February 2002 Executions

Three killers were executed in February 2002. They had murdered at least 4 people.
killers were given a stay in February 2002. They have murdered at least 7 people.
One killer was granted a commutation to a life sentence. He had murdered at least 1 person.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
February 5, 2002 Florida Catherine Alexander, 74 Linroy Bottoson stayed
Linroy Bottoson, a self-professed "minister", was sentenced to death for the murder of 74-year-old Catherine Alexander. On Friday October 26, 1979, the Eatonville, Florida, post office was robbed, and over $14,000 worth of money orders were taken along with about $150 in cash. Catherine Alexander, the postmistress of Eatonville, was last seen leaving the post office on that day at around noon led by a tall African-American man. As she left, she whispered to bystanders to call the police and to tell them that the man was stealing. Later that day, Linroy Bottoson’s wife attempted to cash one of the missing money orders, and Bottoson and his wife came under suspicion. Postal inspectors entered Bottoson’s home on Monday October 29 and arrested him and his wife. Upon searching Bottoson’s home the next day, postal inspectors found the missing money orders and Catherine’s shoes. Catherine’s body was found on the side of a dirt road on the same night that the Bottosons were arrested. She had been stabbed fourteen times in the back and once in the abdomen. The medical examiner testified that she died from crushing injuries to the chest and abdomen which were consistent with having been run over by an automobile. The undercarriage of Bottoson’s car, a brown Chevelle, contained hair samples and clothing impressions linked to Catherine’s hair and clothing. Expert evidence indicated that clothing fibers similar to those in Catherine’s clothes and a tip of her fingernail were found in the trunk of Bottoson’s car. At trial, witnesses could not identify Bottoson as the man seen leaving the post office with Catherine but identified from a photograph a red LTD automobile that was rented to Bottoson at the time as the car in which Catherine was taken away. A postal inspector identified the money orders found in Bottoson’s home and traced them to the machine at the Eatonville post office. In addition, there was evidence that Bottoson deposited some of the stolen money orders in his bank account. Bottoson’s former wife, who was married to him at the time of the murder, testified that Bottoson was away from home around noon on Friday, October 26 and that he gave her a postal money order upon returning home. She testified that on the following Monday, she did not see him from 1:30 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. and that he had the brown Chevelle at the time. A jailhouse informant testified that Bottoson confessed to the murder and indicated that the best witness is a dead witness. He also testified that Bottoson said that "the old bitch had a lot of fight in her." Bottoson also gave a written confession to a minister in an effort to obtain leniency. In the confession, Bottoson wrote that "demon spirits" had "got on me." He also made the comment that "dead witnesses are the best witnesses". A jury found Bottoson guilty of first-degree murder. At the sentencing hearing, the state presented an FBI agent who testified that Bottoson was convicted of bank robbery in 1971. Bottoson’s counsel presented the testimony of a minister, the minister’s wife, and Bottoson’s mother, who described Bottoson as kind, honest, respectable, caring, and unselfishly devoted to his church. The jury recommended that Bottoson be sentenced to death, and the trial judge imposed a death sentence on May 1, 1981.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
February 5, 2002 Oklahoma Eldon Lee McGuire, 47 David Brown stayed
The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals set Feb. 5 as the execution date for Grady County death row inmate David Jay Brown, Attorney General Drew Edmondson said. Brown, 47, was convicted of the February 19, 1988 murder of 47-year-old Eldon Lee McGuire in Norge, Okla. Brown was obsessed with his former wife and had kidnapped and threatened her. He released her and a fugitive warrant was issued for his arrest. Brown returned to his former father-in-law’s home and shot Eldon eight times. After being convicted in 1988, Brown escaped from the county jail and was at large for a couple of days before being recaptured. UPDATE: A federal judge in Oklahoma City has stayed next week’s scheduled execution of David Jay Brown, but Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson has asked a Denver appeals court to let the execution proceed on schedule.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
February 6, 2002 Missouri Elvin Iverson Michael Owesley executed
On April 18, 1993, Elvin Iverson, the murder victim, drove from Kansas City, Missouri to Junction City, Kansas to sell drugs. Iverson was accompanied by Ellen Cole. When the two returned to the house in Kansas City where Iverson was staying, Owsley and a friend named Hamilton confronted them and ordered them to lie on the ground. Both Iverson and Cole complied on observing that Hamilton was carrying a Tech-9 semi-automatic weapon with a silencer and Owsley was carrying a 12-guage sawed-off shotgun. Hamilton then demanded to be told "where the drug money was." Iverson pleaded that he did not have the money and that he had given it to another person who had accompanied him to Junction City. After Hamilton pressed unsuccessfully for more information, Owsley spoke directly to Iverson, calling him "a thorough nigger" and saying that "you’re begging for your life now nigger." Owsley backed up his comments by punching and kicking Iverson and, at times, beating his face with the sawed-off shotgun. When Iverson continued to deny that he had any money, Owsley then took a bag from Hamilton and began smothering Iverson. At that point, Hamilton asked Cole about the money, and in response she lied by offering to take them to a key. Hamilton then tied Cole and Iverson together by their feet with an electrical extension cord and covered them with a blanket. Owsley stood over them, hitting them with the barrel of the shotgun and said, "One of you live; one of you die." He put the gun to Iverson’s head, but before he could fire, Hamilton instructed him to place a pillow over Iverson’s head. After putting the pillow in place, Owsley pulled the trigger, killing him instantly. In making their getaway, the two gunmen untied Cole and took her along. Owsley forced her into Hamilton’s car, and as Hamilton drove away, Owsley followed in another car. A short time later, Cole managed to escape from Hamilton’s car and notify the police.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
February 7, 2002 Florida Paul Edenson Robert Trease stayed
Robert Trease, 47, a martial-arts expert and gigolo with a self-described taste for "rich people’s safes", was sentenced in January 1997 after a jury found him guilty of shooting Paul Edenson once in the head and slashing his throat three times during a robbery at Edenson’s St. Armands Key residence. According to testimony at his trial in Sarasota, Trease and a woman had set up Edenson in order to steal his valuables. A jury convicted Trease of first-degree murder, burglary and robbery with a firearm. He received two life sentences and the death penalty. Trease has refused his appeals. Gov. Jeb Bush agreed to the quick death the 48-year-old Trease had been demanding and signed his death warrant. "I don’t care to be here any longer; it’s that simple," Trease told Sarasota County Circuit Judge Robert Bennett during a May hearing. "I’m competent, and I’ve had enough. Linda Cohen, who sells eyeglasses in New Jersey, said she will attend the execution of the man who killed her brother, Paul Edenson, a classic car dealer. "We’ve been patiently waiting for justice to be dispensed," she said. "Even Mr. Trease admitted himself that society should rid itself of his parasitic ways." Trease and his former girlfriend, Hope Siegel, had planned to rob Edenson while Siegel was on a date with him Aug. 17, 1995. When Siegel and Edenson returned to Edenson’s house from a night of drinking at Cha Cha Coconuts, Trease appeared and demanded access to the car dealer’s safe. Edenson, the owner of Bayview Motorcars of Distinction in Naples and Sarasota, was killed after he told him he had no safe. Trease and Siegel fled to Pennsylvania but were captured a week after the murder. "He was found laying on the living room floor," Sarasota police Deputy Chief Ed Whitehead said. "The Chinese food containers were on the table, and the TV was loud when we got there." Since his arrest and conviction, Trease has never admitted his guilt. He once testified that 2 hit men killed Edenson, but he said he couldn’t prove it. Siegel, a former lingerie model and Sarasota County jail worker, was sentenced in 1997 to 21 years in jail for her part in Edenson’s death. Department of Corrections records indicate that Siegel was released by a court order. But when that happened and where she went was not immediately clear. Trease, who grew up in Michigan and Milwaukee, came to Sarasota in late 1994 after living in California and Las Vegas. He often boasted about wooing and then robbing women. He kept pictures of his alleged conquests, and once predicted that he could get a date with pop singer Madonna if given enough time to charm her.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
February 8, 2002 Louisiana Christina Burgin, 19 Leslie Martin stayed
State prison officials are taking no chances with Leslie Dale Martin, a 1-time escapee who faces a Feb. 8 execution for a murder in Calcasieu Parish. Burl Cain, warden of the state penitentiary at Angola, said Martin has already been moved to the prison’s death house, 5 miles from the prison gates. He had been in 1 of the death row cells, where condemned prisoners are usually held, which are closer to prison gates. Those facing execution usually are moved to the death house on the day of execution or a few days before. Martin was moved on Jan. 9, nearly a month before his execution date, Cain said. Cain said 2 death row corrections officers had overheard Martin talking with another inmate about an escape attempt, including the possibility of taking hostages and trying to commandeer a vehicle to ram through the prison gates. "He was plotting an escape, how he was going to take hostages and what he was going to do to the hostages," Cain said. "So we moved him to a place where he wouldn’t have access to hostages." He was put in a cell near the room where he will be put to death by lethal injection, where he has only a guard to talk to. "We’re treating him good, in a little cell block of his own," Cain said. Were Martin to try to escape, it would be his 2nd attempt. He and 3 other inmates briefly escaped from death row in November 1999. Authorities said the 4 condemned men used smuggled hacksaw blades to cut their way through their cell doors and a steel-barred window during a 2 to 3-week period prior to the escape. Prison chase teams caught them about 2 miles from their cells. "They had paid a corrections officer to bring them blades," Cain said Tuesday. He said 2 guards were fired and 2 demoted following the escape. Martin is in excellent physical health, Cain said. However, the warden was unsure how Martin will behave on execution day. Cain said he often helps prepare condemned prisoners for execution by discussing religion with them. That usually means talking about Christianity and the soul. Not with Martin. "He’s a member of the Buddhist religion," Cain said. "It’s harder for us to communicate with him… I’m actually getting a quick lesson in Buddhism." Martin raped and strangled Christina Burgin, 19, after meeting her at a Lake Charles bar while he was playing pool with friends on the night of June 20, 1991, according to court records. Martin offered Christina a ride home and she was beaten, choked, and her throat was cut. Martin also gouged her eyes out, put a board on her neck and jumped up and down on it, then left her body in a shed. The body was not found until July and was so badly decomposed that identification was almost impossible. Martin had previous convictions from age 14 and was on parole for an aggravated rape charge. In 1984, Martin had raped his own 14-year-old sister at knifepoint while their mother was in the hospital. He was sentenced to 10 years but served only five. Martin had repeatedly made statements that he would never go back to prison and killed Christina so she would "not complain."
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
February 19, 2002 Ohio Monte Tewksbury John Byrd executed
On April 17, 1983, John Byrd robbed, beat and stabbed Monte Tewksbury with a six-inch hunting knife, severing his diaphragm, puncturing his liver and causing him to bleed to death. Monte was “moonlighting” in a convenience store and John Byrd took his wallet, credit cards and wedding ring, a little over $137 from the store, ripped the phone out so Monte couldn’t call for help, and left him to die while John went on to commit other robberies. Monte was working alone as the night clerk at the King Kwik convenience store at 9870 Pippin Road in Hamilton County, Ohio. Monte was married and was the father of three children. At approximately 11:00 p.m., two robbers entered the store in masks; one of them carried a bowie knife with a five-inch blade. The robbers removed all of $133.97 from the cash register. In addition, they took Monte’s Pulsar watch, wedding ring, and his wallet which contained cash, credit cards, and an automobile registration slip. Then, as Monte stood with his hands raised and his back to the robbers, Byrd plunged his bowie knife to the hilt in Monte’s side, resulting in a puncture wound to the liver that caused massive internal bleeding. The two robbers ripped the inside telephone out of the wall and fled. At approximately 11:10 p.m., a man who was driving northbound on Pippin Road observed two men run from the King Kwik and enter a large red van parked at the corner of Pippin and Berthbrook and drive off. Although severely injured, Monte managed to exit the store and get to the outside telephone. He called his wife, Sharon Tewksbury, told her he had been robbed and hurt, and that she should call the police and an ambulance. At that time a customer arrived at the King Kwik. The customer found Monte standing outside the building and leaning against the wall next to the telephone. Monte was bleeding from his side. The customer helped Monte into the store, went back to the telephone which was still off the hook, and spoke briefly to Sharon. Conley also advised Sharon to call an ambulance, and he himself called the police. Monte told the customer "I’m going to die," and that he had been robbed and cut with a knife. Monte described the robbers as two white men wearing stocking masks. Sharon arrived at the scene and held her dying husband in her arms as he repeated his statements. Police and medical help then came, and Monte was transported to a hospital. While en route, Monte made several statements to the effect that he did not understand why he had been stabbed, because he had been cooperative and had given the robbers everything they requested. Monte also made a statement to the effect of "Thank God I didn’t see it coming," which supports the conclusion that his back was to his assailants when he was stabbed. Almost immediately after he was taken to the emergency room, Monte’s heart stopped. Despite heroic efforts to save his life, Monte died at 1:15 a.m., April 18, 1983, from exsanguination resulting from his stab wound. That night, a short time after the King Kwik robbery, a clerk at a nearby U-Totem store was standing at the cash register. A customer was playing a video game near the front door when two robbers entered the store wearing masks. The clerk realized what was occurring and fled to a room in the rear of the store. One of the robbers chased after him with a knife. The robber tried unsuccessfully to force open the door to the room. Meanwhile, the other robber pushed the customer back when he attempted to leave; however, he was able to dodge him and get out. The robbers were unable to open the cash register, so they took it with them. A resident of an apartment located near the U-Totem was disturbed by the noise from a loud muffler. He looked outside and observed two people getting into a large red van parked in the U-Totem lot. The van had a defective tail light. Shortly after 1:00 a.m. on April 18, 1983, two police officers from Forest Park in Hamilton County were seated in a marked police cruiser eating their lunch. The officers were in a K-Mart parking lot, which was located in an area containing principally commercial establishments, some of which had recently been burglarized. The officers had been advised approximately forty-five minutes earlier by their supervisor about the incident at the King Kwik. As the officers watched, a red cargo van drove by at a slow rate of speed. The van pulled into the K-Mart lot, and its headlights were turned off. A few minutes later, the van’s headlights came back on, and the van left the lot. However, the van returned within five minutes, again at low speed, from the direction opposite to that in which it had gone moments before. The police officers became suspicious, followed the van, and, upon inquiry of the police dispatcher, learned the identity of its owner. The van pulled into a parking lot adjacent to a closed United Dairy Farmers store. The officers pulled behind the van after summoning back-up assistance. One of the passengers, later identified as John Eastle Brewer, exited the van and approached the police car. Brewer identified himself as "David Urey" and told the police he had no identification. Brewer provided inconsistent stories about why he was in the area. One of the officers asked Brewer to remain in the cruiser while he approached the van. The van’s driver, William Danny Woodall, and another passenger, Byrd provided the officer with identification, which was called in to the dispatcher. Although there were no current warrants for either Byrd or Woodall, the dispatcher reported that both had prior felony convictions. The officer shined a flashlight inside the van and saw coins on the floor. There were stocking masks and a knife located in a tray on the dashboard. A Shell credit card in Sharon’s name was lying on the floor under the passenger seat. There was also what appeared to be fresh blood on the interior side of the driver’s seat. A drawer from a cash register was in the back of the van. UPDATE: Shortly before he was executed, Byrd told his family that he loved them and to "stay strong. The corruption of the state will fall," he said. "Governor Taft, you will not be re-elected. The rest of you, you know where you can go."
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
February 20, 2002 Arizona Christine Mertens, 40
James McClain, 65
Charles Hedlund stayed

On March 10, 1991, Hedlund and his half-brother, James Erin McKinney, brutally beat, stabbed and shot 40-year-old Christine Mertens in her home, during the commission of a burglary. Christine’s son found his mother dead, lying face down on the living room floor. Hedlund and McKinney had ransacked Christine’s bedroom and rifled through her purse. On March 23, 1991, Hedlund and McKinney burglarized the home of 65-year-old James McClain and shot him in the head while he was asleep in his bed. Hedlund and McKinney ransacked Jim’s home and stole personal property, including several guns. Hedlund was convicted of first-degree murder for the killing of Mr. McClain and was sentenced to death. He was convicted of second-degree murder for the killing of Mrs. Martens, two counts of burglary in the first degree, and one count of theft.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
February 20, 2002 Georgia Aleta Carol Bunch, 16 Alexander Williams commuted
The victim, 16-year-old Aleta Carol Bunch, left school at noon on March 4, 1986, and drove her blue 1984 Mustang automobile to the Regency Mall in Augusta. She prepared for a modeling assignment, shopped at several stores in the mall, and left at 3:30 p.m. Her body was found in a remote, wooded area 11 days later. On the evening of March 4, Alexander Williams drove a blue Mustang to a game room on Windsor Springs Road. He told his friends that it belonged to "a girl." With their assistance, he disposed of the car by abandoning it on a dirt road. He retrieved from the car a.22 caliber pistol, a pocketbook, and a shopping bag. He took the credit cards out of the purse, and threw the purse and its remaining contents into a dumpster. The next day, he treated his friends to a shopping spree at the mall, using the victim’s credit cards. He also distributed items of jewelry the victim had been wearing when last seen alive, as well as items she had purchased the day of her death. Williams told his friend John Jones that "she would never tell" and that he "didn’t feel a thing about that night [and] what he had done to the girl." He told Leon Bacon that he had met the girl at the mall and followed her outside to her car. He told her to get in the car and he drove. Then "he had sex with her… [and]… she was moaning… so to keep her quiet he shot her." He first told Harold Lester that he had merely found the credit cards. The next day, however, he admitted to Lester that "he had killed this girl." He asked Jerry Smith if he had ever shot anyone before. When Smith answered yes, Williams asked him what he had done with the body. Then he admitted to Smith that he had killed a girl he had met at the mall. He also admitted to Margaret Jeffords that he had killed the girl. When Jeffords threatened to report him, Williams replied, "Well have you ever heard of kill and kill again?… I did it once and you damn well better believe I’ll do it again." The victim was shot five times — once in the chest, and four times in the head. Her body was nude below the waist, and the crime scene showed signs of a struggle. The murder weapon was not recovered. However, one of Williams’ friends took investigators to an area where Williams had shot his gun and they recovered some empty cartridge cases that were consistent with having been fired from the same gun — an RG.22 caliber revolver — as the bullets recovered from the body of the victim. UPDATE: In a rare decision, the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles commuted the death sentence of a delusional killer and ordered him to serve life without parole. The five-member board spared the life of Alexander Williams IV just hours before a stay of execution it had granted was set to expire. This is the first time that the Georgia board has granted clemency to a condemned murderer when his mental health was at issue and only the third time in the nation over the last 25 years, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. Since 1977, the start of the modern death penalty era in the United States, 760 individuals have been executed and 48 have had death sentences commuted to life. The Georgia board acted after hearing from three psychiatrists who examined Williams for about three hours on Thursday at the state prison in Jackson. Williams had been on death row for nearly 16 years. His case had drawn international attention because of his mental illness and the fact that he committed murder at the age of 17. In 1986, the Supreme Court barred the execution of murderers who have become so insane that they do not know they are about to be killed, nor the reason for it. But the high court has never ruled on the issue of whether it is permissible to execute an inmate who is medicated to achieve a minimum level of sanity. Williams, who has been diagnosed as a "chronic paranoid schizophrenic," has been forcibly medicated at times in recent years. The pardons board, which has the exclusive power to grant clemency in Georgia, did not disclose its vote Monday, nor did it provide any details on what led to the decision. However, the board expressed its "deepest sympathy for the family of [murder victim] Aleta Bunch and especially her mother Carolyn Bunch," who has strongly supported an execution for Williams. Now 33, Williams robbed, raped and murdered Bunch, a 16-year-old high school student, after kidnapping her at an Augusta, Ga., mall, where the girl had gone to buy her mother a birthday present. "The pain and devastation that Williams caused this family can never be erased," said pardons board chairman Walter Ray. "By making sure that Williams will remain in an 8-by-10 [foot] prison cell for the rest of his life with absolutely no hope for parole, we hope that the certainty of our decision will give Mrs. Bunch the closure she so deserves," Ray added. The victim’s mother said she was disappointed. "I don’t think the pardon board had any feelings about my daughter’s life," Carolyn Bunch said from her South Carolina home. "She had just turned 16," Bunch said. "She worked two part-time jobs and went to school full time. I just don’t think they were looking at what we have gone through for 16 years. She was a beautiful young person. There wasn’t anybody who met her who didn’t love her. That is my one consolation." Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker expressed disappointment in the board’s decision in his news release: "Let me begin by expressing my deepest sympathy to the family of Aleta Carol Bunch… Today, they found out that the justice that they long awaited would not happen. Her killer was given a second chance today, a second chance that Alexander Williams never gave Carol Bunch."
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
February 21, 2002 Texas Doug Walker Thomas Miller-El stayed
In 1985, Thomas Miller-El’s wife, Dorothy Miller-El, was employed as a night maid for the lobby area of the Holiday Inn South. She arranged for a religious convention for the Moorish Science Temple’s Feast on November 8- 10, 1985. Her husband was among the attendees. After the convention, Dorothy did not return to work. Shortly before midnight on November 15, 1985, Dorothy returned to the Holiday Inn claiming that she was there to pick up her paycheck. She was given access to the office area near the vault. During this time period, four hotel employees were working, Doug Walker, Donald Hall, Anthony Motari, and Mohamed Ali Karimijoji. Hall, the chief auditor, was training Mohamed regarding the hotel’s daily closing procedures. Hall instructed Mohamed to close out the cash registers, a process which would take one-half hour. Mohamed encountered a woman who claimed that she needed accompanying while she waited for her ride. Mohamed sent her to the front desk area without leaving the locked area he was in. At the front desk, a man later identified as Miller-El appeared and requested a room from Hall. Witnesses identified Miller-El from having seen him at the Moorish Feast convention the previous week. A younger man, later identified as Kenneth Flowers and dressed in army fatigues and a headset, peered around the corner as Hall was giving Miller-El his room key, and once spotted by Hall, he also approached the counter. Miller-El told Hall that he would be needing two beds. Seconds later, Miller-El and Flowers pulled out weapons. Miller-El brandished a semi-automatic "tech" nine millimeter machine gun, with a flash suppressor for night use. Flowers had a.45 caliber hand gun. Hall complied with Miller-El’s instructions to empty the cash drawer and place the money on the counter. Miller-El then ordered Hall to bring any other people in the back out front. Hall instructed Walker to come out. Flowers jumped over the counter and the two men instructed Hall and Walker to lay on the floor. The two men led Hall and Walker to the bellman’s closet which they ordered opened. Once the two men removed all of the valuables from the closet and took Walker’s and Hall’s wallets, Miller-El tied Walker’s hands behind his back, tied his legs together, and gagged him with strips of fabric. Flowers did the same to Hall. Walker was laid on his face and Hall was laid on his side. Miler-El asked Flowers if he was going to "do it" and Flowers responded that he couldn’t. Flowers then left. Miller-El stood at Walker’s feet, removed his glasses and then shot Walker in the back two times. Hall closed his eyes after the first shot. He heard two more shots and realized that he had also been wounded. Hall tried to talk to Walker but only heard him choking. When he heard familiar voices outside, Hall screamed for help. Several days after the robbery-murder, Officer Cagle was on surveillance of an apartment complex believed to be Dorothy Miller-El’s. He spotted Dorothy and Flowers. With the assistance of back-up units, he stopped their vehicle and arrested them both. Search warrants were executed for the residence, and "walkie-talkie" headsets were found. When Miller-El was later arrested, found in his possession was an arsenal of weapons including the "tech" nine millimeter murder weapon. Miller-El pleaded not guilty to and in March 1986 was tried before a jury on the charge of capital murder during the course of committing a robbery. On March 24, 1986, the jury returned with a guilty verdict and at the conclusion of the sentencing phase, the same jury sentenced Miller to death. UPDATE: The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed the execution of Texas death row inmate Thomas Miller-El, who was scheduled to die Thursday. Miller-El, 50, who is black, was condemned for the 1985 robbery-slaying of Douglas Walker, a desk clerk at the Holiday Inn-South in Irving. Miller-El contends that prosecutors kept blacks off his jury. Justice Antonin Scalia granted the stay for Miller-El, whose case could be used by the Supreme Court to clarify rules for claiming racial discrimination in the selection of a jury. The high court said Friday it would hear Miller-El’s appeal but did not stay the execution. It was up to the state to stay the execution on its own, or for Miller-El’s lawyers to ask the Supreme Court to do so separately. His lawyers filed such a request Tuesday. "It always bothers me when someone… at the 11th hour just before the execution raises something that in our opinion has nothing to do with the facts or the law in this case," said Lori Ordaway, chief of the Dallas County District Attorney’s office appellate division. As for the jurors who were struck, Ordaway said prosecutors had good reasons that had nothing to do with race. She said those reasons were explained to the trial judge, who rejected Miller-El ‘s first appeal, and upheld by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, a federal district court and the U.S. District Court of Appeals. "This has been reviewed and reviewed again by four separate courts," she said. In an earlier appeal, Miller-El conceded prosecutors properly challenged four of the 10 black jurors they struck from the pool, Ordaway said. The jury that sent Miller-El to death row was not all white; it included a black, an Asian and a Hispanic, she said.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
February 28, 2002 Texas Gene Olan Allen, II
William W. Richardson, 19
Monty Delk executed
Monty Delk was sentenced to die for the November 29, 1986 robbery and murder of Gene Olan Allen, known to his friends and family as Bubba. Bubba had a car for sale and Delk pretended to be interested in purchasing it. While they were on a test drive, Delk shot Bubba in the head with a shotgun and then dumped his body in a ditch near the small town of Crockett. Delk stole Bubba’s wallet and the vehicle and was arrested less than a week later in Louisiana. Delk is also suspected of murdering William Richardson in 1985. William was only 19 years old and was reported missing in March of 1985. His skeletal remains were found in September of 1986 and he had suffered a gunshot wound to the head. UPDATE: Convicted murderer Monty Delk, who his defense attorney says is incompetent to be executed, received a reprieve from a federal judge one day before he was scheduled to die by injection. Jane Dees Shepperd of the Texas attorney general’s office said the state planned to appeal the stay to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday. U.S. District Judge Richard Schell of Beaumont issued the stay Wednesday, granting defense requests to hear from mental health experts about Delk’s condition and hold a hearing within the next few months. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1986 that it is unconstitutional to execute someone who does not understand that he is being executed or why he is being executed. Defense attorney John Wright says Delk babbles incoherently, refuses to shower and has been found in his cell covered in his own waste. Mr. Wright said he has been unable to represent his client because he cannot communicate. Prosecutors say Delk is faking insanity. Prison medical staff initially diagnosed his condition as bipolar disorder, then changed the diagnosis in 1994 to "malingering to avoid the death penalty." In 1997, a judge agreed, saying Delk was "voluntarily choosing not to assist his counsel." That decision was upheld by other federal courts. Delk was convicted for shooting to death Gene Olan "Bubba" Allen II of Grapeland, Texas, in 1986 and stealing his car. Mr. Allen’s sister, Sandy Snell, said she was disappointed by the stay of execution. "It really aggravates me because we waited 15 years for this," she said. "I think the man’s got problems and all, but he was sane when he was found guilty, he was found sane when he murdered my brother. The man needs to die."

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