February 2005 Executions

One killer was executed in February 2005. He had murdered at least 5 people.
killers were given a stay in February 2005. They have murdered at least 3 people.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
February 17, 2005 Texas Leona Boone, 47
Libby Best, 24
Reba Best, 4
Tassy Boone, 14
George Barry, 63
Dennis Bagwell executed

Dennis Bagwell, 35, was found guilty in the September 1995 murders of his mother, Leona McBee, 47; her niece, Libby Best, 24; Best’s 4-year-old daughter, Reba, and 14-year-old Tassy Boone, the granddaughter of Leona McBee’s common-law, husband, Ronald Boone. The four were killed in their home north of Stockdale in Wilson County. Bagwell had gone to his mother’s home to borrow money and murdered everyone in the house when she refused. Ronald Boone found all four victims when he returned home from work. Libby Best was shot twice in the head, and her 4-year-old daughter was beaten to death with a metal exercise bar and a hammer, crushing her skull. Leona and Tassy were beaten and strangled and their necks were crushed and broken. Tassy had also been sexually assaulted. An Atascosa County jury, trying him in November 1996 in a change of venue, recommended the death penalty. Bagwell, at the time of the murders, was on parole from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. He had served 13 years of an 18-year sentence for a 1982 attempted capital murder in Hidalgo County, where he was convicted of robbing and slitting the throat of an undocumented immigrant. In 1997, he was convicted of kicking to death George Barry, a 63-year-old janitor in a Seguin bar two weeks before the quadruple murder, and was sentenced to life in prison.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
February 17, 2005 Pennsylvania James P. McDonnell, 29
unnamed male victim
Roy Williams stayed

On January 31, 1992, Roy Williams was convicted of first-degree murder and possession of an instrument of crime in connection with the shooting death of James P. McDonnell. The murder took place while Williams and three acquaintances were walking on Foulkrod Street after playing video games at an arcade on Mulberry Street. After McDonnell turned onto Foulkrod Street, Williams reached into his coat for a gun and repeatedly shot him in the head, chest and leg. At the trial, one witness said he and Williams were "getting high" earlier that day at a friend’s house when the suspect said he wanted to kill the "first white dude" he saw. After the shooting, the witness said Williams returned to the same house and bragged of shooting a "white boy." The other two witnesses, girls who were just 12 and 14 years old, told similar stories on the stand. One testified that Williams told her he was recently released from prison, then vowed to "kill the first white man he saw." Following a three-day trial in January 1992, a jury convicted Williams of first-degree murder. Williams fled to Massachusetts where he committed an additional murder and other crimes before being captured and returned to Pennsylvania to be tried for McDonnell’s murder. On September 14, 1993, Williams was sentenced to death. Williams had been convicted for robbery three times and in the Massachusetts cases he was convicted of manslaughter, and in a separate incident, armed robbery and assault and battery. As a juvenile, records show that Williams had threatened his mother with a knife, broken household furniture, acted sadistically toward the family dog and assaulted his sister on three occasions, one requiring hospitalization. *There are still appeals pending in this case and the execution is not expected to take place on this date.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
February 24, 2005 Oklahoma Curtis Wise John Duty stayed

John Duty asked to be put to death for killing his cellmate, Curtis Wise, in December 2001. Duty had been serving life sentences for convictions of robbery and rape, as well as lesser terms on other counts. Duty persuaded Wise to let Duty tie him up in order to convince guards that he had taken Wise hostage to get what they wanted, Assistant District Attorney Richard Hull said. Instead, once Duty had Wise tied up, he strangled him with shoelaces, Hull said.

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