June 2001 Executions

Six killers were executed in June 2001. They had murdered at least 180 people.
Seven killers received stays of execution in June 2001. They have murdered at least 11 people.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
June 6, 2001 Illinois Darin Oellerich, 24
Rhonda Wurm, 25
Robert Jones stayed
Robert Jones was convicted of the June 19, 1999 murders of Darin Oellerich, 24 and Rhonda Wurm, 25. Jones, then 18-years old, had gone to his girlfriend’s house and when he was not allowed to see her, decided he was "out to hurt someone" and went to Darin Oellerich’s house. Darin and Rhonda rented the farmhouse in Apple River, Illinois from Jones’s grandfather and Jones had once lived in the house so he was familiar with it. He broke in through a basement window, drank some orange juice, then went into their bedroom. Darin was shot with a rifle and killed while he was still in bed. Jones shot Rhonda twice, then raped her. The "Railway Killer", Rafael Resendiz Ramirez was at first suspected in these murders, but Jones became a suspect when he was caught in a lie about taking a trip to Dubuque, Iowa. He gave a very detailed and graphic confession to an FBI agent and said he felt that his friends were "using him" for his car so he wanted to hurt somebody. He is also a suspect in a rape case from Wisconsin. There are still appeals pending and the execution is not expected to take place on this date.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
June 6, 2001 Texas Donald Franklin Johnson, 43
Bob Murray
Mack Hill stayed
Mack Hill was convicted of the March 3, 1987 murder of Donald Johnson during a robbery in Bowie, Texas. Donald knew then 35-year-old Mack HIll and had been partners with Hill in several failed businesses. Donald was shot in the head once with a.25-caliber pistol and his body was found in a 55-gallon drum, wrapped in plastic and then covered with concrete and dumped in a lake. The barrel was found by a game warden several months later. Hill was seen with Donald’s truck and camper trailer after Donald’s disappearance, and also had sold stolen items from Donald’s paint and body shop at a flea market. Hill had a previous conviction for aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon and had served less than four years of a twelve year sentence and was on parole when Donald was murdered. Hill’s accomplice received a 20 year sentence for robbery. Hill had previously killed Bob Murray, the father of his estranged wife. He was murdered on December 20, 1978. Bob was shot to death, wrapped in a blanket tied with belts and dropped in a well. His body was not found until August 11, 1981.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
June 11, 2001 Federal Lucio Aleman Jr., 33
Teresa Antoinette Alexander, 33
Richard Arthur Allen, 46
Ted Leon Allen, 48
Baylee Almon, 1
Diane Elaine Hollingsworth Althouse, 45
Rebecca Anderson, 37
Pamela Denise Argo, 36
Sandy Avery, 34
Peter Robert Avillanoza, 56
Calvin Battle, 62
Peola Battle, 56
Danielle Nicole Bell, 1
Oleta Christine Biddy, 54
Shelly Bland, 25
Andrea Y. Blanton, 33
Olen Burl Bloomer, 61
Lola Renee Bolden, 40
James Everette Boles, 50
Mark Allen Bolte, 28
Cassandra Booker, 25
Carol L Bowers, 53
Peachlyn Bradley, 3 and her brother
Gabreon Bruce, 3 months and their grandmother, Cheryl Hammons, 44
Woody Brady, 41
Cynthia Lynn Campbell Brown, 26
Paul Gregory Broxterman, 42
Kimberly Ruth Burgess, 29
David Neil Burkett, 47
Donald Earl Burns Sr., 63
Karen Gist Carr, 32
Michael Joe Carrillo, 44
Rona Linn Chafey, 36
Zackary Taylor Chavez, 3
Sharon Louise Wood-Chesnut, 47
Robert Chipman, 51
Kimberly Kay Clark, 39
Peggy Clark, 42
Antonio Ansara Cooper Jr., 6 months old
Christopher Cooper, 2 and his mother,
Dana LeAnne Cooper, 24
Harley Richard Cottingham, 46
Kim Robin Cousins, 33
Aaron M Coverdale, 5 and his brother,
Elijah Coverdale, 2
Jaci Rae Coyne, 1
Kathy Cregan, 60
Richard Leroy Cummins, 55
Stephen Douglas Curry, 44
Brenda Faye Daniels, 42
Benjamin Laranzo Davis, 29
Diana Lynn Day, 38
Peter Leslie DeMaster, 44
Castine Deveroux, 49
Sheila R. Gigger Driver, 28
Tylor Eaves, 8 months
Ashley Megan Eckles, 4 and her grandfather
Luther Treanor and her grandmother
LaRue Treanor
Susan Jane Ferrell, 37
Carrol June Fields, 48
Katherine Ann Finley, 44
Judy Joann Fisher, 45
Linda L Florence, 43
Donald Lee Fritzler, 64, and his wife
Mary Anne Fritzler, 57
Tevin D’Aundrae Garrett, 1
Laura Jane Garrison, 61
Jamie Lee Genzer, 32
Margaret Goodson, 54
Kevin Lee Gottshall II, 6 months
Ethel Louise Griffin, 55
Juretta Colleen Guiles, 59
Randolph Guzman, 28
Kayla Marie Haddock, 3
Ronald Vernon Harding, 55
Thomas Lynn, Hawthorne Sr., 52
Doris Adele Higginbottom, 44
Anita Hightower, 27
Thompson Eugene Hodges Jr., 54
Peggy Louise Jenkins Holland, 37
Linda Coleen Housley, 53
George Michael Howard, 45
Wanda Lee Howell, 34
Robin Ann Huff, 37
Anna Jean Hurlburt, 67, and her husband,
Charles Hurlburt, 73
Paul Douglas Ice, 42
Christi Yolanda Jenkins, 32
Norma Jean Johnson, 62
Raymond Johnson, 59
Larry James Jones, 46
Alvin Junior Justes, 54
Blake Ryan Kennedy, 1
Carole Sue Khalil,50
Valerie Jo Koelsch, 33
Carolyn Ann Kreymborg, 57
Teresa Lea Lauderdale, 41
Catherine Mary Leinen, 47
Carrie Ann Lenz, 26
Donald R Leonard, 50
Lakesha Levy, 21
Dominique London R., 2
Rheta Ione Bender Long, 60
Michael Lee Loudenslager, 48
Aurelia Donna Luster, 43, and her husband,
Robert Lee Luster Jr., 45
Mickey Bryant Maroney, 50
James Kenneth Martin, 34
Gilbert Xavier Martinez, 35
Tresia Jo Mathes-Worton, 28
James Anthony McCarthy, 53
Kenneth Glenn McCullough, 36
Betsy Janice McGonnell, 47
Linda Gail Griffin McKinney, 47
Cartney McRaven, 19
Claude Arthur Medearis, 41
Claudette Meek, 43
Frankie Ann Merrell, 23
Derwin Wade Miller, 27
Eula Leigh Mitchell, 64
John Clayton Moss III, 50
Patricia "Trish" Ann Nix, 47
Jerry Lee Parker, 45
Jill Diane Randolph, 27
Michelle Ann Reeder, 33
Terry Smith Rees, 41
Mary Leasure Rentie, 39
Antonio C Reyes, 55
Kathy Ridley, 24
Trudy Rigney, 31
Claudine Ritter, 48
Christine Nicole Rosas, 22
Sonja Lynn Sanders, 27
Lanny Lee David Scroggins, 46
Kathy Lynn Seidl, 39
Leora Lee Sells, 57
Karan Denise Shepherd, 27
Chase Dalton Smith, 3
Colton Smith, 2
Victoria Lee Sohn, 36
John Thomas Stewart, 51
Dolores Marie Stratton, 51
Emilio Tapla, 50
Victoria Jeanette Texter, 37
Charlotte Thomas, 43
Michael George Thompson, 47
Virginia Mae Thompson, 56
Ricky Lee Tomlin, 46
Larry Laverne Turner, 42
Jules Alfonso Valdez, 51
John Karl Vaness III, 67
Johnny Allen Wade, 42
David Jack Walker, 54
Robert Nolan Walker Jr., 52
Wanda Lee Watkins, 49
Michael D. Weaver, 45
Julie Marie Welch, 23
Robert Glen Westberry, 57
Alan Gerald Whicher, 40
Jo Ann Whittenberg, 35
Frances Ann Williams, 48
Scott Dwain Williams, 24
William Stephen Williams, 42
Clarence Eugene Wilson, 49
Ronota Ann Woodbridge, 31
John Albert Youngblood, 52
For more info about these people, click here
Timothy McVeigh, a decorated Gulf War veteran, was convicted of murder and other charges in the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. The blast killed 168 people and injured more than 500 in the deadliest act of terrorism ever on U.S. soil. McVeigh had one month after his execution date was set to file a clemency petition. The U.S. Bureau of Prisons set the execution date on Jan. 16 after he dropped all appeals. Survivors and relatives of victims in the bombing were not surprised by McVeigh’s choice. "He wants to do it his way," said Marsha Kight, whose daughter, Frankie Merrell, was killed. "He wasn’t going to let the government have the last say."
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
June 13, 2001 Texas Lacey Anderson, 20 months
Ashley Ochoa, 6
Eduardo Ochoa, 8
John Wheat executed
On July 30, 1995, Lacey Anderson, not quite two years old, was murdered during a shooting rampage in Fort Worth by John Wheat, then a 51-year-old church maintenance man. Also killed were Lacey’s 6-year-old sister Ashley Ochoa and her 8-year-old brother Edwardo Ochoa. Wheat was enraged because the mother of the children had written a note to Wheat that indicated that she was going to call the police because Ashley had told her mother that Wheat had put his hand in her pants. Wheat argued with the mother and then shot at her as she went upstairs to call the police. He chased her into an apartment and then shot her three times as she hid in a bedroom closet. He then went to her apartment and killed each of her children. Wheat then got a carbine rifle from his apartment and fired directly into the apartment of the complex’s security guard, wounding him in the back and the leg. Another person living in the complex was wounded by shots fired at random by Wheat. When the police arrived, Wheat fired on them, wounding a female officer before laying down his weapons and surrendering. The children’s mother survived her wounds but suffered brain damage. The jury took only 17 minutes to find Wheat guilty and 2 hours to sentence him to death. Prosecutors had rejected a plea bargain for life offered by his attorneys.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
June 14, 2001 Ohio Vinnie M. Prince, 74
Alexander "Ralph" Jones
Jay Scott execution
On 5/6/83, Jay Scott participated in an attempted armed robbery of the V & E Delicatessen on Cleveland’s East Side. Scott and an accomplice entered the delicatessen and placed an order for food from the eldery female owner, Vinnie M. Price. After the owner had prepared their food she was shot in the chest from a distance of less than 12 inches. Scott was also sentenced to death for the murder of security guard Alexander Jones the day after Vinnie’s murder. Alexander was a security guard at another restaurant that Scott was robbing, The Shrimp Boat. That sentence was reversed and later reduced to life when the 8th District Ohio Court of Appeals ruled that the jurors’ decision may have been tainted because some of them learned of Scott’s other death sentence when they saw a newspaper headline. Jay D. Scott had bragged he was the "baddest man in town," according to Cleveland homicide detectives who arrested him in Philadelphia after he fled. Vinnie had worked at the V&E Confectionery for 30 years and she became co-owner in 1963. Two co-defendants identified Scott as the triggerman. A Cleveland jury convicted Scott after deliberating 20 minutes, and he was sent to death row in April 1984. Since then, the case has been tied up in appeals. Scott has racked up over 40 major conduct infractions in prison, including stabbing another inmate, abducting a death row guard and setting fire to his cell. UPDATE: 5/12/01 – The Ohio Supreme Court ruled that Scott is competent to be executed for the 1983 murder of a Cleveland delicatessen owner. Scott’s attorneys say he is incompetent to be executed because he suffers from schizophrenia, and that putting him to death would be cruel and unusual punishment under the U.S. Constitution. The state argued that no court has ruled that executing an inmate with Scott’s condition violates the law and that two lower courts found no reason to spare Scott’s life. The 6-1 court ruling, with Justice Paul Pfeifer dissenting, upheld a Cuyahoga County Common Pleas judge’s decision that Scott is competent to face execution. The majority acknowledged that schizophrenia is a mental illness but said the lower court correctly ruled that the illness did not prevent Scott from understanding the proceedings against him. The trial court fully considered defense medical testimony of Scott’s illness, the majority said in an unsigned opinion. Ohio law says an inmate is competent to be executed if he knows of the proceedings against him, why he is being executed and that he will die as a result of the sentence. A Cuyahoga County Common Pleas judge ruled April 16 that Scott is competent to face execution. The next day, the Ohio Supreme Court postponed his execution — 65 minutes before it was to take place — so the 8th Ohio District Court of Appeals could have time to consider the case. The appeals court on April 20 upheld the lower court, and the Supreme Court set the new execution date on April 25. The only prisoner put to death in Ohio since 1963 was Wilford Berry, who was executed in 1999 after he gave up his appeals.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
June 15, 2001 South Carolina James "J.B." Brooks, 77 Calvin Shuler stayed
In St. George, appearing resigned to his fate, Calvin Alphonso Shuler showed no emotion as he was sentenced to death for the slaying of armored car guard James "J.B." Brooks. Shuler fidgeted slightly with his right hand fingers before clasping his hands together on the defense table in front of him as jurors affirmed their verdict before Circuit Judge Victor Rawl. The panel of 7 women and 5 men — which had been sequestered throughout the trial — deliberated over 3 hours before rendering its decision. The defendant stood with one hand in his pocket as Rawl ordered him placed in the St. George Detention Center pending transfer to a death row prison cell. "You are sentenced to death by electrocution or by lethal injection," Rawl told Shuler. "May God have mercy on your soul." Shuler turned and shook hands with his defense attorneys and was escorted out of the courtroom by Dorchester County sheriff’s deputies. Following the sentencing, Shuler’s grandmother Wilhelmina Shuler — too upset to speak — wept openly for her only grandson, who has a wife and 3 children. "The jury has rendered their decision," said a visibly shaken Norbert Cummings, who headed up Shuler’s defense team. "I just hope everyone understands that we did everything we could to represent him to the best of our ability." Shuler was found guilty earlier last week for hijacking an armored car Dec. 3, 1997, outside the First National Bank of Holly Hill in Harleyville, then killing Brooks as he guarded the car’s cash contents. Earlier in the trial, an FBI agent testified that Shuler had told him during questioning that he had planned "to get the money or die trying." During his closing statement of the sentencing phase of the trial, Solicitor Walter Bailey urged the jury to consider the brutality of Brooks’ death as they deliberated whether to hand down the death penalty or opt for a sentence of life imprisonment without parole. "If y’all heard that someone had a dog locked in a cage, and they came up with this assault rifle and shot that animal repeatedly, you’d say how could anyone do that to a defenseless animal," Bailey said as he held the weapon in his hand. "Calvin Shuler didn’t do that to an animal. He did that to James Brooks who was locked inside that armored car. When you kill that way, you should forfeit your right to live." Described as a devout Christian with a reputation for his humanitarianism, Brooks was killed just weeks before his planned retirement from his part-time job as an armored car guard. "We’re just relieved," said Shuler’s stepdaughter Brenda Lee following the sentencing. "Maybe now we can have a sense of closure." Her brother Tom Connor praised the efforts of law enforcement agents and prosecutors in resolving the case. "We want to express our eternal gratitude to (them) for their unrelenting efforts," Connor said. Brooks died in a hail of gunfire from an SKS Chinese assault rifle after he wounded Shuler in an effort to thwart the robbery. Shuler took the Anderson Armored Car Service vehicle with Brooks locked inside the rear cargo area. He had forced 2 front-seat guards away from the vehicle with a.25-caliber pistol that had once belonged to his late mother. The 77-year-old Brooks fired on the masked robber through a steel screen separating the 2 sections of the vehicle, and fragments of his bullets struck Shuler in the back of the head. Shuler dropped the handgun in the bank parking lot after firing 1 bullet that lodged in the steel mesh. Later, he peppered the rear of armored car with bullets from the assault rifle. A pathologist recovered more than 20 bullet fragments from the victim’s body, and testified during the trial that there were at least 6 separate fatal wounds. After failing to get inside the cargo area of the armored car, Shuler abandoned it on an isolated dirt road outside Harleyville, but was arrested 5 days later after an FBI agent noticed wounds to his head consistent with those investigators believed were suffered by the robber. Shuler became a suspect in the case after investigators traced the pistol to his deceased mother, and the recently purchased assault rifle to a friend of Shuler’s. DNA evidence collected from blood inside the cab and on the exterior door handles of the armored car, as well as a bloody ski mask found near the vehicle, positively linked Shuler to the crime. 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
June 19, 2001 Federal Thomas Albert Rumbo Gilberto Matos
Erasmo de la Fuente
unnamed victim unnamed victim unnamed victim
Diana Villareal
Bernabe Sosa, 21
Juan Raul Garza executed
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. Garza was previously scheduled for execution in December 2000 but received a stay from then-President Clinton.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
June 19, 2001 Oklahoma Juan Johnny Barron, 23 Gerardo Valdez stayed

Gerardo Valdez was sentenced to death for the May 1, 1989 murder of Juan Johnny Barron. Valdez met Johnny at a bar, took him back to his home and lectured him on the "evils" of homosexuality, read to him from the Bible, then shot him twice and cut his throat, afterwards burning his body in the back yard. UPDATE: Gov. Frank Keating issued a 30-day stay of execution Saturday for a Mexican man set to die for shooting, stabbing and burning a man he said made homosexual advances toward him. Keating issued the stay after speaking by telephone Saturday morning to Mexican President Vincente Fox, who made a personal plea that Gerardo Valdez’s death sentence be commuted to life without the possibility of parole. “In light of the sensitivity and significance of this matter, I think it is appropriate for my office to continue its review of the Valdez case,” Keating said in a statement released Saturday afternoon. The state Pardon and Parole Board has also recommended commuting the death sentence of Valdez who was scheduled to die by injection on Tuesday. The Mexican government already had asked Keating to grant clemency, arguing that Valdez was not notified of his right to contact the Mexican consulate after his arrest, in violation of international law. “Officials of the U.S. State Department have acknowledged that the failure of Mr. Valdez to speak with the consulate violated the Vienna Convention, and they have asked that I take it into consideration when determining whether to grant clemency,” Keating said in his statement. “I am considering the possible impact of that violation and weighing it against the brutality of Mr. Valdez’s admitted crime,” he said. Juan Jose Bremer, the Mexican ambassador to the United States, said the government of Mexico did not learn about Valdez’s case until April 19 – 11 years after he was sentenced to death. Valdez killed Juan Barron because Barron made homosexual advances toward him, according to authorities. Valdez met Barron in a bar, took him home, forced him to strip and preached to him that the Bible condemned homosexuality, prosecutors said. Valdez shot Barron twice in the head, then stabbed him in the neck and burned his body, authorities said. Valdez later confessed.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
June 22, 2001 Alabama Rebecca Ledbetter Holladay
Larry Thomas, Jr., 16
David Robinson
Glenn Holladay stayed
In August 1986, Rebecca Ledbetter Holladay was living in a mobile home in Gadsden, Alabama. On the night of the 24th, her son Shea Ledbetter, her sister Katrina Ledbetter, her boyfriend David Robinson, and her son’s friend Larry Thomas, Jr., were all at the mobile home. Larry left to get something to eat at his own home. As he walked outside, he was shot and his body was later discovered outside of the trailer. Immediately after Larry was shot, Glenn Holladay burst into the trailer, shoving aside Katrina Ledbetter as she yelled a warning to her sister, who was back in the bedroom. Holladay proceeded down the hallway, stopping at Shea’s bedroom and attempting to turn on the light. After Holladay left Shea’s bedroom, Shea and Katrina left the trailer and ran to Thomas’s parents’ home. Holladay found his ex-wife and her boyfriend in the back bedroom; he shot David in the arm and chest and shot Rebecca in the back of the head. All three shooting victims died of their injuries. Glenn Holladay had told an acquaintance in Nashville that his ex-wife had a new boyfriend and that if she did not stop seeing him, he would kill her. After the shootings, Holladay called a neighbor of his father and told her that he had done a bad thing. He told her that he had not intended to kill Larry Thomas; he thought that Thomas was his ex-wife’s boyfriend. After being shot by the police on October 9, 1986, Holladay was apprehended in Gainesville, Florida. At trial Holladay testified that he was in Nashville at the time of the killings and denied killing any of the victims. He was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death on July 27, 1987. Holladay had a lengthy criminal history including two escapes. UPDATE – 6/20/01 – Glenn William Holladay’s appeal, pressing the issue of mental retardation, was being considered by the U.S. Supreme Court Thursday after Alabama’s highest court refused to block his execution for a triple slaying in Etowah County. Holladay, 51, was convicted of killing his ex-wife, her boyfriend and a 16-year-old neighbor boy in 1986. The Alabama Supreme Court early Wednesday voted unanimously — 8-0 — in denying the request to block the execution set for 12:01 a.m. (CDT) Friday. Holladay’s lawyer, Bryan Stevenson of Montgomery, had argued that Holladay, with an IQ of 69, is mentally retarded, but state prosecutors dispute that claim and argue he has exhausted his appeals. Assistant Attorney General Beth Jackson Hughes said in court documents that psychiatrists and psychologists for the state said Holladay’s "adaptive functioning" gave him the ability to function in society, hold jobs and support a family. Holladay has had IQ tests since he was 9 years old in 1958. His overall IQ is an average of 69, or borderline retardation. "Most experts who have evaluated Holladay have found he functions in the borderline range of intelligence and is not mentally retarded," Hughes told the court. "He’s not retarded. He’s just mean," his former mother-in-law, Barbara Ledbetter, told The Gadsden Times. She said her daughter was terrorized during her marriage. In one incident, Holladay took her to a cemetery and tied her to a tree, leaving her there overnight. Ledbetter hopes the execution is not postponed and plans to watch him die. "I hope he’ll tell us he wants us to forgive him and that he’s accepted the Lord and knows there is a God," she said. UPDATE – The execution of triple-murderer Glenn William Holladay was blocked Thursday by the U.S. Supreme Court pending a review of his claim that mentally retarded inmates should not be put to death. The court, without saying how it voted, blocked the execution scheduled for 12:01 a.m. CDT Friday, but could lift the stay later if it decides not to give Holladay’s case a full review.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
June 24, 2001 Utah Mark Allen Schoenfeld, 27 Elroy Tillman stayed
Elroy Tillman was convicted of the May 26, 1982 murder of Mark Allen Schoenfeld, 27, who was the current boyfriend of Tillman’s ex-girlfriend. Tillman crept into Mark’s home while he was asleep and attacked him with an axe before setting the house on fire. His accomplice, Carla Sager, accompanied him to the house and suggested the arson to cover up the murder. She was granted immunity from prosecution in exchange for her testimony against Tillman. On April 24, 2001, Tillman requested that the court set an execution date. UPDATE – 6/13/01 – A condemned killer’s execution was put on hold Tuesday when his lawyer suffered a heart attack during a clemency hearing. Elroy Tillman, who was scheduled to die by injection on June 24, will be given at least a few more months to live. "This board wants a complete and fair hearing dealing with a man’s life," said Michael Sibbett, chairman of the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole. He said he would indefinitely postpone the clemency hearing. Tillman’s appeals lawyer, Loni DeLand, was listed Tuesday in serious but stable condition. DeLand was questioning the prosecutor who won the death penalty conviction against Tillman when he asked the pardons board for a recess. Later, wearing an oxygen mask, DeLand was taken out of the courthouse on a stretcher. "He’s had a serious heart attack. His doctor says he can’t return for six weeks," said McCaye Christianson, a DeLand associate. Tillman was convicted of using an ax to kill Mark Schoenfeld, who had been dating Tillman’s former girlfriend. Assistant Utah Attorney General Thomas Brunker said he would request a new death warrant, but getting one could take several months. After he applies for the warrant, a judge will have 45 days to schedule a hearing on the request. The execution could be scheduled up to 60 days after the hearing.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
June 26, 2001 Texas John G. Ebbert
Howard Powers
Miguel Richardson executed

Oklahoma native Miguel Richardson was on the run for more than a year after the 3/31/79 robbery and slayings of two security guards at a San Antonio area Holiday Inn. John Ebbert and the second victim were investigating a complaint from a motel guest when they found Richardson attempting to break into a room. As they were escorting him to the office, a gun that had been concealed in his waistband fell to the floor. He grabbed the gun and held the guards at gunpoint. He handcuffed one of them, took their money and then shot them both. He was not arrested until 6/80 in Denver, Colorado. UPDATE – A former pimp who became a church group leader while in prison was executed today for fatally shooting one of 2 hotel security guards slain during a robbery in San Antonio more than 22 years ago. Miguel “Silky” Richardson, 46, with a history of violence and attempted escapes, was executed by lethal injection in Texas. “I feel so much love,” he said as witnesses filed into the chamber. Richardson spoke for nearly 8 minutes about love, smiling and winking the entire time. He then began chanting in a foreign language, his voice rising and falling with a tear running from his right eye, before shouting “take me! I’m ready! I’m your friend, I’m not a monster being executed. I am a minister of love,” he said. As the drugs began flowing, Richardson remarked it was a “good day to die. Take me God.” He was pronounced dead at 6:28 p.m. CDT. Richardson adopted the nickname “Silky” after the lead character in a 1970s book about a Harlem, N.Y., pimp. At the time of the March 1979 shootings of security guards John Ebbert and Howard Powers at a San Antonio Holiday Inn, Richardson was sharing a room with 3 prostitutes, two 17 years old and one 16. The security guards confronted him after responding to a complaint from a woman across the hall that someone was trying to break into her room. Testimony later showed Richardson had coveted the expensive jewelry worn by the woman staying in that room. When Richardson — wearing a woman’s wig — was being escorted down a stairwell to the hotel lobby, the 2 unarmed guards, John Ebbert and Howard Powers, were robbed and shot to death. Richardson was arrested a few days later in Denver during another robbery and fought extradition to Texas for 2 years. Over the 20 years since his capital murder conviction, Richardson’s case went to the U.S. Supreme Court at least 6 times, including an 11th-hour review that was rejected by the justices late Tuesday afternoon. “I think it should be frustrating to all the citizens of the state,” Steve Hilbig, who prosecuted the murder case in 1981, said of the time it’s taken to carry out the death sentence. “It loses its meaning when it takes 20 years to carry forward. You don’t want any shortcuts. You want to make sure all legal and procedural requirements have been complied with. But I’m not real sure it takes 20 years to do that.” His appeals primarily focused on his mental competency and whether Richardson, with a history of illegal drug use, should be given anti-psychotic drugs by prison officials without his consent to keep him competent. Among those who testified against him at his trial were the prostitutes who accompanied him, telling a Bexar County jury how one of them wiped the shooting scene with a towel to remove his fingerprints and how she flushed down a toilet the spent shells from the.38-caliber pistol used in the slayings. They also provided details of the shootings as he described them. “One of the girls testified how he made (the guards) beg for their lives,” recalled Hilbig, now in private practice in San Antonio. Since his arrest, Richardson, who had a federal conviction for mail theft in his native Oklahoma, had several violent outbursts. In Denver, court records showed he attacked the shift commander at the county jail in April 1980 and tried to beat him with a fire extinguisher. Two months later, he tried to escape by stabbing a deputy in the neck with a shank, a homemade knife he fashioned from a spike, then grabbed the officer’s gun and repeatedly tried to shoot. The guard, testifying later in a voice left hoarse by the injury, told how he was able to keep the gun from discharging by jamming the skin between his thumb and index finger between the firing pin of the pistol and the shell in the chamber. The officer showed jurors how he was left with a disfigured hand. Four years ago, Richardson and 2 other death row inmates tried to overpower guards as they were being moved in a prison van from San Antonio to Huntsville. Friends and relatives who believed he should be allowed to live said Richardson had a religious transformation while in prison, where he founded a church group.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
June 27, 2001 Indiana Mark Thompson, 82
Gertrude Thompson, 82
Jim Lowery executed

James Lowery, then 32, was convicted of the murders of an elderly couple during a burglary. Mark and Gertrude Thompson were killed in their home in Tippecanoe County, shot in the head on September 30, 1979. Lowery and his wife had worked for the Lowerys as caretakers due to their poor health but had been fired a few months before. Lowery knew Mark Thompson was an attorney and thought it would be "easy money." Janet Brown, the Thompsons new caretaker, was also shot in the head but survived her injuries. Lowery went to the Thompson’s home to rob them of $9,000 and gained entrance by holding a gun to Janet’s head. Lowery immediately shot Mr. Thompson in the stomach, herded Janet and Mrs. Thompson into the kitchen and shot them both in the head. Janet managed to partially deflect the bullet with her hand, and she survived. Lowery then shot Mr. Thompson again. UPDATE – Jim Lowery, 54, formerly of Crawfordsville, was pronounced dead at 12:29 a.m. Both the U.S. Supreme Court and the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declined to intervene on Lowery’s behalf Tuesday afternoon. Gov. Frank O’Bannon already had refused to commute his death sentence to one of life in prison. In his five-page denial of Lowery’s request for clemency, O’Bannon noted that Lowery had benefited from the work of skilled attorneys and had been convicted and sentenced to death in 2 separate trials. The 1st verdict was overturned on procedural grounds. "24 jurors and 23 judges have found the death penalty appropriate in this case," O’Bannon wrote. "The process was fair, and I defer to the findings of the courts." Lowery’s own stepdaughter, Heather Rice, said he used to press a gun to her head and pull the trigger when she was a child. The goal: intimidation. "Let this man finally be brought to justice," she said at the time. The board unanimously recommended against clemency.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
June 28, 2001 Pennsylvania Robert McDonald Kelvin Morris stayed

Kelvin Morris was sent to death row for the robbery and murder of Robert McDonald on August 9, 1980. Robert was the manager of a Pep Boys auto parts store and had responded to a 3:00 am call from the police that a window in the store was broken and an alarm was sounding. He was boarding up the window around 4:30 in the morning when Morris approached him and demanded money, then shot Robert to death without warning. An employee from the glass company escaped injury. Morris confessed to the robbery and murder saying he did it to "keep up with the crowd."

Page last updated 06/15/10