Execution Date: January 10, 2000
Jurisdiction: Accomac County
& James Wiseman
Douglas Christopher Thomas was sentenced
to death for the November 1990 capital murders of Kathy
and J.B. Wiseman. Thomas was 17 years old at the time
of the crime. Thomas had been dating 14 year old Jessica
Wiseman, the daughter of Kathy and "J.B."
for a while before the murders.
Their relationship was serious and her parents did not
approve. They pressured Jessica to break up the relationship
with Thomas, however, Jessica was unwilling to do so.
She became angry with her parents and stated that she
wished they were removed from her life. In his confession
Thomas stated that he had smoked some marijuana on his
way over to the Wiseman house on the night of the murders.
He also carried with him a shotgun.
He said Jessica
helped hi in the window and they then arranged some
drugs on the floor to make it appear to be an attempted
robbery. Thomas then went down the hall to the Wiseman's
bedroom and shot them as they slept. Thomas said Mrs.
Wiseman did not die from the first shooting and Jessica
implored Thomas to shoot her again. He did, killing
her instantly. Jessica was tried as a juvenile and was
released when she turned 21.
Murderer: Steve Roach
Execution Date: January 13, 2000
Jurisdiction: Greene County
Steve Roach was sentenced to die for the December 1993
death of Mary Ann Hughes. Hughes, a 70-year-old neighbor
of Roach's along U.S. 33 in Greene County, was slain
with a sawed-off shotgun.
Murderer: Lonnie Weeks
Execution Date: March 16, 2000
Jurisdiction: Prince William County
Cavazos - Trooper, Virginia State Police
Lonnie Weeks Jr. was a passenger in a car being driven
by his uncle from Washington, DC to Richmond, Va., on
February 23rd 1993. Court records indicate that Weeks
had stolen the car during an earlier home burglary.
When the uncle drove the vehicle on the shoulder of
I-95 to pass other cars, Virginia State Trooper Jose
Cavazos made a traffic stop. Both cars stopped along
the shoulder of the southbound off ramp for Dale City.
A jury later convicted Weeks of getting out of the vehicle
and firing six hollow-point rounds from a 9 mm semiautomatic
pistol at the trooper. Hollow-point rounds cause massive
tissue damage. At least two of the rounds entered the
trooper's body near the right and left shoulder straps
of his protective body vest, and the officer died quickly.
Weeks was arrested the next morning. Trooper Cavazos,
a highly regarded 8 year veteran of the force left behind
a wife and two children.
Murderer: Michael Clagett
Execution Date: July 7, 2000
Jurisdiction: City of Virginia Beach
Clagett was convicted of shooting
the owner of the Witchduck Inn, as well as two employees
and a customer. Each was shot once in the head during
Clagett's rampage on June 30, 1994.
Clagett's girlfriend, who had been
fired from her job as a waitress at the Virginia Beach
tavern before the killings, also was convicted and is
serving five life sentences. Among those killed was
Clagett acknowledged his guilt and tearfully apologized
to victim's relatives as he was strapped to the electric
Murderer: Russell Burket
Execution Date: August 30, 2000
Jurisdiction: City of Virginia Beach
In January 1993 Burket attacked Katherine
Tafelski and Ashley Tafelski with a rusty crowbar, crushing
each victim's skull. Katherine Tafelski, the mother,
was also sexually assaulted in the attack. Two young
boys in the Virginia Beach., Va. house were injured,
Murderer: Derek Barnabei
Execution Date: September 14, 2000
Jurisdiction: City of Norfolk
Wisnosky, an 17 year old freshman
at Old Dominion University, was murdered by Barnabei
in September 1993. The crime supposedly occurred as
a result of some unflattering remarks Wisnosky made
about Barnabei after they had a brief relationship.
Barnabei was living at the time in a fraternity house,
having lied about his background and career to gain
access. Her body was found washed up on the shore of
the Elizabeth River, repeatedly stabbed and sexually
assaulted just prior to her death.
Barnabei fled the area and was arrested
in Ohio some time afterwards, living under a presumed
name. At trial, Barnabei's estranged wife testified
as to her ex-husband's propensity for violence towards
her and DNA tests on nail clippings from the victim
concluded that skin found in them matched that of Barnabei's,
suggesting that she had struggled with him as he attacked
during her final throes.
Murderer: Bobby Ramdass
Execution Date: October 10, 2000
Jurisdiction: Fairfax County
Bobby Ramdass was sentenced to death in 1993 for the
murder of clerk Mohammed Kayani during a robbery of
a 7-Eleven store in Fairfax County on September 2nd,
The 7-Eleven robbery occurred
during an eight-day crime spree, involving Bobby Ramdass
and others. At two trials in January 1992 and January
1993, he was convicted of robbing a Pizza Hut and a
Domino's Pizza, for which he received prison terms.
At the third trial, for the 7-Eleven murder, the prosecution
used Ramdass's involvement in these and other crimes
to argue that he was a future danger to society and
should be executed.
Murderer: Christopher Goins
Execution Date: December 6, 2000
Jurisdiction: City of Richmond
James Randolf, Jr.
Goins, 25, was convicted of killing James Nathaniel
Randolph Jr., 35; Daphne Jones, 29; and 3 of Jones'
children - Nicole, 9; David, 4; and Robert, 3 at their
Gilpin Court apartment in the City of Richmond in October
He also was convicted of maliciously wounding Jones'
other 2 children, Tamika, who was 14 at the time, and
Kenya, her toddler sister. Tamika also lost the 7-month-old
fetus she was carrying at the time of the shooting.
Goins was the father of the fetus, and authorities believe
that was the motive for the shooting. Goins was sentenced
to death for murdering Robert, to life terms in the
other 4 deaths and to a total of 40 years for wounding
Tamika and Kenya.
Tamika testified at Goins' trial in June 1995 that she
heard Goins talking to her mother shortly before the
shooting and then heard a series of shots in 2 rooms
before Goins appeared at her door and shot her 9 times.
Goins also shot Kenya in the arm as Tamika tried to
shield her sister, according to Tamika's testimony.
Forensics experts testified that all the bullets and
cartridge casings came from the same firearm, and a
cartridge from the same .45-caliber Glock pistol was
found in the apartment of Goins' girlfriend, witnesses
Murderer: Thomas Akers
Execution Date: March 1, 2001
Jurisdiction: Franklin County
In December 1998, Akers and a friend took Wesley Smith,
a casual acquaintance out on a car trip from his Roanoke
City residence under the pretenses of meeting a blind
date. Instead, he was driven to a spot on Route 40 in
Franklin County, where all three men got out of their
car. There, Smith was garroted with a leather belt and
beaten over the head with a baseball bat.
After Smith died at the scene, Akers and his coconspirator
drove in their car back to Smith's apartment, which
they burglarized. They then fled the area and were arrested
in upstate New York by a police officer on an Indian
reservation. Akers readily admitted his guilt at the
time of arrest and during his trial, waiving all appeals
to hasten his execution for the crime.
Murderer: Christopher Beck
Execution Date: October 18, 2001
Jurisdiction: Arlington County
Beck, a troubled young man who was a nephew of Marks,
was invited to live in the boardinghouse where she was
a renter in South Arlington. The landlord, Bill Miller
and another renter, Congressional Quarterly columnist
David Kaplan also resided there.
Beck had a stormy relationship during his time there,
finally resulting in his being asked to leave in mid-1995.
On June 6th of that year, Beck returned and murdered
all three residents in sequence. First Pamela Marks
was attacked and killed in the basement when she returned
unexpectedly at midday. Then Bill Miller was shot upstairs
and finally David Kaplan was shot and stabbed repeatedly
in the evening after returning from work.
Beck was seen leaving the house after
the killings with bicycles in the back of the car. He
was arrested at his mother's house in Philadelphia a
few days later after being unable to give a suitable
alibi as to his whereabouts.
Murderer: James Patterson
Execution Date: March 15, 2002
Jurisdiction: Prince George County
On October 11th 1987, 56 year old
Aldridge was attacked in her Birchett Estates neighborhood
home in Prince George County. The crime went unsolved
for 13 years until seminal evidence from the crime was
run through the Virginia DNA Data Bank. Results returned
pointed to James Patterson as the certain culprit. At
the time Patterson was in Greensville Correctional Center,
serving 25 years for an unrelated rape conviction.
Patterson confessed to raping and
murdering Ms. Aldridge. Patterson said he knew Ms. Aldridge
and went to her home to steal money for drugs. He had
planned to enter through a basement window but the window
was locked. While he was looking for a utility knife
he had dropped in the yard, Ms. Aldridge let her dog
out in the yard. Patterson went to the door and asked
Ms. Aldridge if he could borrow a flashlight on the
pretext of needing it to search for lost car keys.
When Ms. Aldridge opened the door,
he forced his way into the house, kicked the door shut
and demanded her pocketbook. He pushed her to the bedroom
to get the purse. When the purse contained only coins,
Patterson became "even more violent." After
tying her hands behind her back with strips cut from
the bed linen, he raped her.
Patterson went to the kitchen looking for a knife because
he "wasn't going to leave any witnesses behind."
He found a knife and stabbed Ms. Aldridge three times
in the abdomen. In all, Aldridge was stabbed 17 times.
Murderer: Daniel Zirkle
Execution Date: April 2, 2002
Jurisdiction: Rockingham County
On August 2nd, 1999, Jessica Shifflett was babysitting
her younger sister Christina Zirkle at the home of
their mother, Barbara Shifflett. Barbara's relationship
with Zirkle was estranged and he had become violent,
resulting in her getting multiple restraining orders
being placed against him. This was not sufficient
to keep him away, ultimately resulting in his arrest
and commitment to Rockingham County Jail for a short
While in jail, Zirkle made repeated
threats of harm against Barbara Shifflett and upon
his release from county lockup on that afternoon of
August 2nd, he called her at work vowing to make good
on the threats.
Having rushed home to move her girls to safety, Barbara
arrived and found Jessica dead on the floor. Jessica
had five stab wounds to the neck. A medical examiner
later determined her throat had been slashed and she
had choked to death on her own blood. Younger Christina
was nowhere to be found. A
deputy later found the two along a pathway in a remote
park in Page County.
Four year old Christina Zirkle was dead, her throat
slashed, with her father Daniel Zirkle nearby -- gravely
wounded from a self-inflicted knife wound to the neck.
Zirkle was taken for medical treatment and soon recuperated.
Soon he was charged with
the murder of both girls. While awaiting trial, Zirkle
showed little remorse for his actions, informing a
correctional officer who announced his intent to contribute
to a memorial fund in the girls names, "tell
that bitch I said checkmate". At trial, he plead
guilty and was sentenced to death on two counts of
Murderer: Walter Mickens
Execution Date: June 12, 2002
Jurisdiction: City of Hampton
Walter Mickens Jr. sexually
assaulted 17-year-old Timothy Hall, stabbed him 143
times and left him on a dirty mattress in an abandoned
building along the James River in Newport News in 1992.
Mickens had been convicted in 1974 of robbery and sodomy,
imprisoned, paroled, then convicted again in 1980 of
robbery and sodomy. In one instance, Mickens walked
into an elementary school and robbed a teacher as he
held one of her students at knife point.
noted that Mickens' crimes often involved children,
and that "sodomy was the driving force, and robbery
was a secondary issue."
Murderer: Mir Aimal Kasi
Execution Date: November 14, 2002
Jurisdiction: Arlington County
Pakistani national Kasi opened fire on two vehicles waiting
to turn into the CIA headquarters at Langley in Fairfax
County in 1993. Darling and Bennett, both CIA employees,
were killed in the attack. Kasi fled the United States
shortly thereafter and remained at large until 1997, when
he was apprehended by FBI agents in Pakistan.
Murderer: Earl Bramblett
Execution Date: April 9, 2003
Jurisdiction: Roanoke County
Bramblett was convicted and executed
for the quadruple murder of a Vinton (Roanoke County)
family in 1994. Prosecutors demonstrated that Bramblett
committed the crime due to fears of being turned in
by family father Blaine Hodges for having had sexual
relations with his 11 year old daughter Winter. Their
home was burned to the ground in the dark hours of an
August morning and firefighters discovered all four
of the Hodges bodies inside.
Wife and mother Teresa Hodges had been stabbed repeatedly
while the others had been shot at close range. Subsequent
odd behavior by Bramblett led investigators to scrutinize
him as a suspect. He was arrested two years after the
crime and convicted the following year.
Murderer: Bobby Swisher
Execution Date: July 22, 2003
Jurisdiction: Augusta County
On the evening of February 7, 1997, Swisher entered
the florist shop in Stuart's Draft where 22 year old
owner Dawn Snyder was working late to finish orders
for Valentine's Day. Swisher indicated he had a gun
in his pocket and forced Snyder to walk out the back
of her store to the banks of a river nearly a half mile
away. There, he forced her to perform an act of oral
sodomy and then slashed her neck and throat, throwing
her in the river.
Still alive, she floated
downstream approximately 200 yards and struggled up
a river bank - where she collapsed and died. Her body
was found 16 days later, having been partially consumed
by animals. Swisher was identified as a suspect after
he bragged to friends about having committed the crime.
A subsequent police interrogation and investigation
found evidence with DNA from the victim on Swisher's
Murderer: Brian Cherrix
Execution Date: March 18, 2004
Jurisdiction: Accomac County
Cherrix was convicted of the
1994 murder of Tessa Van Hart, a 22 year old mother
of two who worked as a pizza delivery driver in Chincoteague.
He was the first defendant to be sentenced to death
in Accomack County in half a century.
Cherrix told police that he lured
Van Hart to an isolated home by calling to have a pizza
delivered there. When VanHart arrived, Cherrix was waiting
for her behind the home. He sodomized her at gunpoint,
then shot her twice in the head.
Murderer: Dennis Orbe
Execution Date: March 31, 2004
Jurisdiction: York County
Orbe was sentenced to death for murdering convenience
store clerk Rick Burnett, 39, during an overnight robbery
at the Exxon Station at the corner of US 17 and Ft.
Eustis, Blvd in York County on January, 24, 1998. The
crime was caught on store surveillance cameras and Orbe
was readily identified from those images and soon arrested.
The robbery netted just over $90 in cash. It was one
of several violent crimes Orbe committed during a one
Murderer: Mark Bailey
Execution Date: July 22, 2004
Jurisdiction: Hampton City
Bailey and Nathan Bailey
On September 10, 1998, Mark Bail
ey shot his wife 22 year old wife Katherine Bailey in
their Hampton home and then shot his two year old son
Nathan as he crawled out of his crib upon hearing the
commotion. The defendant then attempted to make the
house appear to have been broken into and proceed to
go to work at the Navy base. There, he faked receiving
a phone call in which an anonymous caller threatened
his wife with kidnapping. Bailey went to his supervisor
and asked to leave early so he could return home at
His supervisor called Hampton
police who arrived at the scene before Bailey and quickly
determined that the burglary claim was a ruse. They
confronted Bailey and took him in for questioning, where
he subsequently confessed willingly to having committed
the homicides. Bailey was the primary beneficiary on
a life insurance policy placed on his wife's life.
Murderer: James Bryant Hudson
Execution Date: August 18, 2004
Jurisdiction: Halifax County
Cole, Walter Cole, Patsy Cole
On July 3, 2002, Hudson confronted Walter and Stanley
Cole on the driveway the two families shared between
their South Boston area farms. The Cole brothers were
stopped by Hudson's truck, which was blocking the driveway.
An argument ensued between Thomas Cole and Hudson, culminating
with Hudson grabbing his nearby shotgun and shooting
both unarmed men fatally at close range. Hudson then
proceeded towards the nearby Cole home, where Thomas
Cole's wife Patsy was working on her garden. She too
was fatally shot. Hudson fled the scene in his pickup
truck and was apprehended 23 hours later on a nearby
road without incident.
For many years, Hudson had
been belligerent and aggressive to the Coles, primarily
over the issue of the driveway, but also towards members
of his own family. At his trial, Hudson pleaded guilty
to capital murder and refused to allow his defense attorney
to call any witnesses on his behalf or plead for mercy.
Some sixty citizens testified at the penalty phase of
the trial on behalf of the prosecution, attesting to
the Cole family's good reputation in the community.
Others, including Hudson's own brother (a Virginia state
trooper) testified to the defendant's long streak of
vicious and violent behavior towards others. The trial
judge sentenced Hudson to death and the defendant refused
to pursue any post-conviction appeals.
Murderer: James Reid
Execution Date: September 9, 2004
Jurisdiction: Montgomery County
In February 1998, James Edward Reid
was sentenced to death for the capital murder, attempted
rape, and attempted robbery of 87 year old Annie V.
Lester in her home in Christiansburg in October, 1996.
Lester was beaten over the head with a can of condensed
milk and stabbed 22 times with scissors. Reid was 51
years old at the time of the crime.
Murderer: Dexter Lee Vinson
Execution Date: April 27, 2006
Jurisdiction: City of Portsmouth
Victim: Angela Felton
Vinson was sentenced to death for the May 1997 killing of his ex-girlfriend, Angela Felton, a 25-year-old Portsmouth mother of three.
In May 1997, Felton was found dead in a vacant house on Freedom Avenue in Academy Park. Vinson abducted her from the Fairwood Homes subdivision, took her to a nearby vacant house and killed her, prosecutors said.
She was sexually mutilated, suffering massive cuts to the genital area. She suffered cuts to the neck, forearms, trunk and buttocks, and blows to the head and face.
Felton sought to distance herself from Vinson before she was killed. She and her children moved in with another woman and her five children to get away from him. But in mid-May 1997, Felton drove to her former residence in Fairwood Homes to check for mail. There, she was abducted and later killed.