Three killers were executed in
May 2008. They had murdered at least 4 people.
killer was given a stay in May 2008.
He has murdered at least 1 person.
One killer died on death row while awaiting execution
in May 2008. He had murdered at least 1 person.
Date of scheduled execution
May 6, 2008
Porter Moore, 26
Leslie JoAnn Starkey, 42
William Earl Lynd was
sentenced to death for the 1988 murder of his live-in girlfriend,
Ginger Moore. Lynd and Ginger lived together in her home in Berrien
County. Following an argument three days before Christmas of 1988,
Lynd shot Ginger in the face and went outside to smoke a cigarette.
Ginger regained consciousness and followed him outside. Lynd shot
her a second time, put her into the trunk of her car and drove away.
Hearing Ginger "thumping around" in the trunk, Lynd got out, opened
the trunk and shot Ginger a third time, killing her. Lynd returned
home, cleaned up the blood, and drove to Tift County, where he
buried Ginger in a shallow grave. He then drove to Ohio. Lynd later
killed 42-year-old Detroit resident Leslie Joan Sharkey after
attacking her on the side of a road near Chesapeake, Ohio. Leslie, a
was shot on Christmas Day as she traveled to West Virginia for a
family gathering for Christmas.
A home economics teacher at a middle school, Leslie was described at
the time of her death by her colleagues as a dedicated educator who
wanted her students to focus on the positives in life. As she was
driving down U.S. 52, Lynd, also in a car, pulled in behind her,
flashing his headlights. Concerned something was wrong, Leslie drove
into the well-lighted parking lot of the Kmart in Chesapeake. Both
got out and Lynd told her there were sparks coming out of the back
of her car. He offered to drive to the nearest phone and call
Leslie’s parents in Huntington. She agreed. He then returned,
claiming he had gotten in touch with her father. Starkey got back in
her car and got as far as the West 17th Street bridge at Huntington
when she got out of the car again and was attacked by Lynd, who had
been following her. Leslie, who had been smoking a cigarette, jabbed
the lighted end into Lynd’s face. He retaliated, shooting the young
woman three times — in the neck, right shoulder and left hand.
Bleeding profusely, she got back into her car, driving as far as the
Chesapeake bypass on Ohio 7 where she stopped and somehow got the
attention of a motorist. Then taken to St. Mary’s Medical Center,
Leslie Starkey died a day later just before she was to undergo
surgery. However, she was able to give law enforcement officers a
relatively complete account of her ordeal. With that statement the
manhunt for the 33-year-old Lynd began. Lynd
fled and later pawned the gun he used to kill both women. He
traveled to Texas and Florida, then eventually returned to Georgia
to surrender to Berrien County authorities. The murder weapon was
recovered and identified by ballistics examination, and Ginger
Moore's body was located based on information provided by Lynd.
Testimony in the punishment phase showed that Lynd had also
kidnapped and sexually assaulted another
woman. On Sept. 28, 1975, he pleaded
guilty to the unlawful imprisonment of a woman abducted from a
parking lot on Feb. 25, 1975. In June 29, 1979, he was convicted of
sexually abusing a Texas woman at knifepoint and sentenced to 25
years. He was released after the woman recanted the accusation.
Almost three years later, he pleaded guilty to forcing a Huntington
minor to engage in oral sex in an encounter that occurred the fall
before he was sentenced in Texas. UPDATE:
William Lynd declined to make a final statement prior to his
Date of scheduled execution
May 21, 2008
Ella Springer Bounds, 56
Mary Bounds was
reported missing on November 29, 1987. A few days later, on December
1, her vehicle was located in Houston, Mississippi. Inspection of
the vehicle revealed spattered blood around the driver’s side door.
Mary Bounds’ body was found nearby; she had been severely beaten. It
was later determined that she died of head injuries from repeated
blows. Berry’s confession provided the details of what transpired.
On the evening of November 29, 1987, while driving through Houston
in his grandmother’s vehicle, Berry saw Mary Bounds near a church.
As she was preparing to enter her vehicle, he approached, and hit,
her and forced her into his vehicle. Berry then drove out of town.
Berry took Mary Bounds into a wooded area and ordered her to lie
down, intending to rape her. Berry did not do so; he took her back
to the vehicle, telling her they would return to town. Instead,
Berry drove to another wooded area where they exited the vehicle.
Mary Bounds pleaded with Berry, but he beat her with his fists and
forearm. Afterwards, he carried her further into the woods and left
her. Berry drove to his grandmother’s house, disposing of a pair of
mismatched tennis shoes along the way. At his grandmother’s house,
he burned his bloodied clothes and wiped the vehicle he had used of
any blood stains with a towel, which he threw into a nearby pond.
Berry’s brother, who was at the house, witnessed some of this
suspicious behavior. On December 5, 1987, he called investigators
and told them what he had observed. The next day, Berry was arrested
at his grandmother’s home and soon confessed to the crime. Police
found the mismatched tennis shoes Berry had discarded; in the
above-referenced pond, they found a bloodied towel. The following is an excerpt from the
Clarion-Ledger (Jackson, Mississippi): Berry was convicted of murder and
first sentenced to die in 1988. He originally had been scheduled to
die in October, but his execution was halted just 19 minutes before
he was to have received the lethal dose. The U.S. Supreme Court had
decided to review challenges to Kentucky's lethal injection method.
Last month, when the nation's highest court upheld lethal injection,
Berry's execution was rescheduled. Wednesday he became the second
person in the U.S. to be executed following the court's decision. He
also became the fifth death-row inmate in Mississippi to die by
Berry's execution went smoothly and by the
book, Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner Chris Epps
said. The U.S. Supreme Court late Wednesday denied Berry's appeals.
Berry's attorneys had argued that Berry should have been spared
because he was mentally retarded and because Mississippi's lethal
injection process is unconstitutionally cruel. Epps said Berry was
somber and serious in the hours leading to his execution. "I used to
be his case manager. So, I've been knowing him for a while," Epps
said before the execution. "He's pretty serious now. He's not
grinning like he was in October." Though Berry had requested
that two of his brothers witness his execution, no one from his
family did. His mother, another brother and sister-in-law visited
him earlier in the day. No one from Berry's family spoke to the
media. Several dozen members of Bounds' family, however, were at
Parchman. Chickasaw County Sheriff Jimmy
Simmons was a deputy investigating Bound's death. "He knew exactly
what he was doing," said Simmons, who witnessed the execution.
The sheriff is still haunted by the killing. "Anybody who seen
that lady up there with a shoeprint still in the side of her face
... ," he later said. "I can still see it like it was yesterday."
Gov. Haley Barbour, who denied Berry clemency, said after Berry
died, "Justice has finally been rendered for this horrible crime."
Berry uttered his last words - "no comment" - just minutes before he
was pronounced dead at 6:15 p.m. Though Berry had confessed,
Epps said he never expressed any remorse for the crime. Epps
said he stood in front of Berry's cell Wednesday afternoon and
asked, "Inmate Berry, do you have any remorse for what you did to
Mrs. Bounds? "He said he had no remorse and felt that after 21
years, he had paid for it," Epps continued. "He understood the
question, and that was the answer he gave." Following the
execution, Bounds' widower, Charles Bounds, spoke to reporters.
"I don't have much to say. I just think it took too long," he said.
"I have had this on my mind for 20 years, and it really takes a lot
out of me."
Date of scheduled execution
May 27, 2008
Patricia L. Vaughan
The victim, Patricia L. Vaughan, and her husband, Lawrence T.
Vaughan, owned and operated a small grocery store in Brunswick
County. As part of their grocery store operation, the Vaughans
regularly cashed checks for employees of several nearby businesses,
including a lumber company that paid its employees on Friday of each
week. Consequently, Mr. Vaughan routinely went to a bank on Fridays
to obtain sufficient currency to cash payroll checks for the lumber
company employees. And, he did so on Friday, August 21, 1998. Upon
returning from the bank on that Friday, he placed $10,000 in a bank
bag that he kept in a cabinet underneath the cash register, another
$10,000 elsewhere in the store, and the remaining cash in a safe. On
the day in question, as Mr. Vaughan was starting to eat lunch and to
file an invoice, two men entered the store. Mr. Vaughan saw them and
recognized the taller of the two men as Kevin Green, the defendant.
Green had worked for the lumber company for approximately eight to
ten weeks during the preceding spring, and had frequented the
Vaughans' grocery store at lunchtime, after work, and on Fridays to
cash his payroll checks. When the two men entered the store, Mrs.
Vaughan had her back to the door and was standing five or six feet
from Mr. Vaughan. Thinking that the shorter man was going over to
the "drink box," Mr. Vaughan turned around to finish his filing. As
he did so, he heard his wife scream, "Oh, God." At trial, Mr.
Vaughan described what he then heard: "It was four bangs. Bang, bang
and I was hit. I didn't know where I was hit, but I was hurt. I
turned a complete turn and fell on the floor, sit down on my right
foot and broke my right ankle. And about time I went down, I looked
up and I realized it was a gun being fired. I could see him, he shot
toward my wife with the fourth shot. I saw his hand with a pistol in
it. He was holding like he was target practicing. Mr. Vaughan
testified that Green, after firing the four shots, walked back to
the door and stood there "as a lookout" while the other man came
around behind the counter and tried to open the cash register. When
the drawer on the cash register jammed, Green directed the shorter
man to look under the counter. Upon doing so, he found the bank bag
containing approximately $9,000 in cash and Mr. Vaughan's pistol,
which he then used to shoot through the key hole in the cash
register drawer. Taking the bank bag and the pistol, the shorter man
exited the store, but Green walked a few steps over to where Mrs.
Vaughan was lying on the floor and pointed the gun at her again.
According to Mr. Vaughan, the gun misfired, and Green ejected a live
cartridge onto the floor. Green then fired two more shots in the
direction of Mrs. Vaughan. Lowering his head, Mr. Vaughan heard the
gun "snap" one more time, but he did not know whether Green was
pointing the gun at him or his wife. Only then, when the gun was
empty, did Green leave the store. After Green left, Mr. Vaughan
dragged himself approximately five feet across the floor of the
store to a telephone and dialed the "911" emergency number, but he
was too weak to reach his wife who was still lying on the floor. One
of the first police officers to arrive at the scene testified that
he observed "puddles of blood just pouring out of her nose, her
mouth, her head." A local volunteer medical examiner determined that
Mrs. Vaughan had died at the scene of the shooting. A subsequent
autopsy of Mrs. Vaughan's body revealed that she sustained four
gunshot wounds. One bullet penetrated the left side of her head,
passed through the temporal and frontal lobes of her brain, and
lodged in the inner frontal sinus of her face. Another bullet
entered the right side of her chest and went into the upper lobe of
her right lung. A third bullet penetrated the left side of her back.
This was the only non-lethal wound. The fourth bullet entered the
right side of Mrs. Vaughan's back and penetrated two lobes of her
right lung. According to the forensic pathologist who performed the
autopsy, Dr. Jose Abrenio, this wound caused hemorrhaging in her
thoracic cavity, which led to difficulty in breathing and had the
effect of suffocating her. Dr. Abrenio also opined that Mrs. Vaughan
survived "seconds to minutes" after she was first shot. Four days
after the murder, a warrant was issued to search Green, his
residence, and automobile. During the search of his home, six
bullets were retrieved from the trunk of a tree in his yard. The
bullets were found behind a "makeshift target" hanging on the tree.
Forensic testing on those six bullets and the four bullets recovered
from Mrs. Vaughan's body during the autopsy revealed that all ten
"caliber 25 Auto full metal jacketed bullets" had been fired from
one weapon. About 35 to 50 feet from the tree, 16 25-caliber empty
cartridge casings were also recovered. After Green was arrested, he
executed a form waiving his Miranda rights and agreed to be
questioned by law enforcement officers. During that interrogation,
Green admitted that he and his cousin, David Green, robbed the
Vaughans' grocery store and that he selected their store because he
knew the Vaughans kept a lot of money there. Green and his cousin
had originally planned to wear masks to conceal their faces.
However, they discarded the masks after they had to wait behind the
store in their automobile for about an hour because other people
were in the grocery store. Green also admitted that he shot both of
the Vaughans, hitting Mrs. Vaughan four times. Green was sentenced
to death for this crime twice, once in 2000 and again the next year
after the Virginia Supreme Court ordered a new trial because of
issues with the jury. UPDATE: Kevin Green was pronounced dead
at 10:05 p.m. at the Greensville Correctional Center. Asked if he
had any last words, Green said, "No, I don't got nothing to say."
Before Green was executed, Marsha Brown, daughter of the Vaughans
said, "I feel like we're the puppets and they're being the
puppeteers. It's just a fine line between being hopeful and
helpless. I really regret that another life has to be involved --
that an execution has to happen -- but I just think it needs to be
carried out." She planned to witness Green's execution along with
her father, sister, husband and stepmother. Lawrence Vaughan, 68,
still has a bullet in his neck and one in his elbow from the
robbery. Reached by telephone after the execution, Mr. Vaughan said,
"I think justice has been done . . . he got what the 12 jurors said
he should get."
Date of scheduled execution
May 27, 2008
suicide on death row
William Tilley was sentenced to death in 1987 for shooting to death
Philadelphia Police Officer Robert Daiss during a July 27, 1985 burglary
at the officer's Northeast Philadelphia home. At trial, Tilley
testified that he had forcibly entered the Mayfair home of
Philadelphia police officer Robert Daiss with the intention of
committing a burglary. Tilley stated that during the burglary
Officer Daiss returned home and he fled to the basement with a .38
caliber service revolver that he had removed from Officer Daiss'
bedroom. He was unable to exit the home through the basement so he
hid behind a refrigerator. Officer Daiss then proceeded into the
basement with his handgun drawn whereupon Tilley sprang from behind
the refrigerator and shot Officer Daiss in the chest and in the
jaw/neck. Thereafter, as Officer Daiss lay paralyzed and unable to
speak, Tilley shot Officer Daiss in his left nostril to assure that
he was dead. Tilley also stated that after he killed Officer Daiss,
he secured the keys to Officer Daiss' home in order to return later
whereupon he took a video cassette recorder, and a briefcase
containing seven gold rings, four bags of marijuana, photographs of
persons involved in drug transactions, and cash. Thereafter, the
Philadelphia Police were able to confiscate the video cassette
recorder and some of the rings that had been stolen from Officer
Daiss' home. These items were obtained from people who stated that
Tilley had given the items to them. Other witnesses testified that
the remaining contents of Officer Daiss' briefcase were divided
among several individuals in order to secure their silence
concerning Tilley's commission of the murder of Officer Daiss. In
addition, no less than six witnesses testified at trial that Tilley
had confessed to them that he had killed Officer Daiss during the
commission of the robbery/burglary.
Tilley maintained that he shot Daiss in
self-defense after the officer confronted him with a gun.
"I did not want to be arrested," Tilley
tearfully testified at his trial. "I was scared. I ran to the
basement and couldn't find a way out."
After the verdict, the son of the slain
police officer said, "He deserves what he got. Justice
said Robert Daiss Jr., 20. UPDATE: The body of William Tilley,
46, was found hanging in his cell in May of 2008.
Date of scheduled execution
May 31, 2008
Dean Overstreet was sentenced to death for the murder of Kelly
Eckart. On September 30, 1997, the partially clothed body of Kelly
Eckart was discovered in a ravine near Camp Atterbury in Brown
County. She had been strangled to death with a strap from her bib
overalls and a shoestring from her shoes. Three days before, in the
early morning hours of September 27, 1997, Overstreet telephoned his
brother Scott and asked Scott to meet him at a motel in Franklin.
Scott complied and met Overstreet in the motel parking lot.
Overstreet informed Scott that he needed Scott to drive him in his
van to Edinburgh. About fifteen minutes into the ride, Overstreet
told Scott that he had changed his mind and now wanted to go to Camp
Atterbury. When questioned why he wanted to go to Camp Atterbury,
Overstreet replied, “I took a girl.” Scott drove to a gravel
turnaround in a remote area of Camp Atterbury where he left the girl
and Overstreet. Before doing so Overstreet asked Scott to return in
a couple of hours and pick him up. Scott refused, and Overstreet
instructed him to contact Overstreet’s wife Melissa and tell her to
drive the van and pick him up in a couple of hours at a nearby rifle
range. Melissa arrived at the rifle range around 3:30 a.m. As
Overstreet approached the van, he was sweating, his shirt was
unbuttoned, and he was carrying a blanket and a rifle. When Melissa
asked why he was out so late at the rifle range, Overstreet
responded that if anyone asked concerning his whereabouts she should
tell them that he was out drinking with friends. Melissa drove
Overstreet home, and he went to bed. The following day, Melissa
accompanied Overstreet to a car wash where he cleaned the back of
his van. Despite the fact that the front part of the van was
described by Melissa as “trashy,” Overstreet spent over an hour
cleaning only the back of the van. About a month after Kelly’s body
was discovered, police received a tip that led to the questioning of
Scott about Kelly Eckart’s disappearance. Scott led police to the
gravel turnaround at Camp Atterbury, where police found several of
Kelly’s personal items. As a result of a search warrant,
investigators recovered evidence from Overstreet’s home, including
the blanket Overstreet was carrying the night Melissa picked him up
at the rifle range. They also recovered a hand drawn map of an area
of Brown County near Camp Atterbury depicting the same area where
Kelly Eckart’s body was discovered. Fibers recovered from Kelly’s
shirt were consistent with fibers taken from the blanket. And fibers
found on Kelly’s overalls were consistent with fibers recovered from
inside Overstreet’s van. DNA testing revealed that sperm found
inside Kelly’s body and on her underwear was consistent with that of
Overstreet. After his conviction, Overstreet's four children
requested and were granted the right to change their last name to
their mother's maiden name.
Enduring Legal Process Doesn't Change Parents' Desire For Justice
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