October 2005 Executions

Four killers were executed in October 2005. They had murdered at least 8 people.
killers were given a stay in October 2005. They have murdered at least 10 people.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
October 5, 2005 Tennessee Steve Hampton, 25
Sarah Jackson, 16
Angela Holmes, 21
Michelle Mace, 16
Ronald Santiago, 27
Robert A. Sewell Jr., 23
Andrea Brown, 17
Paul Reid stayed

Serial killer Paul Dennis Reid was convicted of committing these murders, and is suspected of additional murders. Reid, who moved to Nashville to attempt a country music career, was fired as a dishwasher from a Shoney’s restaurant in Donelson on Feb. 15, 1997, for losing his temper and throwing a plate that hit another employee. The next day, Sarah Jackson, 16, and Steve Hampton, 25, were slain execution-style at a Captain D’s restaurant not far from the Shoney’s. Reid was able to enter the restaurant before it opened by pretending he wanted to apply for a job. He robbed the restaurant, ordered the two employees into a cooler, then shot them in the head execution-style as they lay face down on the floor. Reid’s fingerprint was found on a movie rental card in Hampton’s wallet, which Reid had discarded along the roadway. Two days after the killings, Reid used some of the cash from the robbery to prepay the lease on a car. Reid received two death sentences on April 20, 1999. Reid was convicted of the March 23, 1997, murder of three Hermitage McDonald’s employees, Ronald Santiago, 27, Robert A. Sewell Jr., 23, and Andrea Brown, 17, and attempted murder of Jose Alfredo Ramirez Gonzalez. Reid waited until closing time at midnight to pull a gun on Gonzalez and another worker as they took garbage to the trash bin. He ordered them back into the building, robbed the restaurant, which was just a few miles from the Captain D’s, and ordered them and two other employees into a storeroom. Then he shot all but Gonzalez execution-style in the head as they lay face down. Apparently running out of bullets, Reid stabbed Gonzalez 17 times before leaving him for dead. Gonzalez survived and identified Reid as the killer. Reid received three death sentences for the murders on May 27, 2000. A month later, Angela Holmes, 21, and Michelle Mace, 16, were kidnapped in a robbery at a Baskin-Robbins ice cream store in Clarksville, about 50 miles northwest of Nashville. Reid waited until closing time, about 10 p.m., and convinced the two young women to open the door. He then drove them to nearby Dunbar Cave State Natural Area where he slashed their throats. Reid was arrested in June 1997 and linked to the murders after attempting to kidnap and kill the Shoney’s manager who fired him. He was convicted and condemned in three separate trials – one for each set of murders. Reid received two death sentences for the Baskin-Robbins murders on Sept. 22, 1999. Hours from a scheduled execution date in April 2003, Reid resumed his appeals after receiving ‘sign from God’. Seventeen immediate family members of Reid’s victims had planned to witness the execution and were gathered at an undisclosed location awaiting a bus ride to the prison when the execution was called off. Jerry Jackson, father of Sarah Jackson, 16, one of Reid’s first victims, declined to comment when contacted at home after the stay was issued. UPDATE: The Tennessee Supreme Court granted a stay of execution for Paul Dennis Reid Junior, convicted in the 1997 slayings of seven people in Nashville and Clarksville. Reid was to have been put to death by lethal injection on October 5th, but the court granted his request for a stay and reset the execution for next June 28th. Reid has been convicted of three incidents of multiple murder during a three-month period in 1997. He received seven death sentences for the string of murders at fast-food restaurants in Nashville and Clarksville. Reid was a Texas drifter who moved to Nashville to attempt a career in country music. The October 5th execution date was for two of the murders. Both the Supreme Court and the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals have upheld Reid’s convictions this year after he filed appeals.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
October 6, 2005 Texas Bill Davidson Ronald Howard executed

Bill Davidson smallBill Davidson, a state trooper, stopped Ronald Ray Howard for a traffic violation. Davidson was shot through the neck after stopping Howard in a stolen vehicle. Howard fled in the stolen GMC Jimmy to Victoria, Texas where he was captured after a police chase during which he lost control of his vehicle and struck a horse. He was arrested in possession of a loaded 9 mm pistol, the same weapon used to shoot Davidson. Bill Davidson dies three days after being shot. Howard claimed that listening to a rap song caused him to shoot Officer Davidson. On April 11, 1992, Howard was driving an automobile that he had stolen three days earlier when Department of Public Safety Trooper Bill Davidson noticed that the right headlight of the vehicle was broken. Davidson pulled Howard over to the side of the road, called in the license plate, and got out of his police car. As Davidson approached the driver-side window, Howard shot him in the neck, inflicting a fatal wound. Howard then drove off. Law enforcement officers arrested Howard on the night of the shooting. Later that month, a grand jury indicted him for capital murder. Given the overwhelming evidence of guilt – including multiple confessions by Howard (to the police, the grand jury, and fellow inmates), numerous eye witnesses, and evidence that at the time of his arrest Howard possessed ammunition matching the firearm used to kill Trooper Davidson–Howard’s counsel did not contest the State’s evidence at the guilt phase of his trial. The jury convicted Howard of capital murder. Following a separate punishment phase, the jury answered the special issues in a manner requiring the imposition of the death penalty. Consequently, the trial court sentenced Howard to death. During his trial the suspect claimed he shot Trooper Davidson because the rap music he was listening to forced him to do so. Trooper Davidson had served the Highway Patrol for over 20 years. He began his career with the agency on June 26, 1973, and was stationed at Edna. He was survived by his wife and two children.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
October 20, 2005 Texas Nemecio Nandin Luis Ramirez executed

Luis Ramirez was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death for the murder of his ex-wife’s boyfriend, Nemecio Nandin. Nemecio Nandin was a fireman and part-time washer/dryer repairman who was dating Ramirez’s ex-wife. Ramirez had been jealous of any of his ex-wife’s boyfriends, and Ramirez’s daughter testified that Ramirez was visibly upset about his ex-wife’s relationship with Nandin. Days before Nandin’s murder, Ramirez was seen meeting with an associate, Edward Bell, at a house where Bell and his girlfriend had previously lived. At around the same time, Bell told the man at whose home he was then staying that Ramirez had hired him to kill a fireman for $1,000. Nandin was killed at the house where Bell formerly lived on April 8, 1998, shot twice in the head with a shotgun and buried on the property. His truck was later discovered at a local Wal-Mart. Bell’s girlfriend testified that she left Bell alone, without a car, at the murder scene house between 11 A.M. and noon on the day of the murder, and that Ramirez dropped Bell off at the girlfriend’s aunt’s house between 3:30 and 4 P.M. that afternoon. As she drove Bell back from her aunt’s house back to the murder scene later that afternoon, she saw Bell throw two latex gloves out of the car window. Police later recovered the gloves and a set of keys fitting Nandin’s truck. A subsequent search of Bell’s girlfriend’s car revealed Bell’s wallet, containing two of Ramirez’s business cards and handwritten notes including directions to Ramirez’s ex-wife’s house, her address, her uncle’s address, and descriptions of her and her uncle’s cars. Police also discovered in the car a pair of jeans and a glove spattered with Nandin’s blood. Shortly after the murder, but before his arrest, Bell described the murder to the man he was staying with. Bell told the man that he and Ramirez had gone to the house where the murder occurred, called Nandin for a washer repair, handcuffed Nandin when he arrived and shot him with a shotgun, burying him on the property. Testimony indicated that Ramirez had purchased the same brand of handcuffs years earlier. The state also introduced evidence suggesting a plausible timeline, a period of time in which Ramirez could have been with Bell at the murder scene, committing the murder. Ramirez’s girlfriend testified that on the day of the murder Ramirez had packed a bag and left his home between 12:30 and 1:00 P.M. and returned around 3:00 or 3:30 P.M. Finally, the state introduced evidence that Ramirez and Bell were seen together after the murder and that on at least one occasion Bell, who had no apparent means of support, returned from such a meeting with cash. UPDATE: Texas carried out the 15th execution of the year just after 6 p.m. Thursday as convicted killer Luis Ramirez was given a lethal injection for his role in the 1998 shooting death of a San Angelo firefighter who had dated Ramirez’s ex-wife. Ramirez was sentenced to die for initiating the murder-for-hire plot that led to the death of firefighter Nemecio Nandin, 29. An accomplice, Edward Bell, was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. Prosecutors described Ramirez as a jealous ex-husband so obsessed with his former wife that he paid $1,000 for help in a plot leading to Nandin’s death. The 42-year-old inmate denied any involvement in the 1998 shotgun slaying. The firefighter’s body was found in a shallow grave in a rural area about 25 miles northeast of San Angelo. The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles rejected a defense request Wednesday to commute the inmate’s sentence to life. The board also rejected a request for a 120-day reprieve. Ramirez also lost an appeal to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, prompting his lawyers to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, which refused to act to block the execution late Thursday afternoon.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
October 25, 2005 Ohio Alfonda R. Madison
William L. Dent
Eric Howard
Theodore Wynn, Jr.
William Williams, Jr. executed

Willie J. Williams, Jr., controlled the drug trafficking at the Kimmelbrook housing project in east Youngstown, Ohio. After an extended absence from the area, Williams returned to find that Alfonda R. Madison, William L Dent, Eric Howard, and others had taken over the drug trade at the Kimmelbrook project. Williams wanted to regain control of the drug business, so he decided to rob and kill Madison and the others. Williams recruited three juvenile accomplices: his sixteen-year-old girlfriend, Jessica M. Cherry; her brother, Dominic M. Cherry; and Dominic Cherry’s seventeen-year-old "cousin", Broderick Boone. On August 27, 1991, Williams bought walkie-talkies at a Radio Shack store. The devices had a combined microphone-earphone earpiece that left the user’s hands free. He also bought batteries and duct tape. Williams, Dominic, and Broderick later tested the walkie-talkies. Before the murders, Williams outlined his plan to his three accomplices. During this meeting, he drew interior and exterior diagrams of Madison’s house. He later ordered Dominic to burn these diagrams, but Dominic burned only one copy. In addition, Williams supplied each accomplice with a gun. On September 1, 1991, Jessica met with Madison and discussed a drug deal. Later that night, Williams and his three accomplices arrived at Madison’s home by car. Williams armed the three juvenile accomplices with guns and a walkie-talkie and sent them inside, while he waited outside with a walkie-talkie. Once inside, the three accomplices drew their guns on Madison, then, after receiving word via walkie-talkie that the situation was secure, Williams, armed with a semiautomatic rifle, entered the house carrying a duffel bag containing handcuffs, duct tape, and gloves. Inside, Williams handcuffed and bound Madison and put tape over his mouth. Thirty to forty-five minutes later, Theodore Wynn, Jr., a recently discharged Air Force sergeant, came to the door looking for Madison and Howard, who were roommates. Jessica answered the door and told Wynn that Madison was not home and Howard was asleep. As Wynn walked back towards his car, Williams told Jessica to call Wynn back into the house because Wynn could identify them. Inside the house, Williams held Wynn at gunpoint and handcuffed him. Upon orders from Williams, Jessica walked to a pay phone and called William Dent for the purpose of luring him to the house. When Dent arrived with Howard, Williams and his accomplices ambushed them and forced them to lie down in the bathroom. Williams strangled Madison and Wynn, and then instructed Jessica to turn up the stereo. Going from room to room, Williams shot each of the four victims in the head with Madison’s gun. The group left Madison’s home but Williams, according to Jessica, went back in “to make sure they were all dead”. Later, back at his apartment, Williams embraced his juvenile accomplices and rewarded them with drugs. He warned them not to tell anyone what they had done or he would kill them. The next day, September 2, 1991, Williams and Jessica were driving down the street when another car rammed theirs and the people in the other car shot at them. Jessica and Williams fled the scene. When they returned to the vicinity of the accident, officers transported them to the Youngstown Police Department and later released them after questioning them about the traffic accident. Later that night, Williams, Jessica, Dominic, and Broderick fled to Pennsylvania. They returned to the Youngstown area and parted company. On September 24, 1991, Dominic turned himself in, and gave a statement about the murders. Later, officers arrested Jessica and Broderick, and the latter also gave statements. Following their arrests, Jessica, Dominic, and Broderick were held at the Mahoning County Juvenile Justice Center. Williams was later arrested in connection with the murders. On 10/15/91, shortly after being arrested, he escaped from jail. While a fugitive from justice, a Mahoning County Grand Jury indicted Williams on four counts of aggravated murder, four counts of kidnapping, and one count of aggravated burglary. On January 12, 1992, Williams and two other accomplices, Paul R. Keiper, Jr, and a juvenile named Eric Fields, appeared at the Mahoning County Juvenile Justice Center. The three deceived a receptionist and were permitted to enter. Once inside, Williams held the receptionist and a deputy sheriff hostage, demanding to see Jessica, Dominic, and Broderick. After lengthy negotiations, Williams surrendered to authorities. At trial, Keiper testified that Williams planned to kill the three juveniles because he knew that they had made statements to the police regarding the murders. The Mahoning County Grand Jury reindicted Mr. Williams on twelve counts of aggravated murder, four counts of kidnapping, and one count of aggravated burglary. In addition, each aggravated murder charge included two felony murder death specifications and one death specification for multiple murders. The court transferred venue to Summit County. Jessica, Dominic, and Broderick all entered into plea agreements with the Mahoning County Prosecutor’s Office. All three pled guilty to delinquency by reason of complicity to aggravated murder, complicity to aggravated burglary, and complicity to kidnapping. All three testified against Williams. Williams had an extensive prior record of criminal activity and arrests. A jury convicted Williams on all counts and specifications. The trial court merged the twelve aggravated murder counts into four and the three specifications per count into a single multiple-murder specification. Following the sentencing hearing, the jury recommended death for each count of aggravated murder. The trial judge sentenced Willie J. Williams to death, and the court of appeals affirmed the sentence. UPDATE: The Ohio Parole Board recommended that Gov. Bob Taft deny clemency to a man who shot to death 3 alleged rivals and their visitor in his Youngstown drug territory 14 years ago. "The aggravating circumstance of a wanton, calculated, horrific, cold-blooded, execution-style killing of four defenseless young men greatly outweighs any proffer of mitigation," the board’s unanimous report said in the case of Willie Williams Jr. At a clemency hearing on Monday, the men’s relatives detailed how their deaths still hurt their families. A prosecutor said Williams deserved no mercy for shooting the men in the head, and defense attorneys said their client told them not to argue for it. The state pointed out several factors in their opposition to clemency: The brutality and magnitude of the crime; four young men were shot in the head execution-style. No mitigation exists in the offense itself; several of the victims were lured to the residence prior to their murders, each was bound, and Williams enlisted juveniles to accomplish his premeditated plan. On each of the four Aggravated Murder counts, Williams was convicted of three specifications; although merged by the trial Court at sentencing, the establishment of a singe factor on a single count was sufficient to impose a sentence of death. Williams has never accepted responsibility for the heinous murders of four individuals nor apologized for his callous actions. He is not asking for clemency. The aggravating and mitigating circumstances surrounding the crime were considered at trial, upheld throughout an appellate process lasting twelve years, and affirmed by each reviewing Court. Williams, 48, is the first inmate to face death for such a large one-day mass murder since Ohio resumed executions in 1999. He is scheduled to die by lethal injection on Oct. 25. He has no remaining appeals. Four days is the shortest time within the seven-day time limit the board has reached a decision, prisons spokeswoman Andrea Dean said. Taft can either accept the recommendation or change Williams’ sentence to life in prison without parole. Taft’s legal staff will review the report, spokesman Mark Rickel said. UDPATE: A cocaine dealer whose role models were mobsters in a city once called the nation’s crime capital was executed Tuesday for killing four men in a bid to seize control of the drug trade in a Youngstown housing project. Willie Williams Jr., 48, died by injection at 10:20 a.m. at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility. He earned notoriety at a time of rising street violence in the former steel city, with the prosecutor describing his as "a big fish" in the Youngstown’s drug-dealing scene. Before he died, he winked and blew a kiss to his adult daughter, Jameka, and thanked her and his brother and uncle, who also were witnesses. "I’m not going to waste no time talking about my lifestyle, my case, my punishment," he said. "Y’all stick together. Don’t worry about me. I’m OK. This all ain’t nothin’." When California released him after a five-year sentence for cocaine trafficking, Youngstown officials tried to block his return by asking that his probation be limited to the West Coast. But the city couldn’t ban him, and he once walked into police headquarters, pronounced himself reformed and asked for information on drug rivals, getting none. Williams used trusted associates to gather his top rivals at a home in the housing project in 1991, including suspected drug dealers William Dent, 23, Alfonda Madison, 21, and Eric Howard, 20. The fourth victim, 23-year-old Theodore Wynn of nearby Coitsville, had recently been discharged from the Air Force and was visiting Madison and Howard. The victims were variously bound, shot and strangled, the coroner ruled. Saying Williams had shown no remorse for the slayings, Gov. Bob Taft on Monday refused to commute the inmate’s sentence to life in prison without parole. Williams did not ask for clemency and the Ohio Parole Board unanimously recommended against it. The evidence against Williams included the eyewitness testimony of three accomplices who pleaded guilty. In addition, when Williams was arrested shortly after the deaths a test showed he had recently used a gun. Williams escaped soon after his arrest and three months later broke into a juvenile detention center, taking hostages before surrendering with no one hurt. Police think he wanted to kill his three cohorts for testifying against him. Williams’ wanted to be like the dons of the Youngstown underworld who had battled for control of rackets as part of a feud between the Cleveland and Pittsburgh mobs, authorities say. According to police and prosecutors, Williams may have killed up to 10 other people in his career but never was charged. Williams typically would insist that his buddies also shoot a victim to make sure they were equally responsible, they said. Youngstown police detective William Blanchard said Williams’ short stature – about 5 feet, 6 inches – made him aspire to seem bigger. Williams’ defense attorney, J. Gerald Ingram, said Williams didn’t get a fair trial because the judge didn’t adequately respond to allegations that some jurors heard rumors about the case, which was moved from Mahoning County to Summit County. Williams was convicted of aggravated murder, kidnapping and aggravated burglary. Williams claimed there was insufficient evidence to convict him and said prosecution witnesses were inconsistent and biased. He lost appeals in which his lawyers claimed prosecutors were able to stack the jury with people who favored the death penalty. On Tuesday, Williams cooperated with prison staff, at one point lifting his sleeve to help when medical personnel had trouble finding one of his veins. Family members of the victims said they interpreted Williams’ final statement and his lack of an apology as an insult. "It was almost like his last taunt on the way out," said Alicia Ennis, 33, who was William Dent’s fiancee and was five months pregnant with his daughter when he was murdered.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
October 25, 2005 Texas Ollie "Sammy" Childress Jr. Pedro Sosa stayed until 4/25/06

Sosa, 49, was convicted of the 1983 shooting death of Ollie Childress Jr., a Wilson County deputy sheriff. According to court records, the deputy was abducted by Sosa and a nephew, Leroy Sosa Jr., who threw him handcuffed into the trunk of his patrol car and drove to the LaVernia State Bank, where they demanded money and warned bank tellers the deputy was in the trunk and would be killed if they failed to cooperate. Sosa wore the officer’s shirt and badge while robbing the bank, his nephew testified. They fled with more than $51,000. Childress was shot in the neck with his own.44-caliber pistol when the two robbers switched cars. After leaving in their own car, the pair returned to the wounded deputy’s car to wipe it clean of prints and found Childress still alive. The deputy was shot a second time in the neck. Pedro Sosa was arrested 3 months later, was tried for the officer’s murder and condemned. Leroy Sosa testified against his uncle and received a life term. Pedro Sosa has insisted a confession to authorities was coerced and that he was working at a San Antonio construction site at the time of the slaying. "I couldn’t read or write," he said in a recent interview. "All I can tell you is they forced me to sign a confession." "Without a doubt, this is our oldest capital murder case," District Attorney Lynn Ellison said. Ellison said his predecessor, Alger Kendall, allowed Sosa to remain on death row for about 4 years without bringing him back to Wilson County for the setting of an execution date.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
October 26, 2005 Missouri Julie Kerry, 20
Robin Kerry, 19
Marlin Gray executed

Julie Kerry Robin KerryThe Missouri Supreme Court has set an Oct. 26 execution date for Marlin Gray, one of four convicted for the April 1991 murder of two sisters on the Chain of Rocks Bridge in St. Louis. The office of Attorney General Jay Nixon represented the state against Gray’s appeals. On the night of April 4, 1991, Gray and three companions — Reginald Clemons, Daniel Winfrey and Antonio Richardson — encountered the two sisters, Julie and Robin Kerry, and their cousin, Thomas Cummins. The two groups chatted briefly, then parted. After a few minutes, Gray and his group returned and sexually assaulted the sisters. The sisters and their cousin were pushed off the bridge. Cummins survived the 70-foot fall and swam ashore; Julie’s body was recovered in Caruthersville three weeks later. Robin’s body was never found. "The brutal murder of these two sisters shocked the community, and the sensibilities of all decent Missourians," Nixon said. "A jury determined that the death penalty was appropriate in this case, and it is our duty to see that the sentence is carried out." A St. Louis Circuit Court jury found Gray guilty of two counts of first-degree murder and imposed two death sentences on Dec. 9, 1992. Winfrey, who was 15 at the time, received a 30-year sentence. Clemons was sentenced to death on April 9, 1993, and remains on death row awaiting execution. Richardson, who was also sentenced to death, had his sentence overturned on appeal to life in prison. UPDATE: Marlin Gray, convicted of two counts of first-degree murder as an accomplice to the killings of two sisters in April 1991, was executed early Wednesday. Gray lifted his head off a gurney just before the first of three drugs was injected into his body and mouthed words to a few witnesses, then fell silent. He previously had said he didn’t want any family members or friends to witness the execution. He was pronounced dead at 12:07 a.m. Gray, 38, maintained his innocence in the deaths of sisters Julie and Robin Kerry on an abandoned Mississippi River bridge in St. Louis on April 4, 1991. He was convicted in 1992. Late Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court and Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt turned back appeals for Gray within minutes of each other. Gray’s attorney, Joanne Descher, said she had received a call from the Supreme Court denying her motion to stay the execution and another request to review the entire case. "It’s all been denied," she said. Blunt issued a statement saying he had denied the clemency request, and said the Board of Probation and Parole had recommended clemency be denied. He said he carefully reviewed the case and found no reason to set aside earlier judicial decisions. "I support the sentence issued and affirmed by both Missouri and U.S. Courts and believe justice has been served," he said in a statement. The Kerry sisters, Julie and Robin, were raped and pushed from the old Chain of Rocks Bridge the night they brought their 19-year-old cousin, Thomas Cummins, visiting from Maryland, to the youth hangout. Gray said that he, his friend Reginald Clemons and their acquaintances Antonio Richardson and Daniel Winfrey encountered the three couisins that night on the bridge and talked for a while. He claimed they left the bridge, but Richardson went back alone to retrieve a lost flashlight. When Richardson returned, he reported he’d seen Cummins acting frantic on the bridge, the sisters in the river, and spoke of an accident. Frightened, the four left. Nels Moss, who prosecuted the case, said Gray never did not present this version of the events at trial. He called Gray a "sociopath" who was unable to accept responsibility.

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