December 2000 Executions

Six killers were executed in December 2000. They had murdered at least 17 people.
Six killers were issued stays of execution in December 2000. They have murdered at least 12 people.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
December 5, 2000 Texas April Marie Wilson, 7 Garry Miller executed
Garry Miller was sentenced to die for the November 11, 1988 kidnapping, rape and murder of 7-year-old April Marie Wilson of Merkel, Texas. April was spending the night at a home that Miller shared with another man and a female co-worker of April’s mom. Miller told the police that he returned home and found April sleeping on the couch. He woke her up and took her "for a ride". He drove to a remote area where he raped her, choked her and then bludgeoned her to death. Her body was found by two hunters later that day. Miller confessed to April’s murder. The pickup truck tailgate where 7-year-old April Marie Wilson was raped and murdered served as a lectern at the trial of her accused killer. An 8-by-10 photograph of her was displayed on the prosecution table. "She was the prettiest little thing," retired Jones County District Attorney Jack Willingham recalled. "I set her picture up on the counsel table as a witness that couldn’t be there." Garry Dean Miller was convicted of choking and fatally bludgeoning her. "I don’t take any pride in this," said Willingham, who retired four years ago. "But it was just a terrible thing. You just can’t imagine a human being can do that to a child." "I don’t have too much mercy for these guys," said Gary Brown, who succeeded Willingham as district attorney in Jones County, north of Abilene, and responded to Miller’s appeals. "They’re dying a better way than their victim. That’s my attitude. It’s too bad you can’t walk in and one day they don’t know about and just say: ‘OK. Bye!’ And just kill them – just like they did their victim. I’ve got no mercy for this guy. There’s no reason for this stuff, for what he did to her." Miller, who worked as a bartender and laborer, was believed to have been drinking heavily when he returned to his girlfriend’s house in Merkel, about 15 miles west of Abilene, in the early morning hours of Nov. 11, 1988. April Wilson was the girlfriend’s cousin, was staying at her house and was asleep on a couch when Miller arrived. In a confession to authorities, Miller said he woke up the girl and asked if she wanted to go for a ride. In a cotton field to the north in Jones County, he raped her on the pickup tailgate, then choked her and hit her with an object he picked up from the ground. "He said she began to cry and holler," Willingham said. "This little girl… he held her on the tailgate of his pickup and raped her. I remember him saying: ‘I told her it wouldn’t hurt long.’ I won’t ever forget, I used it in my closing argument," Willingham added. Miller said he used coat hangers to drag the girl’s body through some prickly pear and left her corpse in some brush. When Miller’s girlfriend awoke the next morning and April was gone, police were notified and a search began with Miller among the searchers. Her body was found by quail hunters and Miller was tied to her death. Blood evidence from the tailgate was used against him. "He’d been drinking tequila," Brown said. "God knows what he shoved down his throat that night. Too bad it wasn’t a.357 slug." Miller, who declined repeated requests for interviews with reporters, ordered his attorneys to not pursue appeals once the U.S. Supreme Court refused to review his case.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
December 5, 2000 Pennsylvania Donovan “George” Aitken Andre Thompson stayed
On February 1, 1992, Francisco Forbes drove to the victim Donovan "George" Aitken’s apartment, intending to drive George to work. Forbes performed several services for George, including helping to collect revenues from George’s marijuana business. Upon Forbes exiting his car, Thompson approached Forbes and asked for a cigarette. After indicating that he did not smoke, Forbes proceeded to cross the street and enter George’s apartment building. Approximately fifteen minutes later, Forbes, George and George’s girlfriend exited the apartment building. As Forbes began crossing the street towards his car, he observed Thompson pull out a handgun and begin firing. Forbes initially feared he had been shot but, after realizing he was mistaken, ducked and ran toward the apartment building hoping to escape. George was unable to escape and fell to the ground after being shot. Forbes then watched as Thompson approached George and shot him several more times while on the ground. Forensic evidence established that the gunshot wounds caused George’s death. In November of 1992, Thompson admitted to Norman Price that he was responsible for murdering George. He further told Price that Richard Martin, the brother of George’s girlfriend, had paid him to commit the murder because Martin wanted to take over George’s drug business. Moreover, as part of the agreement, following the murder Thompson would be allowed to run one of George’s variety stores from which he had sold marijuana. On December 22, 1992, two police detectives arrested Thompson at the variety store. After arriving at the police station, the police conducted a thorough pat-down search of Thompson and found a bag containing thirty-three vials of crack cocaine. After reading Thompson his Miranda warnings, the police questioned him. Although Thompson initially denied any involvement in the murder, he eventually admitted his culpability. At first, he refused to sign a written confession acknowledging his statement but, after speaking with his mother, Thompson agreed to sign the statement admitting that he shot George three to four times in exchange for marijuana from Martin, which Thompson subsequently sold for $1,100. The next day, while awaiting preliminary arraignment in a holding cell with other prisoners, Thompson did not respond when his name was called. A police officer then checked the armbands of all the prisoners awaiting arraignment and discovered that one prisoner, later identified as Ty Fuller, did not have an armband. The police officer then discovered that Thompson, who was still in the cell, had taken Fuller’s armband and replaced his own with it. Fuller was facing only theft charges and was due to be released from jail following his arraignment. After being confronted by the officer, Thompson took his own armband out of his pocket. *There are still appeals pending and this execution is not likely to take place on this date.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
December 6, 2000 Virginia James Nathaniel Randolph, 35
Daphne Jones, 29
Nicole Jones, 9
David Jones, 4
Robert Jones, 3
Christopher Goins executed
A Dec. 6 execution date was set for Christopher C. Goins, who killed 5 people in a Gilpin Court apartment in October 1994. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Goins’ appeal on Aug. 31, and Richmond Circuit Judge Thomas N. Nance set the date in a conference call with Assistant Attorney General Katherine P. Baldwin, defense attorneys Frank Salvato and Robert Stanley Powell from Northern Virginia, and city Commonwealth’s Attorney David M. Hicks. Hicks and Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Claire G. Cardwell prosecuted Goins. Salvato acknowledged in the call that he had no legal grounds to object to the date. A last-minute stay from the U.S. Supreme Court or clemency from Gov. Jim Gilmore appear to be the only possible obstacles to Goins’ execution. 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. 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 said.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
December 6, 2000 Texas His own father
His own mother
Gerald Walker
Mary Alice Goss, 39
Richard Joseph Cook Jr., 36
Raymond Scott Gregg, 19
Christy Condon, 4
Daniel Hittle executed
Convicted capital murderer Daniel Joe Hittle, accused of slaying seven people since 1973, was sentenced to death for murdering a suburban Garland police officer on November 15, 1989. Hittle was described by witnesses as a man who gleefully killed or tortured animals and who routinely beat women and children. He was on parole for the killings of his adoptive parents in Minnesota when he shot Garland police officer Gerald Walker during a traffic stop. According to testimony, Hittle returned home after being thrown out of a party at the house of Mary Goss, 39. At home, he argued with his wife and left carrying a shotgun. Ten minutes later, Officer Walker stopped Hittle’s pickup for speeding, and the 17-year officer was shot in the chest. Hittle returned to the Goss house, kicked in the door and opened fire. Killed were Ms. Goss; Richard Cook Jr., 36; Raymond Gregg, 19; and Ms. Goss’ daughter, Christy Condon, 4. Evidence showed he had to reload his 20-gauge shotgun to kill the little girl. Police later spotted his fleeing vehicle and exchanged fire with him until he ran out of ammunition. His shotgun was linked to all five murders. Among the witnesses was Officer Walker’s widow, Beckie, and Jimmie George, a fellow Garland officer, who said, "The death of Daniel Hittle will guarantee that no police officer will ever face the danger of dealing with him again." Police say Hittle then sped to East Dallas, where he fatally shot Mary Alice Goss, 39; Richard Joseph Cook Jr., 36; Raymond Scott Gregg, 19; and Goss’ 4-year-old daughter Christy Condon. He was convicted of capital murder in Walker’s death. Hittle, who seemed jovial and carefree throughout the trial, said nothing, merely nodding when State District Judge Richard Mays pronounced the death sentence. The Dallas County jury deliberated about an hour. "He had to be stopped from hurting anyone else," said Hittle’s sister, Judy Anderson who lives in Minnesota. At trial she testified against her brother, describing the pain she felt when she learned that Hittle killed their parents on their Minnesota farm in 1973. Anderson also said she felt some remorse. "This is like a funeral," she said. "He’s gone. And despite everything he’s done, he’s part of the family." A 17-year veteran of the police department, Walker was the first officer in Garland, a Dallas suburb, killed in the line of duty. Prosecutors said that Hittle, who had a loaded 20-gauge shotgun in his car, wanted to kill the officer because he knew having the weapon would be a violation of his parole. Hittle was paroled in 1984 after serving 11 years in a Minnesota prison for the murders of his adoptive parents. Witnesses testified that for the last two decades, Hittle led a cruel life. He often beat his wives and children, seemed to take pleasure in killing animals and had murdered his parents after their dog scratched his truck, according to testimony. He also often talked of killing police officers and later bragged about killing his mother and father, witnesses said. "Obviously a very violent, vicious human being," said Dallas Assistant District Attorney Toby Shook, one of the prosecutors in the police killing case. "A poster boy for the death penalty," added Andy Beach, another of the prosecutors. "He is the classic sociopath." After the jury delivered the death sentence, Walker’s widow, flanked by Garland police, said jurors "did what they had to do." But Becky Walker also said she was concerned that parole laws aren’t adequately protecting Americans. "There are other Hittles running around out there," she said.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
December 7, 2000 Pennsylvania Regina Clark
Austin Hopper, 9
John Joseph Koehler Jr. stayed
Regina Clark and her nine-year-old son, Austin Hopper, were killed on April 18, 1995, by William Curley, at the urging and insistence of John Joseph Koehler as part of his training of the young Curley for a future career as a “hit man.” The bizarre facts regarding the deaths of Regina and Austin, as testified to by Curley at Koehler’s trial, are as follows. Curley had known Koehler since he was very young. By August of 1994, Koehler had told Curley that he was a hit man for the mob. Koehler repeated his claim of being a hit man many times to Curley. Koehler also spoke to Curley about his entering the “profession”, promising that Curley could make “six digits” in the field. Curley, who turned eighteen on August 9, 1994, did not dismiss the idea out of hand because he “…thought it would be all right, cause I thought it was going to be more along the lines of people like drug dealers and mob men, people that would hurt innocent people.” Accordingly, Koehler told Curley that he would train him for the business. Charline Benefield, with whom Koehler lived while in Arkansas in late 1994, also testified that Koehler had told her that he was training Curley to be a hit man. On April 17, 1995, Curley was staying at the home of his friends Melissa Mack and Ricky Hunsinger. Curley received a message to call Koehler, which he did, and at that time Koehler told him he was bringing “two packages” to Curley and asked if he could “deliver them”. Curley agreed. Koehler arrived at the house at 4:00 a.m. on April 18, 1995, accompanied by Regina and Austin. Regina and Austin evidently were the “packages” to which Koehler referred, although Curley did not know that at the time of the telephone conversation. Koehler apparently met Regina while he was living in Arkansas. According to the testimony of Kerrien Ramsey, Ramsey also met Koehler in Arkansas, and, through him met and became friends with Regina, with whom Koehler was romantically involved. Ramsey accompanied Regina, Austin, and Koehler on the trip from Arkansas to New Jersey in late February or early March of 1995. Koehler and Regina had been staying at his mother’s apartment since their arrival from Arkansas some weeks previously. Ramsey testified at trial that on April 16 or 17, 1995, while they were in the bedroom of his mother’s apartment, Koehler showed Ramsey a loaded gun and told her that he would kill Regina before she left New Jersey to go back to Arkansas. Ramsey testified that the trip from Arkansas to New Jersey was supposed to have lasted for only a few days and that she and Regina were anxious to return home to Arkansas. Curley also testified that in the early morning hours of April 18, 1995, while Mack, Regina and Austin remained at the house, Curley and Koehler drove to Lounsberry, New York, where Koehler was to pick up money wired to him through Western Union. It was on the drive to New York that Koehler explained that he wanted Curley to kill Regina. At trial Curley testified that he told Koehler he did not want to do it, but Koehler insisted that he “had to”, or Koehler would kill Curley. On the drive back to Pennsylvania, Koehler handed Curley a loaded.22 caliber Baretta to use for the murder. Also, on the return drive the pair spent approximately an hour driving around looking for a place to put Regina’s body. They found an abandoned refrigerator in a dump, which Koehler examined, and then told Curley to place Regina’s body inside the refrigerator. Curley again told Koehler that he did not want to kill Regina, to which Koehler replied, “kill or be killed.” The pair returned to the Mack/Hunsinger house, picked up Regina and Austin, and then proceeded to Settlers Restaurant. Koehler entered the restaurant while Curley, Regina and Austin drove off, Regina having been told they were to pick up a car Koehler needed for the drive back to her home in Arkansas. In fact, Curley was to go to Stone Jug Road to kill Regina and Austin. The trio arrived at Stone Jug Road and stopped after Curley told Regina he had car problems. They got out of the car, and as Regina was looking for an oil leak, Curley pulled the gun and aimed it at her. (Regina was unaware of this.) Curley testified that he “couldn’t do it,” so he put the gun away and returned to Settlers Restaurant. At the restaurant, while Regina and her son sat in the car, Koehler again told Curley that he had to find some place to kill Regina. They then decided that the murder should take place at the house of Janet Schrader. Curley knew and was friendly with Kirk Schrader, the son of Ms. Schrader. The four drove to the Schrader home and Curley pulled the car into the garage, the location that Koehler had told Curley would be a good place to kill Regina and Austin. While Austin, Regina and Koehler entered the house, Curley remained alone in the garage. A short time later Koehler returned with Kirk and, in front of him, suggested possible ways to kill Regina. However, before any murder took place, Koehler and Curley left the Schrader residence for Wysox, Pennsylvania, and the parking lot of Citizens Bank. During the drive to Wysox, Curley again told Koehler that he did not think he could kill Regina. Koehler’s response was that he had to kill her. After Curley and Koehler returned to the Schraders’, Curley entered the garage and Koehler went into the house. When Regina entered the garage, Curley shot her three times in the head. He then picked her up and placed her in the trunk of the car. Koehler came to the garage, checked Regina’s pulse, and said that she was still alive and told Curley that he should slit her throat. Curley got a knife and then he and Kirk entered the car and drove off. Curley testified that he heard a thumping noise coming from the trunk of the car shortly after he left the Schrader garage. Hitchcock testified at trial that he spent six and one-half hours with Kirk that day and that Kirk did not mention what had just occurred in his garage. Hitchcock also testified that Kirk’s behavior that day was normal. After dropping Kirk off at his friend Roger Hitchcock’s house, Curley went on to the dump he had discovered earlier in the day. At the dump Curley took Regina’s body from the trunk, slightly cut her throat with the knife, placed her body in the refrigerator, closed the refrigerator’s door, left the dump and returned to the Schraders’. When he returned, Koehler told Curley that he had to shoot Austin, too, since Austin was a “loose link.” At about 2:30 that afternoon Curley told Austin to come out to the garage and, when he did, Curley shot him three times in his head and at least twice in his body. Curley picked up his body and placed it in the trunk of the car. Koehler then came out to the garage and looked into the trunk at Austin’s body. Curley then drove the car to “Snake Road” where he placed Austin’s body in a sluice pipe. Curley returned to the Schrader residence, where Koehler cleaned up the blood in the trunk of the car. The two departed the Schrader home together and, after buying a chain, a lock and some spray paint, returned to the Mack/Hunsinger residence. At dusk the two returned to the dump, to chain and lock the refrigerator containing the body of Regina. The chain, however, was too short to circle the refrigerator. The two then drove to “Twin Ponds”, near the Schrader house, and, at Koehler’s suggestion, Curley threw the knife and gun used in the murders into the pond. Koehler then drove Curley back to the Mack/Hunsinger residence, left him and drove away alone. The next Sunday, April 23, 1995, Curley moved to North Carolina. The bodies of Regina and Austin were not immediately discovered. It was not until April 26, 1995, when Richard Morris, searching for recyclables, came upon the refrigerator containing Regina’s body and opened it. The state police were then called. Mack heard that a body had been found in a refrigerator approximately half a mile from her home, and, when she heard the news broadcast a description of the clothing on the body, Mack recognized it as the clothing worn by Regina when she was at her residence in the early morning hours of April 18, 1995. Mack called the police and later in the day identified the body of Regina at the Robert Packer Hospital, and she also informed the police that Regina had been traveling with a child. Mack gave police permission to search her home, where the police recovered a can of spray paint, a lock and bullets. The police went to North Carolina on April 28, 1995 to interview Curley. Immediately after they arrived, Curley confessed to the shootings. Curley was taken to the Goldsboro Police Department and, while en route, gave police the location where Austin’s body could be found. While in North Carolina, Curley also provided information concerning where the murder weapon could be found and provided details of the crimes. Curley also implicated Koehler in the murders. The police found Austin’s body at approximately 11:00 p.m. on April 28, 1995. On April 29, 1995, the police recovered the discarded gun and knife from Twin Ponds. Koehler was arrested for the murders of Regina and Austin. Trial testimony began on March 25, 1996. In addition to the evidence outlined above, Isidore Mihalakis, M.D., a forensic pathologist, testified with reference to the injuries of Regina and Austin. Dr. Mihalakis testified that the cause of Regina’s death was a gunshot wound to the head and the manner of her death was homicide. Dr. Mihalakis testified that the cause of Austin’s death was multiple gunshot wounds and the manner of his death was homicide. After three weeks of trial, on April 11, 1996, the jury convicted Koehler of two counts of murder in the first degree, two counts of conspiracy to commit murder, two counts of kidnapping and one count of burglary. At the conclusion of the penalty phase of the trial, held on April 12, 1996, the jury returned two death sentences. With regard to the murder of Regina, the jury found the aggravating circumstance that Koehler had been convicted of another murder occurring either before or at the time of Regina’s murder and no mitigating circumstances. The jury likewise found no mitigating circumstances and the same aggravating circumstance in Austin’s murder, as well as the aggravating circumstance that, at the time of his death, Austin was less than twelve years old. The trial court imposed the death sentences along with two five to ten year prison terms for the conspiracy counts, two ten to twenty year prison terms for the kidnapping counts and a five to ten year term on the burglary conviction. *There are still appeals pending and this execution is not likely to take place on this date.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
December 7, 2000 North Carolina Maurice Travone Williams
Richard Wall
Russell William Tucker stayed
Russell William Tucker, 34, is scheduled to die by lethal injection at 2 a.m. Dec. 7 for the 1994 slaying in Forsyth County of Kmart security guard Maurice Travone Williams. Tucker also is serving sentences for second-degree murder and armed robbery in the shooting death of Winston-Salem cab driver Richard Wall. *There are still appeals pending and this execution is not likely to take place on this date.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
December 7, 2000 Florida Austin Carter Scott, 56
George Larry Hill
Edward Castro executed
Florida is scheduled to execute a 2-time killer Thursday who has chosen not to have an attorney or file any last-minute appeals. Edward Castro, 50, again told Judge Jack Singbush at a Nov. 14 hearing that he was competent to represent himself and did not want any appeals filed to save his life. "There is nothing going on and the indication is that nothing will be going on," Assistant Attorney General Ken Nunnelly said. "Of course that could change 5 minutes from now." Attorneys at the state agency in Tallahassee that handles state inmate death appeals declined comment on the Castro case. Typically, attorneys for death row inmates file a barrage of appeals to state and federal courts trying to get their executions stopped. Craig Waters, a spokesman for the Florida Supreme Court, said he cannot recall a death case which didn’t come before the high court in the final days before execution. "It is certainly unusual," he said. "In the 14 years I’ve been here it has never happened." Castro is condemned for the choking and stabbing death of 56-year-old Austin Carter Scott, who was lured to Castro’s room in Ocala by the promise of Old Milwaukee beer. Castro told authorities he began choking Scott before pulling a knife from his sock. "I remember looking at his face, and it was purple. I told him, "Hey man, you’ve lost. Dig it?’ That’s when I started stabbing him.’ In all, Castro stabbed Scott 8 times in the chest. Scott also had 3 defensive wounds on his arms. The medical examiner said the thrusts penetrated Scott’s lungs and his chest cavity filled with blood. He died within minutes. When Castro, still covered with the victim’s blood, was later arrested in Columbia County, he confessed to the slaying and led officials to Scott’s body. Castro also told authorities he killed George Larry Hill, an interior designer he met at a St. Petersburg bar on Jan. 4, 1987. He is serving a life term for that murder. He told detectives he preyed on older men in hopes of getting money and their cars. Castro is the 2nd inmate this year who has asked for his appeals to be dropped. Appeals were filed to try to stop the execution of Dan Patrick Hauser, after he had said he did not want to fight for his life. He died August 25 for the 1995 slaying of a woman in the Florida Panhandle.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
December 7, 2000 Texas Allen Hilzendager, 44 Claude Jones executed
Claude Jones was condemned for the 1989 robbery and murder of a Point Blank liquor store owner. Jones is set to die by lethal injection after 6 p.m. on 12/7 for the Nov. 14, 1989, murder of 44-year-old Allen Hilzendager, owner of Zell’s liquor store in Point Blank. Hilzendager was shot 3 times with a.357 Magnum as he turned to retrieve a bottle of liquor that Jones had requested. While Jones took $900 in cash from the register, he missed at least $7,000 that was separated between two other bags stored under the register and under a counter. After taking the money, Jones fled the scene with at least 1 accomplice, Kerry Dixon. But Jones’ departure did not go unnoticed – an area resident, Leon Goodson, and his 14-year-old daughter had heard the shots coming from the liquor store. Goodson, who had been working on his car, saw Jones walk behind the counter and then leave the store in a hurry. When Goodson went to check on Hilzendager, he saw the man lying in a pool of blood. Goodson then called the police. Law authorities searched Jones for several weeks before the former Houston electrician was found in Fort Myers, Fla., where he was charged with robbing a bank. While Goodson testified at Jones’ trial, there also were many others who testified, linking Jones to the scene. Among those people testifying at the punishment phase of the trial was one of Jones’ former friends, Mark Jordan, who said Jones admitted killing Hilzendager. Jones has an extensive criminal record including convictions both in Texas and in Kansas for charges ranging from burglary and robbery to murder and assault.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
December 8, 2000 Florida Sharilyn Ritchie, 34 Robert Glock stayed
Sharilyn Ritchie, a 34-year-old Manatee County schoolteacher, had just parked her car at a Bradenton mall on Aug. 16, 1983, when she was kidnapped at gunpoint by Glock and a cohort, Carl Puiatti. They stole her wedding ring, forced her to withdraw $100 from a bank, then drove her car north 60 miles to Pasco County. They released her in an orange grove just south of Dade City and handed her a sun visor, her purse and her husband’s baseball mitt. They started to drive away, then decided to kill her because she could identify them. Glock and Puiatti returned three times and fired numerous shots at Mrs. Ritchie. She managed to walk about 10 yards before collapsing for the last time. When authorities found her body, she was clutching the leather mitt to her chest. 5 days later, Glock and Puiatti were picked up by a New Jersey state trooper who could not read the license plate on Mrs. Ritchie’s car. Glock and Puiatti both confessed to the murder, and in 1984 they were convicted and sentenced to death by a Pasco circuit judge. Puiatti, now 38, is still on death row. A date for his execution has not been set. The relatives of Sharilyn Ritchie said Wednesday that they will take no pleasure in Glock’s execution. "We forgive him," said Mrs. Ritchie’s sister, Rebecca Burke. "We have no animosity for him." Glock said his biggest regret was that he "didn’t find God sooner. Mrs. Ritchie wouldn’t be dead." UPDATE: Stayed by the Florida Supreme Court until January 10, 2001.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
December 12, 2000 Federal Thomas Albert Rumbo
Gilberto Matos
Erasmo de la Fuente
unnamed victim
unnamed victim
unnamed victim
Diana Villareal
Bernabe Sosa, 21
Juan Raul Garza stayed
Juan Raul Garza was sentenced to death under Federal law on August 10, 1993, in the Southern District of Texas, and five violations of drug and money laundering laws. At sentencing, the Government introduced aggravating factors evidence of four unadjudicated murders in Mexico, in which Garza was involved. These included the killing of Bernabe Sosa, Mr. Garza’s 21-year-old son-in-law, who prosecutors said was slain for losing a load of marijuana, and of Diana Villareal. Prosecutors said Mr. Garza thought Ms. Villareal had laughed at him at a Brownsville party and had her kidnapped and injected with cocaine to feign an overdose. When Ms. Villareal did not die, Mr. Garza, who was present, had her strangled, the prosecutors said. Specifically, Garza was convicted of ordering the murders of Thomas Albert Rumbo, Gilberto Matos, and Erasmo De La Fuente in order to further his control over a major drug trafficking organization. In addition to his death sentence, Garza received a life term for conspiracy to import into the United States a quantity exceeding 1,000 Kilos of marijuana. Juan Raul Garza, 43 years old, is one of six inmates who have been convicted under the CCE statute and who have received a death sentence. Garza has exhausted all direct and collateral appeals for his conviction. In accordance with Federal regulations, the method of execution will be by lethal injection. UPDATE: This sentence was stayed for six months by President Clinton. Garza was eventually executed in June 2001, during President George W. Bush’s term.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
December 12, 2000 Ohio Veader Prince, 68 Sean Carter stayed
Evely Prince Carter adopted Sean Carter when he was ten years old. Carter had been taken from his birth mother in 1981, due to neglect and abuse. Evely Carter lived in close proximity to her mother, Veader Prince, the victim in this case. In February 1997, Carter had been thrown out of Evely Carter’s house and began living with Veader Prince, his adoptive grandmother. He stayed there until July 1997, when he was incarcerated at the Geauga County Jail for theft. On Saturday, September 13, 1997, Vernon Prince, Veader’s son, stopped by to see his mother and noticed Carter sleeping in her house. Veader was not there. As Vernon Prince was leaving, Veader pulled in the driveway and upon being questioned, told Vernon Prince that she did not know that Carter was there. Veader and Vernon went inside the house and Veader talked to Carter. When she came out of the room where Carter had been sleeping, Veader asked Vernon to give Carter the keys and title to his car (blue 1984 Chevette) so that Carter could leave. Vernon Prince complied with this request. Vernon Prince also gave his mother some money ($250) before he left. At that time, Carter was still in Prince’s house. That same day, Evely Carter worked from 2:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. During her shift, she received a telephone call from her husband, informing her that Carter had been released from jail. She stopped at Veader’s house after she got off work, arriving at 10:45 p.m. She tried to enter the door and found that it was locked, something her mother had never done. She knocked on her mother’s window and then her mother opened the door. Veader explained to Evely Carter that the door was locked because she "told that boy [Carter] that he wasn’t allowed to come back here." When Evely Carter saw her mother that night, Veader was wearing a white turban with a long john top underneath a white T-shirt and long john bottoms. Evely Carter went to work the next day, Sunday, September 14, and did not get off work until 11:00 p.m. Her husband called her at work and told her that she should check on her mother because no one could find her. Evely Carter went to Veader’s house. She entered and called out for her mother. There was no answer. She left Veader’s house to get her husband and returned with him to Veader’s house. At that time it was midnight. Also on Sunday, another of Veader’s sons, Travis Prince, had gone to Veader’s house around 10:00 a.m. He had walked into her bedroom and heard water running in the bathroom. Though the door to the bathroom was closed, he could tell the light was on. He went into the kitchen of the house and saw chicken in a pot on the stove, simmering. Travis Prince left the house. When he returned later in the day, he saw the same scene. This time, he opened the bathroom door, and upon discovering that it was empty, he turned the water off. He yelled for his mother and, getting no answer, became alarmed. He returned to the kitchen to turn off the stove and then began going through each room calling for his mother. After searching the house and yard, he returned to the kitchen and noticed a note on the table that said, "Took Sean to the hospital." At that point he had not noticed any blood in the house. He did not think it was Carter, because he believed that Carter was still in the county jail. Since he could not find her, her purse, or her keys, he decided that his mother must have given a ride to someone, and ceased being concerned. Travis Prince left the house around 7:00 p.m., and returned to his apartment. When he arrived home, he called his brother-in-law, Jerry Carter (Evely Carter’s husband), and asked if he had seen Veader, but he had not. Jerry Carter went to Veader’s house and could not find Veader. He told Travis Prince that Evely Carter would check again at 11:00 p.m., after she got off work. Travis Prince met the Carters at his mother’s house around 11:15 p.m., and talked to neighbors to see if they knew anything about Veader’s absence. Jerry and Evely Carter and their nephew, James Shoper, began to search the area. They searched the garage and the cars in the driveway. Evely Carter noticed a garbage bag with clothes in one of the vans. They went back into the house, and then down into the basement. Evely Carter noticed a chair that had blood on it. As they continued searching the basement, they saw Veader’s feet sticking out of a pile of clothes on the basement floor. They called the police immediately. Once the clothes were removed, Veader was found lying face down on the basement floor. She was wearing only a white T-shirt, which was covered with blood and had holes. Her glasses were pushed up on her head and one of the lenses was missing, found later on the floor of the basement. Her dentures were discovered in the master bedroom. Veader’s body appeared to have lacerations on her hands and face. Police found significant bloodstains on the carpet in the master bedroom, on a couch, and on the mattress. They also found droplets and stains of blood on the stairs and the walls leading to the basement. An autopsy revealed that Veader had suffered eighteen stab wounds, a subarachnoid hemorrhage caused by blunt trauma, abrasions, and contusions to her right thigh. The left side of her face was swollen, indicating blunt trauma. One stab wound nicked the aorta, which was the immediate cause of death. Other forensic testing revealed the presence of sperm, located on a swab taken from the rectum of the victim. The swabs taken of the mouth and vagina were negative. DNA testing matched the rectal swab to Carter. After talking to the family during the investigation, the police placed a "pick-up and hold" order on Carter. They learned that another of Veader’s sons had been in jail with Carter, and that Carter had made a remark to him about not getting along with his grandmother. On September 15, 1997, Daniel Hepler, a police officer with the Chippewa Township Police in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, was on patrol when he noticed a vehicle backed in among some small trees. The car had Ohio plates and he called the dispatcher to run the plate number. Hepler approached the vehicle and noticed a person (Carter) sleeping in the back seat. He knocked on the window and asked Carter to get out of the car. Carter had no identification or registration information for the vehicle. Carter told Hepler his name was "Bill Carl" and gave him a date of birth; a computer search revealed that no such person existed. The license plate information came back as registered to a Chrysler vehicle, even though the vehicle was a Chevrolet. Because the name and date of birth provided by Carter were false and the car’s registration was fraudulent, Hepler told Carter that he was going to issue a citation and tow the car. While waiting for the tow truck to arrive, Hepler did a plain view inspection of the car for personal effects. Carter stated he did not want anything from the car. Hepler found two sets of keys and some money, which he gave to Carter. When the tow truck arrived, Hepler transported Carter to the police department. Carter appeared confused and kept asking Hepler where he was. When the vehicle registration came back as not matching the vehicle, Hepler obtained the vehicle identification number (VIN) and ran it through the computer. The car was registered to Vernon Prince. Hepler obtained a phone number and telephoned the Prince residence. The woman who answered the phone informed Hepler that the man he had in custody was wanted for murder. Hepler contacted the Trumbull County Sheriff’s Department and verified that Carter was wanted for questioning relating to a murder. Carter was placed in a holding cell while detectives from the sheriff’s department traveled to Pennsylvania. Major James Phillips, Sergeant Hyde, and Lieutenant Borger traveled to Chippewa Township to question Carter. After giving Carter his Miranda warnings and obtaining a waiver of his rights, Phillips and Hyde obtained an audio and video confession to the murder of Veader Prince. According to Carter’s confession, after he obtained the car keys from Vernon Prince, he left Veader’s house and drove around for a while. He attempted to stay at his aunt’s house, but could not. He returned to Veader’s house and, since the door was locked, climbed through the bedroom window. He had called out to Veader, hoping to convince her to allow him to stay there for a week. They got into an argument and Veader told him to leave. He kept telling her that he had nowhere to go. She tried to push him out the door and he started to beat her. At some point, he got a knife from the kitchen and started stabbing her. He described it as just "going off" and could not provide exact details of what happened during the assault, although he did remember hitting her in the face and stabbing her in the neck. The next thing Carter remembered was being in the kitchen and washing his hands and the knife. He walked downstairs and saw Veader on the basement floor and then started to cover things up. He covered her with some clothes, moved the couch in her bedroom to cover up blood on the carpet, turned the water on in her bathroom and closed the door, and put a chicken in a pot on the stove and turned the stove on. He left a note on the kitchen table saying, "Took Sean to the hospital" in case someone saw blood in the house. He changed his clothes, since they were bloody. He then took about $150 from her purse and left. He originally took her keys, thinking he would take one of her vans, and actually put his bag of clothes in the van, but could not get the van started. He got into Vernon Prince’s car and drove off. Since he did not have a license plate, he stopped to steal a plate from a car in Garrettsville. To remove and transfer the plates to his car, he used the knife that he had stabbed his grandmother with. Upon direct questioning by the officers, Carter denied taking off his grandmother’s clothes or raping her, but admitted she was wearing only a T-shirt when he left her. After Carter signed a waiver allowing his car to be searched, the knife was found in the car. He waived extradition and was brought back to Ohio for prosecution. Carter was indicted for one count of aggravated murder with three capital specifications, aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery, and rape. He was also indicted on one count of aggravated burglary, one count of aggravated robbery, and one count of rape. After a jury trial, during which he absented himself from most of the proceedings, Carter was found guilty of aggravated murder and two of the capital specifications, aggravated robbery, and rape. The jury also found Carter guilty of aggravated robbery, rape, and the lesser-included offense of criminal trespass on the aggravated burglary charge, and Carter was sentenced to prison on these charges. 6 After a penalty hearing, the jury recommended that the death sentence be imposed, and the trial court adopted the jury’s recommendation. *There are still appeals pending and the execution is not likely to take place on this date.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
December 19, 2000 Arkansas Leon Brown, 67 David Wayne Johnson executed
A man convicted of beating a night watchman to death during a warehouse robbery was executed by injection Tuesday. David Dewayne Johnson, 37, was convicted of killing Leon Brown at the Little Rock Crate and Basket Co. in 1989. Johnson made no final statement. He lost appeals that claimed his lawyer was manic-depressive and incapable of defending an accused murderer. Prosecutors said Johnson’s fingerprints were found at the scene and items taken from the crate company were found in Johnson’s home. Gov. Mike Huckabee denied Johnson’s request for mercy. He also said delaying the execution until after the holiday would have set it closer to Johnson’s birthday, Jan. 10. "This is in many ways an unfortunate case," the U.S. Eighth District Court of Appeals wrote in upholding denial of Johnson’s appeal. The court’s March ruling acknowledged that Johnson’s first lawyer might have been mentally ill during his trial, that he did not press hard to admit certain testimony and that he behaved unprofessionally during jury selection. "We nevertheless are convinced that the governing law requires that this conviction and sentence be upheld," the judges wrote. "We deal in specific facts, not abstractions, and petitioner has failed to show any reasonable likelihood that the outcome of this case would have been different even if his lawyer had conducted himself perfectly," the opinion said.

Page visited times since 7/13/00

Page last updated 06/16/10