February 1999 Executions
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Twelve killers were executed in the month of February 1999.  They had murdered at least 22 people.
Five killers were given a stay in February 1999.  They have murdered at least 7 people.
Two killers received a commutation of their sentence in February 1999.  They have murdered at least 4 people.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
February 2, 1999 Pennsylvania Owen Edwards John Harris  stayed
John Harris was sentenced to death on Dec. 3, 1993, for the murder of Owen Edwards, a store owner. On August 3, 1992, around 10 pm, John Harris and Ahmeen Mustafa arrived at R's Variety Store in Philadelphia. The owner of the store, Owen Edwards, was preparing to leave with two of his employee when the two men entered the store. Without any warning, Harris shot Owen with a .357 caliber revolver and Edwards collapsed. Harris then fired five more shots at Owen Edwards, killing him. Harris then spit on Owen Edwards and he and Mustafa rifled through Owen's front pockets for cash. After they fled, the employees called 911.
 
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
February 3, 1999 Arizona Scott Schwartz Darick Gerlaugh executed
Scott Schwartz was a young man who walked with the aid of a leg brace & crutches. Shortly before midnight on January 24, 1980, he picked up hitchhikers Darick Gerlaugh, Joseph Encinas, and James Matthew Leisure. What Mr. Schwartz did not know when he accommodated the group's request for a ride was that they had previously agreed to rob whomever picked them up.  As they rode together in Mr. Schwartz's car, Gerlaugh, who was already on probation for robbery, suddenly pointed a firearm at his host and forced him to drive to a deserted area near Mesa, Arizona. Scott Schwartz was robbed of $37, and also of his life.  There, the three men forced the victim out of his car.  Gerlaugh pointed the gun at Schwartz and demanded money. Schwartz grabbed the gun from Gerlaugh. While attempting to escape, the victim pointed the gun at Leisure and pulled the trigger. The gun did not fire. "You fucked up" Gerlaugh exclaimed, "There's no bullets in the gun." The three men knocked Schwartz to the ground, where they beat and kicked him for ten to fifteen minutes. Gerlaugh then announced that they would have to kill Schwartz to prevent him from identifying them. Gerlaugh ordered Encinas and Leisure to hold Schwartz on the road so he could run the victim over with the car. The victim succeeded in dodging the car several times by diving into an adjoining canal. Gerlaugh finally ran over Schwartz with the victim's Lincoln Continental and felt the impact of the victim's body with the car. Gerlaugh ran over the victim two more times and struck the victim's head with the car bumper at least one time. At one point, Gerlaugh  positioned the car's left rear wheel on top of Schwartz and floored the accelerator. Although badly hurt, the victim was still alive and was writhing in pain on the roadside. He began to plead with his assailants to tell him the reason for their attack. Gerlaugh took a screwdriver from the rear of the car and stabbed the victim in the head, neck and shoulders at least twenty times. Leisure also stabbed the victim ten to twenty times. A pathologist testified that these various assaults caused several injuries, any of which would have been fatal. The victim suffered numerous fractures, puncture wounds and internal injuries from his head to his midsection. His entire body was covered with bruises and abrasions. The three men dragged Schwartz's body off the road to an adjoining field and covered it with alfalfa. Gerlaugh kept all of the money taken from the victim. The three men returned to the road and drove away in Schwartz's car. When the car broke down, they resumed hitchhiking. They were picked up by Harry Roche in his pickup truck at about 2:00 a.m. Gerlaugh leveled the gun at Roche and forced him to make an apparently random series of turns. Finally, Gerlaugh ordered Roche to pull off to the side of the road. Roche at first refused and complained that the roadside was too muddy at that particular point to stop. When Gerlaugh pointed the gun at his head, however, Roche stopped the truck. Roche quickly put the truck in gear and sped away. Gerlaugh later admitted that he intended to rob Roche. The police interrogated petitioner Gerlaugh after his arrest, and he confessed to his participation in these crimes. When asked how he felt after he killed Mr. Schwartz, his chilling answer was, "How do you feel when you kill game?" He added that he did not feel bad at all about killing the victim. In a joint trial with Encinas, a jury convicted Gerlaugh of armed robbery, kidnapping, and first degree murder. In addition to receiving sentences of twenty-one years on the armed robbery and kidnapping offenses to run consecutively with a sentence of thirty-five years to life for violation of his robbery probation, Gerlaugh was sentenced by the trial judge to death for the murder.
 
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
2/4/99 Oklahoma Robert Bower
Vonda Bellofatto
Lee Bellofatto
Sean Sellers executed
On Sept. 8, 1985, Sean Richard Sellers was 16 when he shot and killed Robert Bower, a store clerk at a convenience store in Oklahoma City. A friend of Sellers testified that he was with Sellers and saw him shoot the clerk with a gun owned by the friend's grandfather. The friend said Sellers told him he killed the man because "he wanted to see what it feels like to kill somebody." Six months later on March 5, 1986, Sellers shot and killed his mother, Vonda Bellofatto, and stepfather, Lee Bellofatto, while they slept in their Oklahoma City home. At the time of his trial, his defense argued Sellers was addicted to the game "Dungeons and Dragons" and had no control over his actions. Sellers later contended he was the victim of a multiple personality disorder.
 
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
2/4/99 Virginia Leland Jacobs Tony Fry executed
Tony Fry and his accomplice, 17-year-old Bradford Hinson used a .22 caliber weapon to shoot and kill Leland Jacobs, a 42-year-old car salesman whom Fry had lured from his Ford dealership with the ruse that  Fry's grandmother wanted to buy a 1994 Ford Explorer and lived in southern Chesterfield.  Leland was robbed, shot eleven times, tied to the rear bumper of the Explorer with his necktie and dragged down a dirt road 777 feet into the woods while still alive.  About 15 minutes after the murder, a police officer who had a warrant for Fry's arrest for another crime had a tip that Fry frequented the area where Jacobs was killed and came upon Fry and Hinson as they were leaving the scene of the murder.  Fry confessed when he was arrested.   In addition to the death penalty, Fry also received a 50 year sentence for the robbery and an eight year sentence for 2 counts of use of a firearm related to Jacobs' death.  Hinson was convicted of the 1st-degree murder of Jacobs, robbery and 2 counts of use of a firearm and received an 88 year sentence.  Fry also gave a confession detailing a long series of robberies, arson of churches and houses, burglaries and grave robbing.  Chesterfield police testified at Fry's sentencing that when Fry was arrested shortly after Jacobs' murder, he admitted robbing 3 churches in the Matoaca area, including Greenwood Presbyterian Church, of which he was a member.  He also confessed to torching 2 vacant homes in Chesterfield and pulling fire alarms at various local facilities.  Fry also admitted robbing a grave off Reedy Branch Road and stealing parts of a man's skull.  He left a jawbone in a friend's apartment, where it was found by police.  In 1995, Fry waived all further appeals but in 1996 changed his mind. 
 
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
2/4/99 Pennsylvania David Sisco
Dawn Anderson
Ronald Collins stayed
Ronald Collins received 2 death sentences on April 20, 1995, for murdering David Sisco and Dawn Anderson. His brother, Rodney Collins, received a death sentence for the execution-style murder of his long-time girlfriend, Andre Graves, in 1992.
 
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
2/9/99 California Packovan Wattanaporn
Quach Nguyen
Jaturun Siripongs executed
Jaturun Siripongs, 43, was sentenced to death in 1983 for a double murder committed during a robbery at Pantai market in Garden Grove, Orange County, California, in December 1981. He was convicted in the 1981 deaths of the manager and a clerk at an Orange County food store where he had once worked.  Although he admitted helping rob the store, he insisted he was not the killer. However, he has refused to say who committed the murders.  Siripongs was 26 years old and had lived in the United States for about a year when he robbed the Pantai Market on the afternoon of Dec. 15, 1981. The Wattanaporns ran an import/export business, and jewelry was sold at the store.  Police allege that he strangled Packovan Wattanaporn, the store manager, using a nylon cord. He then stabbed the store's clerk, Quach Nguyen, a Vietnamese immigrant and father of 4, several times in the head and neck.  Nguyen's body was found with the cord wrapped around his arm. The fact that cuts were also found on Siripongs' hands suggested to police that Nguyen mounted a fierce struggle.  Surachai Wattanaporn found the bodies a few hours later, lying face down in a puddle of blood in the store's storage closet.  Police arrested Siripongs 2 days later when he tried to purchase a television set with Packovan Wattanaporn's credit card. At trial, prosecutors submitted more than 100 items of evidence, much of it consisting of items recovered from a dumpster near the Cerritos home of Siripongs' girlfriend. They included Wattanaporn's wallet and purse, a pair of bloodstained shoes found to be Siripongs' size, and a bloody kitchen knife.  At Siripongs' home in Hawthorne, police found Packovan Wattanaporn's jewelry and several credit card receipts forged with her signature.
 
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
2/10/99 Texas Joey Hernandez George Cordova executed
George "Spiderman" Cordova was convicted of the August 4, 1979 robbery and murder of Joey Hernandez, 19, in San Antonio, Texas.  Joey and his date were at Espada Park, sitting in his car, when they were approached by Cordova and three other men.  Cordova, already a career criminal at nineteen, asked Joey to take him to a gas station but Joey refused because he noticed one of the other men had a knife.  Cordova pulled Joey from his car and Joey was savagely beaten with a tire iron by Cordova and stabbed repeatedly by the other man.  Joey's girlfriend was pulled from her car and forced into the woods where she was beaten and repeatedly raped but survived and testified in Cordova's trial.  Cordova and his accomplice then stole Joey's car.  While awaiting trial on Joey's murder in Texas, Cordova escaped from prison.  While a fugitive from Texas, he was arrested in Florida and sentenced to 30 years for raping a teacher after firing into her car and forcing her off the road.  He also was among armed inmates who hurt 16 other prisoners and a guard during a 1981 riot at the Sumter Correctional Institution in Florida.  During his murder trial in San Antonio, bailiffs discovered he had a key to his handcuffs.  And while on death row, Cordova was questioned about his involvement in the stabbing of a fellow inmate.
 
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
2/10/99 Missouri Lloyd Lawrence
Frankie Lawrence
William Lawrence
Darrell Mease commuted
Darrell Mease murdered Lloyd J. Lawrence, 69, his wife Frankie M. Lawrence, 56, and their handicapped grandson, William Lawrence, 19, on May 15, 1988.  Mease confessed that he had hidden along a path near the Lawrences' farmhouse and shot them with a 12-gauge shotgun while they rode by on all-terrain vehicles.  He said that he had ripped Lloyd off in a drug deal and thought that Lloyd had targeted him.  A jury in Greene County Circuit Court found him guilty of Lloyd's murder and sentenced him to death. He was never tried in the other murders.  *** This TRIPLE MURDERER's death sentence was commuted to life by Missouri Governor Mel Carnahan on January 28, 1999, in response to a request from the Pope.  Never mind the hard work the police and prosecutors put in to proving this man guilty of multiple murder.  Never mind the serious consideration the twelve jurors gave the case.  Never mind the TEN years of appeals that failed to overturn the death sentence.  Never mind that one of the three men he killed was a nineteen-year-old paraplegic!  Maybe it is now time to try Mease in the other two murders. 
 
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
2/10/99 Louisiana Gordon Lawless Jimmy Ray Williams stayed
Eighteen-year-old Jimmy Ray Williams used a 9 mm weapon to rob and murder Gordon Lawless, a driver for an auto parts store on June 15, 1994.  Gordon was sitting in his  truck in a parking lot, having just made a delivery, when Williams approached him and asked for a cigarette.  Lawless gave him one and then Williams pulled his gun and shot Gordon in the face.  The medical examiner testified that Gordon died from drowning in his own blood.  Williams confessed to the killing but claimed it was an accident.  Evidence presented at Williams' trial showed that several hours before Gordon's murder, another man was shot and his vehicle was stolen.
 
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
2/11/99 Texas Janice Louise Ingram
Mercedes Mendez
Mary Caperton
Danny Barber executed
Danny Lee Barber was condemned for the October 1979 beating and stabbing death of Janice Louise Ingram during a burglary of her home in Balch Springs in Dallas County, a suburb southeast of Dallas. Ruth Clowers, Janice's mother, found the naked, beaten and dead body of her daughter. Barber described it as a burglary that went wrong. Barber confessed to killing Janice with a piece of pipe as he tried to rob her home. Barber gave various accounts but told authorities in his confession he found a piece of pipe in her back yard, where he had previously done lawn work, and planned to use it to break a window. Instead he found a door open and walked in, startling Mrs. Ingram, who began screaming. When she wouldn't be quiet, he began clubbing her with the pipe.   He was charged with the murder while being held in the Dallas County Jail on charges of breaking into a flea market.  In the 2 days after his arrest for Janice's death, he confessed to killing 3 other Dallas-area residents in a 2-year period.  Barber, from Los Angeles, was given life sentences for the three other Dallas County murders, one committed on June 18, 1978, Mercedes Mendez, (48) on Jan. 17, 1979 and another, Mary Caperton, on April 21, 1980.  He sells cross-stitch crafts he makes on death row via a web page.
 
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
2/16/99 Texas Gene Summers
Helen Summers
Billy Mack Summers
Andrew Cantu executed
Andrew Cantu was convicted of the June 11, 1990, stabbing deaths of three people at an Abilene home in what authorities believe was a murder-for-hire scheme. At the time of the murders, Cantu was on parole after serving seven weeks of a five-year term for burglary. Testimony at his trial showed Cantu stabbed Gene Summers and his wife, Helen, both 64, and Summers' mentally retarded 60-year-old brother, Billy Mack Summers, who lived with them at their home in Abilene. All were attacked as they slept. Gene and Helen Summers' son, Greg, also was convicted of capital murder in their deaths and is awaiting execution. He quickly became a suspect when other family members told authorities he angrily had tried to get money from his parents. Authorities said Greg Summers, who has denied any involvement, arranged with Cantu to break into the home, stage a burglary, then kill the couple and burn the house to conceal the crime. Cantu, on parole at the time after serving only 7 weeks of a 5-year term for burglary, found 2 other men to take part in the scheme and offered to share a $10,000 payoff.  Summers said the money would be in a dresser drawer, but no money was there. The two accomplices, Ramon Gonzales and Paul Flores, testified against Cantu in a plea bargain for shorter prison terms, telling how Cantu slipped through a back window, stabbed Gene Summers 9 times in the chest, then moved to the other victims, stabbing Helen Summers 8 times and Billy Mack Summers 7 times. Cantu blamed the killings on the 2 men who testified against him, saying he was buying cocaine in Fort Worth, 150 miles to the east, at the time of the slayings.
 
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
2/16/99 Arkansas Sherman Sullins Bobby Fretwell commuted
Bobby Fretwell was convicted of the murder of Sherman Sullins, 81.  The murder occurred after Fretwell, his wife and another acquaintance stole a truck in Texas, and it broke down near Marshall.  The 3 walked to Sullins' home and said they needed help because they were having car trouble.  After entering Sullins' home, Fretwell shot him with a pistol and stole his truck and his money. Another governor, abusing his power, commuted Fretwell's sentence, erasing in a moment the work of the judge, police, prosecutors, jury and appeals courts. 
 
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
2/16/99 Arkansas Marie Sullens
Margaret Brown
Billy Brown
Johnnie Cox executed
Johnie Michael Cox was convicted by a White County jury of three 1989 murders.  Cox was accused of tying, stabbing and burning 3 people, including his step-grandmother, Marie Sullens. The murders were committed on All Saints' Day in 1989.  Just after his arrest, Cox said he committed the murders that day so the victims would go to heaven. Cox was convicted of murdering Marie, 68; Margaret Brown, 34; and Billy Brown, 32.  They were tied at the hands and feet with wire and tape and had been shot, stabbed and strangled before their home was set on fire.
 
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
2/19/99 Ohio Charles Mitroff Wilford Berry executed
Wilford Lee Berry Jr. killed his new boss less than a week after he was hired to wash dishes and floors at Charles Mitroff's Cleveland bakery.  Just before midnight on Nov. 30, 1989, Mr. Berry and an accomplice, Anthony Lozar, ambushed Mr. Mitroff at the bakery as he returned from a delivery run. Mr. Lozar shot him once in the torso with a Chinese-made semi-automatic assault rifle.  As the baker struggled to reach a telephone to call for help, Mr. Berry shot him again at point-blank range in the back of the head.  Mr. Berry and Mr. Lozar cleaned up the blood and drove Mr. Mitroff's van near a bridge in Cleveland, where they dumped his body in a shallow grave.  When the normally punctual Mr. Mitroff broke his routine by failing to come home, his family suspected something was wrong.  They asked a family friend, Brecksville private detective William Florio, to investigate.  "The last person who saw him alive was his new employee, a guy who went by the name of Ed Thompson," Mr. Florio said.  "I called him up, posing as a guy who helps Charlie out, and asked him to come in early the next day."  "Ed Thompson" never showed up.  Shortly after the call, Mr. Berry (a k a Ed Thompson), and Mr. Lozar sloppily repainted Mr. Mitroff's blue, late-model Chevrolet van with black spray paint and fled south.  Charles Voorhees, then a Kenton County patrolman, spotted the van being driven erratically 3 days later outside Walton, Ky.  Although he didn't know it belonged to a murder victim, a radio check of the license plate showed it didn't belong to the vehicle, so he decided to pull the driver over.  It was dark, but Mr. Voorhees thought it was odd that somebody had painted over the chrome on a van that still had the new-car sticker in the window.  He grew more suspicious after noticing the butt of a rifle between the front seats, and ordered the 2 men to lie face down outside the van.  "The vehicle identification number came back to Charlie Mitroff, so I called up to Cleveland," Mr. Voorhees said.  "The dispatcher asked me if Mr. Mitroff was there because they were looking for him."  It didn't take too long for Mr. Voorhees and Duane Rolfsen, then a Kenton County detective, to pin the murder on the 2 men they had in custody.  Mr. Lozar, who later was sentenced to life in prison for his role, told the officers that Mr. Berry wanted him to shoot Mr. Voorhees after the traffic stop.  Then he let loose with the story of how Mr. Berry had planned the robbery, obtained the guns and enlisted him to help kill Mr. Mitroff.  He also told police where they could find the baker's body.  When Mr. Berry confessed a week later, he still was wearing shoes soaked with Mr. Mitroff's blood.
 
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
2/22/99 Louisiana Morris Prestenback
Kazuko Prestenback
Allen Robertson stayed
Allen "Lil Boo" Robertson Jr.'s was sentenced to death for the New Year's day slaying in 1991 of an elderly Baton Rouge couple. Robertson is on death row for fatally stabbing Morris Prestenback, 76, and his wife, Kazuko, 71, in their home.  Robertson, who was 23 at the time of the double slayings, twice has been convicted and sentenced to die for killing the couple. The state Supreme Court threw out his 1991 convictions and death sentences in 1994 after ruling that the judge made an error during jury selection.  This time, the high court said it found no errors in the jury selection, guilty or penalty phases of Robertson's 2nd trial in 1995.  The court also said Robertson's death sentences do not amount to unconstitutionally excessive punishment. "The death sentences for the crimes committed in this case do not appear disproportionate or surprising. Evidence at trial established the brutality and mindless viciousness of the murders committed in what the victims surely believed to be the safety of their home."  Prosecutors argued at both trials that Robertson fatally stabbed the couple while burglarizing their home for money to buy drugs. The defense, which conceded that Robertson killed the couple, unsuccessfully asked jurors to spare his life, saying he grew up in a violent north Baton Rouge neighborhood.
 
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
2/22/99 Ohio ??? Clifford Williams stayed
Williams shot and killed a cab driver.
 
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
2/24/99 Missouri Terry Trunnel
Joseph Arnold
James Rodden excuted
James E. Rodden was convicted of the capital murder of Terry Trunnel.  Around 11:00 p.m. one night in December 1983, Rodden offered acquaintance Terry Trunnel a ride home from a bar. On the way, they stopped by Rodden's apartment to smoke some marijuana. Rodden's roommate, Joseph Arnold, was there. Rodden's former girlfriend called about purchasing some furniture from Rodden, who was moving to California with Arnold the next day. When Rodden demanded to see her, she refused, but Rodden went to her apartment anyway. She would not answer her door and called the police. When Rodden returned to his apartment at 2:00 a.m., he saw Arnold and Trunnel "making love." According to Rodden, they were in Rodden's bed. Rodden claims that although he heard no disturbance, he later saw blood on the floor, questioned Arnold, and Arnold came at him with a bloody knife. Rodden says a struggle ensued, and Rodden stabbed Arnold in self-defense. As Rodden tells it, Arnold had already stabbed Trunnel in Rodden's bedroom. After killing Arnold, Rodden spread lamp oil around the apartment and on Trunnel's body and set the apartment on fire, to "make it all go away." Taking a bloody knife with him, Rodden fled north in Arnold's car around 6:00 a.m. He was bleeding from deep cuts in his right hand, which could have resulted from his hand slipping forward onto a knife blade as he stabbed someone. Rodden later passed out from blood loss and crashed Arnold's car into a house.  A maintenance man who entered the apartment around 8:00 a.m to install new cabinets discovered the bloody bodies of Arnold and Trunnel and a smoldering fire. Arnold had been stabbed eight times in the face, head, chest, and back. He lay in a pool of his own blood on the floor of his bedroom. Trunnel had been stabbed eleven times in the chest, back, arm, and leg. Her faced was bruised and her arm was broken. Cords were tied around her left wrist and right ankle. Her body was blistered and charred in spots from being burned. Contrary to Rodden's story, blood evidence showed she had been killed in Arnold's bedroom and then dragged into Rodden's bedroom. Her blood was on the knife Rodden carried in fleeing the scene.   Missouri brought separate charges against Rodden for the capital murders of Trunnel and Arnold.  The State first prosecuted Rodden for Arnold's murder. A jury convicted Rodden, and he was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for fifty years.  Defended by the same attorney, Rodden was later tried for and convicted of murdering Trunnel. This time, Rodden received the death penalty.
 
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
2/24/99 Texas Timothy Adams Norman Green executed
Norman Evans Green killed Timothy Adams during a robbery on Valentines day in the 80's (approximately 1985) in San Antonio, Texas.  In 1989, he again received the death penalty after his first conviction and death penalty had been reversed due to an error by the Court in jury selection.  Green and an accomplice waited for the Dyer Electronics manager to take a lunch break before attempting to rob 19-year-old clerk Timothy Adams.  When Adams was slow to follow instructions, Green fired 4 times, striking the victim in the arm, chest and abdomen.  Green's fingerprints were found on the .38-caliber pistol used to shoot Adams, an engineering student at the University of Texas-San Antonio. He died 12 hours later of massive damage caused by the bullets, which prosecutors said were cut so they would shred more flesh on impact.  "He (Green) took the time to notch those bullets. He meant for whomever he came across to die," said the victim's mother, Iris Adams.  In 1978, Green, then 17, was convicted and imprisoned for burglary. He was released on shock probation two months later. In 1980, he went back to prison for stealing a car, was paroled, and returned for a parole violation. He was released again in 1984.  Green 1st was convicted and condemned for the Adams' slaying in 1985, but the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals granted him a new trial.  A 2nd jury convicted him again in 1990.  Appeals courts stayed Green's two previous death dates in 1994 and 1998.  Green blamed the shooting on accomplice Harold Bowens, a man Green claimed was a stranger he had met on the day of the killing. Bowens was sentenced to life after agreeing to testify that Green was the triggerman. 
 
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
2/24/99 Arizona Ken Hartsock Karl LeGrand executed
Karl LaGrand first got in trouble with the law at age 9 when he stole $9.69 from a store in Sierra Vista and a pair of shoes from another store two months later.  Karl and his brother Walter also set fire to a golf course, which did $20,000 damage, while the family lived at a military post in Texas.  Karl and Walter were convicted of the armed robbery of 3 Tucson supermarkets in a 6-day period in 1981.  They both were imprisoned at that point.  After their release, the brothers wanted a quick fix for their money woes.   On the morning of January 7, 1982, Walter and Karl LaGrand drove from Tucson, where they lived, to Marana intending to rob the bank. They brought a briefcase with a steak knife, bandanas, electrical tape, police radio scanner and toy gun inside. They arrived in Marana sometime before 8:00 a.m. Because the bank was closed and empty the LaGrands drove around Marana to pass time. They eventually drove to the El Taco restaurant adjacent to the bank. Ronald Schunk, manager of El Taco, testified that he arrived at work at 7:50 a.m. The moment he arrived, a car with two men inside drove up to the El Taco. Schunk described the car as white with a chocolate-colored top. The car's driver, identified by Schunk as Walter LaGrand, asked Schunk when the El Taco opened. Schunk replied, "Nine o'clock." The LaGrands then left.  Hartsock, the bank manager, showed up a few minutes later and brought the U.S. and Arizona flags outside to be raised for the day.  Karl pulled the toy gun and ordered him inside the building.  A 20-year-old female teller pulled up a few minutes later.  Dawn Lopez arrived for work at the bank at approximately 8:00 a.m. When she arrived at the bank she noticed three vehicles parked in the parking lot: a motor home; a truck belonging to the bank manager, Ken Hartsock; and a car which she did not recognize but which she described as white or off-white with a brown top. Because Lopez believed that Hartsock might be conducting business and desire some privacy she left the parking lot and drove around Marana for several minutes. She returned to the bank and noticed Hartsock standing by the bank door with another man whom she did not recognize.  Lopez parked her car and walked toward the bank entrance where Hartsock was standing. As she passed the LaGrands' car Walter emerged from the car and asked her what time the bank opened. Lopez replied, "Ten o'clock." Lopez continued walking and went into the bank. When she entered the bank she saw Hartsock standing by the vault with Karl LaGrand. Karl was wearing a coat and tie and carrying a briefcase. Karl told her to sit down and opened his jacket to reveal a gun, which was later found by the police to be a toy pistol. Walter then came through the bank entrance and stood by the vault. Lopez testified that Walter then said, "If you can't open it this time, let's just waste them and leave."  Hartsock was unable to open the vault because he had only one-half of the vault combination.  The bank employees told the LaGrand brothers that they only knew half of the combination to the safe and that they would have to wait for a 3rd bank employee to report to work before it could be opened.  The LaGrands then moved Lopez and Hartsock into Hartsock's office where they bound their victims' hands together with black electrical tape.  The LaGrands became increasingly anxious as the other employee failed to show up.  Walter accused Hartsock of lying and put a letter opener to his throat, threatening to kill him if he was not telling the truth. Lopez and Hartsock then were gagged with bandannas.  Wilma Rogers, another bank employee, had arrived at the bank at approximately 8:10 a.m. Upon arriving, Rogers noticed two strange vehicles in the parking lot and, fearing that something might be amiss, wrote down the license plate numbers of the two unknown vehicles. She then went to a nearby grocery store and telephoned the bank. Lopez answered the phone after her gag was removed; her hands remained tied. Karl held the receiver to Lopez' ear and listened to the conversation. Lopez answered the phone. Rogers asked for Hartsock but Lopez denied that he was there, which struck Rogers as odd because she had seen his truck in the bank parking lot. Rogers then told Lopez that her car headlights were still on, as indeed they were. Rogers told Lopez that if she did not go out to turn her head-lights off, then she would call the sheriff. A few minutes later Rogers asked someone else to call the bank and they also were told that Hartsock was not there.  Rogers then called the town marshal's office.  After the first telephone call the LaGrands decided to have Lopez turn off her headlights. Her hands were freed and she was told to go turn off the lights but was warned that "If you try to go--if you try to leave, we'll just shoot him and leave. We're just going to kill him and leave." Lopez went to her car and turned off the lights. Upon her return to the bank her hands were retied. Hartsock was still bound and gagged in the same chair. Lopez was seated in a chair, and turned toward a corner of the room.  Hartsock, believing that Karl LaGrand was about to attack the woman, kicked him in the shins.  A savage response ensued.  Lopez testified that soon thereafter she heard sounds of a struggle.   Fearing that Hartsock was being hurt, Lopez stood up, broke the tape around her hands and turned to help him. Lopez testified that for a few seconds she saw Hartsock struggling with two men.  Karl was behind Hartsock holding him by the shoulders while Walter was in front. According to Lopez, Walter then came toward her and began stabbing her. Lopez fell to the floor, where she could see only the scuffling of feet and Hartsock lying face down on the floor. She then heard someone twice say,  "Just make sure he's dead."  Hartsock's throat was slashed and he suffered 23 other knife wounds, at least 6 of which could have been fatal, investigators said.  The woman also was stabbed 7 times in the head, side and shoulder but survived.   The LaGrands left the bank and returned to Tucson.  Lopez was able to call for help. When law enforcement and medical personnel arrived at the bank Hartsock was dead.  Lopez was taken to University Hospital in Tucson.  Law enforcement personnel quickly identified the LaGrands as suspects. By 3:15 p.m., police had traced the license plate number to a white and brown vehicle owned by the father of Walter's girl friend, Karen.  The apartment where the LaGrands were staying with Karen was placed under surveillance. Shortly thereafter Walter, Karl and Karen left the apartment and began driving. They were followed and soon pulled over.  Walter and Karl were then arrested and the car was searched. Karen's apartment was also searched and a steak knife similar to one found at the bank was seized. Karl's fingerprint was found at the bank. A briefcase containing a toy gun, black electrical tape, a red bandanna, and other objects was found beneath a desert bush and turned over to the police.  When questioned after their apprehension, Walter made no statements, but Karl confessed to the crimes in two different statements. He stated that he had stabbed Hartsock and Lopez, but that Walter had not stabbed anyone and that Walter had been out of the room at the time. Following a jury trial, both were convicted on all charges. After considering mitigating and aggravating circumstances, the judge sentenced both defendants to death.
 
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