Case Summaries For Inmates Executed in
1991 to 1995
- 1996 to
For more information on a particular case - click on the
Murderer: Frank Coppola
Execution Date: August 10, 1982
Jurisdiction: City of Newport News
was murdered during a 1978 robbery at her home in Newport News.
After Hatchell allowed a coconspirator disguised as a flower
delivery woman to enter her home, the woman pulled out a pistol
from amidst the floral display which she was carrying, allowing
cover for Coppola and others to rush into the home.
Hatchell was bound with venetian blind cords and then had her
head was slammed repeatedly into floor by Coppola until she
died. The group fled with $3,100 in cash and some rings from
the crime scene. After his September 26, 1978 conviction, Coppola
dropped appeals and volunteered to have his sentence carried
out. He was the first inmate executed in Virginia since Carroll
Garland was executed for a Lynchburg murder in 1962.
Murderer: Linwood Briley
Execution Date: October 12, 1984
Jurisdiction: City of Richmond
Gallaher was abducted during a
smoke break outside of a bar in the city of Richmond. After
being stuffed into the trunk of his car, he was driven to Mayo's
Island where he was shot dead and then robbed. He was one of
eleven victims of Briley gang rampage in 1978.
Murderer: James Briley
Execution Date: April 18, 1985
Jurisdiction: City of Richmond
Judy Barton, eight months pregnant, was raped by the members
of the Briley gang. She, her husband Harvey Wilkinson and her
five year old son Harvey were then shot dead during a robbery
of their home. This triple homicide marked the end of the Briley
rampage in the City of Richmond.
Murderer: Morris Mason
Execution Date: June 25, 1985
Jurisdiction: Northampton County
Morris Mason murdered 71 year
old Muriel Hand and another elderly woman in Northampton County
in 1978. He broke into their homes, tied them up, sexually assaulted
them, nailed their feet to the floor before robbing the homes
and then burning them to the ground.
Defense lawyers attempted to portray their
client as being mentally retarded and incapable of comprehending
or premeditating his actions. However, prosecutors successfully
argued to the contrary, noting that Mason reentered the burning
home to retrieve evidence which would have identified him as a
culprit if it were to be found by investigators.
Murderer: Michael Smith
Execution Date: August 31, 1986
Jurisdiction: James City County
Weiler was accosted by Smith at a beach along the Colonial
Parkway in James City County on May 23, 1977. She was accosted
by Smith, who lived on a farm near the Parkway and had recently
been released from prison after serving time for a rape conviction.
He removed some briars from Weiler's feet, then led her into
the adjacent underbrush, where he produced a hunting knife.
Smith then proceeded to rape the divorced 35 year old mother
of two at knife point and then choked her to death.
Smith was the first defendant condemned
under Virginia's new death penalty law, which was reinstated
by the General Assembly earlier that year.
Murderer: Richard Whitley
Execution Date: July 6, 1987
Jurisdiction: Fairfax County
Whitley stripped his victim naked and
then proceeded to ransack the house of valuables. He then fled
in Parsons' car and was arrested several months later in Tampa,
Florida, where he admitted to committing the murder.
On July 25, 1980, Whitley went to visit his next door neighbor,
63 year old Phoebe Parsons in the Pimmit Hills section of the
county. Parsons had previously hired Whitley to do repair work
around her three bedroom house. Whitley began to discuss the
recent separation from his wife with Parsons and then inexplicably
choked his neighbor down to the floor, where he tied a rope
around her neck and then cut her throat with a pocketknife,
Murderer: Earl Clanton
Executed April 14, 1988
Jurisdiction: City of Petersburg
Clanton murdered Smith, a Petersburg
neighbor who was a school librarian in a 1981 robbery that
netted $8. He was found by police at the scene hiding under
her bed in blood soaked clothing. This was not Clanton's first
violent brush with the law. In 1972, the then 17 year old
Clanton was convicted of participating in a robbery and murder
of a woman in New Jersey.
He was given a 26
to 28 year sentence, but was paroled 8 years later. Upon his
subsequent move to Virginia that year, Clanton was arrested
and convicted in Petersburg Circuit Court on a count of malicious
wounding when he struck a teenager repeatedly with brass knuckles.
Murderer: Alton Waye
Execution Date: August 30, 1989
Jurisdiction: Lunenburg County
On October 14, 1977, 34 year old Alton Waye stabbed 61 year
old widow Lavergne Marshall 42 times with a butcher knife in
her Lunenburg County home. Waye then proceeded to rape her and
then poured bleach over her nude body. Her face was beaten beyond
Murderer: Richard Boggs
Execution Date: July 19, 1990
Jurisdiction: City of Portsmouth
Victim : Treeby
Boggs murdered his 87 year old neighbor in Portsmouth on January
25, 1984. After having struck and killed a pedestrian during
a hit and run accident earlier that day, Boggs went to Shaw's
house on the pretense of borrowing a book. After having the
third cup of tea offered by Shaw, Boggs hit her over the head
with a round hunk of steel. She was knocked unconscious by the
blow, but continued to breathe.
Boggs went into her kitchen, where he picked up a butcher knife
and fatally stabbed her in the heart. Police questioned Boggs
about the crime a month later, where they found silver stolen
from Shaw's house in his vehicle when he was arrested for the
hit and run accident committed earlier on the day of the murder.
Murderer: Wilbert Evans
Execution Date: October 17, 1990
Jurisdiction: City of Alexandria
Truesdale, an Alexandria
City sheriff's deputy, was shot with his own gun by Wilbert
Evans on January 27, 1981 while leading Evans back to jail after
a hearing in the adjacent courthouse. Evans was on a brief flight
of freedom, running around the Old Town area of the city. When
an officer in pursuit attempted to arrest Evans, the escapee
pointed the gun he had taken from Truesdale at the approaching
officer. Evans pulled the trigger -- but the gun jammed and
he was quickly arrested thereafter.
Murderer: Buddy Justus
Execution Date: December 13, 1990
Jurisdiction: Montgomery County
Justus was sentenced to death for murders in three seperate
states, Virginia, Georgia and Florida. He murdered Moses, a
nurse who was one week from delivering a baby, in her trailer
in Ironto in 1978. Justus was the last inmate to be executed
at the now demolished Virginia State Penitentiary in Richmond.
1991 to 1995
- 1996 to