned to death in her apartment near some railroad tracks on June 4, 1999. Seven days later, her white Honda Civic was discovered by state troopers on the International Bridge in Del Rio, Texas. Resendiz's next known victim was  Josephine Konvicka, 73 years old. On June 4, 1999, Josephine was killed by the blow of a pointed garden tool on the head while she lay sleeping in her home. Her farmhouse was not far from Weimar. Resendiz attempted to steal her car but was unable to take it since he could not find the car keys. On June 15, 1999, Resendiz showed up far from Texas, in Gorham, Illinois. Resendiz shot George Morber, Sr., 80, in the head with a shotgun and then clubbed Carolyn Frederick, 52, to death. Their house was located only 100 yards away from a railroad line. Later, a witness saw a man matching Resendiz's description driving Carolyn Frederick's red pickup truck 60 miles south of the murder scene, in Cairo, Illinois. In an effort to find the killer, police tracked down Resendiz's sister, Manuela. Manuela feared that her brother might kill someone else or be killed by the FBI, so she agreed to help. A Texas Ranger named Drew Carter, accompanied by Manuela and a spiritual advisor met with Resendiz on a bridge connecting El Paso, Texas, with Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua. Resendiz surrendered to him. The state of Texas tried Resendiz for the murder of Dr. Claudia Benton. He was found guilty and was sentenced to death by lethal injection. There could be many additional murders that Resendiz committed that were never tied to him.

 

Date of scheduled execution

State

Victim name

Inmate name

Status

June 27, 2006  

Pennsylvania

Carlos Martinez, 26

Jose DeJesus

stayed 

In July 1998, Jose DeJesus was convicted of first-degree murder for the 1997 shooting of 26-year-old Carlos Martinez. The evidence adduced at trial established that DeJesus and a man known as “Capone” had an on-going dispute in June of 1997. On June 19, 1997, Capone and several acquaintances allegedly opened fire with firearms on DeJesus’s house in Philadelphia. Sometime before 8:00 p.m. on June 20, 1997, DeJesus noticed a man, who apparently looked very much like Capone and was wearing a bandana on his head, driving a new, blue Toyota Corolla that DeJesus knew to be owned by Capone in and around DeJesus’s neighborhood. At around 8:00 p.m., after having observed the Toyota driving in his neighborhood, DeJesus entered a light-colored station wagon parked in front of his house and exited the car carrying an AK-47 assault rifle. DeJesus then went into an abandoned house at 2913 Palethorp and ascended to the roof of the building. About a minute later, the Toyota Corolla rounded the corner of Cambria and Palethorp Streets and began traveling on Palethorp, past the abandoned building. Upon seeing the car, DeJesus opened fire on the vehicle and its driver, strafing the rifle from side to side and spraying bullets up and down Palethorp Street. Unbeknownst to DeJesus, Capone was not in the Toyota Corolla, but rather, the car was being driven by Carlos Martinez, to whom Capone had apparently sold the car that very day. Six of DeJesus’s shots shattered the car’s windows, and one shot struck Martinez in the back. Martinez eventually died from the wound.  After being shot in the back, Martinez attempted to exit the car through the driver’s side window but became too weak and eventually lost consciousness, so that his body was slung partially out of the window with his head almost touching the ground. Philadelphia police officers who responded to a radio call regarding the shooting found Martinez lying on the ground next to the car and bleeding heavily from the chest. Police transported Martinez to Temple University Hospital in a police cruiser, but Martinez was pronounced dead within a half hour of arriving at the hospital. An autopsy revealed that a bullet struck Martinez in the back, traveled through his kidney, spleen, stomach, liver, and inferior vena cava, and exited under his ribs on the right side of his abdomen. The cause of death was determined to be the massive bleeding from the wound to the inferior vena cava. While DeJesus was firing, a man who had been washing his car nearby heard the shots and, thinking that the sound was that of firecrackers, began walking toward the noise. Upon seeing that DeJesus was firing a rifle onto the street, the man turned and began running in the opposite direction but was struck by one bullet in his left calf, two bullets in his left buttock, and one bullet on the left side of his head. He continued running towards Cambria Street even after being shot. At the same time, a fifteen-year-old boy was riding his off-road motorcycle on the street in front of the residence and carrying a three-year-old boy as a passenger. When the older boy heard the gunshots, he was startled and fell while still seated on the bike and holding the child. He covered the child until the gunshots stopped, but when the older boy later returned the child to his mother, it was discovered that the youngster had suffered a gunshot wound to his left knee and one to his left foot. Both the man at the car wash and the young boy survived their wounds. The man was treated at the hospital for four gunshot wounds, and doctors removed the bullet from his head while leaving the other bullets for fear of complications. He remained in the hospital for three days. The young boy was treated at the hospital for two gunshot wounds and remained there for three weeks. Following the shooting, the police recovered sixteen 7.62 x 39 mm cartridge casings from the area in front of the home, all of which were determined to have been fired from an AK-47 rifle. In addition, six bullet holes were discovered in the Toyota Corolla that had been driven by Carlos Martinez -- three in the driver’s side of the front hood of the car and three in the roof. After evading police custody for approximately three months, DeJesus was arrested on September 23, 1997, when members of the Philadelphia Police Fugitive Squad surrounded a house where DeJesus had been staying, and detained him there. Following his arrest, DeJesus was transported to the police station, where he gave a statement to police. DeJesus admitted his involvement in the shooting, explaining that Capone had shot at his house the day before, and that when he saw the “Capone wagon,” he “lit it up” because he thought Capone “must be coming back again.”

 

Date of scheduled execution

State

Victim name

Inmate name

Status

June 28, 2006  

Tennessee

Jacqueline Beard, 9 

William Rogers

stayed 

William Glenn Rogers, was convicted of first degree premeditated murder, two counts of first degree felony murder, especially aggravated kidnapping, rape of a child, and two counts of criminal impersonation in connection with the 1996 abduction, rape, and murder of nine-year-old Jacqueline Beard. on July 3, 1996, nine-year-old Jacqueline (“Jackie”) Beard was playing with her twelve-year-old brother, Jeremy Beard, and her eleven-year-old cousin, Michael Carl Webber, at a mud puddle near her home in the Cumberland Heights area of Clarksville in Montgomery County. The defendant, thirty-four-year-old William Glenn Rogers, approached the children and introduced himself as “Tommy Robertson.” He said he was an undercover police officer, offered the children fireworks, and invited them to go swimming. Jackie went home and told her mother, Jeannie Meyer, about the man. Mrs. Meyer took Jackie back to the mud puddle to investigate. While the children played with the fireworks, Mrs. Meyer talked with Rogers, who continued to identify himself as undercover officer Tommy Robertson. After approximately thirty-five minutes, Rogers left in his car. At around 1:30 p.m. on July 8, 1996, Rogers appeared at the Meyer residence asking about a lost key. Jackie was with her mother when Mrs. Meyer spoke with Rogers. Rogers was last seen walking down the road toward a nearby abandoned trailer. A few minutes later, Mrs. Meyer gave Jackie permission to pick blackberries to take to the doctor’s office where Mrs. Meyer had an appointment that afternoon. Jackie changed her shorts immediately before leaving the house. At 1:55 p.m., Mrs. Meyer was ready to leave and called for Jackie but could not find her. At around 2:00 p.m., a neighbor, Mike Smith, saw a car matching the description of Rogers’ car leaving the immediate area. Smith had seen the same car heading in the direction of the Meyer residence about an hour or two earlier. Mrs. Meyer searched the area by car and on foot to no avail. Jackie was never seen alive again. Mrs. Meyer reported her daughter’s disappearance to the authorities. A composite drawing of the suspect was published in the Clarksville newspaper. Several people reported to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department that the person in the drawing resembled Rogers. On July 11, 1996, law enforcement officers questioned Rogers, who at first denied being in the Cumberland Heights area. In his next interview, however, Rogers told the officers that he had been in the area on July 3, 1996, shooting fireworks with three boys. He later acknowledged that Jackie was one of the three children. Rogers admitted speaking with Mrs. Meyer about his lost key on July 8, 1996, but denied seeing Jackie that day. He said he walked to the abandoned trailer, went to the bathroom there, and then left in his car to look for a job. As the questioning continued, Rogers changed his story again and acknowledged that Jackie was present during his conversation with her mother on July 8, 1996. Rogers ultimately confessed that, after leaving the abandoned trailer, he accidentally ran over Jackie as he backed up his car. Rogers said he heard a thud, discovered the victim under the car, and pulled her out. Her chest was moving as she tried to inhale, and blood was coming out of her nose. Rogers saw tire tracks across her right calf, right shoulder, and neck. He covered the victim’s head with a shirt that he removed from the trunk of the car. Rogers placed the victim in the front passenger seat of the car, drove to a bridge over the Cumberland River, and threw her body, along with a sandal that had fallen from her foot, into the water. He stated that he did not touch her “in any way sexually or abusive.” Rogers reduced this story to writing and signed the statement. Rogers made a diagram depicting how his car had run over the victim. He also signed the back of a photograph of the victim where he had written, “This is the girl I hit.” The following day, July 12, 1996, when officers asked Rogers about the possibility that the victim’s fingerprints were in the car, Rogers changed his story yet again. In a second written statement, Rogers corrected his earlier statement by adding that the victim had gotten into the passenger side of his car and talked to him for about five minutes before she left saying her mother had to go to the doctor. Later on July 12, 1996, Rogers went with officers and his court-appointed attorney to the sites where he allegedly had run over the victim and thrown her body into the river. Rogers re-enacted the events of July 8, 1996, in a manner consistent with his written statements. Investigation of the abandoned trailer showed that the victim’s home and yard were visible from a bay window. A search of Rogers’ car revealed a handheld telescope, a can of glass cleaner, and a map opened to the Middle Tennessee region, including the Land Between the Lakes area. A floor mat was on the driver’s side but not the passenger’s side. Although Rogers’ fingerprints were on loose items in the car, officers found no fingerprints on the car’s interior surfaces. Divers searched in the Cumberland River near the bridge where Rogers said he had thrown the victim’s body, but nothing was found. On November 8, 1996, four months after the victim’s disappearance, two deer hunters discovered the victim’s skull in a remote, wooded area in Land Between the Lakes in Stewart County. DNA analysis of the teeth established that the mitochondrial DNA sequence matched the DNA sample from the victim’s mother. The skeletal remains of the victim were scattered around the area, which was several hundred yards from the Cumberland River and approximately forty-eight miles from her home. Both of the victim’s sandals were found at the scene. The clothing worn by the victim when she disappeared was strewn near the bones. Her shirt had been turned completely inside out, and human semen stains were on the inside crotch of her shorts. A DNA sequence could not be obtained from the semen stains for comparison to the DNA sample provided by Rogers. However, fibers consistent with carpet in Rogers’ house were found in his car and on the victim’s shorts. Dr. Murray K. Marks, a forensic anthropologist, examined the victim’s skeletal remains. He testified that the remains had been in the area from three to ten months. Dr. Marks explained that some of the victim’s bones – the hands, the feet, one entire leg, and the lower part of another leg – were never recovered and probably had been removed from the scene by animals. Dr. Marks could not determine the cause of death but stated that he found no ante-mortem trauma to the bones such as would be expected had a car run over the victim. Rogers’ estranged wife, Juanita Rogers, testified that on July 4, 1996, she and Rogers went to Land Between the Lakes. On the drive back, they stopped at a picnic area off Dover Road about ten to fifteen miles from where the victim’s body was found. After walking in the woods, Rogers remarked to his wife that “you could bury a body back here and nobody would ever find it.” Mrs. Rogers also testified that on July 8, 1996, the day of the victim’s disappearance, she did not see Rogers from before lunch until after 6:00 p.m. When he appeared that evening, his pants were muddy at the knees. The outside of the car also was muddy. Rogers told his wife that he had been in a tobacco field on Dover Road. When she noticed a spot of blood on his shirt, he told her that he had cut his finger, but she did not see a cut. Although she had given Rogers money to put gasoline in the car earlier in the day, the tank was almost empty. Mrs. Rogers also noticed small fingerprints on the inside of the passenger side windshield. The muddy prints went down the windshield. When asked by his wife if a child had been in the car, Rogers said no. Mrs. Rogers further testified that on July 9, 1996, the day following the victim’s disappearance, she accompanied Rogers to the garbage dump. She thought it was unusual that Rogers took only one bag of trash all the way to the dump. She noticed that the car had been cleaned since the day before, both inside and out, but Rogers denied cleaning it. On July 11, 1996, after the police contacted Rogers, he told his wife he had informed the police that he had been with her the entire afternoon of July 8, 1996. She refused to support his alibi. On the evening of July 11, 1996, after his arrest, Rogers called his wife and told her that he had confessed to vehicular homicide and would be home in a couple of hours. Rogers made several additional, sometimes contradictory, statements about his involvement in the victim’s death. He called his wife numerous times from jail seeking to speak with her and promising, if she would pick up the telephone, he would tell her what really happened and where the victim could be found. Rogers also wrote his wife a letter stating that the victim’s death had been an accident, had not been planned or thought out, and had “just happened.” Rogers told his mother and half-brother that he had run over the victim and informed his mother that she should not worry because “all they could get him for was vehicular homicide.” Rogers sent the victim’s stepfather a letter, in which he wrote that he did not hurt the victim in any way. Rogers also contacted David Ross, a Clarksville reporter, and denied ever hitting the victim with his car. Rogers told Ross that he had last seen the victim on July 8, 1996, as she walked away from his car toward her house. Rogers said he had told the police what they wanted to hear because he was confused and frightened.

 

Date of scheduled execution

State

Victim name

Inmate name

Status

June 28, 2006  

Tennessee

Lakisha Thomas 

David Ivy

stayed 

On the morning of June 6th, a Memphis police officer responded to an assault call at an apartment complex. Upon arriving at the apartment complex, the complainant, Lakisha Thomas, reported that she had been assaulted. Lakisha informed the officer that her ex-boyfriend, David Ivy, had assaulted her in the area of Park and Airways with a black Uzi type pistol with a long magazine. She told the officer that David Ivy was also known as “Day Day.” Indeed, Lakisha had “Day Day” tattooed on the right side of her neck. Lakisha advised the officer that Ivy had “said that he wasn’t going back to jail” and “that he would come back and kill her.” The officer described Lakisha as being visibly upset, both at what had happened earlier in the day and upset with what might occur in the future. Upon a visual examination of the victim, the officer observed that Lakisha “had about a two-inch laceration to the top of her head. She had some bruising just above her left chest above her left breast. And she had a right black eye on the right side of her face.” The officer photographed the victim’s injuries. Although paramedics were called to the scene, Lakisha refused treatment and stated that “she would seek medical attention via her own means.” A warrant charging David Ivy with aggravated assault was issued on June 7, 2001. Although the Sheriff’s Department attempted to serve the warrant on June 7, the warrant was not served until June 27, 2001. Lakisha contacted the Sheriff’s Department on the morning of June 8th and provided the Sheriff’s Department with an alternate address for David Ivy. She indicated that he may be found at “an address on Meda.” Later that day, Lakisha went to the Citizens Dispute office, completed some paper work about the incident, and was eventually interviewed. Lakisha was then taken to the judicial commissioner to obtain an order of protection. She was also referred to the domestic violence unit of the police department for a warrant for aggravated assault. The ex parte order of protection was granted. A hearing was scheduled on the matter for June 21, 2001. The ex parte order was never served on the respondent, David Ivy. The order noted that attempts were made on June 15, 19, and 20. The order further noted: “After diligent search and inquiry Ivy is not found in my county. Two days later, on June 8th, the same officer again encountered Lakisha. However, this time, Lakisha was outside her apartment building in the parking lot and she was pronounced dead. Deborah Kelley, Lakisha’s cousin, testified that Lakisha lived in the Magnolia Place Apartments on Millbranch. She explained that her sister, Jackie Bland, lived in the Millbranch Park apartments. Ms. Kelley knew David Ivy as Lakisha’s boyfriend. The couple dated for almost a year. At some point, Lakisha attempted to end her relationship with David Ivy. Although Lakisha had moved out of the house they shared, Ms. Kelley remarked that the couple “would always end up talking back together.” Ms. Kelley stated that Lakisha Thomas eventually moved into the Magnolia Place Apartments off Millbranch. Ms. Kelley related an incident that occurred at her home about a month before Lakisha’s murder, during which Ivy had grabbed Lakisha by her hair. Ms. Kelley told Ivy, “Uh-huh, don’t do that. Let her go. You’ve got to get out of here with that.” Ivy retorted, “I told you about playing with me, bitch.” He then left. A few days prior to Lakisha’s murder, Ms. Kelley arrived at her sister’s apartment where she found Lakisha, sitting at the kitchen table wearing sunglasses. Lakisha had blood on her shirt. Jackie Bland stated, “Look what Day Day did to Kisha.” Lakisha then removed her sunglasses, revealing a black eye. She remarked that her shoulder was hurting and that “she thinks she had a hole in her head.” Lakisha explained that David Ivy had “caught her at Mapco . . . and jumped on her, hit her in the head with a pistol.” Ms. Kelley testified that Lakisha was nervous and scared, scared that Ivy was “trying to kill her.” Jackie Bland then contacted the police. Ms. Kelley later drove Lakisha to Eastwood Hospital on Getwell. Several hours later, Ms. Kelley accompanied Lakisha to 201 Poplar to “swear out a warrant [for Ivy’s] arrest.” On the way to the police station, Lakisha indicated to Ms. Kelley that Ivy was following them. Ms. Kelley pulled the vehicle into an Exxon parking lot and called the police. However, by the time the police arrived, Ivy was gone. The three then continued to the Shelby County Criminal Justice Center located at 201 Poplar. After leaving 201 Poplar, the three women drove to a liquor store on Poplar Avenue. While inside the liquor store, Ms. Kelley observed Ivy. She requested that someone “[c]all the police.” In response, two men in the store went to the front door. Ms. Kelley stated that Ivy then walked back around the liquor store building. When Ms. Kelley returned to the vehicle, Lakisha stated, “Girl, he said he going to kill me. He’s been following me all day.” Lakisha added that “He told me if I put the police in his business he was going to f*** me up.” An employee at the liquor store overheard Ivy ask Lakisha if she hated him, that “it wasn’t over,” and that “he was going to get her.” The women then waited for the police to arrive to escort them back to 201 Poplar. After the incident, the employee observed that Lakisha “was shaking real bad and crying and saying, ‘I know he’s going to kill me. I know he’s going to get me.’” Another employee of the liquor store confirmed the events occurring at the liquor store. He specifically recalled speaking with Lakisha. He stated that “[s]he was very afraid.” He noticed that she was “bruised pretty badly.” She informed him that she had just filed a charge for assault against “Day Day.” He testified that Lakisha had the name Day Day tattooed on her neck. She stated that “he had beaten her up.” He remembered distinctly Lakisha saying, ‘I’m afraid he’s going to kill me.’” The surveillance cameras of the liquor store videotaped Ivy outside the liquor store on June 6, 2001. On the morning of June 8th, 2001, Ms. Kelley, accompanied by Jackie Bland, Lakisha, Andrea and Jackie’s baby, were preparing to leave Jackie Bland’s house. The plan was to drive Lakisha and Ms. Bland to the beauty shop; then Ms. Kelley would take the vehicle to be tuned up because they had planned on leaving and going out of town. That morning, the police contacted Lakisha, indicating that they could not locate Ivy at the address she had provided. While Ms. Kelley finished getting ready in the house, Lakisha and Andrea had already gotten into the car. Ms. Bland, holding her eight-month-old child, was waiting outside the door for Ms. Kelley. At this time, Ms. Bland saw somebody run up and open fire into the front passenger side of the vehicle where Lakisha was seated. The assailant was wearing a black hat, sunglasses and had a towel over his mouth. Although the assailant’s face was covered, Ms. Bland testified that the assailant resembled David Ivy in appearance. Ms. Kelley, still in the residence, heard one shot and Jackie came running in the house, screaming. Then Andrea came in screaming. Jackie said, ‘Call the police. Day Day shot Kisha.” Ms. Kelley then “heard tires . . . like somebody was getting away fast out in the parking lot.” Andrea confirmed that it was Day Day that shot Kisha. Ms. Hunt related that the assailant pulled the towel from over his face, revealing himself as David Ivy. She also stated that, before firing three shots, David Ivy smiled and remarked, “Oh, bitch, you want me dead, huh?” After calling 911, Ms. Kelley went out into the parking lot where she found Lakisha slumped over in the car seat . . . "with her arm in a sling. . . .” Ms. Kelley raised Lakisha’s body and “saw the bullet hole. . . .” Gregory Kelley, Bland and Kelley’s brother, worked as a maintenance supervisor at the Millbranch Apartments. Upon hearing the gunshots, Gregory Kelley ran in that direction. As he approached, he heard people hollering, “somebody just got shot in that car, that green car.” Gregory Kelley recognized the car as belonging to his cousin Lakisha Thomas. Upon reaching his cousin’s body, he noticed two wounds, one to her chest and one to her side. Gregory Kelley pulled her lifeless body out of the car onto the pavement. He then attempted to apply pressure to the wounds while shouting for someone to call 911. Gregory Kelley never saw the assailant; he just saw a “white car speed up out of the apartments.” He testified that the car resembled the car owned by David Ivy. Jackie Bland and Andrea Hunt further related instances of conflict in David Ivy and Lakisha Thomas’ relationship. Ms. Bland recalled an incident where she observed David Ivy "pull a plug out of Lakisha’s head.” She also recalled an incident that occurred about one month prior to Lakisha’s murder. Lakisha called Ms. Bland, telling her that Ivy had broken all the tables in the house; he had kicked the door in; and she was “fixing” to call the police. Ms. Bland also commented that Lakisha had often stated that “she was tired of fighting with him and she was ready to leave Ivy alone but she was scared.” Ms. Hunt confirmed Ivy’s physical abuse of Lakisha. Ms. Hunt further stated that Lakisha would comment that Ivy “had her on 23 and 1. She could only come out an hour a day. That was to take her kids to school and pick them up from school.” A Memphis police officer stated that in May 2001 he responded to a disturbance call at 3725 Millbranch. Lakisha Thomas informed the officer that her boyfriend, David Ivy, “had forced his way into her apartment and was moving the belongings out of her apartment.” Lakisha further advised the officer that David Ivy had “stated that he was going to kill her.” The officer observed that Lakisha Thomas was “nervous and shaking.” She informed the officers at the scene that David Ivy “was stalking her and was constantly making threats to her to harm her and he was upset because she ended their relationship.” The officer related that Lakisha’s grip on his arm lasted so long and was so firm that she had embedded some fingerprints in his arm. He commented that it was obvious that she was very shaken up and afraid. The next time the officer saw Lakisha Thomas was on June 8, 2001, after she had been murdered. The officer and his partner were flagged down by a maintenance worker at the Millbranch Apartments. Upon reaching the body, the officer was unable to detect a pulse from the victim’s body. The officer then began interviewing witnesses. During this time, the officer observed a white vehicle pull out of the complex at a high rate of speed. An investigation of the crime scene revealed the presence of spent casings and bullet fragments as well as several live rounds. An examination of the casings and bullets led a TBI forensic scientist to conclude that this evidence was consistent with a scenario in which a semi-automatic nine millimeter weapon was fired with some of the bullets passing through a body, some bullets being fired and leaving an empty shell casing, and some bullets not firing but being manually ejected from the weapon. Ivy was arrested on June 27, 2001, in Tipton County, Tennessee. He was transported back to Memphis. On May 16, 2002, Ivy escaped from the Shelby County Jail. Ivy was eventually located in San Diego, California. Tommy Westbrooks was Ivy’s parole officer in February 2001. Ivy had been placed on parole in June of 2000, with parole status scheduled to terminate in the year 2020. Dr. O’Brien Clary Smith, the medical examiner for Shelby County, performed an autopsy on the body of Lakisha Thomas. The postmortem examination of the body revealed the presence of “multiple gunshot wounds,” a total of five wounds of entrance to the right side of the body. “The path of those wounds went . . . from the right side of her body over to the left and had an upward course . . . as they progressed from right to left.” Exit wounds were located on the left side of the body, one in the front of the left shoulder, two behind the left shoulder, one of the left side of the abdomen and one on the left side. Powder burns were located on the victim’s right upper arm. He explained that powder burns are small puncture wounds produced in the skin surface when particles of burned and unburned gun powder are projected from the bale of a weapon at a distance close enough for them to have enough energy to actually embed themselves in the skin. And for most handguns this is out to a range of about two feet. He also noticed “stipple type powder burns on the side of her right arm.” Dr. Smith added that there was also a gunshot wound to the victim’s left arm. Dr. Smith verified that bruising located on the victim’s person would have been consistent with the victim sustaining the “trauma or assault that had occurred on June the 6th.” Dr. Smith was unable to determine the sequence of the gunshot wounds. Nonetheless, he provided the following description of the gunshot wounds inflicted upon Lakisha Thomas. Gunshot wound A is an exit wound. Gunshot wound B entered the victim’s body on the right lateral chest. The bullet fractured a rib, pierced the right lung, and damaged the right atrium of the heart. This bullet also damaged the pulmonary artery and pierced the left lung before exiting the body beneath the left shoulder. Gunshot wound C entered at the right side of the chest. This bullet pierced the right lung and the heart; it also bruised the upper lobe of the left lung and fractured the second rib before exiting on the front side of the shoulder (gunshot wound A). Gunshot wound G entered at the back of the victim’s left upper arm. Dr. Smith described this wound as a re-entrance wound, i.e., one of the bullets that exited her body re-entered due to the position of the victim’s arm. Gunshot wound H entered the victim’s body at her right upper back. This bullet “hit[] the spine at the 7th thoracic vertebra. . . ” and damaged the spinal cord. This bullet continued to damage the left upper lobe of the lung and fractured the back of the second rib. Next, gunshot wound I entered at the right upper buttock. This bullet bruised the intestines and the pancreas; it produced a grazing wound to the liver, and left kidney; the bullet then fractured the tenth rib. This bullet did not exit; rather, it lodged itself between the skin and the left tenth rib. The final gunshot wound of entrance is gunshot wound J. This bullet entered on the right upper outer thigh. This bullet damaged the uterus and the fallopian tube. It also “produce[d] two holes in the lower portion of the colon or large bowel” and produced two injuries to the small bowel. The bullet then exited on the left side of the abdomen. Dr. Smith confirmed that the course of the gunshot wounds through the victim’s body was consistent with the victim “balling up in a fetal like position.” He further confirmed that the victim was no more than two feet from the weapon when it was discharged. Of the victim’s vital internal organs, the spleen was the only organ not affected by the gunshots. Thus, Dr. Smith concluded that the victim’s death was the result of the multiple gunshot wounds; two bullets striking the victim’s heart would have ended “her life the quickest.” Ivy did not testify, rather, he presented the testimony of one witness, Vickie Crawford. Ms. Crawford testified that Ivy was the father of her daughter born on April 10, 2001. She stated that she and Ivy lived together both before and after the birth of their daughter. Ms. Crawford explained that she, Lakisha, and Ivy all grew up in the same neighborhood. Lakisha lived near Ms. Crawford, and their children went to school together. Ms. Crawford learned that Ivy was “seeing” Lakisha in October 2000. She stated that there was no indication that Thomas and Ivy were having a difficult time in their relationship. The last time she saw Lakisha was around 3:00 a.m. on June 6, 2001, when she appeared at her residence. Following the proof in the case, the jury returned with a verdict finding Ivy guilty of first-degree premeditated murder.

 

Date of scheduled execution

State

Victim name

Inmate name

Status

June 28, 2006  

Tennessee

Suzanne Marie Collins, 19

Sedley Alley

executed 

Sedley Alley, a civilian married to a military person, abducted nineteen-year old Lance Corporal Suzanne Marie Collins while she was jogging near Millington Naval Base in Millington, Tennessee late in the evening of July 11, 1985. He attacked and murdered her and left her body in a field. Two marines jogging near where Collins was abducted heard Collins scream and ran toward the sound. However, before they reached the scene, they saw Alley's car drive off. They reported to base security and accompanied officers on a tour of the base, looking for the car they had seen. Unsuccessful, they returned to their barracks. Soon after returning to their quarters, however, the marines were called back to the security office, where they identified Alley's car, which had been stopped by officers. Alley and his wife gave statements to the base security personnel accounting for their whereabouts. The security personnel were satisfied with Alley's story, and Alley and his wife returned to their on-base housing. Collins's body was found a few hours later, and Alley was immediately arrested by military police. He voluntarily gave a statement to the police, admitting to having killed Collins but giving a substantially false - and considerably more humane - account of the circumstances of the killing. Sedley Alley's story was that his wife left him after getting in a fight. He drank two six-packs of beer and a bottle of wine. He told authorities that he had gone out for more liquor when his car accidentally hit 19-year-old Suzanne Collins as she jogged near the Millington Naval Base. Alley said that he accidentally killed the young woman -- who was due to graduate from aviation school the next day. However, an autopsy revealed that her skull had been fractured with a screwdriver. After she died, a tree limb was rammed into her vagina so hard that it entered her abdomen and lacerated one of her lungs. Alley tried to convince a jury that he had multiple personality disorder. Alley was convicted on March 18, 1987 of murder in the first degree and was sentenced to death. He was also convicted of aggravated kidnapping and aggravated rape, for which he received consecutive forty-year sentences. He was scheduled to die by electrocution May 2, 1990, but was reprieved indefinitely by the state Court of Criminal Appeals. Judge Penny White made that decision, and she paid for it with her career. She was ousted from the bench during a fierce political campaign that portrayed her as soft on crime. Alley again had execution date set for June 2004 and May 2006, but received additional stays. UPDATE: Sedley Alley was executed in the early morning hours of June 28, 2006. His execution had briefly received a stay from a judge on the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, but the stay was quickly reversed by his own colleagues, who seemingly chastised Judge Gilbert Merritt in their reversal, saying his stay was "highly irregular and in brazen violation of every rule that applies to this situation."  Not surprisingly, Alley had no words of remorse for his brutal crime, speaking only to his children, telling them to stay strong. His daughter, April McIntyre responded, "We will, Dad." McIntyre, a project analyst for a bank in Louisville, Kentucky, had only recently begun visiting her father. Suzanne Collins's family feels this execution was delayed too long. In a short film called "The Other Side of Death Row," John and Trudy Collins explained that their daughter as someone who "always wanted to do something special." John Collins told the filmmakers about his daughter's brutal murder. “Somebody came up from behind her, grabbed her, threw her in his car, took her off-base to a county park nearby, where over time, he battered her against his automobile, stripped her, chewed on her breast and then broke a branch off a tree under which Suzanne was lying and thrust the branch between her legs, up through the entire length of her body, mutilating all her organs.” About the execution of Sedley Alley, John Collins said, “There never will be closure. What you get is a modicum of peace. You get a feeling that somebody cares. The state of Tennessee cared enough about our daughter that it carried out an execution on her killer. But no closure until the day we die.”

 

Date of scheduled execution

State

Victim name

Inmate name

Status

June 28, 2006  

Tennessee

Emily Branch, 13 

Charles Rice

stayed 

The victim, thirteen-year-old Emily Branch, was reported missing on June 18, 2000, and her body was discovered on June 25, 2000. After a police investigation, Emily's stepfather, Charles Rice, was questioned and arrested for her murder. On June 18, 2000, Emily was staying with her father, Steven Dwayney Branch. Branch lived in Memphis with his girlfriend and her three children. Emily usually lived with Branch’s sister, but she was staying with her father because it was Father’s Day. Emily’s mother Tracie was married to Charles Rice during the time relevant to this case, but Emily never lived with her mother and Rice while they were married. Tracie and Rice had argued on June 6, 2000, prompting Tracie to leave Rice and move in with her brother. She had left Rice on numerous other occasions, but had always returned. Prior to her leaving, Rice told her that if she left him, “it will hurt you more than it hurts me.” Tracie told Branch not to let Emily go to Rice’s house anymore. According to Tracie, Rice used drugs, specifically crack cocaine. On the morning of the 18th, Emily left her father’s house at about 11:00 a.m. with three other girls. She was wearing “a white short-pants overall set with a navy blue shirt, some white socks, her blue and white tennies, and she had a necklace around her neck.” One of the daughters of Branch’s girlfriend was with Emily that day. She testified that she, Emily, and five other girls “walked around because that’s our normal routine every day.” While out walking, Rice came by and talked to Emily. The girl said that she could not hear what was said. After Rice left, the girls went to a store and then to Rice’s house on Firestone Street. Emily went inside the house while the other girls waited outside. Emily later came outside and told them that they all had to leave; they left Emily on Rice’s front porch and went to a park. According to the girl, this was about 4:00 or 5:00 in the afternoon. She said that it was not unusual for Emily to go to Rice’s house when Emily’s mother lived there. She did not know that Emily’s mother no longer lived there. She said that she never saw Rice while they were at his house. According to Rice’s stepfather Willie who lived with Rice on Firestone Street, Emily came by the residence on the 18th of June, asking to walk the dog. After Willie refused, Emily went outside to talk to the girls with whom she had been. Then Emily left the house with Rice, walking down the street toward Bellevue Street. According to Willie, this was about 3:40 in the afternoon. Later that afternoon, Rice returned to the house to watch television; he did not change his clothes. Willie said that while at the house, before leaving with Rice, Emily was never out of his sight. Tony Evans, a friend of Emily’s mother and father, also saw Emily on the day of her disappearance. He lived on Firestone Street, and on the afternoon of June 18, around 2:00 or 3:00 p.m., he saw Emily and a “lot of little girls” walk to Rice’s house. Later that day, he observed Emily and Rice walking away from Rice’s house heading west on Firestone. He found it surprising that the two were together because he knew that Emily’s mother had recently left Rice due to abuse. Therefore, he followed Emily and Rice. After turning off Firestone Street, the two went up a small street then headed back on Empire Street, and then south on Bellevue toward an Amoco station. Then they walked past the station through the pathway on the side. At that time, Evans returned home to finish his yard work. Evans explained that he stopped following the two when they got to the path by the Amoco station because the path leads to Brown Street, where some of Rice’s relatives lived. He assumed that Emily’s mother and Rice had gotten back together and that Rice and victim were going to visit relatives. Emily’s father began to worry when Emily had not returned home by 5:00 p.m. on June 18. He called the police that night to report her missing. The police told him that she would probably be back and that they would report her as a runaway. Branch testified that Emily had never run away before, so that night he began to search the neighborhood for her. A few of his neighbors helped in his search. The following day, Tracie called Evans and asked him if he had seen Emily. Evans told her that he had seen Emily and Rice go down the path next to the Amoco station. After speaking with Emily’s mother, Evans went to the area of the path to look for Emily, but did not find anything. He explained that he wanted to find Emily because both parents were his good friends. Several days later, Branch also spoke with Evans, telling him that Emily had been missing since June 18. Evans testified that two days after Emily was last seen, he saw Mario Rice, who is Rice’s nephew, and Rice walk together down to the woods by the Amoco station. He said that the police were called, but they did not get there in time because it was night. During the week Emily was missing, Evans saw Rice and Mario sitting in the yard of a house on Alaska Street, watching that same pathway. This made him even more suspicious of Rice. For two to three nights in a row, Evans hid in the crawl space underneath the house on Alaska Street where Mario and Rice were. While there, he overheard Mario and Rice discuss plans to kill Tracie. He never heard them talk about Emily. He remained under the house on those nights until 4:00 or 5:00 in the morning. On June 25, Evans had repaired his four-wheeler and drove back to the area surrounding the pathway to search again. When he went into the woods, he smelled an odor like something had died, so he began looking in the direction from which the smell was coming. He had to chop through the bushes with a machete. Finally, he stepped up on the tree and looked down, and saw her shoes. Evans ran from the woods to Branch’s house and told him that he had found Emily’s body behind the Amoco station on Chelsea Street. Branch and Evans went in Branch’s truck to the parking lot of the Amoco station. From there, Evans led them down a trail behind the station. They reached Emily’s body, which was lying in a ditch in a heavily wooded area. When they found Emily, her shorts and underwear were down around her ankles. Branch testified that he could not recognize his daughter’s facial features because the body had decomposed, but he recognized her clothing, shoes, and necklace as the same as she had been wearing on the day she disappeared. Evans was also able to recognize Emily by her hair and clothes. After identifying the body as that of Emily, they called the police. Sergeant Robin Hulley of the Memphis Police Department was called to the Amoco station on Chelsea Street at approximately 5:00 p.m. on June 25, 2000, on a “DOA unknown.” Once he arrived at that address, he was led by a uniformed officer to the actual scene behind the store. Sergeant Hulley testified that to the right side of the store there is a pathway that opens onto a big grassy field, about the size of a football field. Emily’s body was located in what appeared to be a dry creek bed in a heavily wooded area to the right of the opening. Emily was lying face up. She had on a pair of white short overalls, which were pulled completely down to around her ankles, and her underwear was also pulled down. Her shirt was still in place. Sergeant Hulley stated that the body was not visible from the path or the grassy field, although it was not covered by any brush. The only blood found at the scene was directly around the body. There was no upper torso, the legs and arms were still intact, and the head appeared to be “mummified.” Emily had on short pants, which were down around below her knees. Michael Jeffrey Clark, an officer with the Memphis Police Department, was also assigned to investigate the murder on June 25, 2000. Rice told the police that on the day of her disappearance, he and Emily parted ways at the intersection of Bellevue and Firestone. Rice was subsequently brought to the police station, where Officer Clark and Officer Ernestine Davison interviewed him at approximately 2:00 a.m. on the morning of June 26. Officer Clark read Rice his Miranda rights, and Rice signed a form indicating that he understood those rights. Clark told Rice that other witnesses had seen him enter the woods with Emily near the Amoco station. Rice denied going into the woods with her and denied any knowledge of her disappearance. Clark then told Rice that it appeared to him that Emily had been raped, and he asked Rice if he would be willing to submit to a DNA test so that police could compare his DNA with the DNA found on Emily. At that point, Rice admitted that he had engaged in consensual sex with Emily inside the kitchen of his parents’ house on June 18, explaining: “I had sex for about a minute with her.” Rice admitted Emily asked him for money and to walk his dog. He said that he asked her to walk to the store with him so he could get some change, but when they arrived at the store, he told Emily that he did not have any money, and they parted ways. Rice then changed his story again, stating that he and Emily went to his house after Emily asked him for money, and this led to the sexual act in the kitchen. Rice said that Emily then left the house alone and that he did not see her again. When Officer Clark confronted Rice with Willie’s story that he saw Rice leave the house with Emily, Rice replied that he entered the woods with Emily, but denied any wrongdoing. Officers Clark and Davison decided to arrest Rice and to place him in the Shelby County jail. While checking him in, Rice asked to be placed in protective custody because he had received some threats from family members in the neighborhood. Officer Clark asked Rice: “Do you mean the family members of the girl you killed?” Rice responded: “Yes, sir.” On cross-examination, however, the officers testified that Rice constantly maintained that he did not kill Emily. Sergeant Fitzpatrick read Rice’s statement to the jury. In his statement, Rice said that the last time he saw Emily was between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. on June 18, 2000, behind the Amoco station. When asked how he and Emily came to be behind the Amoco station, Rice replied, “Me and Emily walked down through there on the way to the field. And that’s when my nephew killed Emily Branch.” Rice explained that he and Mario planned to have Emily at that location so that Mario could kill Emily. He said that Mario wanted to kill Emily because Mario “was tired of seeing me go through things I was going through with Emily’s mother.” The initial plan was to have Tracie, Emily’s mother, accompany Rice to the field where Mario would kill her, but they could not find Tracie. Rice stated that he first encountered Emily on the day of her death as she was walking between Bellevue and Smith Street with her friends. Emily wanted to walk his dog and wanted ten dollars, so Rice told her to meet him at his stepfather’s house on Firestone Street. He said that while they were at the house, they had sex in the kitchen, and “that lasted about sixty seconds.” He said that Emily “brushed her chest against me and said she knowed that her stuff was gooder than her mother’s.” He said that this was the first time they had sex and that he did not reach climax. After the sexual encounter with Emily, they left the house and went to the Amoco station on Chelsea Street under his guise that he would get change and give Emily the ten dollars that she requested. Rice then told her that he did not have the money. At that time, Emily followed him into woods, where they were met by Mario. Rice then said: "And that’s when we said, “F*** this b***h; let’s kill this b***h.” I told Emily about an apple tree and a fenced-in area, so she went in there, and that’s when my nephew started to stab her. He stabbed her in the head first and in the throat numerous times and in the chest area numerous times. That’s when I ran, and my nephew, Mario Rice, ran behind me. We got out to the street on Brown, and I ran towards Lewis or Louisville. I don’t know which one. And Mario went the other way on Brown. I went up Louisville or Lewis to a friend’s house on Montgomery. Then I went to another friend’s house on Ayers, and that’s where Mario and I met up again. We started drinking, and we stayed together until about 10:00 p.m. And then he went home and I went home. Rice said that Mario used a “kitchen knife, not a butcher knife.” He then provided more details about the actual murder, saying: "She was facing him, and he was facing her, and there were a lot of words. He was talking to her. I really don’t know exactly what he was saying. Then he pulled the knife from out of his left back pocket, and then he stabbed her in the head. She went down on one or two knees, and that’s when he stabbed her in the throat a bunch of times, and she fell back on her back. She was moving her hands like she was trying to tell Mario to stop. She pulled – and she had pulled her clothes down before the first stabbing, and I guess she thought she was getting ready to be raped by what Mario was saying because it made me wonder why was she taking her clothes down. As I think about it, I think she must of fell back because of the way Mario was stabbing her in the neck and chest." Rice said that the plan was to lure Emily’s mother to the field and to “take care” of her. He said that he “was going to take care of the mother, and Mario was going to take care of anybody else.” He continued, “I was probably going to jump on the mother. That probably wasn’t all I would have done to her.” About Emily’s death, Rice stated that he felt “sad, guilty, and responsible” because he “could have prevented it by not luring her into that field.” Sergeant Fitzpatrick took Rice back to the crime scene on June 27 for a “walk through” video of the events leading to Emily’s death. Rice said he got Emily to accompany him to a secluded part of the field by telling her there was an apple tree back there. Rice then led the officers directly to the spot where the body had been discovered. On cross- examination, Sergeant Fitzpatrick admitted that in every statement given by Rice, Rice denied actually killing Emily. Two or three days after the police first went to Willie’s house, they returned and asked to search the house. Willie granted permission. The police took a knife that was on the dining room table. Willie testified that the knife had been lying there for the “longest time.” Dr. Cynthia Gardner, a medical examiner with the Shelby County medical examiner’s office, testified that she first examined Emily’s body at the crime scene. She said that the body was found “lying on her back in a field” with her shorts pulled down around her ankles. The body was in a state of advanced decomposition, and “in many areas . . . the soft tissues were completely gone and only the skeleton remaining.” She next performed an external examination of the body with the clothing intact. She noted that decomposition was occurring at different rates in different areas of the body. She explained that “differential decomposition is associated with areas of injuries. If there’s a breach in the skin surface somewhere or even if there is a large bruise, which is just a collection of blood, both of those factors are very attractive to the infection bacteria that promote decomposition. So when you see a body where there are areas of decomposition which has occurred at a faster rate, it’s more advanced decomposition in a very specific area. That indicates that there was probably injury in that area." Dr. Garner noted advanced decomposition in the “head, the neck, the chest, the upper back, and in the groin area.” She opined that because of the advanced state of decomposition in the vaginal area, there had been some sort of trauma or injury to that area prior to death. Emily had what appeared to be stab wounds in the right lower quadrant of her torso and on the left wrist. Dr. Garner stated that the wounds to the wrist were defensive injuries. All the wounds were consistent with those inflicted by a kitchen knife. Examination of Emily’s shirt revealed multiple tears that were consistent with those produced by a knife. Ten total defects were found in the shirt: one in the right lower quadrant; four in the anterior left chest; one in the right chest; three in the arm; and one in the back. Dr. Garner observed injury to Emily’s neck, indicating that a sharp instrument went all the way through the soft tissue from the skin down to the bone in the back. She explained that the windpipe and esophagus are located directly in this region of the neck and would “most definitely have been severed.” There was another point of sharp trauma to the back of the skull where there was a puncture wound, but it did not penetrate through the skull. From her examination, Dr. Garner determined that there were ten stab wounds on the shirt, three to the neck, one to the back of the head, and two to the left wrist, for a total of sixteen stab wounds. She concluded that the cause of death was multiple stab wounds. Due to the extent of decomposition, Dr. Garner was unable to obtain DNA from Emily’s body for testing. Emily’s body was identified as that of Emily Branch through comparison of dental records. Dr. Steven Symes, a forensic anthropologist with the Shelby County medical examiner’s office, also testified as to the condition of Emily’s body. He examined the bones of Emily’s upper body and found four instances of “sharp trauma to bone,” three of which were in the neck and one in the back of the skull. The wounds in the neck were inflicted from front to back, penetrated through her neck, and impacted her spinal cord. The knife used had been a single-edged blade, like those of some kitchen knives. After deliberation, the jury convicted Rice of first degree premeditated murder and of first degree felony murder; these convictions were subsequently merged. 

 

Date of scheduled execution

State

Victim name

Inmate name

Status

June 28, 2006  

Tennessee

Steve Hampton, 25
Sarah Jackson, 16
Angela Holmes, 21
Michelle Mace, 16
Ronald Santiago, 27
Robert A. Sewell Jr., 23
Andrea Brown, 17

Paul Reid

stayed 

Robert Sewell, Jr.On Sunday morning, February 16, 1997, sixteen-year-old Sarah Jackson and twenty-five-year-old Steve Hampton were shot and killed as they prepared to open the Captain D’s restaurant on Lebanon Road in Donelson, Tennessee. Steve was the manager of the restaurant; Sarah was a high school student working part-time at the restaurant. An area director for Captain D’s spoke with Steve on the telephone around 8:15 to 8:30 a.m. that morning. Over an hour later, around 9:45 to 10 a.m., an employee arrived for work but was unable to enter the restaurant because the doors were locked. He telephoned the Captain D’s from a neighboring restaurant and got a busy signal. When he called a second time a few minutes later, no one answered. Believing something was wrong, he contacted another Captain D’s employee whose father was a Metro police officer. The employee’s father arrived at the scene and, after the assistant manager of Captain D’s unlocked the door, entered the restaurant between 11 a.m. and noon to find Steve Hampton and Sarah Jackson dead, lying face down on the floor inside the restaurant’s walk-in cooler. The victims had been shot execution-style while lying on the floor. Steve had been shot twice in the back of the head and once in the back. Sarah had been shot four times in the head and once in the back. According to the medical examiner, two of Sarah’s head wounds were fatal, but the two other head wounds were superficial, and the shot to her back was not immediately incapacitating. If these less serious wounds were inflicted first, the medical examiner testified Sarah may have been able to move; and, in fact, a blood pattern of Sarah’s gloved hand on shelving near, but above, her body indicated that Sarah had attempted to pull herself up from the floor after she was shot. The victims were shot with a .32 caliber weapon, probably a revolver. $7140, including $250 in coins, was taken in the robbery. Steve’s wallet, which contained $600 that he intended to use to pay rent, also was missing. The police first considered Paul Reid a suspect in this crime on June 12, 1997, after his arrest in Cheatham County for allegedly attempting to kidnap the manager of a Shoney’s restaurant. From this arrest, the police obtained Reid’s fingerprints and photograph. Although none of Reid’s fingerprints were found at Captain D’s, several items belonging to Steven Hampton were discovered one day after the murders lying alongside Ellington Parkway, a four-lane highway in East Nashville. Among the items found was a movie rental card belonging to Steve. Reid’s right thumbprint was found on this card. The area where Steve’s belongings were found was 11.5 miles from the crime scene and 1.2 miles from Reid’s home. Police also found several shoe prints inside Captain D’s near the safe. Although the tread design of these shoe prints did not match, the length of these shoe prints was consistent with shoes seized from Reid’s residence. In addition, the State introduced into evidence a photograph, dated July 16, 1996, which showed Reid wearing a pair of dingy white tennis shoes that police had not found in his residence. Two witnesses identified Reid as the man who came by Captain D’s the night before the murders inquiring about a job. They testified that a man came into the restaurant through the exit door around 10 p.m., shortly before closing the night before the murders. This man said he was interested in applying for a part-time job and that he worked at Shoney’s just down the road. The proof showed Reid worked as a cook at a Shoney’s 2.1 miles from these murders. The employees gave the man an employment application and told him that the manager, Steve Hampton, would be working the next day. When the man asked if anyone would be at the restaurant on Sunday morning, Carter told him that Steve would be there but would be busy and unable to talk until approximately 2:45 p.m., after the Sunday lunch rush. The man left in a dark-colored car. About a week after the murders, employees helped police prepare a composite sketch of the man they had seen. In June of 1997 the police showed them a photographic lineup of six individuals, including Reid. One of the employees positively identified Reid as the man who had inquired about a job the night before the murders. A short time later, the other employee saw Reid during a television news report about his arrest. He immediately called the police and informed them that Reid was the man who came into Captain D’s the night before the murders. At trial, he explained that he was sure of this identification because the news report, as opposed to the photographic lineup, enabled him to hear Reid’s voice, see the way his lips moved when he talked, and see the way he walked. Three other people who had been driving by the Captain D’s restaurant on the morning of the murders testified, linking Reid to the murders. A man who was passing by the restaurant at approximately 8:45 a.m., saw a blue Ford station wagon with damage to the left front, and possibly to the left rear, “parked at a funny angle toward the rear of the building.” The proof showed that prior to these murders, Reid drove a light blue 1988 Ford Escort station wagon which had been involved in an auto accident in January of 1997. As a result, the car was appraised by an insurance company on February 3, 1997, and was found to have damage to the left front end. The man testified that Reid’s car in the insurance company’s photographs was similar to the car he observed in the Captain D’s parking lot the morning of the murders. Around 8:50 a.m., a woman was driving by Captain D’s on her way to church when she saw a man, whom she later identified as Steve Hampton, standing inside the doorway of the restaurant talking to a man outside who was holding white paper in his hand. She described the unidentified man as dark-haired and approximately five inches taller than Steve. This description was consistent with Reid who was dark-haired and approximately six feet, three inches tall, as compared to Steve whose height was five feet, eight inches. Around 9:30 a.m., another passerby noticed “a car that sort of looked out of place.” According to him, the small to medium-sized car was parked about a car-length away from the front of the building headed in the opposite direction of the drive-thru arrows painted on the lot. He also noticed a man walking hurriedly away from the restaurant toward the car. When the man stopped at the passenger side of the car and looked up, the man “elevated his face and . . . it seemed like our eyes sort of caught one another, and when he saw that I was watching him, he dropped his head, just completely down in a suspicious way.” The man entered the passenger side of the car. The witness described the man as tall, with a muscular build and large neck, dark eyebrows and dark eyes, a full head of hair which was slicked back. The man was wearing a white shirt, dark pants, and white, “not new,” tennis shoes. He heard about the murders the next day and called the police twice to report what he had seen, but no one contacted him. When he saw Reid on television after his arrest in June of 1997, the witness again called the police and identified Reid as the man he had seen near the Captain D’s on the morning of the murder. On the night of April 23, 1997, Angela Holmes, age twenty-one, and Michelle Mace, age sixteen, were working at a Baskin-Robbins store on Wilma Rudolph Boulevard in Clarksville, Tennessee. The store regularly closed at 10:00 p.m. At around 10:10 p.m., Michelle's brother arrived at the store to pick up his sister. He noticed that Angela Holmes’ car was in the parking lot and that the lights inside the store were on. He entered the store through an unlocked door and found no one inside. He called 911. Officers were dispatched to the scene and searched the store. They found the cash register drawer empty, except for some coins, and a safe in an office with the top removed. The victims’ purses were found at the store; no money had been taken from the purses. A mop and bucket were found in the customer area, and the freezer was left open. On the morning of April 24, 1997, the bodies of Angela Holmes and Michelle Mace were found at the Dunbar Cave State Natural Area in Montgomery County, Tennessee, which was between 2.1 and 3.6 miles from the Baskin-Robbins store. Both victims had suffered deep stab wounds to their necks, as well as stab wounds, cuts, and abrasions to other parts of their bodies. Both had bled to death. A witness testified that she had visited with the victims at the Baskin-Robbins store from 9:20 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. on April 23, 1997. At one point, a man in his late twenties or early thirties entered the store and became “obnoxious” and “very loud” about the prices before leaving. As she left the store at 10:00 p.m., the witness saw a “shiny red” car enter the parking lot. Two other witnesses testified about seeing the same car at or near the store. Others testified to seeing a red car near Dunbar Cave around 10:30 p.m. on the night of April 23, 1997. They said they thought it was “odd” because the car was not in a parking space. A serologist and DNA specialist with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation testified that a DNA sample taken from blood found on Reid’s left tennis shoe was consistent with the DNA profile of Angela Holmes. In addition, a DNA sample taken from small blood stains found on the right tennis shoe was consistent with a mixture of two or more donors from which neither Angela Holmes nor Michelle Mace could be excluded. A fiber comparison specialist with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation testified that fibers found on both victims’ clothing were compared to fibers in Reid’s car. The medical examiner testified that Angela died as a result of a stab wound to her neck that went “all the way to her backbone.” The wound, which was consistent with a knife blade of eight or nine inches, transected the carotid artery and jugular vein. He testified that Michelle had suffered fourteen stab wounds, including a fatal stab wound in her neck. He said that a compound incision penetrated Michelle’s backbone, consisted of three changes in direction, and was consistent with a sawing motion. Both victims would have taken five to fifteen minutes to bleed to death and would have been conscious eighty percent of that time. After the latest delay for Reid granted in June of 2006, the victims' families were frustrated but not surprised. "With all of the appeals he keeps going through and all of the drama he keeps starting, we're just trying to stay positive for each other," said Brenda Sewell, whose brother, Robert Sewell, 23, was shot to death by Reid in a robbery at the Hermitage McDonald's. "We've just got to do what it takes to get by," she said. 

 

Date of scheduled execution

State

Victim name

Inmate name

Status

June 29, 2006  

Pennsylvania

James Graves
James Huntley 

James Lambert

stayed 

James Lambert was sentenced to death in 1986 for the murder of James Graves and James Huntley, who were patrons at a bar who were killed during a robbery in Philadelphia in September of 1982. Lambert's co-defendant was Bruce Reese.

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