December 2001 Executions

Four killers were executed in December 2001. They had murdered at least 5 people.
Four killers were given a stay in December 2001. They have murdered at least 7 people.
One killer was granted a commutation to a life sentence. He had murdered at least 2 people.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
December 4, 2001 Oklahoma Cindy Baillee, 21 Lois Smith executed
Lois Nadean Smith was convicted of killing her son’s ex-girlfriend in Sequoyah County. Smith was convicted of first-degree murder for the July 4, 1982, killing of Cindy Baillee, 21, ex-girlfriend of Smith’s son, James "Greg" Smith. Smith and her son, Greg, and another woman picked up Cindy Baillee in Tahlequah on the morning of the slaying. As they drove from a motel, Nadean Smith confronted Cindy about rumors that she had threatened to tell law enforcement officials about her son’s involvement with illegal drugs. Cindy denied those rumors but Lois stabbed her in the throat, twisting the knife, then took her to a house where she was repeatedly told she was going to be killed. Cindy was shot five times in the chest, twice in the head and once in the back. At one point, Smith jumped repeatedly on Cindy’s throat, according to a witness’s testimony. Lois Smith testified that she stabbed Cindy and fired shots at her but did not mean to kill her. Greg Smith is serving a life sentence for his role in the slaying. He reloaded Smith’s gun during the shooting. Baillie’s daughter, Brandy Fields, 24, witnessed the execution with her husband, a sister and a family friend. "You do something of this magnitude, torturing somebody, you’re going to have to pay the price for it," she said. "She chose her path in life."
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
December 5, 2001 Arizona Linda Reynolds
David Lacey
Chad Lee stayed
On April 6, 1992, Chad Lee and 14-year-old David Hunt kidnapped Linda Reynolds, a Pizza Hut delivery person, from a vacant house. They forced her to remove her clothing in the backyard. Lee and Hunt drove her out to a desert area. They destroyed her car, sexually assaulted her, and robbed her. Lee and Hunt then drove her to a bank, where they forced her to withdraw $20 from the automatic teller machine. They then drove her back to the desert area. Lee shot Linda in the head. However, because Linda was still alive, Lee stabbed her twice in the chest, perforating her heart and lung. On April 15, 1992, Lee and Hunt robbed and murdered David Lacey, a Metro Taxi Cab driver. Lee shot David Lacey four times, and dumped his body. Lee and Hunt abandoned the cab in another location. There are still appeals pending and the execution will probably not take place on this date.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
December 6, 2001 Oklahoma Inaam Al-Nashi
Mohammad Al-Nashi
Sahib Al-Mosawi executed
Sahib Al-Mosawi was convicted of 1st-degree murder of his wife and her uncle in Oklahoma City in 1992. Al-Mosawi, who came to the United States from Iraq in 1991, was married to Inaam Al-Nashi. The couple had marital problems. Al-Nashi, who was pregnant, moved into the apartment of Mohammad Al-Nashi, her uncle. After the baby was born, Al-Mosawi went to the apartment and fatally stabbed his wife and her uncle. A third stabbing victim, Fatima Al-Nashi, survived the attack and described it as an apparent domestic dispute. Al- Mosawi was upset because his wife named her newborn baby against his wishes.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
December 6, 2001 Nebraska Della Marie Brockamp, 36
unnamed man
Larry Witt
David Dunster stayed
David Dunster was a senior at Silverton Union High School when he walked into a store in Woodburn, Oregon on May 19, 1972, and bound, gagged and blindfolded the clerk, Della Marie Brockamp, a 36-year-old mother of eight. He shot her in the head and left. Police charged him a couple of weeks later, suspecting rape, but no motive surfaced in court, where he was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. There was no death penalty in Oregon in 1972. But Dunster killed again, a fellow inmate in a Montana prison where he’d been transferred, and again, a cellmate in Nebraska in 1997.When James Brockamp heard the news that Dunster had been sentenced to death in another state, his mind flashed back to the day when he was 14 that his father picked him up unexpectedly from school. The father gathered his eight children, ages 4 to 17, in the kitchen to tell them their mother was gone. "It changes people’s lives when you lose your mom and you’re just a kid," said Brockamp, now in his 40’s and a log-truck driver in Silverton. At the time he’d never heard of Dunster, only three years his senior, who had recently moved to the area. Three years after the murder, Dunster was accused in a conspiracy to kill Oregon State Penitentiary Superintendent Hoyt Cupp. Dunster was transferred to Montana, where he killed an inmate in 1978 and was sentenced to 100 years. He snitched on a Death Row inmate and, as is customary for informants, was transferred again, to Nebraska in 1993. He strangled cellmate Larry Witt with a cord in the Nebraska State Penitentiary in 1997. There are still appeals pending and the execution will probably not take place on this date.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
December 7, 2001 North Carolina Aileane Pittman, and her grandson,
Nelson Fipps Jr, 18
Sherman Skipper commuted
Superior Court Judge Craig Ellis vacates Skipper’s death sentence and sentences him to two life terms in prison. The judge says he will rule at a later date on how the two life sentences are to be run. (concurrent or consecutive) Skipper was the first on North Carolina’s death row to have his sentence reduced under a new state law banning executions for the mentally retarded. Sherman Elwood Skipper, 59, "was mentally retarded prior to and at the time of the commission of the capital offense which resulted in the imposition of death sentences," Superior Court Judge B. Craig Ellis said in reducing Skipper’s sentence to 2 life terms. The law requires that a prisoner have an IQ below 70 and show inability to adapt to society before age 18 before a court can declare him mentally retarded. Skipper’s former wife told the judge that her ex-husband was mean but not dumb. District Attorney Rex Gore asked Skipper’s ex-wife, Harriet Gainey, if Skipper was too "dumb" to help around the house or "too sorry to accept responsibility?" "He was too sorry to accept responsibility," Gainey said. Skipper was convicted in the 1990 murders of Aileane Pittman and her grandson Nelson Fipps Jr. in Bladenboro. Pittman was Skipper’s girlfriend, and Fipps was Pittman’s grandson. Attorneys on both sides agreed that Skipper’s IQ tested at 69 and the hearing focused on his life skills. Gainey twice married and divorced Skipper. She said that from the time she and Skipper first married in 1965, he was a bad husband and father. "He made money, but he didn’t pay the bills," she said. "He blew his money on alcohol and women." She also said that contrary to what the defense has argued, Skipper could read and write and that he ran a successful junkyard from the yard of their home in Columbus County. But Skipper was a mean drunk who regularly beat her and their 4 children, Gainey said. He prohibited her from having friends. Gainey said that when she was pregnant with her youngest daughter, who is now 26, Skipper beat her with a hammer and his fists. She left when he tried to kill her in the mid-1980s, she said, and she was hospitalized for 6 months. Gainey said that her ex-husband was jailed for various crimes, such as stealing a car, wounding his brother and another man and trying to kill her. In his closing argument, Gore argued that Skipper functioned well. He got married and had four children, Gore said. "He had enough adaptive skills to manipulate Harriet for 20 years," Gore said. "He wasn’t dumb; he was just sorry." Gore said that the law was meant to exclude people from execution who had no capacity to make choices, but that Skipper ran his life the way he wanted. Gore argued that alcohol was the primary reason for Skipper’s problems with the law. Before the murder conviction, Skipper was convicted of wounding his brother. William Mills, one of the two Durham attorneys representing Skipper, said that Skipper more than meets the requirements for the state to declare him mentally retarded. Mills said that Skipper could not pay the bills and that his house was a mess after his wife left him. He said that Skipper is significantly limited intellectually and in his ability to fit in to society. Skipper was convicted in the 1990 murders of his girlfriend, Aileane Pittman, and her grandson, Nelson Fipps Jr., in Bladenboro. Lawyers on both sides agreed that Skipper’s IQ tested at 69. A hearing before Ellis in Bladen County last month focused on his life skills. Ellis found that Skipper displayed significantly limited abilities in all 10 measures of getting along in adult society outlined in the law. District Attorney Rex Gore said he would not appeal the judge’s decision. He said the case "is not a referendum on the death penalty or anything else."
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
December 11, 2001 Georgia Christy Ann Griffith, 11 Bryon Parker executed
Bryon Parker was sentenced to death for the malice murder of 11-year-old Christy Ann Griffith in Douglas County on June 1, 1984. Christy disappeared on that day and foul play was soon suspected. Law enforcement officers questioned a number of persons residing in the trailer park where the victim had lived — including Parker, who was questioned on June 5, and again the next day. He signed a consent-to-search form and officers searched his house on June 6, but found nothing relating to any possible criminal activity except for a small amount of marijuana. Because Parkerís statements regarding his whereabouts at the time the victim disappeared were not entirely consistent, and because the investigators learned that Parker had earlier been charged in an incident involving a young girl in Florida, they began to focus their attention on Parker as a suspect. Parker was asked if he would be willing to take a polygraph examination the next day (June 7). Although Parker agreed to the test, he failed to show up for the appointment. Parker had been convicted earlier on felony charges and was placed on probation in Fulton County on May 15, 1984. The probation was transferred to Douglas County that day, and he was scheduled to meet with his assigned Douglas County probation officer on June 1. He failed to appear then, but he did meet his probation officer on June 5, and asked for permission to leave the state. After Parker failed to appear for the polygraph on the morning of June 7, he was arrested on two warrants that were issued for his arrest; one charged him with the misdemeanor offense of possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, and the other was for the probation violation. After talking further with police, he told them he would take a polygraph test, provided that he was allowed to talk to his attorney beforehand. Parker took the polygraph. The examiner wanted to conduct another test before he could come to any final conclusions, but the examiner did tell the sheriff that, not withstanding his answers, Parker knew where Christy’s body was. Parker was returned to Douglas County. He talked briefly to a couple of officers, and then Parker was allowed to talk to his mother and two sisters, for about half an hour. Afterwards, he was again given Miranda warnings and the interrogation resumed. At approximately midnight, Parker admitted responsibility for the victimís disappearance, and agreed to reveal the location of the body. He drew a map, which police officers used to find the body. Afterwards, Parker was interrogated again; this time the confession was tape-recorded.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
December 12, 2001 Texas Gary D. McCarthy, 33 Vincent Cooks executed
Vincent Cooks received a death sentence for the February 28, 1988 murder of Dallas Police officer Gary McCarthy outside a grocery store in Dallas. Cooks had been paroled just six months earlier for an aggravated assault in which he fired shots at a police officer. He had served less than one year of a five year sentence when released. On Feb. 26 1988, Vincent Edward Cooks and two of his friends, Tony Ray Harvey and Tracy Stallworth, rented a blue Plymouth and parked it down the street from the Brancatos Grocery Store in Dallas, Texas. They also parked a stolen Oldsmobile in a parking lot across from the store. All three men then sat in the Plymouth and waited. At 4:30 p.m. that same day, the owner of the Brancatos Grocery Store went to the bank to obtain $30,000 for the store’s check cashing service. Thirty-three-year-old Gary Don McCarthy, an off-duty police officer who worked part-time as the store security guard, accompanied DeCardenas on the bank run. As Cooks, Harvey and Stallworth observed them returning to the store, Cooks and Harvey left the Plymouth and got inside the Oldsmobile still parked across from the store. Cooks then approached the store owner and Officer McCarthy, and attempted to grab the money bag. As Officer McCarthy pushed the owner away from Cooks, he dropped the money bag. Cooks then shot Officer McCarthy. The officer returned fire and shattered the Oldsmobile’s rear window as Cooks fled the scene. Gary McCarthy died later at Parkland Memorial Hospital. The damaged window did not go unnoticed by two police officers patrolling the area. Suspecting that the car was stolen, the officers pursued, but found the vehicle abandoned when they reached it. The officers found a revolver on the floorboard of the vehicle. Police arrested Stallworth, Harvey and Cooks shortly after tracing the license plate number to the rented blue Plymouth. Tracy Stallworth named Cooks and Tony Ray Harvey as accomplices. Cooks was identified in a line-up as the person who had murdered Gary. In 1984, Cooks fired two shots at a police officer when the officer attempted to quell a nightclub fight. Cooks also committed two additional aggravated robberies, both of which were accomplished in much the same manner as the primary offense. Cooks committed the first of those robberies on Nov. 11, 1987, when he robbed a small Dallas grocery store in the middle of the afternoon as the store’s owner returned with $37,000 from a bank run. Cooks pointed his gun at the store owner and demanded the money. Police identified his fingerprint, as well as Stallworth’s palm print, on a "hot- wired" Oldsmobile Cutlass that was abandoned near the store. Cooks committed the second aggravated robbery in January 1988, when, again wielding his gun, he stole $30,000 from a Dallas liquor store early in the afternoon as store employees returned from a bank run. Cooks was also disruptive in jail as he awaited trial for capital murder. On one occasion, Cooks scattered food all over the front wall of his cell, then loudly demanded more food and threatened that "if anybody messes with me, I’ll kill somebody." Smiling, Cooks added, "[T]his is not the first time I’ve been accused of it." On several occasions as officers escorted him from his cell, through the officers’ dining room, to the gymnasium, Cooks tried to grab food in the officers’ dining room. When told not to grab the food, Cooks once responded, "Don’t no [expletive] police tell me what to do. Any police that mess with me, I’ll beat their ass." Cooks also had a quick temper and intimidated jail staff members. "The difficult part of this is reliving the memories," Candy McCarthy, the slain officer’s sister, said Wednesday. "We’ve been waiting nearly 14 years for this."
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
December 12, 2001 Arizona Rachel Gray, 4 Barry Jones stayed
Barry Jones was sentenced to die with sexual assault and murder of Rachel Gray, age 4. In April 1994, Rachel’s mother and her three children were living with Jones. On the afternoon of May 1, 1994, while she was asleep, Jones took Rachel out of the house in his van, and was later seen hitting her with his hand and elbow. When the mother awoke, she discovered that Rachel’s head was cut and she was bleeding. Jones said that Rachel cut her head when some neighbor children pushed her down. Rachel continued to bleed and throw up during the night, but Jones would not let Angela take her to the hospital. By the time Rachel was taken to the hospital, she was dead as the result of a ruptured intestine. The jurors found Jones guilty on all counts. In addition to the sentence of death for the murder, Jones also received concurrent sentences totaling 35 years and a consecutive sentence of life with no parole eligibility for 35 years. There are still appeals pending and the execution will probably not take place on this date.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
December 17, 2001 Delaware Anne Marie Fahey, 30 Thomas Capano stayed
A Superior Court judge on Thursday set Dec. 17 as the execution date for Thomas Capano. But Capano is not expected to die that day because he plans to continue appealing his murder conviction and death sentence. The date was set Thursday afternoon during a hearing in Superior Court in Wilmington. Capano participated in the hearing through a video hookup with the Delaware Correctional Center in Smyrna. He wore a graying beard, glasses and a bright orange jumpsuit. He was shackled around the waist. Capano said little during the six-minute hearing. "I do waive being there in person," Capano said. He told the judge he would have been happy to have the court set the execution date in writing instead of at a hearing. Defense attorney Joseph M. Bernstein said Capano and his attorneys still are discussing which avenue of appeal to pursue. When they decide, they will return to Superior Court and ask that the Dec. 17 date be stayed, he said. The stay is automatic after a request is filed, Bernstein said. Judge T. Henley Graves traveled to the Wilmington hearing from Georgetown, where he sits on the Superior Court for Sussex County. Graves recently was assigned to handle Capano’s case in Superior Court, Bernstein said. Judge William Swain Lee, who presided over Capano’s Superior Court trial and sentenced him to death in 1999, is now retired. Graves was required to set an execution date because the Delaware Supreme Court on Aug. 10 upheld Capano’s murder conviction and death sentence. A jury convicted Capano, a former prosecutor and political insider, of murdering Anne Marie Fahey on June 27, 1996. Fahey, 30, was a scheduling secretary for Sen. Tom Carper while he was governor. Two of Fahey’s siblings, Robert Fahey and Kathleen Fahey-Hosey, attended the hearing Thursday. Fahey-Hosey said it didn’t matter that it was a simple procedural event. "Until he is executed we will continue to come and represent Anne," she said. "We’ll be here every step of the way." Capano’s family was not in the courtroom. The two men who prosecuted Capano, Chief Deputy Attorney General Ferris W. Wharton and U.S. Attorney Colm F. Connolly, attended the hearing but did not speak. Dec. 17 is Capano’s second scheduled execution date. Lee set the first date of June 28, 1999, when he sentenced Capano in March 1999. The first execution date was stayed for Capano’s appeal to the Delaware Supreme Court. Capano has until Nov. 10 to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review his allegations that his federal constitutional rights were violated during his trial. He could also choose to begin a new round of state court appeals. Those appeals probably would focus on the competency of the attorneys who represented him during his trial. There are still appeals pending and the execution will probably not take place on this date. UPDATE: A judge has canceled the scheduled Dec. 17 execution of Thomas Capano so the former prosecutor and political insider can continue his appeal. Superior Court Judge T. Henley Graves signed an order Monday stopping the execution he scheduled during a Sept. 6 hearing. Delaware law automatically calls for the date to be set aside while the convicted person appeals the case. Capano has a petition pending with the U.S. Supreme Court asking the justices to review two federal issues the Delaware Supreme Court rejected when it upheld his conviction and sentence in August. Attorneys for Capano filed paperwork in Superior Court on Friday seeking to have the execution date set aside. Prosecutors filed paperwork Monday afternoon agreeing the Dec. 17 execution date should be canceled. Deputy Attorney General Loren C. Meyers, chief of the prosecution’s appeals division, noted in the paperwork that Capano’s petition in Washington would not be decided before then. Prosecutors are under a Dec. 27 deadline to file papers responding to Capano’s request that the U.S. Supreme Court hear his case.

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