September 2006 Executions

Two killers were executed in September 2006. They had murdered at least 3 people.
killers were given a stay in September 2006. They have murdered at least 6 people.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
September 12, 2006 Texas Uries Anderson, 52
Melonee Josey, 74
Farley Matchett executed

Farley Matchett embarked on a crime spree in 1991 that left his own uncle and another person dead and a third person seriously injured. Matchett was sentenced to death for the fatal beating and stabbing of his uncle, Uries Anderson, 52, at the man’s home in Houston, Texas. Matchett also was sentenced to a life prison term for the murder of an elderly woman in Huntsville and 99 years for leaving another elderly Huntsville woman beaten so badly that she suffered brain damage. All three crimes happened during one week in July 1991. Evidence at trial showed that Matchett used a hammer to beat Ola Mac Williams, 91, whose Huntsville yard he had mowed. Then he went to the house of a neighbor, also in Huntsville, Melonee Josey, 74, and fatally beat her with a meat hammer after she refused to give him $10. The next day, on July 12, 1991, Matchett argued with his uncle about his drug use, and stabbed Uries with a knife and struck him in the head with a hamemr before robbing the home of money so he could buy crack cocaine. He was arrested when he tried to cash checks he had forged with his uncle’s signature.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
September 19, 2006 Tennessee Stephen Edward Holton, 12
Brent Holton, 10
Eric Holton, 7
Kayla Marie Holton, 4
Daryl Holton stayed

Daryl Holton was convicted of four counts of premeditated first degree murder for killing his four children in 1997. All four children, twelve-year-old Stephen Edward Holton, ten-year-old Brent Holton, six-year-old Eric Holton, and four-year-old Kayla Marie Holton, were shot to death with a Russian SKS semi-automatic assault rifle, police said. Kayla was not Holton’s daughter, but he considered her his child. Holton, who had been involved in a custody fight with his ex-wife, turned himself in at the police station and said he had killed the children. They were found, shot to death, in rooms Holton had been living in behind an auto repair shop owned by his uncle. Holton and his ex-wife had married in 1984. Holton was in the Army at the time and was deployed to Germany. The couple had two sons during the Germany assignment. Holton was then stationed in Georgia for a time before volunteering for service in Saudi Arabia. His family remained in the US, and their third son was born during this time. Around this time, Holton’s paychecks began to be routed incorrectly and his wife experienced some serious financial problems. Additionally, she left the children alone overnight while out at a dance hall. police and children’s services representatives greeted her upon her return. She was allowed to retain custody of the children, but voluntarily placed them in the care of Daryl Holton’s father in Tennessee and went to live with a friend in Georgia. Holton secured an emergency leave of absence when he learned of these problems, but could not resolve the problems in the marriage and eventually returned to the middle east and left the children in his father’s custody. Their mother lived for a time in Indiana then South Carolina. Upon his return to Georgia in 1992, Holton obtained a divorce from his wife on grounds of desertion, and gained custody of the children. He obtained an honorable discharge from the Army and moved to Tennessee. Holton took the children to South Carolina to visit their mother two or three times a month. In 1993, Holton’s ex-wife gave birth to Kayla who was the result of a one-night stand with a black man. Holton accepted Kayla as his own child and suggested that she be given his last name. During the pregnancy, the couple began living together again. They did not remarry but lived together as a family again for about 2 years. However, Ms. Holton was drinking very heavily during this period and this resulted in some violent fights with her husband. She eventually moved out of the apartment and went to a shelter with the children. They then moved into public housing in Murfreesboro. When Holton finally learned of their location, he began visiting the kids daily. Eventually the court awarded him weekend visitation. He told his ex-wife that he was concerned about the crime rate where she lived and also complained to her about the lack of housekeeping and the condition of the apartment. In 1995, an incident occurred where Holton had the children for the weekend and upon returning them, refused to let them get out of the car. He told his ex-wife that she had to get into the car in order to see them. She said she did not see any weapons, but got the impression that Holton was armed. She refused to get in the car, and Holton drove away, saying that she was "going to regret it." She immediately called the police, and Holton heard the report on a police scanner in his car so he drove to the police station and surrendered the children. Thereafter, Holton periodically threatened his ex-wife that she would regret it if she ever took his children away from him. Holton continued visitation with the children until the late summer or early fall of 1997, at which time his ex-wife obtained an order of protection against Holton and moved to a new address. Holton was not informed of the move and did not see the children again until November 30, 1997, the day he murdered them. Ms. Holton had begun living with a man who had a young daughter. On Thanksgiving, she called Holton and told him that the children missed him and wanted to see him. They made arrangements for him to pick them up on Sunday, November 30th and return them by 9:30 that evening. On Sunday, the children appeared to be excited about the scheduled visit with their father. Brent drew his father a picture inscribed with the words, “From Brent and Kayla. I love you Daddy.” Also, when the Holtons met at the Wal-Mart at 3:00 p.m., the children ran to Holton and hugged him. He returned his children’s embraces, however, Ms. Holton recalled that Holton appeared detached or “numb.” After leaving her children with Holton, their mother never saw them alive again. At approximately 9:44 p.m. on November 30, 1997, Holton walked into the lobby of the Shelbyville Police Department and informed the dispatcher that he wished to report a “homicide times four.” The dispatcher testified at trial that Holton appeared to be calm and, indeed, displayed no emotion. She asked him to wait in the lobby and, because there were no officers present at the police station, radioed for assistance. An officer testified at trial that he was driving into the parking lot of the police station when he overheard the dispatcher on the radio requesting assistance. When the officer approached Holton, he stated his name, address, and birth date and again indicated that he wished to report four homicides. When the officer further inquired how Holton had learned of the homicides, he responded that he had killed his four children. Holton then spontaneously stood and placed his hands behind his back in order to allow the officer to handcuff him. Holton continued talking, explaining to the officer that he had murdered his children because his wife and the Department of Human Services had withheld them for several months without permitting him visitation. Holton also informed the officer that he had killed the children in his uncle’s automobile repair garage with an SKS semi-automatic rifle and indicated that both the murder weapon and the bodies were still inside the garage. He also told police he had made some bombs that were located in his apartment. Police found five incendiary devices that were described as similar to molotov cocktails. Holton had planned to return to Murfreesboro after murdering his children and “to basically shoot” the young daughter of his ex-wife’s current boyfriend, in addition to firebombing his ex-wife’s new residence. For the purpose of firebombing his ex-wife’s residence, he prepared five incendiary devices or “fire bombs.” He also ascertained his ex-wife’s new address using a telephone book, street maps, and the number that he had retrieved from the caller ID unit on his telephone. On Sunday, November 30, Holton retrieved his children from his ex-wife at a Wal-Mart in Murfreesboro. He recalled that Ms. Holton “was dressed nicely. She was wearing makeup. She said she was happy. And that did not make me happy.” He also related that his children “all came up and hugged me. Kayla just wouldn’t let go of me. As many times that I hadn’t seen them for a while, and she grabbed me and she wouldn’t let me go.” Notwithstanding his children’s obvious joy at reuniting with their father, Holton never reconsidered his plan to murder them. Holton took his children to a McDonald’s restaurant to eat dinner and to an amusement park or arcade before driving them to his uncle’s garage. He noted to police that he “had to play along to avoid any suspicion on the children’s part.” At the garage, Holton showed the children several motors and permitted them to play with some of the tools. Holton also recalled, “We just told each other we missed each other.” Finally, at approximately 7:00 pm or 7:30 pm, Holton left Eric and Kayla playing in a front bay of the garage with an electric drill and a hammer and led Stephen and Brent to the rear bay where he had earlier hidden the SKS rifle. In the rear bay, Holton indicated to his older sons that he “had something for them.” He then instructed them to close their eyes and stand in a line facing away from him, with Stephen in front and the shorter Brent behind. Holton cautioned, “Don’t peek,” before removing the SKS rifle from its hiding place, kneeling behind the children, and aiming the rifle. Holton explained that he positioned the children to enable him to pierce their hearts with a single shot. When he fired the first shot, the barrel of the rifle was angled upward and touching Brent’s back. Holton conceded that he “used multiple shots to ensure that I killed them both” and recalled that he covered their bodies with a tarpaulin to conceal them from their younger siblings. Holton next brought Eric and Kayla to the rear bay, again indicating that he “had something for them.” The two children evidently had not heard any gunshots and inquired about their older brothers. In response, Holton positioned them in a line as he had their brothers, “placed their hands over their eyes,” and instructed them not to peek before kneeling behind them and firing the rifle into Kayla’s back. Both children were struck by the first bullet, and Holton recalled firing his weapon at least one more time into Kayla’s chest. Holton placed Kayla’s and Eric’s bodies with their older brothers’ underneath the tarpaulin, “squared away the area,” and washed his hands. Holton noted to police that “there was no enjoyment to the murders at all.” After murdering his children, Holton prepared to execute the next phase of his plan, i.e., the murder of Kiki and the firebombing of his ex-wife’s residence. Holton reloaded the SKS rifle and placed the murder weapon and the five “fire bombs” inside the car that he previously had parked outside. He also “checked out the entrance of the shop to see if there was anything amiss, if anyone could have seen me.” Moreover, he was listening to a “police scanner” “to see if there had been any reports of gunshots or anything.” He then began to drive toward Murfreesboro but soon decided that he did not have enough time to execute the remainder of his plan. Accordingly, he returned to his uncle’s garage. Holton noted that, at the garage, he had difficulty looking at his children’s bodies. He considered committing suicide but ultimately resolved to surrender to the police. In explaining his decision to curtail his original plan, Holton noted, “I planned a lot of different scenarios and chose the one that time permitted. I was constantly subtracting – – going over what… options… – – were left.” Holton also observed, “I had done what I wanted to do. I wanted to shock [my ex-wife] to death. I was done. I was done.” As to his decision to forego suicide, Holton added that the murders were the culmination of a lot of work… [and] people would come up with their own conclusions if I had killed myself…. This is only part, one part of the story of what happened here. This is gruesome. This is awful. But it’s only part of it. This has been going on for a long time. And if you’re going to have a chance of understanding this, then you’re going to have to talk to somebody that was involved. And I’m the only one that was involved that’s still living. Holton concluded that he loved his children but conceded that he would have difficulty convincing anyone of his love. He felt no remorse or regret for murdering his children. The State also presented the testimony of a consulting forensic pathologist and assistant medical examiner for Bedford County. The pathologist testified that he performed autopsies on Holton’s four children, and he described the findings relating to each child in turn. First, Harlan related that ten-year-old Brent Holton died as a result of multiple gunshot wounds to the chest. Specifically, the doctor discovered two “contact gunshot wound entrances” in Brent’s posterior chest or back and two corresponding exit wounds in Brent’s anterior chest. The pathologist opined that the contact entry gunshot wounds and the corresponding exit wounds were consistent with a scenario in which “a person… knelt down behind Brent Holton pointing the gun in an upward angle and pulled the trigger.” The doctor further noted that the wounds occurred in “very close time proximity.” Finally, the pathologist recounted that he also discovered one “re-entry gunshot wound” in Brent’s anterior chest or “front right shoulder area.” He explained that a “re-entry gunshot wound” is caused by “a bullet which… passed through an intermediate target” or “bounced off of something” prior to striking a person’s body. He posited that one of the bullets causing the contact entry gunshot wounds and the corresponding exit wounds may have ricocheted off the concrete floor of the garage and re-entered Brent’s body. He recovered the bullet from the child’s body. The pathologist next testified that twelve-year-old Stephen Holton died as a result of multiple gunshot wounds to the chest and abdomen. Specifically, he discovered one “reentry gunshot wound” in Stephen’s posterior chest or back. The doctor reiterated that a “re-entry gunshot wound” is one caused by a bullet that “has either gone through some intermediate target or been deflected.” A corresponding exit wound was located in Stephen’s anterior chest. The doctor confirmed that the wounds were consistent “with someone kneeling… holding a gun at an angle upward, shooting through Brent, that bullet passing through his body and entering Stephen’s and then still having enough force and velocity to pass through.” The pathologist continued that the same bullet inflicted a “graze gunshot wound” to Stephen’s chin and nose. The pathologist further noted a contact gunshot wound to Stephen’s anterior chest and abdomen and a corresponding exit wound. Finally, he attested to entry and exit gunshot wounds to Stephen’s right hand. As to the four-year-old Kayla Holton, he testified that she too died as a result of multiple gunshot wounds. Specifically, Kayla suffered a contact entry gunshot wound to the posterior chest or back and a corresponding exit wound. The doctor confirmed that the wounds were consistent with a scenario in which a person knelt behind Kayla, held a gun at an upward angle with the barrel touching her back, and pulled the trigger. Additionally, the doctor observed another entry gunshot wound to Kayla’s anterior chest and a corresponding “partial exit” wound. He testified that these wounds were consistent with a scenario in which “the child is standing up. Shooter is kneeling down…. Shoots her in the back. She falls down. Falls on her back. She is lying front up… on concrete. Concrete floor. Then the shooter stands over her with a gun… and goes bang.” The doctor retrieved “an extremely deformed bullet” and “smaller lead fragments” from Kayla’s body. Lastly, the pathologist testified that the six-year-old Eric Holton died as a result of multiple gunshot wounds to his chest and abdomen. Specifically, the doctor recorded four entry gunshot wounds to Eric’s posterior chest or back, at least one of which was possibly a “re-entry gunshot wound.” He noted that he was unable to determine whether the wounds were caused by three or four bullets. He explained that, if a bullet first passed through another person, the projectile might have split in two and inflicted two separate wounds to Eric’s back. Eric also suffered two exit wounds to his anterior chest and abdomen, one of which was extremely large and likely resulted from more than one bullet. Finally, Eric suffered a gunshot wound to his right wrist. The pathologist concluded that Eric’s wounds were consistent with a scenario in which “he was standing in front of Kayla when she was shot…. The shooter was kneeling down… he fired a shot through Kayla’s back…. Eric had been told not to peek…. He was told to close his eyes and place his hands over his eyes.” He recovered one bullet and several bullet fragments from Eric’s body. The jury imposed a death sentence for each offense.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
September 20, 2006 Florida Stephen Taylor Clarence Hill executed

Clarence Hill and his accomplice, Cliff Jackson, robbed a Savings and Loan Association in Pensacola, Florida, on October 19, 1982. In Hill’s attempt to escape and prevent the immediate apprehension of Jackson, Hill stealthily approached the police officers attempting to handcuff Jackson, drew his gun and shot both officers, killing one and wounding the other. Hill was indicted for the first-degree murder of Officer Stephen Taylor, attempted first-degree murder of Officer Larry Bailly, three counts of armed robbery and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. Hill’s trial began on April 25, 1983 and concluded on April 29, 1983, with the jury finding Hill guilty of both first-degree murder and felony murder as alleged in Count I. The sentencing phase began on April 29 and as a result, the jury returned a 10-2 death recommendation. UPDATE: Despite his argument that Florida’s use of lethal injections amounted to cruel and unusual punishment Clarence Hill was put to death by lethal injection Wednesday night after the U.S. Supreme Court narrowly denied him another stay. Hill, 48, was executed for the 1982 murder of Stephen Taylor, a Pensacola police officer, during a savings and loan robbery. Hill did not reply when he was asked if he had a final statement, and stared at the ceiling. Hill was visited on Tuesday by his defense attorney and a death row advocate and the inmate’s wife, Serena Mangano, of Modino, Italy, who married him in June in a no-contact wedding at Florida State Prison in Starke. Mangano visited him again Wednesday. Jack Taylor, the brother of the slain police officer, witnessed the execution.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
September 20, 2006 Pennsylvania Jessica Treiber, 2 Stephen Treiber stayed

Stephen Treiber was sent to death row for killing the couple’s 2-year-old daughter to get out of paying child support. Stephen Treiber set fire to the home in March 2001 so he no longer would have to pay $250 a month for his daughter, Jessica Treiber. During the investigation of the fire, Treiber showed police a threatening letter made by gluing words cut from newspapers to a sheet of paper. Prosecutors contended that Treiber fabricated the letter and forensic examiners found a dog hair stuck to the glue. Examination revealed a likelihood that the hair came from one of Treiber’s own dogs, who also was killed in the fire.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
September 25, 2006 Texas Ollie F. "Sammie" Childress Jr., 55 Pedro Sosa stayed

Pedro Solis Sosa was convicted in 1983 of the murder of 55-year-old Texas deputy sheriff Ollie F. Childress Jr. During the morning of November 4, 1983, Sosa, who was then 31-years-old, and his then 17-year-old accomplice Leroy Sosa, flashed the lights of their vehicle to flag down Wilson County Deputy Sheriff Ollie “Sammy” Childress while they were driving on a rural road in Wilson County, Texas. When Deputy Childress stopped his car, Sosa pointed a handgun at him and told him to move to the passenger seat of his patrol vehicle. Sosa then drove Deputy Childress’ vehicle to a dirt road where he directed Deputy Childress to exit his vehicle, remove his shirt, place himself in his own handcuffs, and climb into the trunk of his patrol car. Sosa and Leroy Sosa then drove the patrol vehicle to the LaVernia State Bank where they robbed the bank and unsuccessfully attempted to take two women as hostages. After robbing the bank, Sosa and Leroy Sosa drove back to the isolated location where they had parked their vehicle. Sosa then opened the trunk of the patrol car and shot Deputy Childress in the neck and head from close range because Deputy Childress had seen Petitioner’s face. After Sosa and Leroy Sosa had driven a short distance away, Sosa directed Leroy Sosa to return to the patrol car so that they could wipe off the trunk of that vehicle. When they returned, Sosa saw that Deputy Childress was still moving, so he again shot him in the neck and head from close range. Soon after police arrested Sosa on February 3, 1984, he signed a written confession admitting his guilt. Leroy Sosa also signed a written confession soon after his arrest on December 19, 1983, which was consistent with the key elements of Petitioner’s confession. Additionally, Leroy Sosa testified at Petitioner’s trial that Sosa shot Deputy Childress. A jury found Sosa guilty of capital murder on November 27, 1984. The next day, the jury answered both of the Texas capital sentencing special issues affirmatively and the state trial judge sentenced Sosa to death by lethal injection. When Childress had a fourth execution date set in 2005, family members of the victim expressed their frustration with the long wait. “Two of my aunts have died, and I regret they don’t know this date arrived. I’m glad it will happen. I do think he has exhausted all of his appeals,” said Roger Childress, son of Ollie Childress Jr. "This has been a long 22 years following such a horrible crime,” said Wilson County Sheriff Joe Tackitt Jr. “This will finally give closure to family, friends, members of the community, and the sheriff’s department. “It has been long enough,” he said. “It seems that his attorneys have had sufficient time to verify all their facts that they are using to defend the man.” However, the killer received yet another stay and has now been given a sixth execution date, almost 23 years after the brutal murder. "Without a doubt, this is our oldest capital murder case," District Attorney Lynn Ellison has 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.

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