January 2002 Executions

killers were executed in January 2002. They had murdered at least 15 people.
killers were given a stay in January 2002. They have murdered at least 3 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
January 8, 2002 Missouri Les Roark
Pam Jones
Charles Smith
Sandra Wilson
James Johnson executed

Les Roark smallJames Johnson lived in rural Moniteau County with his wife, Jeri, and her 19-year-old daughter, Dawn. Johnson and Dawn had an uneasy relationship and fought a great deal. On the evening of December 8, 1991, the two of them were involved in an argument during which Johnson cried out that "he couldn’t take it anymore" and told his wife that her daughter had to move out. He wife replied that if her daughter moved out, so would she. Johnson then told her to choose between her daughter and him, and when his wife chose her daughter, Johnson ordered them both out of the house. At that point, they refused to be forced out, so Johnson produced a loaded rifle and pointed it at his wife. When she did not back down, Johnson pointed the rifle at Dawn. Johnson then grabbed Dawn in a choke-hold and forced her out of the door at which time she fled. Within a few minutes, Johnson loaded some guns and ammunition into his car and drove away. He returned later with Dawn in his car and told his wife that he wanted to work things out. Shortly thereafter, Deputy Les Roark of the Moniteau County Sheriff’s Department arrived at the house to investigate a domestic disturbance. Roark asked to speak with Dawn, but Johnson refused. His wife brought Dawn to the door and told Roark that they were both fine. As Roark was walking back to his car, Johnson pulled out a.38 caliber pistol, stepped onto the porch and shot Roark twice, once in the rear and once in the back of the hand. Johnson then stepped back inside, but when he heard Roark moaning, he went again to the porch and shot Roark in the forehead, killing him. Johnson soon left the house in the car with his guns and ammunition, and with clothes and a thermos, and drove to the home of Sheriff Kenny Jones, whose family was having a Christmas party. Using a.22 caliber semi-automatic rifle, Johnson opened fire on a group of people he saw through the window. Pam Jones, the wife of the sheriff, was shot five times, once in the shoulder, once in the face, once in the neck, and twice in the back of the head. She died in her home in front of her family. Johnson next appeared outside the home of Moniteau County Deputy Sheriff Russell Borts. Johnson shot Borts through a window while Borts was talking on the telephone. Although Borts was shot four times, once in the hand, twice in the chest, and once in the face, he survived. After shooting Borts, Johnson went to the sheriff’s office where peace officers from numerous jurisdictions had gathered. When word of the attack on Borts arrived, the officers rushed out from the sheriff’s office. Johnson, who was lying in wait, fired on the emerging officers. Cooper County Sheriff Charles Smith was shot four times with a.22 caliber semi-automatic rifle, once in the face, once in the right side, once in the upper back, and once in the head. He died from the shot to the head. Moments later, Miller County Deputy Sandra Wilson arrived at the sheriff’s office, stopped her patrol car in the street, and slid to the passenger side. As she started to climb from the car onto the pavement, Johnson shot her through the heart with an 8-millimeter, bolt-action Mauser. Deputy Wilson died on the pavement. Johnson then fled to the back porch of the home of an elderly woman and hid there for the rest of the night. The next morning, he confronted the woman and hid in her house for most of the day, holding her hostage. During that time, Johnson admitted to her that he had shot five people. That evening, Johnson allowed the woman to leave the house so that she could attend a Christmas party where she was expected. Upon her release, she notified authorities that Johnson was in her house. Soon thereafter, law enforcement officers surrounded her house and negotiated Johnson’s surrender. The mother of murder victim Pam Jones, wife of Moniteau County Sheriff Kenny Jones, said she thinks of the murders every day. She ponders what her grandchildren missed without their mother, and she respects her son-in law for carrying on his duties as sheriff and raising the children.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
January 9, 2002 Texas Christa E. Bentley Michael Moore executed

Michael Patrick Moore was sentenced to death for the capital murder of Christa E. Bentley which occurred during a burglary in Copperas Cove, Texas, on Feb. 26, 1994. Moore stated in his confession that he had been drinking and playing pool in a nightclub in Killeen, Texas, on the evening of Feb. 25, 1994, and that he stayed at the bar until last call, after which he drove back to Copperas Cove. According to Moore, he was broke and behind in rent and had 10 or so outstanding bad checks. So when he got back in town, he decided to "look into getting some income." Moore stated that he had previously seen a photograph of Christa’s daughter in a Copperas Cove High School yearbook, and he had looked up her address. Moore related that he had driven by the Bentley home one day and had seen the daughter standing outside and therefore knew she lived there. Moore confessed that he got to the Bentley house sometime after 2 a.m.. Dressed in black clothing, he approached the home carrying a crow bar, a pistol in a holster on his belt, and a "large knife" in a scabbard. Moore found the back door unlocked and laid the crow bar down on the back porch. He entered the Bentley residence armed with his gun and knife. Moore removed his black shirt, laid it in a chair in the dining room and headed toward the bedrooms. He heard a female voice that sounded half asleep calling out a name. He mumbled something back and went into the bathroom. Through a partly open door, Moore saw someone get out of bed. Christa Bentley opened the door and started screaming. Moore stated he tried to push her back into the bedroom, but she grabbed him and kept screaming. Moore stabbed Christa several times in the chest and eventually lost his knife. Moore then drew his revolver and shot her. Moore then ran out of the house, got into his car, and drove toward Lampasas. Christa’s 14-year old son awoke and found her body and called 911. The medical examiner later testified during the guilt/innocence stage of the trial that she performed the autopsy on Christa Bentley and described the murder as "overkill" and "particularly brutal." She described that one fingernail on her left hand had been completely bent backwards and broken and that such a wound was a defensive injury. Christa also had eight separate, sharp-force entries to the body. The M.E. estimated the weapon was a 6-inch long blade and that the maximum amount of time Christa could have survived was "somewhere in the ‘minutes’ range." The cause of death was determined to be multiple stab wounds. After fleeing the crime scene, Moore stated he saw police lights behind him, and he thought he was being chased because the police must have known he had stabbed and shot a woman. Trial testimony from officers showed that they followed Moore because he did not have on his car headlights. Instead of giving up, Moore led the police on a car chase of speeds up to 80 m.p.h. Moore slowed down and jumped out of the car, stumbled and tried to run, but the police apprehended him. In his confession, Moore admitted that he had previously stolen the knife and gun with which he stabbed and shot Christa from two different residences in Copperas Cove. During the punishment phase, the State introduced records from the Conners Children’s Home where Moore resided during part of his childhood. The records indicated Moore twice set fire to his house and once to the Children’s Home; he had threatened to kill his parents and blame their deaths on his younger brother; and he had tried to stab his younger brother with a pair of scissors. The State also introduced evidence that as a child, Moore continuously exhibited violent and improper sexual behavior. In addition, while serving in the Navy, Moore was on unauthorized absence three times and was convicted of larceny. Moore also admitted to being involved in a physical altercation while in jail. The State introduced a notebook written by Moore entitled "The Girls of Copperas Cove" in which he listed the names and addresses of 300 teenage girls of Copperas Cove. Many of these girls, including Christa’s daughter, testified that Moore stalked, harassed, and threatened them. Moore wrote letters to several of the girls in which he threatened to rape them. The State introduced evidence of various extraneous offenses, including several burglaries that often took place while the victims were home and that were perpetrated against the girls listed in the notebook. Moore’s notebook also contained the license plate numbers of a Coryell County Justice of the Peace and a Copperas Cove police sergeant. The State called a psychiatrist who testified to Moore’s future danger to society, noting that Moore lacked a conscience, was a continuing threat to society, and that he would be manipulative, vindictive and a threat to smaller prisoners.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
January 9, 2002 Arizona Patricia Bauerlein, 40 Kevin Miles stayed

On December 7, 1992, Kevin Miles and two 16-year-old companions, Levi Jackson and Ray Hernandez planned a carjacking and discussed killing someone. At 1:30 p.m. that day, the trio waited for a car to stop near the area of 24th Street and Columbus Avenue in Tucson. Patricia Bauerlein drove out of her apartment complex and stopped at the intersection. Jackson, Kevin Miles and Ray Hernandez were standing near the stop sign. When the 40-year-old victim approached in her vehicle and stopped, Jackson asked her for a "light" for a cigarette. As she reached for the lighter, Jackson pointed a.45 caliber handgun at her head and forced her to move over. Patricia’s attackers took control of her car, kept the gun pointed at her, and drove her to a desert area. There, Jackson shot Patricia once in the chest. She died from this gunshot wound, which lacerated her heart and her left lung. There are still appeals pending and the execution will probably not take place on this date.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
January 11, 2002 North Carolina Pamela Renee Perry Charlie Alston commuted

Charlie Alston was sentenced to death Nov. 3, 1992 in Warren County Superior Court for the murder of Pamela Renee Perry. Evidence at Alston’s trial showed that Pamela Perry died sometime during the late evening hours of November 30, 1990 or the early morning hours of 1 December 1990. The victim’s mother discovered her daughter’s body on the morning of December 1 after returning home from work. Pamela’s mother testified that when she first saw her daughter, Pamela was lying face down on a pillow in her bedroom. When she lifted Pamela’s head, she discovered that her face had been beaten severely. The Chief Medical Examiner for the State of North Carolina testified that he performed an autopsy on the Pamela and testified that Pamela received a number of blunt-force injuries to her face. He stated that she suffered substantial bruising and swelling over her entire face and neck, bruising and lacerations to her right eye, bruising on the left side of her neck, a tear in the skin at the corner of her mouth, a series of tears in the skin on the right cheek, tears in the skin on her left ear, tears to the skin along the left side of her jaw which were approximately one inch deep, a tear to the inner surface of her lip, and several scrapes and abrasions. The internal examination disclosed blood over the surface of the brain, resulting from the blows to the face, and hemorrhaging inside her neck, larynx, and trachea. Pamela also had bruises and bleeding in the eyes. The medical examiner testified that these injuries were probably caused by a hammer that was found on Pamela’s bed. Pamela did not die as a result of the blunt-force injuries, but died as a result of asphyxiation or suffocation, normally taking at least 3 to 4 minutes to accomplish. He testified that Pamela was alive when she received the blunt-force injuries. Pamela’s mom’s testimony revealed that Charlie Alston and Pamela had been dating each other for approximately one year. However, at some point in time prior to the murder, difficulties arose between the two of them. Pamela had been receiving threatening phone calls from Alston and he kept telling her that she had a beautiful face and that he would hate to have to "smash it in" and "mess [it] up." Pamela filed a complaint with the Warren County Sheriff’s Department. Police testified that Pamela told them that the caller sounded like Alston and had threatened to kill her during one of the phone calls. Pamela’s mother also said that her daughter was a waitress and received a large quantity of quarters from tips earned on her job. Most of the coins had been rolled and placed in a large jar on a table in the her bedroom containing more than $100. When Pamela’s body was discovered, the jar was found empty at the edge of her bed. A clerk at a convenience store testified that on the night after Pamela was discovered dead, Alston came into the store and purchased gas and a soft drink with quarters. Testimony showed that Alston had also purchased $40 to $45 worth of crack cocaine and paid with change around the time of the murder. Other testimony revealed that on a separate occasion, Alston broke into Pamela’s home and assaulted her and a friend. During this incident, he beat her in the head and was charged with assault. He was found guilty, placed on probation and ordered to pay for Pamela’s medical bills. Two days later, she was found dead. UPDATE: A condemned man who steadfastly denied beating his girlfriend to death escaped execution Thursday when Gov. Mike Easley commuted his death sentence to life in prison. Charlie Mason Alston Jr., 42, was to die by injection early Friday. Alston was sentenced in 1992 for the beating and suffocation death two years earlier of Pamela Renee Perry, who was hit in the face with a hammer. No one witnessed the killing and no blood or fingerprint evidence was ever linked to Alston, who had been convicted about six weeks earlier for assaulting Perry. Alston contended his innocence could have been proved by DNA tests on evidence that has since disappeared. Prosecutors said the evidence, scrapings from beneath Perry’s fingernails, would confirm the guilty verdict. Easley did not specify why he commuted the sentence, saying only that after scrutinizing the case "the appropriate sentence… is life in prison without parole." The U.S. Supreme Court rejected Alston’s two remaining appeals Thursday afternoon.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
January 16, 2002 Texas Christina Sanchez, 21 Jermarr Arnold executed

Jermarr Arnold, known as the meanest man on Texas’ death row by prison officials, was sentenced to death for the 1983 murder of 21-year-old Christina Sanchez during a robbery of Greenberg’s Jewelers on Leopard Street in Corpus Christi. He also was convicted in the slaying of a fellow condemned inmate who had a sharpened bolt rammed through his left temple. Prosecutors in Huntsville said they had not planned on prosecuting Arnold in the April 1995 stabbing death of fellow death row inmate Maurice Andrews, but Arnold asked that the pending matter be taken to a jury trial. Rather than dismissing the capital murder charge, the prosecutors agreed to grant his request for trial, but in an effort to keep costs down for a man already condemned to die, they did not seek the death penalty, said Latham Boone, the chief prosecutor for the prison prosecution unit in Walker County. "We’d indicted him for insurance purposes, in case something happened (on appeal) to the case he’s on death row for," Boone said. "This will ensure he’ll remain in prison for the rest of his life." Arnold – a 6-foot-1, 250-pound man with a history of escaping from maximum-security facilities and brutally attacking other inmates – drew Andrews into a fight in the death row recreation area as about a dozen other death row inmates stood around. It is not clear what started the altercation, but it ended with the unarmed Andrews lying on the ground with a sharpened bolt embedded in his temple, prosecutors said. They showed a videotape that showed Arnold dancing in celebration over the body. Andrews had received five stays of his scheduled execution – the last one less than a month before his death. He was sentenced to die in 1982 for the fatal shooting of the owner and an employee of Granado’s Jewelry Store in downtown Beaumont. A California prison psychiatrist who had daily contact with Arnold in 1987 and 1988 testified that he believed Arnold was one of the most dangerous people he had come across. He also testified that Arnold would be an ongoing threat of physical harm to others, whether outside or inside prison. At trial, after the State closed, Arnold chose to testify, stating that he was satisfied with the jury’s decisions, the court’s conduct, and the representation of his attorneys. He also made the following statements: That he had committed the murder and deserved to die. That "there are some people that aren’t fit to live in society [and] aren’t fit to live, and I think I belong in the latter category. I’m no longer fit to live because I can’t live in a moral, law-abiding society. I think it would be a moral decision for you to make by sentencing me to die. I have taken a life, so therefore, I deserve to have my own life forfeited. If it’s not taken at this point–if you miss this opportunity, there’s a good chance that I will kill again. That’s just the way I am." Arnold also read two poems he had written. When questioned by the State as to why he read poetry, Arnold only responded that everything in the news articles in the Corpus Christi Caller-Times was fair and accurate. When the State attempted a further question, Arnold left the stand. In 1991, Arnold claimed in a death row interview that he wanted to be executed – and soon. "I’ve prayed to be executed right this moment if it’s possible," he said more than eight years ago. "I feel I owe society a debt. I’ve committed about the worst crime a person can commit. I’ve taken a young lady’s life. If someone would stick a knife in my chest, I wouldn’t feel any regret." A year later, Arnold stabbed two fellow death row inmates when he argued with them.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
January 16, 2002 Texas Lula Mae Denning, 80 Ivan Murphy stayed

On the night of January 9, 1989, Ivan Murphy and Douglas Stoff went to the home of Lula Mae Denning in Denison, Texas. Ms. Denning, an eighty-year-old lifetime friend of Murphy’s, invited the two men into her home. Once inside, the two men robbed Ms. Denning of jewelry, including a wedding ring valued at $7,000, beat her to unconsciousness, and left her for dead. They returned several hours later to steal more jewelry that they could sell for more drugs. Murphy, who had a previous record for theft, was arrested 11 days later in Hugo, Okla. His fingerprints were found in the home. The accomplice, Stoff, was sentenced to life in prison.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
January 24, 2002 Florida Natalie Brady Amos King stayed

In March of 1977, Amos King was an inmate at Tarpon Springs Community Correctional Center, a minimum security work-release facility, where he was serving a sentence for larceny of a firearm. On March 17 he worked at a Clearwater restaurant from 5:00 p.m. until 1:00 a.m. the following morning. An inmate van picked him up at around 1:30 a.m., and he checked back into the facility at approximately 2:35 a.m. At about 3:40 a.m., the prison counselor, James McDonough, discovered King missing during a routine bed check. McDonough found King outside the building with blood on his pants. After McDonough escorted King back into the facility, a fight broke out between the two in which King repeatedly stabbed McDonough with a knife. King then fled the facility.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
January 24, 2002 Georgia Billy Watson
Charles McCook
Ronald Spivey executed

Ronald Spivey’s path to death row began late Dec. 27, 1976, when he killed Charles McCook in a Macon pool hall brawl over $20. Spivey then drove to the Final Approach Lounge in the Peachtree Mall in Columbus. Billy Watson, a Columbus police officer, was employed as a security guard at Brer Rabbit’s, a restaurant in Peachtree Mall directly across the hall from the Final Approach Lounge. Shortly after 2:00 a.m. on December 28, 1976, Watson noticed that the door to the Final Approach was still open. He and Brer Rabbit’s manager, Welton Emmit "Buddy" Allen, decided to walk over and investigate, as they knew that the doorway should have been closed at 2:00 a.m. They entered the lounge, which was empty, and proceeded towards the bar, where they heard voices. As they approached the doorway to the bar, Ronald Spivey shot Watson twice, in the head and chest, killing him. Spivey then shot Allen two or three times. Spivey, who had just robbed two waitresses and a customer of approximately $400, herded his three hostages out of the Final Approach, taking Watson’s gun as they left. When they reached the door, Allen groaned. Spivey turned and shot him again. Allen played dead. Spivey took his hostages outside the mall to the parking lot, demanding that someone furnish him a car. Meanwhile, Allen got up and proceeded to Brer Rabbit’s in an effort to get help. Spivey followed him, and then fired several times through a window into the restaurant. One bullet struck a bartender in the hip. Spivey then ordered a hostage, college professor and part-time bar waitress Mary Jane Davidson, to drive him to Alabama. Authorities captured him just before daybreak, two miles south of Wedowee, Ala. They found $360 in cash believed to have come from the bar along with two guns — a.38-caliber revolver and a.357 Smith and Wesson that had Bill Watson’s name and badge number 197 engraved on the butt. Spivey received a life sentence for the murder of Charles McCook. Spivey was tried twice for killing Watson. The first conviction in 1977 was thrown out because he was "compelled to be a witness against himself in a psychological exam," court records said. In 1983, a second Muscogee County jury convicted Spivey of murder, armed robbery and kidnapping.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
January 29, 2002 Oklahoma Roger Joel Sarfaty, 52
Lloyd Thompson, 63
John Romano executed

The state Criminal Appeals Court set execution dates for two death row inmates for their part in the 1985 murder of an Oklahoma City man. John Joseph Romano is to be put to death Jan. 29, two days before his accomplice, David Wayne Woodruff, is executed. Romano and Woodruff were convicted of killing Roger Joel Sarfaty, a 52-year-old jewelry dealer, on Oct. 12, 1985. Roger’s body was found four days later in his Oklahoma City apartment. He had been stabbed five times in the heart, beaten and strangled. His apartment had been robbed. Romano, 43, also has a death sentence for killing Lloyd Thompson, 63, during a robbery July 19, 1986, in Oklahoma City. Woodruff, 42, received a life sentence without the possibility of parole for his part in the murder of Lloyd Thompson. UPDATE: Before he was executed, Romano, a former car salesman, lifted his head off the table in the execution chamber and smiled at the four witnesses attending on his behalf. "For whoever I’ve wronged, I’d like for them to forgive me," he said. "I’d like to tell my family and friends I love you. Thanks for your love and support." Romano also was sentenced to die for killing and robbing another man a year after Sarfaty was killed. Romano’s co-defendant in both cases, David Wayne Woodruff, is also scheduled to be executed.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
January 29, 2002 California Elizabeth Lyman, 81
unnamed victim
Stephen Anderson executed

Elizabeth Lyman smallStephen Wayne Anderson was convicted of one count of first-degree murder and one count of residential burglary in the May 26, 1980 murder of Elizabeth Lyman. A San Bernardino County jury sentenced Anderson to death on July 24, 1981. Elizabeth Lyman was an 81-year-old retired piano teacher, and lived by herself in Bloomington, San Bernardino County. About an hour after midnight on Monday, May 26, 1980, Anderson, a 26-year-old escapee from Utah State Prison, broke into her home, and cut her telephone line with a knife, believing no one was at home. He was startled when she woke up in her bed. He shot her in the face from a distance of between eight and 20 inches with his.45 caliber handgun as she lay in her bed. Anderson then covered her body with a blanket, recovered the expelled casing from the hollow-point bullet that killed her, and ransacked her house for money. He found less than $100. Anderson next sat down in Elizabeth’s kitchen to eat a dinner of noodles and eggs. His meal was interrupted, however, by sheriff’s deputies called to the scene by a suspicious neighbor who had been awakened by barking dogs and had seen Anderson in Elizabeth’s house through a window. The deputies arrested Anderson at 3:47 a.m., and took him to the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Substation in Fontana. Anderson was an escapee from Utah State Prison at the time of Elizabeth’s death. He escaped on Nov. 24, 1979, and had been incarcerated for one count of aggravated burglary in 1971 and three counts of aggravated burglary in 1973. While incarcerated at Utah State Prison, Anderson murdered an inmate, assaulted another inmate, and assaulted a correctional officer. Anderson also admitted to six other contract killings in Las Vegas, Nevada that happened prior to the crime for which he received a death sentence. UPDATE: Stephen Wayne Anderson was put to death at San Quentin State Prison early this morning, 22 years after he fatally shot an 81-year-old San Bernardino County woman during a burglary and then fixed himself some noodles in her kitchen. On May 26, 1980, shortly after 1 a.m., Anderson, who had escaped from Utah State Prison, broke into the home of Elizabeth Lyman, an 81-year-old retired piano teacher who lived in Bloomington (San Bernardino County). He ransacked the home and found $112. When he entered the bedroom, Lyman abruptly sat up in bed and screamed. He fired a shot at close range, striking her in the face. After covering her with a sheet, he went to the kitchen, made himself a bowl of noodles and sat down to watch some television. Prosecutors say Lyman’s murder was the latest homicide by a brutal killer. During his trial, Anderson admitted stabbing to death a fellow inmate in the prison kitchen while at Utah State Prison. He also admitted to investigators that after his escape from prison he had been paid $1,000 to shoot to death a man suspected of being a drug informant, using the same.45-caliber revolver that was used to kill Lyman. He later recanted the confession. In 1981, he was sentenced to die after a jury found him guilty of burglary and murdering Lyman.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
January 30, 2002 Texas Dianna Fay Harris Broussard, 28 Corey Harris, 9 Windell Broussard executed

Windell Broussard was convicted of stabbing his wife and his stepson to death in April 1992. Diana Fay Harris Broussard, 28, and her 9-year-old son, Corey Harris, were found in the front yard of their Port Arthur home suffering from stab wounds. Dianna’s daughter, 12-year-old Toccara Harris, was also stabbed, but she lived and testified against Broussard. Tocarra, Broussard’s stepdaughter, testified that she was sleeping in the same bed with her mother, Dianna Broussard, and her then nine-year-old brother, Corey Harris, when she awoke to the sound of screaming in their Port Arthur, Texas, home. She said the screams were coming from her mother and brother and that they were being stabbed by Broussard. Broussard then began to stab Tocarra. She heard her mother and brother scream, "Windell, stop." Tocarra also testified that one side of her assailant’s face was illuminated by the bathroom light. She recognized Windell Broussard. She said he continued to stab her as her mother and brother ran out of the house. At trial, Dianna Broussard’s mother testified that Dianna separated from Broussard because he beat her. Dianna’s uncle testified that a week before the killings he witnessed an argument between Dianna and Broussard’s girlfriend. When Broussard arrived on the scene, Dianna told him to leave. Broussard’s response was that "before he would leave her he’d rather see her dead before anybody else would have her again." The uncle also testified that at Dianna’s request, he installed a new padlock on her door. He said she lost the key, and he saw Broussard in her house one week before the murders. Broussard’s friend testified that Broussard asked him to drive him to his wife’s house on the night of the murders. He said something was "going on" between them and that Broussard "wanted to see if she was with some guy or something like that." On the way there, Broussard offered Bush money to use his car, which had dark tinted windows. Bush refused, and after driving past the victims’ house, Bush and Broussard returned to Bush’s house. Broussard eventually left in his company truck at 9 or 9:30 p.m. Broussard’s aunt testified that at 11 or 11:30 p.m. on the night of the murders, Broussard came home wearing only his underwear. She said he "rushed in like something happened" and jumped up and down saying, "I did something." When she asked him, "Did you kill somebody?" Broussard said, "Yes, I killed somebody." A Port Arthur Police crime scene technician testified that Dianna and Corey were found lying in the yard, and that there was blood all over the house. The pathologist who examined the bodies found that each victim died from a stab wound to the heart. He testified that they could have lived for five to 10 minutes after the wounds were inflicted. Officer Jimmy Clark testified that when he arrived at the scene around 11 or 11:30 p.m., "a little bloody girl" (Tocarra Harris) was sitting just inside the door. A pack of Kool cigarettes, the brand Broussard smoked, was found on the bed along with the missing key to Dianna Harris’ padlock. A cap bearing the logo of Broussard’s employer was also found at the scene.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
January 31, 2002 Oklahoma Roger Joel Sarfaty, 52
Lloyd Thompson, 63
David Woodruff executed

The state Criminal Appeals Court set execution dates for two death row inmates for their part in the 1985 murder of an Oklahoma City man. John Joseph Romano is to be put to death Jan. 29, two days before his accomplice, David Wayne Woodruff, is executed. Romano and Woodruff were convicted of killing Roger Joel Sarfaty, 52, on Oct. 12, 1985. Roger’s body was found four days later in his Oklahoma City apartment. He had been stabbed five times, beaten and strangled. His apartment had been robbed. Romano, 43, also has a death sentence for killing Lloyd Thompson, 63, during a robbery July 19, 1986, in Oklahoma City. Woodruff, 42, received a life sentence without the possibility of parole for his part in the murder of Lloyd Thompson.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
January 31, 2002 Texas James Mitchell, 42 Randal Hafdahl executed

The defendant showed no remorse as 47th District Judge David Gleason scheduled his lethal injection for murdering an Amarillo police officer. After Gleason set Jan. 31 as the execution date, Randal Wayne Hafdahl said, "Sounds good to me." "That reveals his demeanor and attitude from the beginning," Randall County Criminal District Attorney James Farren said. "He’s showed complete disdain." Jurors sentenced Hafdahl to death April 7, 1986, for murdering Amarillo Police Department Sgt. James Mitchell who was 42 at the time of his death in 1985. Shortly after 4:00 p.m. on November 11, 1985, Randal Wayne Hafdahl shot and killed Sergeant James D. Mitchell, Jr., of the Amarillo, Texas police department. Hafdahl had been driving across Texas with two friends. Hafdahl, who admits that he had been consuming alcohol and hallucinogenic mushrooms earlier in the day, was driving recklessly and lost control of his car. The car left the highway, crossed a frontage road, crashed through a wooden fence around a private residence, and eventually came to rest in the backyard. When the car would not start, Hafdahl took a loaded 9mm pistol from the glove box, hid it under his coat, and attempted to flee. He testified that he wanted to hide the gun because he knew the police would arrive soon and discover that he was a convicted felon (for possession of a controlled substance) who had stopped reporting to his probation officer. Sergeant Mitchell was driving home from work when he witnessed the accident. He was still dressed in his police uniform and was wearing an unzipped windbreaker with "Amarillo City Police" and a badge insignia emblazoned on it. Hafdahl testified that he first saw Mitchell when the officer entered the backyard through the downed fence. At that point, Hafdahl turned from Mitchell and tried to escape through a gate, which he could not unlatch. Mitchell pursued Hafdahl across the yard and, according to one eyewitness, identified himself as a policeman and ordered Hafdahl to stop. Mitchell apparently had his police revolver drawn, although he never fired a shot. When Mitchell had almost caught up with him, Hafdahl turned and shot Mitchell four times from approximately six feet away. Hafdahl was then indicted for the capital offense of murdering a police officer. The critical issue at trial was whether Hafdahl knew that Mitchell was an officer. Hafdahl testified that he believed Mitchell was an angry motorist whom Hafdahl had run off the road. Hafdahl contends that, because he was under the influence of drugs and the events took place so quickly, he did not realize Mitchell was a police officer until after he had fired the fatal shots. As the district court observed, however, the State put on extensive evidence that Hafdahl must have known that Mitchell was an officer. First, a worker who was only 20 to 25 feet from the crime scene, testified that Mitchell identified himself as a police officer as he approached Hafdahl. Numerous witnesses testified that Mitchell was gesturing and yelling at Hafdahl but that they were too far away to hear what he was saying. When asked whether Mitchell had ever identified himself as an officer, Hafdahl replied, "I can’t say if he did or he didn’t. All I can say is I didn’t hear him." Second, twelve witnesses, most of whom had stopped on the highway, testified that they immediately recognized Mitchell as a police officer because of his uniform. One of Hafdahl’s traveling companions, who was still in the car when Mitchell entered the yard, testified that Mitchell’s police uniform was plainly visible and he knew Mitchell was an officer " the second I saw him…. No doubt in my mind." As noted above, Hafdahl admits that he saw Mitchell when he entered the backyard through the downed fence. The State argued that Hafdahl would have noticed the police uniform and the Amarillo City Police windbreaker. Third, Hafdahl shot Mitchell at close range and could not have failed to notice Mitchell’s uniform. Although the estimates varied somewhat, two ballistics experts from the Federal Bureau of Investigation testified that Hafdahl was no more than six feet from Mitchell when he fired the shots, and one of Hafdahl’s companions testified that Hafdahl was approximately three to five feet from Mitchell. Even if one assumed that Hafdahl had not noticed Mitchell’s uniform when he entered the yard, the State suggested, Hafdahl surely would have seen the uniform before firing the fatal shots from such close range. To further establish that Hafdahl was close enough to know that Mitchell was an officer, the State called, among others, Ralph Erdmann, a forensic pathologist. The crux of Erdmann’s testimony was that (1) Hafdahl shot Mitchell four times with a semiautomatic 9mm pistol; (2) the first two shots were non-fatal wounds to the abdomen and arm; (3) Hafdahl moved closer to Mitchell while firing, although it was not clear how quickly the shots were fired; (4) both the third and fourth shots to the chest were mandatorily fatal; and (5) judging from the gunpowder stippling specks on Mitchell’s face, Hafdahl was approximately two and a half feet from Mitchell when the final shot was fired. Erdmann explained to the jury that many of the assumptions underlying his conclusions were drawn from the reports and conclusions of the investigating officers. His testimony often indicated that the autopsy results were "consistent" with the officers’ theories. To support its argument that Hafdahl intentionally killed Mitchell, the State put on evidence that Hafdahl had a motive to avoid apprehension. Two Texas officers (one from Rockwall, the other from Grand Prairie) testified that they had arrested Hafdahl on a warrant for aggravated kidnapping and turned the case over to the FBI. During the guilt phase, neither officer testified about the details of the alleged kidnapping. Neither officer purported to know how the FBI had resolved the case. The implication was that Hafdahl might have believed he was a wanted man and, consequently, that he killed Mitchell in order to evade capture. The jury convicted Hafdahl of capital murder on April 4, 1986. During the sentencing phase, the State requested the death penalty and introduced additional evidence as to the three required "special issues": (1) Whether Hafdahl deliberately killed Mitchell; (2) whether Hafdahl’s response to Mitchell’s provocation, if any, was unreasonable; and (3) whether Hafdahl would probably commit criminal acts of violence in the future. Erdmann was not called to testify further, but the police officers testified in more detail about the kidnapping arrest. The jury then sentenced Hafdahl to death on April 7, 1986. The execution date being set followed the end of 16 years of appeals. A 10-man team of Randall County Sheriff’s deputies and bailiffs guarded the courtroom. The entire Justice Building in Canyon also was under heavy security provided by deputies and Canyon police officers. Hafdahl, 48, wore shackles on his ankles, and his wrists were locked to a chain around his waist when Sheriff Joel Richardson brought him into the courtroom. Mitchell suffered multiple gunshot wounds Nov. 11, 1985, when he was returning home from work and stopped to investigate a traffic accident involving a car that skidded off Interstate 27 and into the back yard of a residence in the 3600 block of South Austin Street. "The first shot struck Sgt. Mitchell’s wrist and disarmed him, he was helpless," Farren said. "Hafdahl continued to approach and executed him. He continued to pump rounds into Sgt. Mitchell. If he is willing to kill a police officer, he certainly is not afraid of you or me." The three occupants of the wrecked car were fleeing the scene when Hafdahl was stopped by a fence gate that would not open. According to trial testimony, Mitchell, who was wearing his uniform, ordered Hafdahl to stop. Under questioning from one of his defense attorneys, Hafdahl testified at his trial that he was "pretty messed up" on hallucinogenic mushrooms and gin the afternoon he killed Mitchell. He admitted shooting the officer with a 9mm semi-automatic pistol but said he did not know Mitchell was a policeman. "I heard somebody coming up behind me, and I just spun around and started firing," Hafdahl said. Ken Farren, chief deputy in the Potter County Sheriff’s Department, worked for about 12 years with Mitchell and attended Friday’s hearing. "Hafdahl said in the courtroom it was fine with him, and today is fine with us," Ken Farren said. "Jim was somebody I could lean on. It’s time for justice to be served." The widow and daughters of slain policeman James Mitchell came to Canyon on Friday to see a judge set the execution date for the killer of their husband and father. "After 16 years it’s about time. We have been through it every step of the way, and I’m looking forward to reaching a conclusion. It has taken a toll on my family," said Ellen Mitchell Stone, the widow of Amarillo Police Department Sgt. James Mitchell. "My girls were 8 and 9 when their father was killed. Now, they have graduated from college, are married and have jobs." State and federal appeals kept the case from reaching a resolution. Jurors sentenced Randal Hafdahl, now 48, to death April 7, 1986, for murdering Mitchell, who was 42 at the time of his death in 1985. At Friday’s hearing, 47th District Judge David Gleason set Jan. 31 as the date an executioner will give Hafdahl his lethal injection. "It’s a shame their whole lives have been exposed to this bureaucracy. There was never any doubt he did it. He admitted it on the stand," Ellen Mitchell Stone said. "It just let his attorney manipulate the system with reams and reams of motions. It is time it came to an end."

Page visited times since 12/2/01

Page last updated 10/05/08