March 2006 Executions

Four killers were executed in March 2006. They had murdered at least 6 people.
killers were given a stay in March 2006. They have murdered at least 8 people.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
March 2, 2006 Pennsylvania John Dougherty, 3
Daniel Dougherty, 4
Daniel Dougherty stayed

In October 2000, Dougherty was sentenced to die for setting fire to his girlfriend’s home in 1985. His two sons, 3-year-old John and 4-year-old Daniel, died in the blaze. Almost 15 years later, on April 14, 1999, police arrested Dougherty for a charge of arson and two murder charges. In a statement to police, Dougherty said he was out at a bar with a friend but was supposed to have attended an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting that night. When his girlfriend tracked him down and showed up at the bar around 11:30 pm, she angrily told him to go home to watch his own kids, whose mother was Dougherty’s estranged wife. Dougherty’s girlfriend went home and packed her clothes and left Dougherty’s boys with a teenage babysitter. At 1:30 am, the babysitter got tired of waiting for Dougherty to arrive and left the boys sleeping and returned to her own home next door. After leaving the bar, Dougherty went to the home of his estranged wife. Dougherty told her that his girlfriend wanted him to leave her house and he persuaded his wife to accompany him to the house so she could take the children. When they arrived, Dougherty found a note in which his girlfriend said she was ending their relationship and taking her son. "Don’t bother trying to find me," she said. He showed the note to his wife and pleaded with her to stay with him. She refused and asked him to bring the children downstairs. He urged her to go upstairs and she refused because she was afraid that Dougherty would try to "come on" to her. Finally, she became tired of Dougherty’s sexual advances and left the house, promising to return in the morning for her scheduled visitation with the children. Around 4 a.m. the fire department was called to the home and found the rowhome fully engulfed in flames. Police found Dougherty on the front patio, wearing only a pair of jeans. When they asked him his name, he replied, "My name is mud. I should die for what I did." In an upstairs rear bedroom, police found the lifeless bodies of Dougherty’s sons, 4-year-old Daniel and 3-year-old John. The boys died from smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide poisoning and may have been burned by the fire while they were still alive. The fire was determined to have been deliberately set when investigators found three separate points of origin; a loveseat, a couch and the dining room table. Even though Dougherty’s comment appeared to be a confession, charges were not filed. In a police interview about an hour after the fires, Dougherty told the detective that he was asleep for 15 minutes before awakening when he heard flames and saw the curtains on the front window on fire. Dougherty conceded that he had not called the fire department but instead immediately ran out of the house. He told the detective he then unsuccessfully tried to put out the fire with a neighbor’s garden hose, then tried to climb a ladder to get to his children. The flames, he said, prevented him from reaching his kids. At trial, Dougherty’s version of these events changed and he said he re-entered the burning house twice, once making it back into the living room, which he said was engulfed in flames by this time, and then later, entering the burning dining room through another door. An arson investigator testified at trial that Dougherty’s claim to have been on the sofa when he noticed that the curtains were ablaze was not credible because, based upon the ignition points and the fire patterns, the sofa would have been fully consumed in flames before the curtains caught on fire. He also said that a person who was on the sofa at the time the curtains initially ignited would have been severely burned or killed. The investigator said that the person who started the fire would have been the only person likely to have time to escape without injury. Dougherty did not suffer any burns nor show any signs of exposure to smoke or fire. When asked by police how the fire started, Dougherty speculated that it was caused by a faulty electrical outlet. A stereo and fan were plugged into the outlet, near the front window. Dougherty denied setting the blaze. On cross-examination, Dougherty’s lawyer asked the detective to describe his client’s demeanor during the interview. The response was one the defense apparently did not expect; "He wasn’t as upset as someone who lost their child would be." At trial, prosecutors presented two jailhouse informants who testified that Dougherty tearfully told them he committed the crime to get revenge on his estranged wife. A woman who was married to Dougherty after the murders told police that, several times during the course of their marriage, Dougherty had confessed to her that he had started the fire that killed his two sons. The jury found Dougherty guilty after less than three hours of deliberation and he was formally sentenced to two death sentences on Oct. 6, 2000 after the jury deliberated for only four hours. Prosecutors said that Kathy Dipple, the mother of the dead boys, agreed with the verdict and sentence. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirmed Dougherty’s death sentences in an opinion dated Oct. 20, 2004. The Court denied reargument on Dec. 9, 2004. On May 7, 2005, Dougherty filed a petition for a writ of certiorari in the United States Supreme Court. Certiorari was denied on Oct. 3, 2005. Dougherty, 45, is an inmate of the State Correctional Institution at Greene. *There are still appeals pending in this case and the execution is not likely to take place on this date.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
March 7, 2006 Pennsylvania Frances Williams, 53
unnamed victim
Connie Williams stayed

Connie Williams was sentenced to death for murdering and dismembering his wife Francesca. He was sentenced to death on March 2, 2002. Williams was convicted of first-degree murder and abuse of a corpse. The jury deliberated about 5 hours on the guilt phase and another 5 hours on the punishment phase before deciding Williams should be executed. Family members of the victim were satisfied with the jury’s decision and relieved for it to be done and over with, according to a prosecutor. Connie Williams stabbed his wife Frances Williams, 53, with a knife while he was cooking steak and home fries in August 1999. After the murder, he sawed off her head, hands and feet and stuffed them in a freezer before dumping them elsewhere. Williams had a previous murder conviction for killing his landlord in the 70s. He had served 7 years for second degree murder. Williams claimed that he killed his wife in a fit of passion after they had argued about money and her threats of divorce. Williams also claimed he never realized what he had done until he found his wife’s remains in the freezer. Williams then reported his wife missing. After police found traces of Frances’s blood in the home, Williams confessed. Williams has tested as low as 59 on IQ tests, so has a strong case for appeal since the Supreme Court has refused to allow the execution of mentally retarded killers. The jury heard evidence regarding the low IQ but one juror said it did not overcome the aggravating factor of the prior murder conviction. *There are still appeals pending in this case and the execution is not likely to take place on this date.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
March 9, 2006 Pennsylvania Lauretha Vaird Christopher Roney stayed

Lauretha VairdOn January 6, 1996, around 8:30 in the morning, Christopher Roney and accomplice Mark Canty entered a Philadelphia bank dressed as utility construction workers and forced several employees to open the bank vault at gunpoint. Canty went into the vault with two of the women while Roney held a third at gunpoint. Canty shouted to Roney, "Here comes the heat," and Roney replied, "Don’t worry; I’ll take care of them." At this time, Police Officer Lauretha Vaird, who was the first officer to respond to the silent alarm, approached the front door of the bank building. As she entered the bank, Roney fatally shot Lauretha in the abdomen and then ran past her through the front door. Meanwhile Canty fled from the bank through a side entrance, leaving his gun behind. Outside the bank, Roney exchanged gunfire with the second officer to arrive on the scene. Escaping the shootout, Roney jumped into a getaway vehicle, a green minivan driven by another accomplice, Warren McGlone, and the vehicle sped away. Later that morning the three men met at McGlone’s home to discuss the robbery. In the meantime, police found the abandoned getaway vehicle and various pieces of the robbers’ disguises. They also recovered two weapons lying on the ground outside the bank. One weapon was traced to a relative of Canty, who had discovered the weapon had been stolen. It had last been seen in Canty’s possession. The other gun was traced to a friend of McGlone, who had purchased the weapon for McGlone. After being taken in for questioning, Canty and McGlone confessed to participating in the robbery. Roney was sentenced to death and the two accomplices received life sentences. Lauretha was 43 years old and had served for 9 years. She was a single parent raising two sons. A song named "Slipped Away, The Ballad of Lauretha Vaird " was written in honor of the fallen officer.*There are still appeals pending in this case and the execution is not likely to take place on this date.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
March 14, 2006 Texas Armando Murillo, 18 Tony Ford stayed

Tony Egbuna Ford was sentenced to death for the murder of eighteen-year-old Armando Murillo during a home invasion in El Paso in late 1991. The assailants also attempted to kill Armando Murillo’s mother and two sisters. On December 18, 1991 the Murillo family attended a Christmas play to see their cousin perform. At the conclusion of the play, the family returned to the home of their mother, Myra Murillo, for a quick dinner. The mother and her three children, Myra Magdalena, Armando and Lisa, all planned to do some Christmas shopping later that evening. After dinner, Armando was in the family room watching television, Myra Magdalena was readying herself in her bedroom for her shopping trip, and Lisa was in the kitchen. Their mother called out to her children at some point to inquire if any had heard the two men who had knocked at the door. The two men were apparently looking for the “man of the house,” and the mother had refused to permit their entrance. After the children informed her they had heard nothing, each returned to his or her previous task. Moments later Myra Magdalena stepped out into the hallway to encourage her family to hurry up. At that moment, she saw her mother and her brother retreating from the doorway. Her mother was backing up as if she was in fear for her life, kind of crouching down, and her brother looked as if he had been hit in the head and was huddled in the corner. Myra testified that within a few seconds, she saw Tony Ford standing to her right, next to her at the entry to her bedroom. Subsequently she saw his cohort, later identified as Van Nash Belton. She testified that they both had guns. Lisa testified that she “heard a barging in, just a lot of noise, racket, like somebody kicking wood.” She saw two strangers in the hallway with guns. Ford testified at trial that he was not one of the two men who “barged in” to the Murillo home that night and that the second person was Belton’s brother, Victor Belton. Nevertheless, Myra and Lisa Murillo identified Ford as the second man. The two men ordered all the family members to kneel on the floor and be quiet. The men demanded to know where “‘the man of the house’” was, and where the money was, and then demanded jewelry and other valuables, including car keys. The men were yelling and threatening, constantly telling everyone to “‘shut the f*** up.’” When Lisa threw a set of car keys at Ford, he became angry and said, “‘F*** you, just for that, I was just going to blow him. Now I’m going to f***ing blow you all.” Ford then, in very rapid succession, shot Armando in the back of the head, shot Mrs. Murillo in the head, shot at but missed Myra (who feigned injury), and shot Lisa in the shoulder. Myra and Lisa identified Ford as the person who did the shooting, and as the person who was dominating, doing the most talking and giving most of the orders.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
March 15, 2006 Texas Foluke Erinkitola, 25
Roxanne Mendoza, 29
Jaffar Ali
Tommie Hughes executed

Roxanne Mendoza Foluke ErinkitolaOn the evening of August 13, 1997, Hughes suggested to his girlfriend, Alina Henry, and his cousin, Derric English, that they rob someone. The trio drove to a Dallas movie theater parking lot, where Hughes and the other man approached Foluke Erinkitola and Roxanne Mendoza, who were walking to their car. Using an automatic pistol, Hughes shot and killed Erinkitola and Mendoza, and the two men took the victims’ purses, wallets, jewelry, cell phone and pager. The theater where the crime occurred had experienced a rash of robberies and burglaries in the recent past, and law enforcement officers had staked out the area with specific hopes of catching those responsible. During the evening in question, undercover officers noticed Hughes and English as the two walked through the parking lot toward the theater building. Approximately ten minutes later, both men were observed walking quickly back toward their car, a Mercury Tracer. Hughes was twenty to thirty feet behind English. English appeared to be hunched over, concealing what was described as a "large bulge" beneath his shirt. This "bulge" had not been observed earlier. After both men entered the car, the driver, who had never left the vehicle, quickly accelerated, exiting the parking lot at a high rate of speed, and continued onto the highway reaching speeds of ninety miles an hour. To the undercover officers, these actions, under the existing circumstances, indicated the two men may have just burglarized a parked motor vehicle. One officer, in an unmarked vehicle, began a clandestine pursuit, maintaining a safe distance so as not to arouse the suspect’s suspicion. The officers remaining at the theater searched the parking lot for signs of a possible burglary. Within minutes, theater patrons came upon the two victims, both apparently dead of gunshot wounds. Authorities were notified, and the occupants of the Mercury Tracer then became capital murder suspects. Information of the crime and its possible suspects was immediately dispatched over the police radio. The undercover officer kept the speeding Mercury Tracer within his sight until a marked police unit intervened and occupied a position directly behind, and within obvious view of, the fleeing vehicle. The officer did not, however, activate the unit’s emergency lights at this time. The getaway vehicle, driven by Henry, eventually exited the highway and pulled into a gas station in south Dallas. Hughes exited and appeared as though he was preparing to activate the gas pump. The pursuing unit pulled in behind the suspect vehicle, activated its emergency lights, and, almost immediately, other marked units converged on the scene. Hughes was ordered onto the ground and arrested. The remaining occupants of the car were ordered to exit the vehicle, and they, too, were placed under arrest. In the car, police found the victims’ belongings and discovered the murder weapon beneath Hughes’ seat. Blood from one of the victims found on Hughes’ clothing suggested that he shot her at close range. The day after the shooting, in a telephone conversation with a cousin, Hughes was asked why he had killed the two women. Hughes snickered and said the two victims could have identified them. At his trial, the state presented evidence that Hughes had robbed three other people at gunpoint at a restaurant parking lot close to the theater just four days before the murder of the two women. He was also indicted for the January 1996 slaying of Jaffar Ali, owner of a Dallas convenience store, during a robbery. English was convicted of capital murder at a separate trial and sentenced to 40 years in prison. Henry pled guilty to a reduced charge of aggravated robbery in exchange for her testimony against both men and was sentenced to 11 years. Foluke Erinkitola’s family had emigrated from Nigeria. Foluke was on a summer internship with a Dallas corporation while a student at the University of Illinois. Roxanne Mendoza worked at the same company. UPDATE: A relatively short stay on death row ended for Tommie Collins Hughes on March 15, 2006 when the state of Texas executed Hughes, a former Marine, for the senseless murders of two women who were leaving a Dallas theater. Hughes expressed no feelings of remorse and only glanced at the families of his victims. Roxanne Mendoza’s fiancĂ©e Richard Palenchar said he did not expect to see remorse from Hughes. "He definitely showed none," Palenchar said. "He did look at us and it was a cold look. I think that cold place is where his heart has always been." After witnessing the execution, Adekunkle Erinkitola, the brother of Foluke Erinkitola said, "There was no remorse. I was hoping that even in his eyes there would be some. There was not." Instead Hughes spoke only to his witnesses, which included his mother, grandmother and some friends. "I love my family. You all stay strong. Watch over each other." Hughes then kept repeating, "I love you. I love you." Hughes was pronounced dead eight minutes after the execution began.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
March 16, 2006 North Carolina Donnie Ray Robbins Patrick Moody executed

Patrick Lane Moody was arrested for the September 16, 1994 first-degree murder of Donnie Ray Robbins. In July 1994, Moody started having an affair with Wanda Robbins, the wife of the victim, Donnie Robbins. Over the course of their affair, Moody and Wanda discussed various plans to murder Wanda’s husband and share the insurance proceeds. On September 16, 1994, Moody went to the home of Donnie and Wanda Robbins. Moody identified himself as "Darryl Thompson" and pretended to be interested in buying Donnie’s old Chevrolet automobile. He and Donnie went to a nearby field where the automobile was located. Moody asked Donnie to measure the automobile, purportedly to determine whether it would fit on a "roll-back" truck. As Donnie leaned over the hood of the automobile to measure it, Moody shot him in the back of the head with a.32-caliber semiautomatic pistol he had stolen the previous day from a house near the Robbins home. Moody and Wanda had agreed to meet at the hospital following the murder. While at the hospital, Moody identified himself as Darryl Thompson to investigating officers and consented to taking a gunshot residue test. Moody then left the hospital. Early the next morning, Moody was apprehended and taken into custody. Later that morning, following Moody’s directions, the police found the murder weapon, the black jacket Moody had been wearing, and other items of evidence. After being arrested, Moody waived his Miranda rights and made a statement. At trial, after the State had begun its case and had presented evidence from seven witnesses, Moody withdrew his plea of not guilty and entered a plea of guilty to murder in the first degree. The trial court accepted the plea. The State began the presentation of its capital sentencing proceeding evidence following the announcement of the defendant’s change of plea to the jury. Two residents and the owner of the trailer park where Donnie Robbins lived testified that Donnie and Wanda argued often and that on at least two occasions these residents had identified mercury in the beer that Donnie was drinking. A life insurance agent also testified that Wanda Robbins had called her at 5:30 a.m. the morning after the murder to complete the paperwork necessary for Wanda’s claim for the insurance benefits payable upon Donnie’s death. At the conclusion of the State’s evidence, Moody’s prior convictions in Florida for attempted first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder were introduced. Moody’s evidence at the capital sentencing proceeding was that he was involved with a religious group called "His Laboring Few Bikers’ Ministry," which focused on the spiritual needs of bikers at biker rallies. Two members of the ministry took Moody into their home after meeting Moody in Florida and sending him a bus ticket to come to High Point to live with them. An ordained minister with the ministry testified that Moody had become involved with the ministry but later had become distant upon meeting Wanda Robbins. Moody’s half-brother and mother testified as to Moody’s traumatic and abusive childhood. A psychologist diagnosed Moody as suffering from an attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, alcohol dependence, a mixed personality disorder, child abuse syndrome, and psychologically caused physical problems. Moody testified as the last witness in the sentencing phase of the trial. He affirmed that he shot and killed the victim but denied that he did so in order to get insurance money. On cross-examination, Moody testified that he killed the victim because Wanda threatened to notify the police about his outstanding warrants in Florida. The jury recommended a sentence of death. The jury found as aggravating circumstances that defendant had been previously convicted of a felony involving the use of violence and that the murder was committed for pecuniary gain. The jury also found six of the twenty-one statutory and non-statutory mitigating circumstances submitted to it. On July 20, 1995, the trial judge, in accordance with the jury recommendation, imposed a sentence of death for the first-degree murder conviction.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
March 22, 2006 Texas Adriana Gomez, 2 Richard Salazar, Jr. executed

A Lubbock County jury sentenced Richard Salazar to death in March 1999 for murdering two-year-old Adriana Gomez. On the night of April 23, 1997, Raylene Blakeburn left her two-year-old daughter Adriana with her boyfriend Robert Salazar, while she went to work. When she returned home from work, she found Adriana in bed and unconscious, breathing abnormally with blood in her mouth. Salazar was not there because he and a friend had gone to buy beer. Returning from the store, Salazar and his friend saw an ambulance at his girlfriend’s house. They did not stop, but continued on to Salazar’s mother’s house to drink the beer they had purchased. When paramedics arrived at the scene, they noted that the back of Adriana’s head was caved in. There were also marks and bruises all over Adriana’s body. Suspecting child abuse, the paramedics contacted the police. Adriana died later that evening. Not long after discovering Adriana, Blakeburn called Salazar at his mother’s house, and he told her not to tell the police that he had been watching Adriana. Salazar later gave a written statement to the police. He admitted that he had been with Adriana while his girlfriend was at work. He claimed that while giving Adriana a shower, he became angry with her because she would not stop crying and he had used the back of his hand to push her down in the bathtub, causing her to fall down and hit her head. Salazar also claimed he had abandoned Adriana because he was scared. A pathologist testified that Adriana’s cause of death was multiple blunt force trauma and that the manner of death was ruled a homicide. According to the pathologist, Adriana’s injuries were not consistent with Salazar’s version of the facts, but rather, indicated repeated blows of severe force to Adriana’s head, chest, and stomach. For instance, Adriana’s chest injury surpassed what the pathologist had seen previously in automobile accident injuries; her heart was so severely damaged that, had she lived, it would have ruptured; and she suffered such severe shaking injuries that she would have been blind. The pathologist also testified that Adriana had bruising to her neck, that several of her ribs were broken, and that she suffered injuries consistent with some type of sexual penetration.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
March 23, 2006 Pennsylvania Wesley Brown, 77 John Brown stayed

John Wesley Brown was sentenced to death on July 25, 1991 for the first-degree murder of his father, Wesley Brown. John Brown shot his father to death inside their home the previous year. On June 10, 1990, John Brown and his father, Wesley Brown, who was then seventy-seven years old, were together in their home in Philadelphia. A quarrel between the two occurred over Brown’s use of his father’s car for "hacking," that is, an unlicensed taxi service. Brown shot his father four times with a.38 caliber pistol and left him to bleed to death in their home. A neighbor who heard the shots called the victim’s granddaughter; she in turn called her grandfather. John Brown answered the phone and told his niece that her grandfather was outdoors. Brown placed a.38 caliber revolver next to his father’s body and took $400 from his father’s wallet, then drove off in his father’s car. He disposed of the murder weapon by throwing it out the car window in Maryland en route to Georgia. Two days later Brown was stopped at a road check in Georgia; a computer check of his driver’s license disclosed that the license was expired, that the car was stolen, and that Brown was wanted in Pennsylvania for murder. Brown admitted shooting his father, but claimed it was done in self-defense after his father pointed a.357 magnum pistol at him. *There are still appeals pending in this case and the execution is not likely to take place on this date.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
March 28, 2006 Texas Herman Chavis Raymond Martinez stayed

Raymond DeLeon Martinez was convicted and sentenced to death for the 1983 murder of Herman Chavis at a Houston bar. His conviction was reversed. In 1989, Martinez was again convicted and sentenced to death. A summary of the evidence presented at trial follows. Martinez and two accomplices entered the Long Branch Saloon in Houston at about 10:30 p.m. July 13, 1983. The men ordered beers and stood at the bar. A short time later, one of the accomplices locked the front door and pulled out a revolver and demanded that everyone get on the floor. Martinez pointed a.357 revolver in a bar patron’s face and ordered him not to move. Martinez went behind the bar, grabbed the barmaid and ordered her to give him money from the cash register. Long Branch owner Herman Chavis asked, “What are you trying to do?” One of the gunmen asked, “Are you the owner?” Chavis responded, “Yes.” Martinez shoved the barmaid to the floor and pointed his gun at Chavis. Numerous shots were fired. The gunmen then fled. Chavis died of two gunshot wounds, one to the head and one in the back.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
March 29, 2006 Texas Jerome Harville, 31 Kevin Kincy executed

Kevin Kincy, a former pizza delivery man, was sentenced to die for the 1993 murder of a Houston area man during a scheme to rob his home. Kincy had an extensive criminal record when he was arrested for the robbery and slaying of a Houston-area man 13 years ago. Kincy was on parole for delivery of cocaine when he was arrested in Louisiana following a police chase for the stabbing and shooting of Jerome Harville at his home outside Jacinto City. Jerome had worked for three years as an industrial hygienist at an Exxon refinery in Baytown and was the former boyfriend of Kevin Kincy’s cousin Charlotte Kincy. The cousins hatched a plan where Jerome Harville would be seduced and distracted by his old girlfriend, allowing Kevin Kincy to sneak into the home and shoot him. Evidence showed that after Harville was shot, Charlotte Kincy stabbed him several times. The pair then ransacked his home and stole numerous items, including furniture and his car. Co-workers at Exxon became worried about Harville when he failed to show up for work. They went to his house and when they found it is disarray, they called police, who then found Jerome’s body. About two weeks after the murder, an FBI agent ran the plates on a Honda Accord he observed traveling about 100 mph on Interstate 10 east of Beaumont and discovered that it was Jerome Harville’s stolen car. A 30 mile police chase ensued, ending in Westlake, La., when Kincy crashed through a police roadblock as officers fired at him. Kincy denied any knowledge of the Harville killing, but items he threw out the window of the speeding car led police to his cousin, Charlotte. She pleaded to a 40-year prison term. At the time of his arrest, Kincy was free on bond pending trial on a weapons charge. He also was on parole from a conviction on charges of delivering cocaine and had a lengthy prior record of convictions. During his time in prison, records showed he had more than 30 disciplinary violations. "They can hang him," Hosea Harville, 83, of St. Louis, the murder victim’s father, said. "He killed a good man."

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