January 2007 Executions

Four killers were executed in January 2007. They had murdered at least 9 people.
killers were given a stay in January 2007. They have murdered at least 6 people.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
January 9, 2007 Oklahoma Joseph Gooch
Theodore Kindley
Senaida Lara
Steven Williams
Corey Hamilton executed

On August 17, 1993, a man discovered the bodies of four employees of Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken Restaurant. They were found dead in the cooler of the restaurant. All four died of close-range gunshot wounds to the back of the head. The gun was recovered from a field near the apartment complex where Corey Hamilton lived. Co-defendant Donnie Daniels’ blue Chevrolet automobile was found parked at the apartment complex where Hamilton lived. A woman who resided behind Lee’s testified that she observed a black male drive a blue Chevrolet up and down 9th Street several times. He picked up another black male, wearing a distinctive shirt with a blue seven, who retrieved what appeared to be a shotgun from a ditch. She also observed the male with the blue seven shirt with what appeared to be a shotgun as he walked across the street under the lights. He then proceeded to walk up the wood embankments on the side of Lee’s and behind the privacy fence at Lee’s. Another witness testified he saw three black males. The first two he saw standing in a field between a car lot and a vacant building. He described them as between 20 and 25 years of age. The first male, wearing all black clothes, went behind the building never to be seen again. The second male, wearing black shorts and a black top with a gold number seven on it, met up with a third male who was wearing a dark top and white "fleece" looking shorts. The witness further testified he saw the second male with a long gun to his side and a white bag in his hand. Both men got into a blue Chevrolet, which the witness had observed earlier going up and down the street several times. Daniels’ girlfriend testified that Daniels was wearing blue cut-off shorts, blue jacket and a black t-shirt on the night in question. Another witness testified that Hamilton was wearing a blue Bugle Boy tank top and white shorts with black stripes on them on the night in question. Daniels, the co-defendant, testified that during the evening hours of August 17, 1993, he, Hamilton, Will and Johnson played cards. Earlier in the day, Daniels and Johnson had obtained a.38 caliber pistol from a relative of Johnson’s. They discussed robbing Lee’s. Daniels was a former employee of Lee’s and was familiar with the closing procedures of the restaurant and with the procedure for opening the restaurant’s safe. After discussing the robbery, the four men went back into the apartment and changed clothes. The men left at approximately 9:45 p.m., taking Daniels’ car, so that they could be at Lee’s before 10:00 p.m. when it closed. In addition to the.38 pistol, the men also had a shotgun. Hamilton and Daniels knew that both Ted Kindley and Sandy Lara were working at Lee’s that night and would recognize them. However, they did nothing to disguise their appearance. As Hamilton and Daniels entered the door of Lee’s and were met by Kindley, Hamilton pulled the gun and told Kindley to lock the doors, which he did. The other three Lee’s employees, Lara, Gooch, and Williams, were told to go into the walk-in cooler. There, they were made to kneel down. Kindley was up front attempting to open the store safe. Will Hamilton, carrying the shotgun, was guarding the back door. After Hamilton got the money from the safe, he placed Kindley in the cooler. Daniels walked out on the loading deck area and, shortly thereafter, heard shots from inside. Daniels walked away from the store and did not return. When the four men met a short time later, Hamilton told them that he shot "Ted and Sandy and them."

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
January 10, 2007 Texas Anthony Jiminez, 3 Carlos Granados executed

Carlos Granados was sentenced to death for the murder of 3-year-old Anthony Jiminez. Anthony’s mother Katherine Jiminez testified at trial and described Carlos Granados’s actions in detail. She indicated that she first met Granados in 1993. The two became friends, spent time together socially, and dated for a short time. They parted ways soon thereafter, but remained in friendly contact. Katherine then married Anthony Jiminez in April of 1994, and on June 13, 1995, she gave birth to a son, Anthony. Katherine and her husband eventually separated, and in late 1997, she re-established a relationship with Granados, who then lived in New York. In January of 1998, Katherine moved into an apartment of her own in Georgetown. In March, Granados visited her from New York. After another visit in July of 1998, Granados decided to return to Texas. Katherine and Granados agreed that they would live together until Granados got on his feet. In late August, he began living with Katherine and three-year-old Anthony in Katherine’s apartment. Less than a month later, on Sunday, September 13, 1998, Katherine, Granados, and Anthony returned to Katherine’s apartment after having lunch at Granados’s brother’s house. Katherine and Granados were both supposed to go to work that evening. Katherine planned to drop Anthony off at her mother’s house, where he would remain until Katherine could pick him up the next morning. Granados wanted Katherine to join him in a nap that afternoon, but she refused, because she still needed to finish chores around the apartment and because she did not want to take a nap while Anthony was awake. Meanwhile, Anthony was in the living room watching television. Granados, angry that Katherine would not take a nap with him, knocked a plate of food from her hand. The two then retreated to the bedroom where they began arguing. At that point, Katherine told Granados, "I don’t even want to talk to you anymore. I don’t want to look at you. I don’t want you to be around me…. I don’t want you here. Just get your things and leave." Granados said, "You want me to leave?" and Katherine said, "Yeah, I want you to leave." A brief cooling off period ensued, and the two began talking again. During this time, Katherine’s sister Elizabeth called, but Granados said Katherine was busy and hung up the telephone. Katherine told Granados to "get his stuff and leave." Katherine then repeated that she wanted him to leave. Granados left the room, and when he came back asked again, "You want me to leave?" and she said that she did. Angered, Granados said, "F*ck it. F*ck it," and attacked Katherine with a knife. He stabbed her repeatedly and slashed her throat. Then, apparently, the knife broke. Katherine struggled and attempted to placate Granados by telling him that she loved him. Eventually, Granados began crying, afraid that he would go to jail. Katherine said that she would contrive a false story about her injuries if Granados would simply leave. Katherine tried unsuccessfully to telephone the police and to escape, but Granados caught her and dragged her to the kitchen. He stabbed her again repeatedly, and she feigned death. Granados left the kitchen, and Katherine heard Anthony scream, "I don’t want to die. Don’t kill me. I don’t want to die." Stabbed in the chest, Anthony died within moments. Later, Katherine heard her sister and her nephew outside the apartment. Afraid Granados would finally kill her if she screamed for help, however, she remained silent. Granados stayed active throughout the night. He came to the kitchen where Katherine lay and showed her that he had slashed his wrists, stating, "Look, I’m going to die with you." Later, he telephoned his father. Several hours later, believing that her death was imminent, Katherine dragged her body toward her son, wanting to die by his side. Meanwhile, Katherine’s family became worried that they had not heard from her, that she had not arrived for work, and that she had not left Anthony with her mother at the regularly scheduled time. Elizabeth, one of Katherine’s sisters, testified that, after she called Katherine’s apartment, left messages on her answering machine, visited the apartment, and received no response to her knock, she telephoned the apartment manager and Georgetown Police. Early Monday morning, two officers visited the apartment on a welfare concern call. One testified that he noticed both Katherine’s and Granados’s vehicles in the parking lot of the apartment complex. He also confirmed information about who was paying utilities at Apartment 3206, Katherine’s apartment. The officers approached the apartment door and knocked, but received no response and heard no noise inside the apartment. They did not see any lights and could not see inside the apartment windows when looking from the north side of the building. They telephoned the apartment but received no answer. Upon a request from the officers, the apartment manager arrived with a key but was unable to enter the apartment because of an interior deadbolt. At this point, seeing no other means of opening the door, the officers telephoned the fire department for assistance. Three firefighters arrived with a doorjamb spreader, which is used to open dead-bolted doors. After approximately five minutes, the firefighters opened the apartment door. Upon entering the apartment, one of the firefighters exclaimed that Granados had a knife. One of the officers drew his revolver, approached the door, and saw Granados, whose right hand was initially hidden. In response to the officer’s orders, Granados raised his right hand, in which he held a large kitchen knife covered in blood. After ordering Granados out of the apartment, the officer repeatedly asked Granados to release the knife. Granados eventually did so and was handcuffed. Inside the apartment, the officer saw Anthony’s body, Katherine’s bloody arms protruding from beyond a chair, and blood stains covering the carpet and walls near the kitchen. Once the officers determined that no one else was in the apartment, they allowed medical personnel to enter and begin treating Katherine, who said to police, "He killed my baby, and I have been waiting for you to come."

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
January 17, 2007 Texas Fabian Dominguez Johnathan Moore executed

fabian dominguezOn January 15, 1995, at approximately 5:00 a.m., San Antonio police officer Fabian Dominguez went off duty and began driving home in his personal vehicle. Officer Dominguez lived in San Antonio with his wife and infant twin daughters. Officer Dominguez was a few blocks from home when he noticed suspicious activity at a residence. Based on what Officer Dominguez observed, he took action to investigate what appeared to be a burglary in progress. When he pulled into the driveway, blocking in the suspects’ vehicle, Paul Cameron, Pete Dowdle, and Johnathan Moore were concluding their second trip to burglarize the Braden home. In his voluntary written statement, Moore described the sequence of events leading up to the murder of Officer Dominguez. "For some dumb reason we decided to go back to the house on Country Flower. We went in Pete’s grandmother’s car…. Pete drove. I was in the front passenger side of the car and Paul was in the backseat. Pete backed the car into the driveway. Pete stayed out in the car. We had accidently left the front door wide open the first time. Me and Paul went in through the front door. We didn’t have any problem with the dog. All three of us were wearing gloves again. We had left some guns and a compound bow were left from the first time. We got those things. Me and Paul decided to split form the inside. We walked outside and we saw a car passing by. The car stopped and I saw the reverse lights come on. We all got into the car. Pete was behind the wheel. I was in the front passenger seat and Paul was in the backseat. The car pulled into the driveway and pretty much blocked us in. The police officer got out of the car and had his gun pointing at Pete. I could see that this guy was wearing a police uniform. The officer said get out of the car now. I had my window rolled down. The officer kept repeating “get out of the car”….. I kept telling Pete let’s split but he would not do it. By the time the officer walked up to the car and had the gun pointed at my head. The officer was on the passenger side of Pete’s car. The officer told Pete to give him the car keys and Pete gave it to him. I scooted the officer’s pistol away and I pulled out my gun and shot at him. I believe I shot at him three times. The officer fell to the ground. I already had my gun in my hand when the officer walked up. My gun is a.25 caliber automatic. It’s plated and it’s a Lorcin brand. After I shot the officer his gun fell into the front rear seat of Pete’s car. I got out of the car and I got the car keys and gave them to Pete. I got the officer’s gun and shot the officer three times in the head. I got back in the car and Pete split. Paul was in the backseat during the whole time. Pete didn’t want to get into trouble after I shot the cop so he drove away." Neighbors across the street heard gunfire coming from the Braden home. Upon receiving a 911 call, police and emergency personnel were immediately dispatched. Officer Dominguez was dead by the time firemen arrived on the scene. The coroner later determined that Officer Dominguez died from multiple gunshot wounds to the head. Ballistics established that the wounds were inflicted by one shot from Moore’s.25 caliber handgun, and three shots from Officer Dominguez’s.40 caliber service weapon. After leaving the scene of the crime, Moore, Cameron, Dowdle, and Moore’s girlfriend, Meredith Nichols, traveled to a plot of land near Pipe Creek, Texas, where they disposed of both murder weapons and the items stolen from the Braden residence. The following day Moore was developed as a suspect in the burglary. He was subsequently located and seen driving a vehicle that belonged to Nichols. Nichols was a passenger in the vehicle. While under police surveillance, Moore committed numerous traffic violations. When police officers signaled him to pull to the side of the road, a high speed chase ensued. Twenty miles later, Moore and Nichols were captured after Moore careened to the side of the road. After a brief struggle, San Antonio police officers arrested Moore and took him into custody. In his voluntary statement Moore explained his flight from authorities, stating, “I figured pretty much that the cops knew that I was the one that shot the cop.” Jennifer Morgan, Fabian Dominguez’s widow, plans to witness the execution. She said, "Justice needs to prevail, and this is part of it." She said that Moore has shown no remorse, to her knowledge.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
January 19, 2007 Indiana Michael Greene Norman Timberlake stayed

michael greene

In the early morning of February 3, 1993, Norman Timberlake and a friend drove from New Albany, Indiana to Indianapolis in a dark Chrysler which belonged to another friend of Timberlake. While the friend was out of the car to make a phone call, Timberlake took a.25 caliber gun from the man’s coat pocket and would not give it back. Timberlake and his friend spent that day and night in Indianapolis. On February 4, 1993, Timberlake and his friend met Tommy McElroy in a bar. The three of them spent the day drinking and then drove to Lafayette, Indiana. On the morning of February 5, 1993, the trio decided to drive back to Indianapolis. At some point during the drive, Timberlake and McElroy separated from the other man. Timberlake, a tall and slender man, and McElroy, a slightly shorter and heavyset man, continued driving together. At around 1:30 p.m., Timberlake and McElroy pulled over to the side of I-65 south so that McElroy could urinate. At the same time, Master Trooper Michael Greene, of the Indiana State Police, was driving north on I-65 and saw Timberlake and McElroy pulled over. Trooper Greene radioed his dispatch that he was going to check on two subjects stopped on the side of the road. Timberlake saw the police car and told McElroy that the police were coming. Shortly thereafter, Trooper Greene parked his car behind the Chrysler and approached McElroy. Trooper Greene asked both men for their driver’s licenses and then had McElroy sit with him in the police car while he ran a license check. Timberlake leaned on the car door and listened. At 1:36 p.m., Trooper Greene called in for a driver’s license check on the two subjects. At 1:38, the dispatcher radioed, in code, that Timberlake was not wanted. At 1:43, the dispatcher radioed, in code, that McElroy was wanted by the police. At 1:45, Trooper Greene radioed dispatch that he would be out of the car securing a subject who did not yet know that he was wanted. At 1:47, a woman’s voice called dispatch from Trooper Greene’s car and said, "Help an officer’s been hurt, help." A number of passersby along I-65 gave various eyewitness accounts. Most had seen the officer attempting to put handcuffs on a heavyset man while a skinny man with stringy hair watched nearby. Two witnesses observed the skinny man lunge toward the officer, sticking his right hand up, and the officer fell. According to McElroy, Trooper Greene informed him that he would have to be arrested and told Timberlake that he was free to go. While Trooper Greene was handcuffing McElroy, Timberlake was sitting on the trunk of the Chrysler. Trooper Greene placed a cuff on McElroy’s left hand and, as Trooper Green was bringing McElroy’s right hand down to cuff, McElroy saw Timberlake come off the trunk, heard a "pop," and saw Trooper Greene slump down. McElroy saw a gun in Timberlake’s hand. Officer Greene was found to have died from a single gunshot wound to the chest. A muzzle burn was noted on his chest. Timberlake and McElroy ran to the car and drove off. McElroy drove them to a grocery store. McElroy entered the store and Timberlake ran off. McElroy, still with the handcuffs on his left arm, was arrested at the store. Timberlake was arrested at a nearby lounge after attempting to make a collect call from a pay phone for someone to come to pick him up. An alert telephone operator who had heard about the shooting during her break, recognized Timberlake’s name when he provided it for the call. She called the police, who responded to the scene of the pay phone. The man in the booth was asked his name. He responded that he had no name, and reached with his right arm. The officers grabbed him and recovered a.25 automatic handgun from his right pocket. This gun was tested and confirmed to be the murder weapon.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
January 23, 2007 Ohio Tami Engstrom, 22 Kenneth Biros stayed

On 2/7/91, Biros murdered 22-year-old Tami Engstrom in Brookfield Township. Tami had met Biros that night at the Nickelodeon Lounge in Masbury, Ohio. Biros beat and stabbed Tami Engstrom 91 times in an attempt at sexual mutilation and then strangled her to death. Biros also stole Tami’s diamond ring. Biros later showed police where he had hidden Tami’s severed, nude body in Pennsylvania. On Thursday, February 7, 1991, at approximately 5:30 p.m., Tami Engstrom dropped off her one-year-old son at her friend’s house before reporting to work at the Clover Bar in Hubbard, Ohio. Tami’s mother worked with Tami at the Clover Bar. Tami arrived at work at 6:30 p.m. Later, at approximately 9:30 p.m., Tami had to leave work due to illness. Tami’s mother relieved Tami so that she could go home early. However, instead of going directly home, Tami drove to the Nickelodeon Lounge in Masury, Ohio, to visit her uncle who was a regular patron at
that tavern. Tami arrived at the Nickelodeon at approximately 10:00 p.m. She was wearing a black leather coat, a sweater, black pants, black shoes, black stockings or socks, and a $1,200 diamond cluster ring she had purchased from a friend a few weeks earlier. She was also carrying a small gray purse which, according to one witness, contained a significant amount of money. At the Nickelodeon, Tami had several drinks and spoke with her uncle and others. Kenneth Biros arrived at the Nickelodeon at approximately 11:00 p.m., having earlier participated in a drinking event sponsored by the Nickelodeon and other bars. Biros knew Tami’s uncle but was a stranger to Tami. By midnight, Tami had passed out, due to either sickness or intoxication, while seated at a table. She later fell off her chair and onto the floor. Her uncle and Biros helped Tami back into her seat. At approximately 1:00 a.m., when the bar was closing, Biros and her uncle assisted Tami outside to the parking lot. Tami insisted on driving herself home, but her uncle took Tami’s car keys upon determining that she was too intoxicated to drive. According to her uncle, Biros then volunteered to take Tami for coffee to help sober her up. Tami’s uncle handed Tami her purse and noticed that she was wearing her leather coat. At approximately 1:15 a.m., Biros and Tami left the Nickelodeon in Biros’s car. Tami’s uncle remained at the bar after closing and waited for Biros to return with Tami. However, Biros never returned Tami to the Nickelodeon. Meanwhile, on February 7, at approximately 11:30 p.m., Tami’s husband Andy went to the Clover Bar to deliver a gift he had bought for Tami. However, Tami’s mother informed Andy that Tami had left work and had gone home sick. Andy drove home and discovered that Tami was not there. Andy then asked the babysitter to continue watching Casey while he went out to search for Tami. At approximately 1:00 a.m., Andy spoke with Tami’s sister who suggested that Tami might have gone to the Nickelodeon. At 1:10 a.m., Andy called the Nickelodeon and was told that Tami and her uncle had already left the bar. Andy then went to sleep, assuming that Tami would soon return home. When he awoke later that morning, he discovered that Tami was still missing. On Friday, February 8, 1991, at or about noon, Andy and a friend went to the Nickelodeon to pick up Tami’s car, which had been left there overnight. At some point, Andy learned that Biros had been the last person seen with Tami. Therefore, Andy drove to Biros’s home and confronted Biros concerning Tami’s whereabouts. Biros told Andy that after he and Tami had left the Nickelodeon to get coffee, he tapped her on the shoulder and she "freaked out, got out of the car and started running through these people’s yards on Davis Street" in Sharon, Pennsylvania. The location where Biros claimed that Tami had jumped from the vehicle was approximately three-tenths of a mile from the Nickelodeon. Andy told Biros that he had already contacted the police in Sharon, Pennsylvania, and that he intended to file a missing person’s report with the Brookfield Township (Ohio) Police Department. Andy told Biros that "if she don’t turn up right fast, they are going to come looking for you, and it’s going to be your ass." Throughout the day on Friday, February 8, Biros told a number of witnesses similar stories concerning Tami’s disappearance. Specifically, he told Tami’s mother, Tami’s brother, Tami’s uncles, her friends, acquaintances, and others, that after he had left the Nickelodeon with Tami, she woke up, became frightened, jumped from his vehicle and ran between houses near Carpenter’s Towing or Carpenter’s Garage on Davis Street in Sharon, Pennsylvania. Biros also indicated that he had initially chased after Tami but that he had been unable to catch her. Biros told a number of these witnesses that he had abandoned the chase to avoid being caught while driving under the influence of alcohol. Several of the witnesses noticed fresh cuts or
scratches on Biros’s hands and a fresh wound over his right eye that had not been present the night before. Biros explained that he had cut his hands because he had been locked out of his house and had to break a window, and that he had obtained the cut above his eye while chopping wood. Tami’s brother threatened to kill Biros if Tami had been hurt in any way. One of Tami’s uncles told Biros that if Tami had been hurt, he would "rip your heart out." Tami’s mother told Biros, "if you put one scratch on my daughter, I will kill you." Biros tried to comfort her by telling her, "Don’t worry. Your daughter is going to be just fine. You wait and see." On Friday evening, Biros helped Tami’s relatives search the area in Sharon, Pennsylvania, where he claimed to have last seen Tami. Biros lived on King Graves Road in Brookfield Township, Ohio, with his mother and his brother. On Friday morning, February 8, Biros’s mother found a gold ring on the bathroom floor. The next day, she asked Biros if he knew anything about the ring. Biros claimed to know nothing about it. Biros told his mother that the ring appeared to be made of "cheap gold." When Biros’s mother responded that the ring was not cheap, Biros suggested that perhaps it had belonged to the girl who jumped out of his car early Friday morning. Biros then took the ring and said that he would return it to the Nickelodeon. However, Biros never returned Tami’s ring to the Nickelodeon. Rather, according to Biros, he hid the ring in the ceiling of his house. On Friday night, Biros’s brother was at home watching television while Biros was outside in a pasture behind the house. He went outside and called to Biros to see what he was doing. Biros responded that he was "watching stars." His brother then returned to the house and retired for the evening. On Saturday, February 9, Tami’s family and friends spent hours searching for Tami in Sharon, Pennsylvania. They also searched a wooded area along the railroad tracks near Biros’s home on King Graves Road. However, the search party was unable to uncover any clues concerning Tami’s disappearance. On Saturday afternoon, police called Biros’s home and left a message requesting that he come to the police station for questioning. After receiving the message, Biros drove to the police station to discuss Tami’s disappearance with Brookfield Township and Sharon, Pennsylvania police officers. Police informed Biros that he was not under arrest and that he was free to leave at any time. During questioning, Biros reiterated the same basic story that he had previously told Tami’s friends and relatives. Specifically, Biros told police that he had left the Nickelodeon with Tami in the early morning hours of February 8 to get coffee or food at some location in Sharon, Pennsylvania. Biros claimed that Tami had passed out in his vehicle after they left the Nickelodeon. Biros told police that he stopped at an automated teller machine to withdraw some money and, at that point, Tami woke up and insisted that Biros drive her back to the Nickelodeon. Biros told police that as he was driving on Davis Street in Sharon, Pennsylvania, Tami jumped from the vehicle and ran away. When asked whether Tami’s purse might have been left in his vehicle, Biros responded that he had thoroughly cleaned the vehicle and had found no purse. At some point during the interview, Captain John Klaric of the Sharon Police Department began questioning Biros’s version of the story. Klaric suggested to Biros that perhaps Biros had made some sexual advance toward Tami which, in turn, may have caused her to jump from the vehicle. Biros denied making any sexual advances. Klaric also suggested that perhaps Biros had made some sexual advance and that Tami had jumped from the car and struck her head. Biros denied this as well. Upon further questioning, Klaric suggested that maybe an accident had occurred in which Tami had fallen out of the car and struck her head. At that point, Biros responded "yes," and admitted that he had done something "very bad." Klaric offered to speak with Biros alone. Biros agreed, and indicated that he wanted to speak with Klaric outside the presence of other police officers. According to Klaric, after the other officers had left the room, Biros stated, "It’s like you said, we were in the car together. We were out along the railroad tracks. I touched her on the hand. Then I went further. I either touched or felt her leg. She pushed my hand away. The car wasn’t quite stopped. She opened the door and fell and struck her head on the tracks." Biros told Klaric that Tami was dead and that the incident had occurred along the railroad tracks near King Graves Road in Brookfield Township. At that time, police informed Biros of his Miranda rights. After signing a written waiver of his Miranda rights, Biros repeated his story in the presence of Detective Rocky Fonce of the Brookfield Township Police Department. According to Fonce, Biros admitted that he had reached out and grabbed Tami while parked along the railroad tracks near his house on King Graves Road. Biros told Fonce that Tami had then jumped out of the vehicle, fell, struck her head on the metal part of the railroad track, and died. Biros told police that Tami’s body was in Pennsylvania. When police asked Biros for the precise location of the body, Biros requested to speak with an attorney. After Biros consulted with counsel, he agreed to show police the location of Tami’s body. In the early morning hours of Sunday, February 10, 1991, Pennsylvania and Ohio authorities discovered several of Tami’s severed body parts in a desolate wooded area of Butler County, Pennsylvania. Police found other portions of Tami’s body in a desolate wooded area of Venango County, Pennsylvania, approximately thirty miles north of the Butler site. Tami’s head and right breast had been severed from her torso. Her right leg had been amputated just above the knee. The body was completely naked except for what appeared to be remnants of black leg stockings that had been purposely rolled down to the victim’s feet or ankles. The torso had been cut open and the abdominal cavity was partially eviscerated. The anus, rectum, and all but a small portion of her sexual organs had been removed from the body and were never recovered by police. Forensic technicians, police and homicide investigators searched the area of the railroad tracks near King Graves Road where Biros had indicated that the incident with Tami occurred. There, investigators discovered a large area of bloodstained gravel near the railroad tracks. Investigators also found blood spatters on the side of one of the steel tracks. A number of other bloodstains were found in the same general area. Bloodstains and swabbings of blood collected at the scene were later tested and were found to be consistent with Tami’s blood. Additionally, investigators found what appeared to be part of the victim’s intestines in a swampy area near the railroad tracks. DNA testing revealed that the intestines were, in fact, part of Tami’s remains. Approximately one month later, police recovered Tami’s black leather coat, which was found partially buried a short distance from the tracks. Two cuts or slash marks were found on or near the collar of the coat. Tami’s house keys and a tube of lipstick were found in a shallow hole in close proximity to the coat. Police also found one of Tami’s black leather shoes in the area of the railroad tracks. Dale Laux, a forensic scientist with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation, found a single pubic hair inside Tami’s shoe. Laux determined that the microscopic characteristics of that hair were consistent with the characteristics of known samples of Tami’s pubic hair. Police also recovered a number of items during searches of Biros’s residence. Investigators found a bloodstained pocket knife hidden in Biros’s basement. A much larger knife was recovered from Biros’s bathroom. Investigators also recovered a bloodstained coat from Biros’s bedroom, which was later identified as the coat Biros had worn to the Nickelodeon. Forensic experts found numerous bloodstains on the front of the coat, and blood spatters inside the left sleeve. Bloodstains from Biros’s pocket knife and coat were later tested and were found to be consistent with the blood of the victim. Additionally, authorities removed a pair of size eleven tennis shoes from a bedroom in Biros’s home. A forensic scientist in the trace evidence section of the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation found a single hair embedded in a seam near the tread of one shoe. He compared the hair to known samples of hair from the victim’s head and testified the hair from the tennis shoe was microscopically consistent with the known samples of hair from the victim’s head. The automobile Biros had driven to the Brookfield Township Police Department was also searched. Forensic technicians found numerous bloodstains consistent with the blood of the victim. Several other bloodstains found in the vehicle were determined to be consistent with Biros’s blood. A small piece of human tissue, believed to be Tami’s liver tissue, was found inside the trunk. Dr. William A. Cox, the Summit County Coroner, performed the autopsy of Tami’s body. Cox testified that he was board certified in anatomic pathology, clinical pathology, forensic pathology, and neuropathology. Cox determined that Tami had suffered ninety-one premortem injuries which were indicative of a "severe beating" and "an attempt at sexual mutilation." He also found five stab wounds that had been inflicted immediately after the victim’s death. Among the premortem wounds were at least five blunt force injuries on the top of the victim’s head which, according to Cox, had been caused by an object such as fists or the handle of a knife. Other premortem wounds were found on the victim’s breasts and in the area of her groin. Two premortem knife wounds were discovered near the nipple of the right breast. There were fine linear scratches and a premortem knife laceration or incised wound along the victim’s face and, according to Cox, "the way that is done is the blade of the knife runs down across the mouth and finally gets into the skin, into the soft tissues, then breaks the skin as it continues in the downward direction." Cox also found numerous wounds on the victim’s hands which appeared to be "defensive" injuries. In addition to the ninety-one premortem wounds and the five postmortem stab wounds, Tami’s head, right breast and right lower extremity had been severed from her body at some point after death. Her anus, rectum, urinary bladder, and virtually all of her sexual organs had been cut out and were never found. The gallbladder, the right lobe of the liver, and portions of the bowels had been extracted from her body. According to Cox, a pocket knife like the one removed from Biros’s basement could have been used to inflict some of the wounds found on Tami’s body. However, Cox found that a much larger or heavier knife had been used to amputate Tami’s head and right lower extremity. Cox testified that the victim’s right femur had been severed by a sharp knife which had left a "fine linear cut" in the bone. Cox specifically determined that the evidence indicated that the femur had not been fractured by any blunt force trauma or as the result of an automobile accident. Cox testified that the knife recovered from Biros’s bathroom was consistent with the type of knife that had been used to accomplish the amputations. Cox found that the dismemberment and eviscerations all occurred within minutes after the killer had inflicted the five postmortem stab wounds. He found no evidence that the victim had been struck by an automobile as Biros would later claim. With respect to Tami’s cause of death, Cox concluded that the victim had died of asphyxia due to strangulation. According to Cox, the victim had been strangled to death over a period of four to five minutes. The mucosal lining of the esophagus was torn, indicating that there was a degree of retching and vomiting during this period. Cox testified that, in his opinion, the victim had not been asphyxiated by a hand placed over the nose and mouth. Examination of the victim’s oral cavity revealed no signs of injury to the tongue or the delicate tissue inside the mouth. Absent such injuries, Cox found no evidence to support the theory that the victim had been forcibly suffocated as opposed to being strangled to death. Further, the hyoid bone had been fractured and there was injury to adjacent tissue, which supported the finding that the victim had been strangled. According to Cox, Tami was severely beaten, strangled to death, and then stabbed five times. The five postmortem stab wounds had occurred within minutes after death. Later, but still within minutes, Tami’s body was dismembered. At trial, Biros testified in his own defense. Biros claimed that when the Nickelodeon Lounge was closing at 1:00 a.m., February 8, Tami’s uncle asked Biros to take Tami for coffee or breakfast to help sober her up. Biros agreed and left the Nickelodeon with Tami. He then drove into nearby Sharon, Pennsylvania, to withdraw cash from an automated teller machine. At some point, Biros reached over and shook Tami, since she had fallen asleep. Tami awoke and said that she wanted to go home. She told Biros that her home was in Hubbard, Ohio, but would not say exactly where she lived. Therefore, Biros decided to take Tami to his home to let her "sleep it off." Biros testified that he decided on his way home to drive along the gravel railroad bed which would have taken him to within a few hundred feet of his residence on King Graves Road. While driving on the railroad bed, he reached over and grabbed Tami’s hand to wake her. According to Biros, Tami suddenly awoke, looked at him, and began yelling, "I don’t know you. Where are we at?" She hit Biros and yelled at him. Biros forcibly struck Tami with his forearm. Tami then fled from the vehicle and took off running along the railroad tracks. Biros claimed that he drove along the railroad tracks to try to head Tami off to speak with her. However, according to Biros, he inadvertently struck Tami with the vehicle, causing her to topple over the car at a forty-five degree angle with her head positioned toward the gravel railroad bed. Biros testified that he got out of the car and rolled Tami over onto her back. She was bleeding and her head was positioned against the steel rail of the railroad track. According to Biros, Tami pushed him and began screaming, swearing, and throwing rocks. At that point, Biros decided to pull out his pocket knife to "calm" Tami down. However, Tami grabbed the knife and a struggle ensued. Biros cut his hand, but was able to regain control of the knife. Meanwhile, Tami continued to scream. Therefore, according to Biros, he pinned Tami down and placed his hand over her mouth until she stopped struggling. When Biros removed his hand from Tami’s mouth, he realized that she had died. Biros then became upset and frustrated, so he stabbed her several times. Biros testified that after he had killed and stabbed Tami, he
"panicked," drove home, tended to his wounds, and washed his clothes. Biros testified that he returned to the body fifteen to twenty minutes later and became very angry, believing that Tami had "just destroyed my life." At that point, Biros took his pocket knife and began cutting Tami’s body. Biros claimed that he removed Tami’s clothes because they were "in the way." Next, according to Biros, he dragged the body some distance into the woods, and felt Tami’s ring cutting into his left hand. Thus, he removed the ring and placed it in his pocket. Biros testified that he attempted to bury Tami’s body in a shallow hole in the ground, but that the body would not fit into the hole. Therefore, he amputated the head and leg with his pocket knife and placed those body parts in a separate hole. Biros then placed Tami’s clothes in other holes in the ground. After burying the body, Biros returned home. Biros testified that later on Friday morning, February 8, 1991, he found Tami’s purse in his car and burned the purse in the fireplace. He then washed his car. On Friday night, Biros decided to move the body, since he had been confronted and threatened by Tami’s relatives. Late that night, while his brother was watching television, Biros retrieved Tami’s body parts, loaded them into the car, and drove to Pennsylvania and disposed of the body. Biros lied to police, to Tami’s relatives, and to his own mother. At trial, Biros denied telling police at the Brookfield Township Police Department that while Biros and Tami were seated in the car, Biros had placed his hand on Tami’s hand and then "went further" and touched or felt her leg. Biros denied having had any sexual intentions toward Tami, but admitted cutting out her vagina and rectum thirty to forty-five minutes after he killed her. Biros was able to recall some of the most minute details of the night in question, but was unable to remember where he had disposed of Tami’s anus, rectum, and sexual organs. He also denied having had any intention of stealing Tami’s property, but he admitted burying her clothes, taking her ring, and burning her purse. Additionally, Biros admitted lying to his mother about Tami’s ring and later hiding that ring in the ceiling of his house. Biros testified that he had no intention to kill or harm Tami on the night in question. He testified further that he never struck Tami with his fists or with the blunt end of a knife. Dr. Karle Williams, a forensic pathologist, testified for the defense.
Williams was not present during Tami’s autopsy and never personally examined the body. Williams based his opinions upon a review of, among other things, Dr. Cox’s autopsy report and a review of numerous photographs of the victim and the crime scene. Williams disagreed, at least in part, with Cox’s conclusion that Tami had suffered a severe beating. Williams believed that perhaps Tami’s right leg had been fractured before death and that some of her injuries may have been caused by being struck by a car and falling or lying on the gravel railroad bed. Additionally, Williams concluded that Tami may have died due to suffocation rather than manual strangulation. However, Williams admitted on cross-examination that, in this case, "you have to think of manual strangulation. Absolutely." The jury found Biros guilty of all charges and specifications alleged in the indictment, with the exception of the offense charged in Count Three of the indictment which had previously been dismissed by the prosecution. Following a mitigation hearing, the jury recommended that Biros be sentenced to death for the aggravated murder of Tami. The trial court accepted the jury’s recommendation and sentenced Biros to death. Tami Engstrom’s sister Debi Heiss spoke at a press conference in December 2006 and urged members of the community to write letters to the Attorney General urging that Biros’s clemency plea be rejected. "Kenneth Biros beat, tortured, sexually assaulted, mutilated, dismembered and robbed Tami with no remorse. He has been given more humanity and mercy from the state than my sister ever had. It’s time for justice to be served." Debi Heiss said, "Tami was my sister and my best friend."

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
January 24, 2007 Texas Melissa Trotter Larry Swearingen stayed

Melissa Trotter smallLarry Ray Swearingen was convicted of killing Melissa Trotter in the course of either an aggravated kidnapping or aggravated sexual assault. According to the prosecution, Swearingen became angry that Trotter rejected his sexual advances. He strangled her with pantyhose, and left her body in the woods where she remained until about 25 days after the crime was committed. Trotter was found lying on her back, clothing pulled up under her arms, and one shoe off. Her jeans were on and the fly was closed, but one pocket was torn exposing her red underwear. No scratches were found on her skin, and no soil was on her shoes. Evidence showed the pantyhose came from Swearingen’s home, and that Trotter also had an injury on her neck that could have been caused by a knife. She had no injuries that indicated she had struggled with her assailant, but did have a bruise on her face, and a discoloration in her vagina that could have been a bruise, though there was no evidence of penetration. Swearingen wrote a letter to his mother in Spanish purporting to be from a female who implicated her boyfriend was the murderer. At trial, the state proved the letter was written in Swearingen’s handwriting.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
January 25, 2007 Texas Mike McMahon, 22
Deja Sutton, 20
Ronald Chambers stayed

Ronald Curtis Chambers was sentenced to death for the murder of Mike McMahon. Chambers and his companion, Clarence Williams, abducted Mike and his date, Deja Karlene Sutton, from the parking lot of a Dallas area nightclub. The couple were then driven to the banks of the Trinity River where they were robbed and then shot to death. McMahon apparently survived the initial attack but was beaten to death after his abductors heard him call out for Deja.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
January 26, 2007 North Carolina Erik Tornblom, 17 Marcus Robinson stayed

Marcus Reymond Robinson was sentenced to death for the shotgun murder of 17-year-old Erik Tornblom. On the morning of July 21, 1991, seventeen-year-old Erik Tornblom did not return home from Chi Chi’s restaurant, where he was employed. Erik was a rising senior at Douglas Byrd High School and worked at Chi Chi’s from approximately 6:00 pm until midnight. His body was discovered later that day, having been shot in the face with a shotgun. A witness testified at trial that he observed a black male drive Erik’s car to the location where it was later recovered, get out of the vehicle and wipe off the steering wheel and door handle. The black male was identified as Roderick Williams and was thereafter arrested and named Marcus Robinson as the person involved with him in the murder of Erik Tornblom. Robinson was thereafter taken into custody and properly advised of his Miranda rights, which he waived. After initially denying any involvement in the murder, Robinson admitted that he and Williams had watched Erik Tornblom enter a store. While Tornblom was in the store, Robinson pulled out a sawed-off shotgun, which had been concealed in his clothes, and gave it to Williams. As Erik left the store, Robinson and Williams asked for a ride. As soon as they entered the car, Williams put the gun to the back of Erik Tornblom’s neck and forced him to drive to a location that Robinson and Williams ordered. In his confession, Robinson stated that "the boy kept begging and pleading for us not to hurt him, because he didn’t have any money." After ordering Tornblom out of the car, he was made to lie down. According to Robinson, Williams then shot Tornblom in the face with the shotgun. Robinson then took Tornblom’s wallet and split the money with Williams. Robinson led police to where he had hidden the shotgun and also showed them where the spent shotgun shell was ejected. Both the gun and the spent shell were recovered by the police. Other evidence tended to show, two days prior to the murder, that Robinson told Williams’ aunt that "he was going to burn him a whitey". On the morning of the murder, Robinson obtained the shotgun from a friend, who heard Robinson tell Williams that he wanted to rob a Quik
Stop or "do" a white boy. After the murder, Robinson told a friend that he had robbed a guy the night before and shot him in the head. At the time of these events, Robinson had just turned eighteen years old and only eleven days earlier had been released from prison. Robinson and Williams were indicted by a North Carolina jury on August 5, 1991, and charged with one count of first-degree murder, one count of first-degree kidnapping, one count of robbery with a dangerous weapon, once count of possession of a weapon of mass destruction, one count of felonious larceny, and one count of possession of a stolen vehicle. Robinson’s trial began on July 13, 1994. On the second day of trial, Robinson pleaded guilty to all of the offenses except for the first degree murder charge. That charge was tried to the jury on two different theories: felony murder and murder with malice, deliberation, and premeditation (premeditated murder). The jury convicted Robinson, by special verdict, of first-degree murder under each theory. Specifically, the jury found as aggravating circumstances that the murder was committed while Robinson was robbing Tornblom and that the murder was "especially heinous, atrocious or cruel." The jury found mitigating circumstances in Robinson’s lack of criminal history, age, history of childhood abuse, childhood head injury, and behavioral or mental problems. The jury unanimously found that the mitigating circumstances were insufficient to outweigh the aggravating circumstances and that the aggravating circumstances were sufficiently substantial to warrant the death penalty.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
January 30, 2007 Texas Amy Amel Sabeh-Swift, 27
Sandra Stevens Sabeh, 61
Amy’s unborn child
Christopher Swift executed

Amy was strangled and stabbed to death by her husband, Christopher Jay Swift, then 28. The couple had been married for six years, although they had filed for divorce at one point. On the day of the murders, Swift had quit a job he had recently gotten at a concrete company. With a history of drug and alcohol abuse, Swift did not want to take a required drug test and his decision led to an argument with Amy. Amy was eight months pregnant at the time of her death. Amy was found dead in her home at Irving RV Park on April 30, 2003. According to authorities, after killing Amy, Swift drove to Amy’s mother’s home and killed her. Sandra’s body was found the same day at Kingswood Mobile Home Park in Lake Dallas. Amy, an aide at a state school for the mentally disabled, had been strangled and stabbed in her Dallas County home. Amy’s unborn child also died. Amy’s mother was strangled. Swift had previously pled guilty to misdemeanor assault charges for shoving and choking his previous wife as well as driving while intoxicated and fleeing a police officer in 1996. Four days after their wedding, Swift had begun a 4-year sentence following a guilty plea for assaulting a Texas state trooper in 1996 and assaulting a woman in Denton County in 1997. Evidence showed that Amy’s 5-year-old son Zachery witnessed both deaths. After the two women were killed, Swift checked into a motel in Farmers Branch where he abandoned Zachery after he fell asleep. Swift checked into another motel and got some beer. Zachery was found the next day, wandering in the lobby of the motel. Hotel employees fed him breakfast and let him watch cartoons in the lobby, then called police after no one claimed him and he was getting frightened. Once police arrived, Zachery told them that his father had killed his mother and his grandmother. Officers found their bodies and Swift was arrested within a few hours.

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