May 2001 Executions

Six killers were executed in June 2001. They had murdered at least 11 people.
Nine killers received stays of execution in June 2001. They have murdered at least 179 people.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
May 1, 2001 Florida Lisa Lea DeCarr, 15 Wayne Tompkins stayed

On May 1, 2001, 18 years after Lisa Lea DeCarr was strangled, her killer is scheduled to be executed. Wayne Tompkins was 26 at the time of the murder. He was convicted in 1986 of killing Lisa, the 15-year-old daughter of his girlfriend, in Tampa. In the 1980’s, Gov. Bob Martinez twice signed death warrants for Tompkins. But Tompkins, now 43, appealed his conviction and his sentence several times, delaying his execution. But the U.S. Supreme Court denied his final appeal on Oct. 2, the Governor’s Office said. Lisa’s mother reported her missing in March 24, 1983, after Tompkins told her the girl ran away. On that day, Lisa’s mother and Tompkins were at the home of Tompkins’ mother, assisting her in packing to move. Tompkins went home several times during the day to obtain newspapers to use in packing. Tompkins returned later in the day, after going home, and reported that Lisa had “run away.” But Tompkins had been alone with Lisa DeCarr girl most of the day, and a friend of Lisa’s, who went to visit her that day, stated she observed Tompkins on top of Lisa. She claimed Lisa was struggling and screaming for help, and Tompkins was fondling her and pulling at her bathrobe. The friend, however, did not report the incident to the police until the investigation was underway. Tompkins admitted to his cellmate, in 1985, that he tried to rape Lisa, who resisted by kicking him in the groin and fought him. Tompkins claimed that due to Lisa’s resistance, and her kicking him in the groin, he strangled her and then buried her under the house. Medical testimony indicated that the cause of death was asphyxiation by strangulation. Lisa’s body wasn’t found until June 5, 1984, buried in a shallow grave under her house. Her mother still lived there at the time. On April 7, 1984, Tompkins went into a convenience store and robbed the female clerk, abducted her at knifepoint and sexually assaulted her. On May 30, 1984, Tompkins robbed a convenience store clerk at knifepoint and sexually assaulted her. Lisa De Carr would now be 33 years old.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
May 1, 2001 Oklahoma James Plantz, 33 Marilyn Plantz executed

Marilyn Plantz was sentenced to death for the 1988 murder of her husband, James Plantz, 33. In June of 2000, William Clifford Bryson, 29, was executed by injection for his part in the murder. Thirteen relatives and friends of Jim Plantz, including his two sisters, father and brother, were at the prison for the execution. After a tour of the penitentiary, Karen Lowery, Jim’s sister, said Bryson’s death does not mean a victory for her family. "It’s a no-win situation. Nobody is going to win in the end," Lowery said. Sharon Cotton, Jim’s other sister, said before the execution that his death would only provide partial closure for the family. "Marilyn Plantz and Clifford Bryson (have) lived almost 12 years since Jim was murdered; that is 12 years longer than my brother lived." She said executing Bryson would provide her family the justice they have sought since the killing. "He didn’t think twice about taking my brother’s life," she said of Bryson. "He didn’t think about the children or my brother’s family and how that would affect us for the rest of our lives." State Attorney General Drew Edmondson said Jim Plantz "suffered a horrible, cruel, painful death. Prosecutors said Bryson and Marilyn Plantz planned to collect an insurance policy of about $319,000 for James’ accidental death. Marilyn Plantz was the beneficiary. On Aug. 26, 1988, after Jim Plantz returned home from working the night shift as a pressroom supervisor at The Oklahoman, Bryson, then 18, and friend Clinton McKimble ambushed him and beat him with 2 baseball bats provided from their son’s room by his wife, who also was present. McKimble, who received a life sentence for testifying against Bryson, said they left him on the floor bloody and hurt, then Marilyn Plantz looked at her husband’s head injuries from the beating and remarked that it didn’t look like an accident. "She told us to burn him," McKimble testified. Plantz was still alive when he was loaded into a pickup truck and driven to a remote area, where he and the vehicle were doused with gasoline and set ablaze. The medical evidence showed that he was alive at the time because of smoke that was inhaled into his lungs. Bryson told police he and Marilyn Plantz planned to move out of state and get married. Bryson said Marilyn Plantz told him her husband had threatened to kill himself and her if she divorced him. Plantz denied being involved in the killing. Marilyn Plantz was a homemaker and Sunday school teacher, and they raised their 2 children in a quiet, Midwest City neighborhood. Their two children were asleep in a bedroom when the attack occurred. Lowery said she was stunned when she received the call that her brother had been the victim of a homicide, and then learned his wife and her lover were accused. "It’s like when you hear people talk about the perfect marriage — they never argued, never fought, no cross words," Lowery said. Jim was the third of four children and grew up in the Shawnee and Pink areas of Pottawatomie County. He was remembered as fun-loving, a punctual and dependable employee and a devoted father to Trina, 9, and Christopher, 6. "His kids were his No. 1 priority. He was rarely seen without the two kids," Cotton said.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
May 2, 2001 Florida James Wright, 72 Gregory Mills stayed

Gregory Mills was convicted of fatally shooting an elderly man, James Wright during a home burglary in Sanford, Florida on May 25, 1979. Mills was 22 at the time of the murder. His accomplice, Vincent Ashley, received immunity in exchange for testifying against Mills. James was fatally shot after he confronted Mills and Ashley in after they broke into his home during the night. They escaped on stolen 10-speed bicycles and were picked up a couple of blocks away. The jury recommended a life sentence but the judge overruled them and sentenced Mills to death. James was killed at the end of a crime spree: on May 8, Mills stole a shotgun during a burglary. He robbed someone of $190 the next day, committed another robbery the day after that, shot and wounded a man during the robbery of a convenience store on May 24, leaving with no money, and then killed James the next day.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
May 3, 2001 Pennsylvania Christopher Vaughn Anthony Fletcher stayed

Anthony Fletcher was convicted ofthe March 2, 1992 robbery and murder of Christopher Vaughn. At the time of the murder, Fletcher was a 36-year-old drug-dealer and former professional boxer. He shot Christopher once in the thigh and twice in the back. He had previous convictions for robbery, drug dealing and cocaine possession. In the 1989 robbery, the victim was a 14-year-old.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
May 8, 2001 Arkansas Misty Erwin, 20
Shelly Sorg, 24
Sean Michael Sorg, 5
Taylor Sorg, 3
Samantha Rhodes, 12
Clay Smith executed

Samantha Rhodes2A May 8 execution date was set for a man convicted of killing his girlfriend, her cousin and three children. Gov. Mike Huckabee set the date for Clay King Smith, who was convicted in the March 25, 1998, slayings at a home near Pine Bluff. A judge ruled in November 1999 that Smith was competent enough to waive his appeal rights. At the hearing, Smith told the court he was sorry for the pain he had caused and added, "I don’t want to do any more harm." Jefferson County Circuit Judge H.A. Taylor said Smith had knowingly waived his appeal and understood the implications. Smith was convicted in the shootings of his girlfriend, Misty Erwin, 20; her cousin, Shelly Sorg, 24; and her two children, Sean Michael, 5, and Taylor, 3; and a family friend, Samantha Rhodes, 12. The state Supreme Court, in a routine review of death-row cases, affirmed Smith’s convictions last month. The justices allow inmates to drop their appeals if they demonstrate that they know what might happen. Smith said he made the decision because he didn’t want to put his family or the victims’ families through a lengthy appeal process. Smith was arrested the day after the bodies were discovered. His capture followed a shootout with authorities near Star City in Lincoln County. Smith fled into a wooded area when police tracked him down at a house. He was shot in an arm after he refused to put down the rifle. During the stand-off, he yelled at the police, "I sent three of them to Heaven; I don’t know where the other two went." (Picture is of Samantha Rhodes)

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
May 15, 2001 Ohio Vinnie M. Prince, 74
Alexander "Ralph" Jones
Jay Scott stayed

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
May 16, 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
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Timothy McVeigh stayed

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
May 16, 2001 Texas Mary Amie, 53 Allen Bridgers stayed

Allen Bridgers, originally from Virginia, was sentenced to die for the May 25, 1997 murder of 53-year-old Mary Amie in Smith County, Texas. Bridgers had been living with Mary, and shot her in the throat with a.38-caliber revolver, then stole her 1985 Lincoln Town Car and drove to the bus terminal in Dallas. He was arrested in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida three days after the murder.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
May 18, 2001 North Carolina Glennie Clark Robert Bacon stayed

Robert Bacon, now 41, was a 27-year-old vacuum salesman in 1987 when he fatally stabbed Glennie Clark of Jacksonville, North Carolina. Glennie was the estranged husband of Bacon’s girlfriend, Bonnie Sue Clark. Clark and Bacon presumably hoped to collect on $130,000 in life insurance benefits. Clark was a staff sergeant in the Marines and was in the car talking to Clark when Bacon hopped in the car and stabbed Glennie 16 times. Clark received a life sentence for her part in the murder. UPDATE: The state Supreme Court postponed the execution of Robert Bacon Jr. so it could consider barring Gov. Mike Easley from deciding clemency for Bacon and possibly more than 100 other murderers whose appeals he opposed as attorney general. The court stayed Bacon’s execution at 1:45 p.m., about 12 hours before he was to die by lethal injection at Raleigh’s Central Prison. It scheduled a hearing June 7 to consider Easley’s alleged conflict. If the Supreme Court agrees with Bacon, its decision could force a revamping of North Carolina’s clemency process for condemned killers, perhaps putting the decision in the hands of the lieutenant governor. It also could guide courts in other states where inmates challenge the neutrality of clemency decisions by attorneys general who become governor. Easley and Attorney General Roy Cooper said little about the court’s rulings Thursday. "With the stay in effect for the indefinite future, the governor has the opportunity to give the clemency request further consideration, and he will continue to do so," Easley spokesman Fred Hartman said. Lawyers for the state maintain that under the state Constitution, only the governor may decide clemency. And they’ve said the governor’s only legal obligation is to consider clemency by the book. All Attorney General Roy Cooper would say Thursday about the pending case was, "We’re sure that the court will give this issue its full consideration."

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
May 22, 2001 Texas Jeffery Saunders, 19
Edna Brau, 81
Sean Jason Hill, 19
Mark Robertson stayed

Mark Robertson was convicted in the August 19, 1989 murders of Edna Brau, 81, and her grandson, Sean Jason Hill, 19, during a home robbery in Dallas. Both victims were shot in the head with a.38-caliber handgun; Edna’s body was found in her home and Sean was dumped in a creek where he had been fishing behind the house. Robertson stole Edna’s 1985 Cadillac, her watch and her purse. Robertson, then 21, was arrested in Las Vegas several days later, driving Edna’s car. He then confessed and was sentenced to death for Edna’s murder and also received a life sentence for Sean’s murder. Robertson also confessed to the August 9, 1989 murder of Jeffery Saunders, a 19-year-old convenience store clerk who was killed after being robbed of $55.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
May 22, 2001 Oklahoma Mark Allen Berry, 23 Terrence James executed

The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals set a May 22 execution date for Terrance A. James, who was convicted of strangling a man in a Federal jail in Muskogee in 1983. James, 41, was sentenced to death by a jury for killing Mark Allen Berry, 25, on Feb. 6, 1983 when James was 22. Terrence James and Sammy Van Woudenberg were convicted of first-degree murder in Berry’s death, Attorney General Drew Edmondson said. Van Woudenberg was in the Muskogee jail on a federal kidnapping charge. He also was sentenced to death in Berry’s slaying. James had been serving a five-year sentence after pleading guilty to theft, but he and another inmate, Dennis Earl Brown, blamed Berry, 25, for their arrests, and thought he was a "snitch". Berry was in the jail awaiting trial on a charge of stealing government property and was killed while he and Brown played cards around 4:30 in the morning. After Van Woudenberg put a piece of paper over the camera, James approached Berry from behind, wrapped a wire from a broom around his neck and strangled him. Brown held Berry’s feet and put his hand over Berry’s mouth. James, Brown and Van Woudenberg then hanged Berry in a shower stall to make it appear that he had committed suicide, prosecutors said. Brown pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and received 35 years in prison for testifying against James and Van Woudenberg, prosecutors said.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
May 23, 2001 Missouri Marlin May Sam Smith executed

Sam Smith was convicted of first degree murder for the stabbing death of fellow inmate Marlin May at the Missouri State Penitentiary on January 15, 1987. He was in prison on a 12-year sentence for second-degree murder, a twelve year sentence for burglary and a two-year sentence for escape. The day of the murder began with a knife attack by a certain inmate upon another inmate, Demetrius Herndon. The incidents began on Five and Six Walks of housing unit 5, and concluded after a chase to corridor T-3, three stories below. Smith yelled at the attackers in an attempt to intervene, but May, one of the antagonists, turned toward Smith and threatened him. Smith and May then became engaged in a scuffle of their own wherein Smith stabbed May numerous times in spite of efforts by the prison guards. The two finally separated when a guard sprayed mace on Smith and the victim was pulled through a gateway by corrections officers. The victim had nineteen stab wounds to the head, chest, back, and arm and died almost instantly as a result of piercing injuries to the heart and lungs. Asked to comment Tuesday on the execution, Smith referred a reporter to Aritha Payne, May’s mother. Payne has said she doesn’t think Smith should be put to death for the murder of her son. "I think her voice is more important than mine," Smith said.. "If anyone is allowed to speak about this, it should be her." Prison records showed over 75 major conduct violations for Smith.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
May 25, 2001 Delaware Troy Hodges
unnamed victim
Cornelius Ferguson
(aka Abdullah Hamen)

Abdullah T. Hameen, born Cornelius Ferguson, was sentenced to death in 1992 for the murder of Troy Hodges during a drug deal outside a Claymont mall on August 5, 1991. Troy suffered a contact gunshot to the back. At the time of Troy’s murder, Hameen was on parole for a murder committed in 1980, when he was 17 and killed a patron of a bar. He also had a 1985 conviction and a 1991 conviction for aggravated assault in which two people were seriously injured. Hodges, who was apparently a drug dealer living in Wilmington, had negotiated to purchase a half-kilogram of cocaine for $10,000 either directly from Hyland or from a third party, with Hyland acting as middleman. Hodges arranged to meet Hyland at the Mall. Hodges had a friend, Alvin Wiggins, accompany him to the Mall. Wiggins was seventeen years old at the time of these events. Wiggins was also apparently a drug dealer. Wiggins testified at Ferguson’s trial. According to Wiggins, before they drove to the Mall, Hodges gave Wiggins a plastic bag holding two smaller packages, each of which contained $5,000 in cash. They then drove to the Mall and parked in the lower lot. Wiggins testified that after they arrived at the Mall, Hodges took one of the two packages of money and instructed him to stay in his car until he received a sign from Hodges or until he returned. Hodges then left and entered a passageway leading to the upper parking lot of the Mall. Hodges was no longer visible to Wiggins. Wiggins waited for Hodges for approximately ninety minutes. During that time, he unsuccessfully attempted to contact Hodges via his `beeper.’ When Wiggins learned that someone had been shot at the Mall, he drove away. Ferguson gave a tape recorded statement to the Delaware State Police on September 26, 1991. In his statement, Ferguson admitted that he was a passenger in a car driven by Hyland to the Mall on the night of August 5, 1991. Ferguson stated that he was sitting in the back seat of the car. According to Ferguson, when they arrived at the Mall, Hyland parked the car. Hodges got into the front passenger seat of the car. Hyland and Hodges then argued about money and drugs. According to Ferguson, Hyland then clandestinely gave him a gun. Ferguson stated that the gun was already cocked when he received it. Ferguson pointed the gun at Hodges. Hyland and Hodges continued to argue. Ferguson stated that although the car was moving slowly towards the Mall, Hodges opened the car door and tried to leave the car. According to Ferguson, Hodges then slapped at the gun, causing it to `accidentally’ fire a single shot. Ferguson claimed that he did not know Hodges had been wounded and died, until days later. Stewart Cohen testified that on the night of August 5, 1991, he was in the parking lot of the K-Mart at the Tri-State Mall. Cohen stated that he heard a `popping sound.’ Cohen turned and saw a blue Chevrolet Cavalier moving slowly in the parking lot. Cohen stated that he saw a person shoved or jumping out of the car. Cohen testified that this person then ran towards him and collapsed on the sidewalk. An autopsy revealed that Hodges died of massive hemorrhaging due to a single gunshot wound. The record reflects that the bullet, which was fired from behind, entered his left side and traveled through his body in an upward trajectory. The hole in Hodges’ shirt and the wound in his torso indicated that the muzzle of the gun had been pressed against Hodges’ body when the shot was fired. The Supreme Court of Delaware also noted that the gun used in the shooting belonged to Ferguson. Hameen’s execution came after unsuccessful last-minute appeals by his attorney and spiritual adviser, and unprecedented deliberations by the state Board of Pardons, which was impressed by his apparent conversion but nonetheless denied his request for clemency. Testifying before the Board of Pardons on Wednesday, an angry Tara Hodges blasted Hameen, describing him as "garbage" that should be disposed of. "You’re not sorry for killing my brother, you’re just sorry that you got caught," she told him. "You are evil. You cannot change and you haven’t changed." Ms. Hodges’ testimony came after the board’s initial hearing and several hours of deliberations. The panel reconvened after being told that Ms. Hodges wasn’t notified of the 1st hearing, at which Hameen and several of his supporters testified. The state parole board voted 3-2 last month to recommend that Gov. Ruth Ann Minner commute Hameen’s sentence to life in prison without parole. After the second hearing, the Board of Pardons concluded that Hameen had expressed true remorse for his crimes and made genuine attempts at rehabilitating himself and others. But the board said it could not overlook the fact that he killed two men and shot and seriously wounded 2 others, and it did not find sufficient justification to overturn a jury’s unanimous recommendation that he be put to death. A few hours later, bound by leather belts and tape to a gurney, he spoke his last words to Tara Hodges, then to his wife and mother. "Tara, I hope this brings you comfort and eases your pain some," Hameen, 37, said before the lethal drugs began flowing through his veins. "Mom and Shakeerah, I love you. I’ll see you on the other side. That’s all." Ms. Hodges told a handful of reporters that the execution closed a painful chapter in her family’s life. "The nightmare, this chapter, is over," she said. "I wanted to know he was paying the price. This should have happened 10 years ago. I needed to see this happen to make sure he was really dead," Hodges said. "I hope it sends a message to people that you can’t kill 1, 2 or 3 times and expect to get away with it," she said, referring to the fact that Hameen killed a man at age 17 before killing Hodges in 1991. Asked whether Hameen’s last words brought her any comfort, Hodges replied, "It was meaningless to me…. I felt comfort, not from what he said, but the act brought me some comfort. I hope this deters anybody who wants to commit a murder," she said. "We don’t have to fear him any more."

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
May 25, 2001 Alabama Thelma Bishop Roberts, 40 Christopher Barbour stayed

Death row inmate Christopher Barbour was spared from the electric chair after a federal judge refused to lift a stay on the execution and prosecutors chose not to appeal. Barbour, 22 at the time of the murder, now claims he is innocent of Thelma Bishop Roberts’ 1992 murder and that he missed out on appeals because he went years without a lawyer. But the victim’s husband, Melvin Roberts of Prattville, said Barbour should have died on schedule today at 12:01 a.m. "I wanted the execution to go ahead," Roberts said Thursday. "It’s got me all frustrated. They won’t go on and do what they said they were going to do." Roberts, 54, had planned to travel to Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore to watch Barbour go to the electric chair. He said he was to be joined at the execution chamber by his son, William, who as a teenager discovered his mother’s body after she was stabbed to death. Barbour confessed to killing Mrs. Roberts at her home on March 20, 1992. Thelma was beaten, raped, stabbed 9 or more times, with two wounds going completely through her body. A trash bag was placed over her head, clothing was piled on top of her and set on fire. This is how she was found by her then-16-year-old son. Barbout also confessed to holding Thelma down as a friend raped her. But his lawyer has argued that Barbour confessed out of fear. DNA tests excluded his co-defendant, 16-year-old Christopher Hester, as the rapist. Hester received a 35 year sentence. Barbour is asking for DNA tests to show whether he committed the sexual attack. If neither committed the rape, his lawyer argues, suspicion would point toward other attackers. The state attorney general’s office has argued that Barbour was never accused of the rape and DNA tests aren’t necessary. Prosecutors also argued that Barbour purposely waited too late to file his appeals to "confound the judicial process." U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson at least temporarily blocked the execution Wednesday and refused to reconsider his ruling. While Attorney General Bill Pryor’s office could have appealed Thompson’s ruling to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and to the U.S. Supreme Court, it opted not to pursue a last-minute push for the execution. Barbour now claims that he confessed after being beaten by police but a review of his very detailed videotaped confession showed no evidence of injury.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
May 29, 2001 Oklahoma Shirley A. Mooneyham Vincent Johnson executed

Vincent Allen Johnson was convicted of the murder-for-hire of Shirley A. Mooneyham. Her estranged common-law husband, Ted Holt, hired Johnson for $100,000. Shirley knew Johnson and unknowingly welcomed her killer into her home. She was shot 6 times with a.38-caliber weapon in her kitchen. Johnson confessed to Shirley’s murder after an informant taped a conversation in which he admitted to the murder. Investigators also found the murder weapon among his belongings.

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