May 2000 Executions

Nine killers were executed in the month of May 2000. They had murdered at least 16 people.
Ten killers were issued stays of execution. They have murdered at least 18 people.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
May 2, 2000 Arkansas Justin Riggs, 5
Shelby Alexis Riggs, 2
Christina Riggs executed

Justin Shelby Riggs smallGov. Mike Huckabee on Thursday set May 2 for the execution of Christina Marie Riggs, who was sentenced to die by lethal injection for killing her 2 children. Riggs was convicted in Pulaski County Circuit Court for the Nov. 5, 1997, deaths of Justin, 5, who was injected with potassium chloride and morphine, then smothered, and Shelby Alexis, 2, who was smothered. Prosecutors said Riggs, who was living at Sherwood at the time, decided that the children had become an inconvenience to her. They said she left the children by themselves while she competed in karaoke contests and plotted their deaths for 2 or 3 weeks. Last week, the state Supreme Court affirmed a Pulaski County Circuit Court ruling that granted Riggs’ request to stop her appeals and found that she was competent to do so. Prison officials say records going back to 1913 indicate that no woman has been executed by the state. Riggs is the only woman on Arkansas’ death row. Huckabee said that deciding Riggs’ date was uncomfortable because of her sex and because her victims were children. "With all candor, I find myself very much aware that this would be a first in Arkansas," he said. "I’m not particularly comfortable or necessarily happy with that. On the other hand, I recognize the crime and the process that we have to go through, and I’ll weigh all of those things, but I’m going to try my best to be as objective as I can be in all of this."

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
May 3, 2000 Texas Lori Burch, 19 Caruthers Alexander stayed

On April 23, 1981, Lori Burch was attacked while leaving her job as a waitress at a Perrin-Beitel Road nightclub. Caruthers "Gus" Alexander was convicted of raping and strangling Lori. Alexander had previous convictions for arson, for which he served only 7 months of a two year sentence and involuntary manslaughter for which he served only 10 months of a 3 year sentence. Alexander was first convicted of capital murder and given a death sentence in October 1981. Lori’s nude body was found by two children in a rain-clogged gutter in front of Flower Mound School. Her hands and feet were bound and rope was tied around her neck. In 1987, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals reversed Alexander’s conviction. He was retried in May 1989 and received the same sentence again. In 1994, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed his conviction.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
May 4, 2000 Texas Rosalind Robison, 24 Tommy Jackson executed
Tommy Jackson was sentenced to death for the November 17, 1983 kidnapping and murder of Rosalind Robison. Rosalind was a 24-year-old student at the University of Texas, from Terre Haute Indiana. She was an engineering student and was kidnapped from the campus and forced to withdraw money from an ATM machine. She was then taken to a rural area between Pflugerville and Round Rock where she was shot once in the head with a.25-caliber pistol. Her body was found nearly a month later, buried under a pile of gravel. Jackson was arrested 4 days after the murder outside a grocery store in Austin, driving Rosalind’s car. In April of 1977, Jackson had been sentenced to 10 years in the Federal penitentiary for bank robbery and was released on parole after serving only three years. He was sent to prison in Texas in February of 1982 for a burglary of a motor vehicle charge and was paroled after serving one year of a four-year sentence. "He literally put the girl on her knees, bound her hands behind her, put the bullet through her head and goes to a party," said Williamson County District Attorney Ken Anderson. "He’s the most cold-blooded, most evil, most psychopathic killer I’ve ever seen."

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
May 4, 2000 Pennsylvania two women Joseph Miller stayed
Joseph D. Miller, 35, of Dauphin County, is scheduled to be executed on May 4. It is the third warrant Governor Ridge has signed for Miller, who received two death sentences in 1993 for murdering two women and dumping their bodies in a landfill. 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
May 9, 2000 Texas Patricia Leann Webb William Kitchens executed
William Kitchens was sentenced to death for the May 17, 1986 murder of Patricia Leann Webb. Patricia and Kitchens had met at an Abilene Texas bar earlier that day. Kitchens raped Patricia, then drove her to a secluded area outside of town and beat her severely, then strangled and shot her in the head with a.22 caliber pistol. He then stole her car, money, credit cards and checkbook. He was arrested in his hometown in Oklahoma the next day, with her property in his possession. Kitchens had a previous conviction for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and had served 8 months of a two year sentence before being released in 1983.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
May 9, 2000 Ohio unnamed man
unnamed man
Joseph William Daron
unnamed woman
unnamed man
John Fautenberry stayed
Between November 1990 and March 1991, Fautenberry committed five brutal murders in four different states. After killing one man in Oregon in November 1990 and stealing about $10,000 in cash, he went to New Jersey where he shot a man in the head at a truck stop, stealing his wallet. On 2/17/91, he was hitchhiking on I-275 near Ohio 125 when he was picked up by a 45-year-old man, Joseph William Daron, the father of two young children. The victim took him to the intersection of I-275 and I-71 where Fautenberry shot him twice in the right side of his chest. Fautenberry dumped the victim’s body along the north bank of the Ohio river, in Anderson Township. He took the victim’s car, credit cards, cash, watch and bible. Fautenberry drove back to Oregon where he shot a woman twice in the back of the head. He then traveled to Juneau, Alaska where he stabbed an acquaintance 17 times. He was arrested in Alaska and then confessed to the murder there and the others. 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
May 9, 2000 Ohio unnamed Walter Raglin stayed
In the early morning hours of 12/29/95, in the Over-the-Rhine area of Cincinnati, Raglin confronted a popular 41-year-old musician, who had just finished playing at a nightclub in the Main Street entertainment area. The victim quietly handed over the $60 he had earned from playing that night to Raglin, but when the victim refused to answer one of Raglin’s questions, Raglin fatally shot him in the neck. Raglin had a 15-year-old accomplice. Raglin unsuccessfully tried to escape from the Hamilton County Justice Center while awaiting trial. 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
May 9, 2000 Pennsylvania Elizabeth Smith, 68 Jose Marrero stayed
Jose Marrero, 31 of Erie County, who was convicted in 1994 of first degree murder in the slaying of a 68 year old acquaintance, Elizabeth Smith. 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
May 11, 2000 Pennsylvania two of his own cousins Roderick Johnson stayed
Roderick Andre Johnson, 24, is scheduled to be put to death May 11. Johnson, of Berks County, was convicted and sentenced to death in 1997 for the drug-related shootings of two cousins. 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
May 11, 2000 Texas Christian Fisher, 18
James Alan Holzler, 18
Michael McBride executed
Execution has been set on May 11 for Michael Lee McBride, a former Lubbock bar manager convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend and her companion in 1985. McBride, 38, had been found guilty of capital murder in the shooting deaths of Christian Fisher and James Alan Holzler, both 18. Christian had gone to McBride’s home to pick up some belongings on Oct. 21, 1985. She was killed in a hail of bullets after challenging McBride to shoot, according to witness accounts in the records. McBride then went to the car and shot James in the head and chest. Both Christian and James died at the scene, according to the records. McBride turned the.30-caliber rifle on himself and fired once at his head. He was lying on the ground and reaching for the weapon when police arrived.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
May 15, 2000 New Mexico Dena Lynn Gore, 9 Terry Clark stayed
Terry Clark, convicted in the 1986 kidnapping and rape-slaying of a 9-year-old Artesia girl, Dena Lynn Gore, has waived his appeals, fired his attorneys and written letters asking to die. "I know we still have a long way to go, especially if he’s not going to waive it," said the victim’s mother, Colleen Gore, from the Estancia auto repair shop where she works. But she said the latest ruling was "great. I think this is the start of showing people you can’t hurt our children. Enough is enough," she said. Dena Lynn Gore disappeared July 17, 1986, while riding a bike to an Artesia convenience store. Her naked, bound body was found 5 days later in a shallow grave on a Chaves County ranch. She had been shot 3 times in the back of the head. At the time, Clark was free on bond pending appeal of his conviction for kidnapping and raping a 6-year-old Roswell girl in 1984. Clark, 43, of Roswell, pleaded guilty to kidnapping and murder in 1986, hoping that his death sentence would be commuted by outgoing Gov. Toney Anaya, a death penalty opponent. But his sentencing was delayed until after Anaya left office. Clark was sentenced to death in 1987, but the state Supreme Court overturned the sentence in 1994, saying his constitutional rights had been violated. The court said the jury wasn’t accurately told how much prison time Clark faced if he were given a life term, and it ordered him resentenced. He was resentenced in March 1996. February 2000: Convicted child killer Terry Clark, who said last year he wanted to end his appeals and be executed for murdering an Artesia girl, told a judge he has changed his mind and now wants to resume his fight against a death sentence. State District Judge David Bonem on Friday set a May 15 execution date for convicted child killer Terry Clark. However, Clark still has 2 appeals pending, one on the federal level and the other in state court. Bonem gave Gail Evans, Clark’s attorney, 30 days to file an amended petition arguing that Clark’s attorney in earlier phases of the case inadequately represented him in a 1997 appeal. If the petition is successful, Clark will be granted a new sentencing on his convictions in the July 1986 murder and kidnapping of 9-year-old Dena Lynn Gore of Artesia. Clark last year said he wanted to end his appeals and be executed for the murder. But Evans announced Thursday he had changed his mind and would continue to fight the death sentence. Evans argued that Clark’s death sentence was based on a 1984 child molestation case, and that he has always maintained he is innocent of that crime. "I think it’s a tactic but this is our system and that’s the way it works," said Dena Lynn’s mother, Colleen Gore, who was in the courtroom when Bonem set the execution date. "So it will be a little bit longer, maybe 20 years longer," she said with tears in her eyes. She said she was excited when she first heard the execution date for Clark, who was in the courtroom, wearing sunglasses and his hair in a ponytail. District Attorney Tom Rutledge also indicated he believes the 13-year-old case will take a lot more time. "I didn’t bring my calendar with me for the year 2010," he told Bonem. Rutledge said lawyers all believe every petition they file is strong, but added, "Quite often, it is nothing more than hot air. They have litigated this issue (Clark’s convictions); they have lost," he said. One reason to invoke the death penalty in New Mexico is the killing of a witness to a crime. Rutledge said Clark testified during his trial that Dena Lynn told him she was going to tell on him, and that Clark then had to kill her. Bonem said he had the right to summarily deny Clark’s petition that he had inadequate counsel, but would not do that. "I’m not inclined to delay this matter unnecessarily, either," he said, adding that he was not going to consider the validity of the 1984 conviction. A hearing on the petition is set for May 5. March 2000: Terry Clark, the New Mexico inmate closest to execution, on Thursday won a 2-month delay in his date with death. State District Judge David Bonem postponed Clark’s execution date from May 15 to July 3 to give Clark’s lawyer more time to prepare her argument that his life should be spared. Gail Evans, a lawyer in the office of the New Mexico Public Defender, had a deadline of March 20 to make written arguments to support Clark’s allegation that his death sentence for the kidnapping and murder of a 9-year-old Artesia girl was due to the incompetence of his defense attorney. She asked for and was granted an extension until April 24, based on the necessity of hiring a second lawyer to help on the case; 10 boxes of documents to read through; a delay in receiving trial transcripts; and a planned vacation. In her motion, Evans said her request was not meant simply to delay Clark’s execution. The district attorney who has prosecuted the case said Thursday that further review was unnecessary. "2 different juries of 12 people determined that the death penalty was appropriate. This has been reviewed twice by the New Mexico Supreme Court," prosecutor Thomas Rutledge said. "At what point in time do we say, ‘Enough’?" Rutledge also termed the incompetent defense argument "just bizarre." Clark was defended by Gary Mitchell, an ardent opponent of the death penalty and one of the most successful death penalty defense lawyers in the state. He dropped out of the case in November after Clark told the state Supreme Court he was ready to die and wanted no further appeals. The case fell to Evans at that point. Then last month Clark had a change of heart. Days before a hearing to set an execution date, Clark told Evans he wanted to live and fight his death sentence. Dena Lynn Gore was kidnapped in 1986 as she rode a bicycle to a convenience store near her home. She was raped, shot to death and buried in shallow grave on a Chaves County ranch where Clark was employed. Clark pleaded guilty to the kidnapping and murder and was sentenced to death by a Quay County jury in 1987. The New Mexico Supreme Court threw out that sentence, finding that jurors might have misunderstood how much time Clark would have spent behind bars if he had received a life sentence. A 2nd jury, this one in Grant County, decided in 1996 that Clark should die for the crimes. The Supreme Court refused to consider an appeal. Both juries considered Clark’s conviction for the 1984 kidnapping and rape of a 6-year-old Roswell girl when they sentenced Clark to die. Clark has always maintained his innocence in that crime, and Evans plans to argue that Mitchell should not have agreed that the juries be told about the conviction. Bonem set a court schedule that gives prosecutors until May 22 to respond to Clark’s petition and calls for a hearing on the arguments for June 13. He moved the execution date to July 3. An execution date at this point in Clark’s case is "a legal fiction," according to Evans’ motion. And Rutledge said he has told Gore’s parents to expect further delays. If Clark’s arguments before Bonem fail, he still may ask the state Supreme Court to hear a further appeal. And if that were denied, Clark could pursue appeals in federal courts. Stayed until July 3.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
May 16, 2000 Pennsylvania Sherill Ann Hall, 31 Alexander Keaton stayed
Alexander G. Keaton, 38 of Philadelphia, is scheduled to die May 16 for strangling 31 year old Sherill Ann Hall. 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
May 23, 2000 Texas Gerald Abay, 35 James D. Richardson executed
James Richardson was convicted of capital murder for the shooting death of a 35-year-old man during the robbery of the Gusher Liquor Store in Angus, Texas. Richardson served 4 and a half months of a five-year sentence for burglary and was paroled three months before committing capital murder. On December 17, 1986, Richardson and two other men, pretending to buy beer. They took it to the counter and then Richardson pulled out a pistol and shot Gerald Abay in the throat and chest. Gerald was able to fire at the robbers and hit Richardson in the left hand then died an hour later. The two co-defendants received life sentences.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
May 24, 2000 Texas Gary Michael Cox Richard Foster executed
Richard Foster was sentenced to death for the April 1984 murder of Gary Michael Cox who owned a feed store near Springtown, Texas. Gary was shot once in the back of the head with a shotgun during a robbery that netted $250. Foster was arrested on May 5, 1984 after holding seven hostages at a bank in Breckenridge for 12 hours. Foster received four life sentences in that incident. Foster escaped from a county jail in August 1986 while awaiting trial on the hostage-taking. Police captured him after shooting out the tires of the stolen vehicle he was driving. Foster had previous convictions for aggravated robbery and credit card abuse. He had been paroled just over two years before Gary’s murder.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
May 25, 2000 Oklahoma Claude Wiley, 74 Charles Adrian Foster executed
The Oklahoma appellate court set a May 25 execution date for Charles Adrian Foster, 51, after the US Supreme Court denied his final appeal. Foster was convicted and sentenced to death for the April 1, 1983, killing of Claude Wiley, 74, owner of a grocery store in Muskogee. Wiley was delivering groceries to Foster’s Muskogee home. He was beaten with a baseball bat, then taken to a remote area and stabbed.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
May 25, 2000 Texas Lori Barrett, 27 James Clayton executed
James Clayton was sentenced to die for the September 17, 1987 abduction/murder of Lori Barrett in Abilene, Texas. Lori was kidnapped after Clayton broke into her apartment through her bedroom window. Her body was found 12 days later and she had been shot in the head, neck and left shoulder. Lori’s hands and ankles were tied with telephone cord and she was wrapped in a blanket and dumped on the side of a country road.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
May 30, 2000 Ohio unnamed Jason Robb stayed
On 4/15/93, Jason Robb kidnapped and murdered a 40-year-old prison guard and murdered an inmate during the Lucasville prison riot. Robb had the prison guard strangled. The inmate was beaten by bats and stabbed. At the time, Robb was already serving a sentence for involuntary manslaughter.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
May 31, 2000 Florida Celia Puhlick
R.N. Brinkworth
Alfred Sturgis
Bennie Demps stayed until 6/7
Bennie Demps, 49, is set to die on May 31 for the September 1976 murder of fellow inmate Alfred Sturgis at Florida State Prison near Starke. Before his death, Sturgis told an officer that Demps and another inmate held him down while a third inmate stabbed him. Demps’ defense argued Friday that a letter from prison officials, who investigated Sturgis’ death, did not implicate Demps in the attack. A defense motion requested Cates to grant a hearing on the information that would have postponed Demps’ execution. The state had argued the information was not newly discovered or admissible. After Cates’ denial, the case now heads to the Florida Supreme Court for review. Earlier this year, some prosecutors had projected that Demps’ execution wouldn’t be scheduled for years. Demps was sentenced to death in 1978. Before Bush signed the recent warrant, Demps had survived 3 death warrants by getting last-minute appeals. Although set to die for Sturgis’ death, Demps was originally condemned for the 1971 murders of R.N. Brinkworth and Celia Puhlick. They were fatally shot in a Lake County citrus grove. Celia Puhlick’s husband, Nicholas, was wounded in the attack. The victims were inspecting some land for sale when they came across Demps. He had fled into the grove with a stolen safe. A year after being sent to death row, Demps was taken off after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against capital punishment. In 1976, Florida’s new capital punishment law was upheld. Two months later Sturgis was stabbed.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
May 31, 2000 Texas Bobbie Davis, 45
Nichole Davis, 16
Lea’Erin Davis, 5
Brittany Davis, 6
Jason Davis, 4
Denitra Davis, 9
Robert E. Carter executed
Anthony Graves and Robert Earl Carter were convicted of capital murder after going into a Somerville home in 1992 where they stabbed or shot 6 people: Bobbie Davis, 45; her daughter Nichole Davis, 16; her grandchildren De’Nitra Davis,9; Lea’Erin Davis, 5; Brittany Davis, 6; and little Jason Davis, 4, who was stabbed to death as he cowered beneath a pillow. With the exception of Nicole, each victim died from multiple stab wounds; Nicole was killed by five gunshots to her head. After the murders, the killers poured gasoline on the bodies and set the house on fire in an effort to conceal the murders. Carter, who had recently been named in a paternity suit filed by Jason’s mother, another daughter of Bobbie’s, attended funeral services for the family wrapped in bandages for severe burns apparently suffered in the house fire. Graves was upset with Bobbie Davis because he believed she received a promotion at the Brenham State School that Graves’ mother deserved. Carter and Graves went to Davis’ house to settle their disputes. "The 4 slain children just happened to be in the house," according to an appellate ruling. Graves was also sentenced to death.

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