November 2008 Executions
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Six killers were executed in November 2008.  They had murdered at least 9 people.
Three
killers were given a stay in November 2008.  They have murdered at least 5 people.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
November 6, 2008 Texas Otis Flake, 64
Ramon Carillo, 87 
Elkie Taylor executed 

Elkie Lee Taylor, on parole for only three months, was sentenced to death for the robbery and murder of Otis Flake in Fort Worth, Texas on April 2, 1993. Taylor had been paroled in January of 1993 after serving less than 9 months of an 8-year sentence for burglary. On the evening of April 1, 1993, Milwaukee native Elkie Lee Taylor (aka Ronnie Lee Watkins) and Darryl Birdow smoked crack cocaine with an acquaintance staying at the home of Otis Flake, a 64-year-old mentally ill man. While at Otis's home, Taylor and Birdow were observed looking around the house for things to steal and were asked to leave. Otis's houseguest departed shortly thereafter. Taylor and Birdow returned in the early morning hours of April 2, 1993, and ransacked Otis Flake's house, taking jewelry, cash, a television, and other items to sell for crack. Otis's houseguest returned to find the front door open and the house in disarray. She also saw Taylor and Birdow coming from the back of the house and called to them. Taylor had a white bag in his hand. Upon entering the house, the houseguest found Otis sitting up against his bed. His hands were tied behind his back with white plastic tubing, his feet were tied together with a coat hanger, and a T-shirt and two coat hangers were wrapped around his throat. Otis died of asphyxiation due to strangulation. Taylor admitted to his roommates on separate occasions that he and his accomplice had committed two murders. The first murder occurred 11 days earlier and seven blocks down the street. The victim was Ramon Carillo, an elderly man who lived alone. The 87-year-old man was discovered with an apron and a coat hanger wrapped around his neck. Later, when asked if the police were in the neighborhood because of him, Taylor boldly admitted that he had wrapped a coat hanger around a different man's neck and that "dead men can't talk." Taylor smiled and laughed about his offenses. When Taylor was apprehended after leading police on a four-hour chase from Ft. Worth to Waco, he was driving the cab of a stolen 18-wheeler. In the chase, he tried to ram police cars and run over two troopers standing on the side of the road. The chase ended when a Texas State Trooper stood in front of the truck and shot out its tires with a shotgun, causing the truck to stop. Taylor admitted to police that he and his accomplice had gone to Flake's house, and that he had tied Flake's mouth, hands and feet, and that he had taken jewelry, cash, a television, and other items to sell for crack, netting a total of $16. However, Taylor claimed that his accomplice killed Otis. In the murder Ramon Carillo, Taylor admitted that he grabbed the man. However, Taylor again claimed that his accomplice killed the victim with a coat hanger. Co-defendant Darryl Birdow received a life sentence for Flake's murder. UPDATE: A parolee convicted of using coat hangers to strangle a 65-year-old mentally ill man during a burglary of the man's house was executed Thursday evening. "You ain't got to worry about nothing," Elkie Lee Taylor told an aunt and a couple of friends from the death chamber gurney. "I am going home. I hope to see all of y'all one day. Lord have mercy on my soul." Then he looked through another death chamber window where relatives of his victims were standing and told them, "Stay strong. It's bad to see a man get murdered for something he didn't do. But I am taking it like a man, like a warrior. I am going home to Jesus." After telling the warden he was ready and as the lethal drugs began flowing, he said, "Don't forget to tell my daughter ..." and mumbled something that couldn't be understood. Nine minutes later, at 6:30 p.m., he was pronounced dead.

 
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
November 12, 2008 Texas Shakeitha "Kiki" Shanta Carrier, 17  George Whitaker, III executed 

George H. Whitaker, III was sentenced to death for the murder of Kiki Carrier, 17, of Crosby, Texas. Whitaker had been dating Kiki's sister Catina, who had recently left him because of abusive behavior. On the day of the murder, Whitaker drove to his former girlfriend's parent's home outside Crosby and told her mother that he was returning some of her belongings. When he was told to leave them on the porch, Whitaker instead pulled out a .45-caliber pistol and forced his way inside. Whitaker forced Kiki's mother and her 5-year-old sister into the living room where he shot the mother once in the chest. Whitaker followed the child as she fled upstairs, and he found Kiki and shot her once in the head, killing her. Mrs. Carrier heard Kiki yell, "please don't hurt me" before she was shot. Whitaker then pistol-whipped the young child, fracturing her skill in two places. Returning to the first floor, Whitaker saw the mother fleeing through the front door. He got more ammunition out of his vehicle, then chased the mother behind the house and shot her a second time in the chest. She survived her wounds, but suffers from partial paralysis in her right arm and hand. Kiki's younger sister was revived after some effort and was life-flighted to the hospital where she underwent extensive surgery for her blunt head trauma. She still suffers from some permanent neurological damage. Whitaker was tracked to his apartment and attempted to escape by jumping out a window. Whitaker was shot in the hip when police observed him reaching for a weapon. At trial, an ex-girlfriend testified about her relationship with Whitaker. She stated Whitaker hit her in the head about four times with his fist. Whitaker also struck her a second time a month or two later. In a third incident, Whitaker hit the woman with his fist giving her a black eye and causing her to bleed. In a fourth incident, when the woman found out Whitaker was seeing Catina Carrier, she confronted him about it. Whitaker denied it and then hit her with his fist on her head several times. Catina Carrier also testified as to the nature of her relationship with Whitaker. She stated that there were occasions when Whitaker physically and verbally abused her. In the first incident, Catina, her daughter, and Whitaker were in Whitaker's vehicle. Catina was driving, and she missed the turn to a movie theater. Whitaker hit Catina in the temple in front of her daughter. In a second incident, Catina was asleep, and when she woke up, Whitaker was choking her. Catina lost consciousness. Whitaker said he did it because he had a dream she was cheating on him. In a third incident, after she left work, Whitaker told Catina that she was embarrassing to him. Then, he started punching her in the back of her head with his fists while he was driving. After this, Catina made arrangements for her and her daughter to leave.

 
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
November 13, 2008 Texas Michele Christine Robson, 26  Denard Manns executed 

Denard Sha Manns was indicted in Texas state court for the November 1998 death of Michele Christine Robson. The indictment charged Manns with capital murder and alleged that Manns intentionally caused Christine’s death in the course of committing or attempting to commit robbery, kidnapping, and aggravated sexual assault. Manns pleaded “not guilty” and proceeded to a jury trial in February 2002 before the 27th District Court of Bell County, Texas. He was convicted of capital murder on March 1, 2002, and was sentenced to death. On November 18, 1998 in Killeen, Denard Manns entered the Killeen home of a 26-year old Christine Robson. He raped her and then shot her in the head and chest 5 times with a .22-caliber gun, leaving her body in the bathtub of her home. He then took credit cards and cash and fled in Christine's vehicle. Manns had been recently paroled from a New York state prison after his second conviction for armed robbery and was living with relatives two doors from the victim's apartment. There was no sign of forced entry. Christine Robson was a US Army Combat Medic with the 21st Combat Support Hospital at Ft. Hood. The evidence in the case was quite clear: Manns' fingerprint was found on the murder weapon, his DNA was found on Christine's bra, he had Christine's jacket and ring. In addition, he confessed to another inmate, telling him details that had not been made public and only the killer could have known. Manns said he got her jacket from a friend who had committed burglaries in the neighborhood, the jewelry from a drug addict, and also blamed his half-brother for the slaying. Manns has had two prior execution dates in 2008. In August, Manns was given a stay of execution because his lawyer has been removed from his case. Manns previously had an execution date set for January 2008 but it was set aside while the US Supreme Court considered the constitutionality of lethal injection.

 
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
November 18, 2008 Texas Christina O. Castillo, 23  Eric Cathey stayed 

Eric Dewayne Cathey was one of six men who planned to rob twenty-three-year old Christina Castillo and her boyfriend in order to take drugs and money that the men believed they had. Trial testimony by one of the six men revealed that on September 12, 1995 the men waited outside Christina's apartment and, when she arrived, Cathey grabbed her by the throat and held her at gunpoint. The men forced her into a car and, in two vehicles, the group took her to the house of Cathey's mother. The witness indicated that Cathey was the only one of the six that was armed. Christina's hands and feet were secured with duct tape and the men interrogated her about drugs and money. She denied having any. The men beat and kicked the 97-pound young woman for fifteen minutes, even though she continued to deny having drugs or money and she told them that she was pregnant. They decided to abandon Christina and took her to a desolate location in a low-income, high crime area. As some of the men were about to leave the area in one of the vehicles, the man saw Cathey reach toward Christina outside the other vehicle. When they drove away, they heard gunshots. He also testified he saw Cathey later that evening and Cathey said "I shot her," and told him not to tell anyone. A few days later, someone found Christina Castillo's body while collecting aluminum cans. Three cartridge casings were found near her body. Her eyes had been covered, and her wrists and feet were bound with duct tape. The evidence indicated the body had been exposed for four or five days. The autopsy revealed that Christina had been killed by three gunshot wounds to the head. The crime scene revealed no direct evidence of the murderer’s identity. In January of 1996, Houston police detectives got a break in the unsolved Castillo murder when Texas Rangers informed them that someone had provided information about the murder. The man provided a detailed confession asserting that he, Cathey and four other men had planned to rob Castillo and her boyfriend, Hector Alicia, believing that the couple possessed drugs and money. He asserted that Cathey had murdered Castillo. Another accomplice also provided the police with a statement. At trial that man testified that the six conspirators laid plans to rob a Hispanic couple who were neighbors of one of the conspirators and they believed the couple had drugs and money in their apartment. Cathey was armed with a gun; he was apparently the only one armed. When the conspirators found Castillo, she was driving up to her apartment. Cathey grabbed her by the throat and held her at gunpoint, forcing her into a red car. The conspirators were in two vehicles: the red car and a white van. Cathey instructed everyone to meet at his mother’s house. Castillo was restrained with duct tape. At Cathey’s mother’s house, the six men interrogated Castillo about the drugs and money. She denied any knowledge of drugs or money. One of the men struck her, but she continued to deny knowing anything about drugs or money. Another began beating and kicking her. She continued to deny any knowledge and informed the conspirators that she was pregnant. At some point she fell to the floor and Cathey began kicking her. Cathey and the other two continued to assault Castillo for some fifteen minutes. Castillo continued denying any knowledge about drugs or money. The conspirators decided to abandon Castillo and took her to a desolate location. As three of the men began to drive away from the location, they said to leave Castillo there, but as they drove away they heard several gunshots. Later that night Cathey told one of the men that he had shot Castillo, but offered no explanation. A few weeks later, Cathey again told him that he had shot Castillo and said that he did not know why. Cathey produced a photograph of Castillo which he had taken from her purse and which he carried in his wallet as a memento. Other evidence indicated that in October 1995 Cathey was in possession of the weapon that a Houston Police Department criminologist identified as the same weapon that had fired the three cartridge cases that had been found near Christina Castillo's body. In March 1997, Eric Dewayne Cathey was convicted by a jury of capital murder for the murder of Christina Castillo and sentenced to death. Cathey was one of the inmates who participated in the famous death row escape in November 1998. Martin Gurule was the only inmate who actually was able to escape but he died when he drowned in the river, weighted down by magazines and newspaper stuffed in his clothing to protect him from the razor-wire fences. UPDATE: Eric Cathey was granted a stay from the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals less than four hours before he was to be executed for the 1995 kidnapping-murder of Christina Castillo. The court remanded Cathey's appeal to a lower court for a hearing on his claim that he is mentally retarded.

 
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
November 18, 2008 Florida Lisa DeCarr, 15 Wayne Tompkins stayed 

The victim, Lisa DeCarr, aged 15, disappeared from her home in Tampa on March 24, 1983. In June 1984, Lisa's skeletal remains were found in a shallow grave under the house along with her pink bathrobe and jewelry. Based upon a ligature (apparently the sash of her bathrobe) that was found tied tightly around her neck bones, the medical examiner determined that Lisa had been strangled to death. In September 1984, Wayne Tompkins, Lisa's mother's boyfriend, was charged with the murder. At trial, the state's three key witnesses testified as follows. Barbara DeCarr, Lisa's mother, testified that she left the house on the morning of March 24, 1983, at approximately 9 a.m., leaving Lisa alone in the house. Lisa was dressed in her pink bathrobe. Barbara met Wayne Tompkins at his mother's house a few blocks away. Some time that morning, she sent Tompkins back to her house to get some newspapers for packing. When Tompkins returned, he told Barbara that Lisa was watching television in her robe. Tompkins then left his mother's house again, and Barbara did not see or speak to him again until approximately 3 o'clock that afternoon. At that time, Tompkins told Barbara that Lisa had run away. He said the last time he saw Lisa, she was going to the store and was wearing jeans and a blouse. Barbara returned to the Osborne Street house where she found Lisa's pocketbook and robe missing but not the clothes described by Tompkins. Barbara then called the police. The state's next witness, Kathy Stevens, a close friend of the victim, testified that she had gone to Lisa DeCarr's house at approximately 9 a.m. on the morning of March 24, 1983. After hearing a loud crash, Stevens opened the front door and saw Lisa on the couch struggling and hitting Tompkins who was on top of her attempting to remove her clothing. Lisa asked her to call the police. At that point, Stevens left the house but did not call the police. When Stevens returned later to retrieve her purse, Tompkins answered the door and told her that Lisa had left with her mother. Stevens also testified that Tompkins had made sexual advances towards Lisa on two prior occasions. The final key state's witness testified that Tompkins confided details of the murder to him while they were cellmates in June 1985. The man testified that Tompkins told him that Lisa was on the sofa when he returned to the house to get some newspapers for packing. When Tompkins tried to force himself on her, Lisa kicked him in the groin. Tompkins then strangled her and buried her under the house along with her pocketbook and some clothing (jeans and a top) to make it appear as if she had run away.

 
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
November 19, 2008 Texas Leovigildo Bombale Bonal, 55
Ricardo Garcia, 16
Ana Robles, 13
Rogelio Cannady stayed 

On October 10, 1993, Rogelio Reyes Cannady caused the death of a 55-year-old Hispanic male Texas prison inmate inside a medium custody housing area at the McConnell Unit in Beeville. While serving two consecutive life sentences for murders he committed on June 29, 1990, Cannady beat his cellmate, Leovigildo Bombale Bonal, to death with a padlock attached to the end of his belt. The prison guards found Bonal lying on the cell floor with his hands tied behind his back with a belt. Cannady had no apparent wounds or injuries, but his boots and clothing were covered with blood. He neither complained of injuries nor looked as if he had been assaulted in any way. Blood was splattered and smeared on the cell walls, the bedding of both bunks, and the furniture. Concealed in a pair of boots, the officers found a belt and the face of a combination lock. The body of the lock had been dumped in the cell's commode. Bonal, who was serving a 15-year sentence for murder from Tarrant County, died two days later. A technician from the Texas Department of Public Safety Crime Lab analyzed the blood splatters and testified that their velocity indicated that the victim had been beaten. Patterns were created on the ceiling by blood flying off a weapon, possibly a combination lock. She also discerned that someone stomped in a puddle of blood or stomped on the victim lying in the blood or that the victim's head bounced up and down in the blood. Additionally, the technician had collected samples of blood from the cell, the belt, and Cannady's and Bonal's clothing. All blood samples were Type B and belonged to the same person. Bonal had Type B blood; Cannady has Type O blood. Bonal's autopsy revealed numerous lacerations and abrasions on the scalp and face as well as lacerations, abrasions, and swelling on the arms, hands, and one leg. A circular imprint that matched the combination lock was found on his torso. He suffered two skull fractures and extensive hemorrhaging over the scalp and in the brain. One of the skull fractures was slightly circular in nature. The medical examiner matched the injuries to the lock retrieved from the cell. He also testified that it would take a fair amount of force to cause the fatal fractures and injuries Bonal sustained and that Bonal's injuries were consistent with homicide from the impact of a lock and from being stomped on by a person wearing boots. Notwithstanding the gruesome evidence, Cannady testified that he killed Bonal in self-defense for fear of being raped. On the night of the killing, Cannady testified that he woke up when he thought he heard someone call "chow time." He allegedly got up to look out of the cell, but when he turned around he saw Bonal touching himself sexually. At that point, he confronted Bonal and hit him in the face. It seemed to Cannady that Bonal was trying to reach for something so Cannady grabbed his lock and attached it to his belt. Cannady then hit Bonal, believing Bonal was reaching for a weapon, and kept hitting Bonal because Bonal kept coming toward him. Cannady admitted that he hit and kicked Bonal repeatedly. He also admitted dismantling the weapon and tying Bonal's hands after Bonal became unconscious, both of which measures were allegedly done to prevent Bonal from striking back. However, immediately after the attack, Cannady said Bonal was beaten because Cannady thought he was "responsible" for their not being served breakfast. Cannady was the first Texas prison inmate to be prosecuted under a 1993 statute that allows for capital murder convictions if the offender is serving 99 years or life as a result of previous murder convictions.  Cannady's prior murder conviction was for the murders of Ricardo Garcia, 16 and Ana Robles, 13, who were discovered in an irrigation canal near La Feria. Cameron County authorities reported that Ricardo, of Freer had been stabbed 13 times and that Ana, of Brownsville, had been raped and strangled. UPDATE: Rogelio Cannady was set to be executed on Wednesday for a 1993 prison killing, but his execution date was withdrawn Monday by state District Judge Ronald Yeager. Cannady's recently appointed appeals lawyer asked for more time to review the case, and the judge agreed. Yeager set a March hearing to reset the punishment date. Cannady already was serving life sentences for two other murders when he fatally beat his cellmate. A capital murder conviction in that case sent him to death row.

 
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
November 19, 2008 Ohio Dale Pinkelman, 48
Peter Mihas 
Gregory Bryant-Bey executed 

On 8/9/92, Gregory L. Bryant-Bey murdered 48-year-old Dale Pinkelman in Pinky's Collectibles in Toledo. Dale was the owner of the retail store. Bey stabbed Dale Pinkelman in the chest, stole merchandise from the store and took his car. He was also convicted in a similar murder of Peter Mihas, owner of The Board Room restaurant in downtown Toledo. It was the similarity between the two murders that ultimately led to the death sentence. Both men were stabbed in the chest. Their pants were removed and their shoes were lined up next to their bodies. Bryant-Bey was convicted first and sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole for the murder of Mr. Mihas. Evidence from that case later helped to convict him in the Pinkelman murder. Police officers in Toledo, Ohio, responded to the scene of an apparent murder/robbery. At the scene, the body of Dale Pinkelman was lying on the floor of his store, Pinkelman’s Collectibles, dead from a single stab wound to the chest. Pinkelman’s body was in a peculiar state — his pants and shoes had been removed, such that he was lying in his underwear and socks. His shoes were placed neatly next to his body, but his pants were missing and, in fact, were never recovered. The police discovered valuable items on Pinkelman’s person, including a gold necklace, rings, and two watches, but there were other items of value for which the police could not account, including merchandise from the store, cash from the register, and Pinkelman’s car from the parking lot. The police also discovered a fingerprint and a palm print on a glass display case approximately three feet from Pinkelman’s body, for which they could not identify an owner. Despite the peculiar circumstances of the crime and the promising discovery of the finger- and palm prints, the police had no suspect for the apparent murder/robbery and no solid leads. A few months later, in November 1992, the police found the body of Peter Mihas on the ground outside his restaurant, the Boardroom Restaurant, dead from several stab wounds to the chest. Mihas’s pants had been removed and his shoes were placed neatly next to his body. His jewelry remained on his person. Toledo Detective William Gray immediately recognized the similarities between the Mihas murder/robbery and the unsolved Pinkelman case. An informant alerted police of Bey’s possible involvement with the Mihas murder and when the police confronted Bey with evidence of his guilt, he confessed to murdering and robbing Mihas. Due to the unusual similarities of the crime scenes, the police compared Bey’s finger- and palm prints to the unidentified prints found on the glass display case in Pinkelman’s store. The prints matched. The police also found Pinkelman’s car less than two blocks from Bey’s residence. Armed with this evidence, the police questioned Bey concerning the Pinkelman murder. Bey initially denied that he knew Pinkelman and denied having ever been in his store, but later, Bey admitted that he had purchased a watch from Pinkelman’s store on credit. Bey also told the police that he had returned to the store and asked Pinkelman for more time to pay for the watch, but Pinkelman had refused and demanded payment. When the officers asked Bey if he had ever harmed Pinkelman or taken his car, Bey replied that he did not remember and asked to terminate the questioning. The grand jury returned a four-count indictment, charging two counts of aggravated murder and two counts of aggravated robbery. The aggravated-murder charges each contained the same specification, namely, aggravated murder in the course of an aggravated robbery, which, if found beyond a reasonable doubt, would render Bey eligible for the death penalty under Ohio law. Bey moved to sever the trials, so that the Mihas charges (he had confessed to) would be tried separately from the Pinkelman charges. The court granted the motion. The State prosecuted the Mihas murder first. The jury convicted Bey of both counts — aggravated murder with the corresponding specification, and aggravated robbery — and recommended life imprisonment with eligibility for parole after thirty years. At the conclusion of the trial on the Pinkelman murder, the jury convicted Bey on all counts and specifications, and recommended a sentence of death. UPDATE: Gregory Bryant-Bey was executed on November 19, 2008. After the execution, Jay Clark, a son-in-law of Pinkelman, thanked detectives, judges and others involved in Bryant-Bey's conviction. "This is a difficult day. There aren't any winners on either side," Clark said.

 
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
November 20, 2008 Texas Edith Kendrick, 35  Robert Hudson executed 

Robert Jean Hudson was sentenced to death for the murder of Edith Kendrick and the attempted murder of her 9-year-old son. At approximately 11:00 p.m. on May 6, 1999, Hudson telephoned Edith Kendrick, his ex-girlfriend. Hudson heard a man’s voice in the background and suspected that Edith had another man in her apartment, which upset him. When he arrived at her apartment and knocked on the door she would not open it. Edith was inside the apartment with Michael Spearman. Hudson began yelling and kicking the door, saying that he was going to kill both of them. Hudson kicked the door open and saw Edith standing next to the bed and Spearman getting up from the couch while pulling his pants up. Edith attempted to intervene between Spearman and Hudson, who began swinging a knife at her. Spearman ran out of a second exit and called 911 from a pay telephone. As Hudson was slashing Edith, her eight-year-old son Colby got between Hudson and his mother. Hudson inflicted severe cuts on Colby’s throat, neck, and fingers, and the boy ran bleeding from the apartment. Edith fled to the stairs at the front balcony where Hudson stabbed her repeatedly. Witness Michael Munoz testified that he saw the attack from his vehicle in the apartment parking lot. Munoz said he saw Edith come crashing out of the apartment onto the balcony, fall to her knees, and hit her head on the guardrail. According to Munoz, Hudson immediately followed, grabbed Edith’s hair, and pulled her backwards. Munoz testified that while Edith was on her back Hudson stabbed her six to eight times and that he raised his arm as high as he could before stabbing her. Edith was left in a large pool of blood and died from the multiple stab wounds, three of which penetrated her heart. Each of the stab wounds would have been separately fatal. Police arrived on the scene quickly and found Hudson at a nearby convenience store. They took him back to Edith’s apartment where witnesses identified him. Inside the disarrayed apartment, police found blood splattered all over and an open purse on the couch. Spearman told police that Edith’s purse had contained cash and a new watch, and that it was not on the couch before Hudson arrived. At the police station, police found a ladies’ watch and $275 with blood on it in Hudson’s pocket. Police recovered the knife on the ground outside the apartment, and a witness who worked with Hudson testified that he had seen Hudson carrying a similar knife at work. After being given his Miranda warnings, Hudson signed a written statement confessing to Edith’s killing. At the punishment phase of trial, the state called only two witnesses. A fingerprint technician introduced evidence of Hudson’s prior convictions, including burglary and a previous murder. A woman who worked at the jail commissary testified that Hudson had exposed himself and masturbated in front of her while he was being held pending trial. The defense called no witnesses at either the guilt/innocence or the punishment stage of trial. In 1986, Hudson was paroled after serving less than 2 years of a 5 year sentence for burglary. He was returned to prison in December 1988 for a 6-year sentence on a car theft conviction, but was paroled in April of the next year. He was sent to prison again in March 1992 on a 20-year sentence for forgery and was paroled after serving 6 and a half years.

 
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
November 21, 2008 Kentucky Chelbi Sharon, 7
Cody Sharon, 6
Marco Chapman executed 

Marco Allen Chapman was convicted of two counts of murder; 2 counts of attempted murder; rape; burglary and robbery. He was formally sentenced to death on 12-14-2004. In the early morning of August 23, 2002, Marco Chapman murdered a 7-year old girl, Chelbi Marksberry, and a 6-year old boy, Cody Marksberry, in their home in Warsaw, Kentucky (Gallatin County). Their mother, Carolyn Marksberry, had counseled a friend to get out of an abusive relationship with Chapman. In response, Chapman broke into Carolyn's home and Carolyn was stabbed 15 times. Carolyn Marksberry, the city clerk of Warsaw, was bound with duct tape and tied to a bed frame. She was raped and stabbed in the chest with a knife that broke off in her chest. The children awoke to her screams and ran to investigate. Chapman turned the knife on them. Both of the younger children's throats had been slit and they had multiple lacerations and stab wounds on their bodies. Their 10-year old sister Courtney played dead after being stabbed several times. Courtney later said that when Chapman left the children, she took her younger brother's hand and told him that she had to go get help. "He said 'No, don't leave me.' And I said, 'I'll be there in a minute, I'll be back.'" Courtney fled out the back door and raced through the dark backyards to the house of a neighbor - who called 911. Chapman heard the door slam, and fled. Authorities believe that's what allowed Courtney's mother to survive. "She not only saved her life, she saved her mother's as well," said Kentucky State Police detective Todd Harwood. Carolyn untied herself, crawled through the house and then down the street to her neighbor’s and was minutes from death when rescuers arrived. But Chelbi and Cody did not survive. The coroner says they died within minutes of their attacks. Marco Allen Chapman was angry with Mrs. Marksberry for advising his girlfriend to break off a relationship with him. After stabbing the victims, Chapman burglarized the home and left the scene, fleeing to West Virginia. His 268-mile flight took him through Boone County, where police said he grabbed a second getaway vehicle near Big Bone Lick State Park. While Chapman fled across Kentucky, Mrs. Marksberry, 37, a Girl Scout troop leader, underwent five hours of emergency surgery. He received a change of venue from Gallatin Circuit Court to Boone Circuit Court. The knife attack was reported to Gallatin County dispatch at 6 a.m. Courtney Sharon was taken to Children's Hospital in Cincinnati in fair condition with superficial knife wounds. Courtney, who survived by pretending to be dead, witnessed much of the attack, and received counseling from a psychiatrist, along with the family. Mrs. Marksberry's husband was in Spain for training with North American Steel in Ghent, Ky. at the time of the attack. With stab wounds and a collapsed lung, Mrs. Marksberry was left in critical condition after the attack. “I think she was pretty lucky,” said Dr. Sandra Miller, a University Hospital trauma surgeon. “Her wounds were deep — cuts to her neck and trachea (wind pipe). She had a collapsed lung from a stab wound to the chest, but the lung is re-expanded now and I think things have gone well in terms of medical care. She's doing well overall.” Dr. Miller said Mrs. Marksberry received eight to 10 units of blood during five hours of surgery. No additional surgery was planned, the doctor said. Mrs. Marksberry also suffered wounds to her esophagus and an unspecified eye trauma, Dr. Miller said. “At this point, patients like this just need to be supported,” she said.  The children's father was at the hospital with Courtney. Townspeople across Warsaw said Mrs. Marksberry had been helping a friend get out of what they called an “abusive relationship” with Chapman and that the friend lived within yards of the Marksberry home. Several townspeople said Mrs. Marksberry's friend often spent the night at the Marksberry home because she was afraid of Chapman. After a memorial service for the two slain children which Carolyn Marksberry was unable to attend, their stepfather spoke about the devastating effects the attacks had on the family. Chuck Marksberry said, “My wife is scared to death. She is petrified to be left alone. She never wants to step foot in our house again. I should be spending all my time with her, but instead I'm trying to buy a new house so we can all be together again in our own home. I'm surprised she wants to stay in this town. She is not getting much rest,” Mr. Marksberry said. “She is waking up screaming, having nightmares. She needs to take care of herself first. She is in seclusion today. She is not in the best shape or in the best state of mind.” Hundreds of people, some from as far away as Memphis, Tenn., gathered in the Gallatin County Elementary School gymnasium to pay their respects on what would have been Chelbi Sharon's 8th birthday. UPDATE: "I'm willing to accept the consequences for the crime I committed," Chapman told the press after requesting that he be allowed to forego further appeals and have an execution date set. About his reasons for the attack and murders, Chapman said, "To this day, I still don't know why. I don't know exactly what happened that night," Chapman said. "I did something that was immoral and wrong. I want to pay the price for it." Chapman's attorneys are appealing against his wishes. UPDATE: Before the sentence was carrried out, he turned to the room where the mother of his victims, Carolyn Marksberry, was reportedly waiting to witness the execution and begged for forgiveness. "I pray daily but not just for me but for Carolyn and Courtney that even though they have the right to hate me, I just hope they don't live with hate in their hearts," Chapman said in a last statement which was released shortly after the execution by prison officials. Carolyn Marksberry and her family also issued a statement that was read to reporters after the execution. "I believe the tears shed today should be for the victims of this crime, not Marco Chapman ...," the family's statement read. "Perhaps now though, not only can our family and community start to heal but (also) Cody and Chelbi can rest in peace."

 

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