July 2007 Executions

Three killers were executed in July 2007. They had murdered at least 4 people.
killers were given a stay in July 2007. They have murdered at least 5 people.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
Week of July 9, 2007 South Dakota Chester Allan Poage Elijah Page executed

Chester Allen PoageOn March 12 -13, 2000, Briley Piper and two others, Elijah Page and Darrell Hoadley, kidnapped and killed Chester Allan Poage so that they could steal property from the home Poage lived in with his mother and sister in Spearfish, South Dakota. Piper, Page and Hoadley, all of whom were friends with each other and with Poage, met up with Poage at approximately 8:00 p.m. on March 12, 2000. Piper had informed another friend that Poage would give him a ride to the Job Corps facilities. Poage complied with the request for the ride, and he, along with Piper, Page and Hoadley, picked the friend up and dropped him off at Job Corps. The remaining four then went to Poage’s house and played PlayStation games. Poage’s mother and sister were on vacation in Florida at this time. While there, Piper, Page and Hoadley convinced Poage to leave his house, and the four left in Poage’s 1997 Chevrolet Blazer. Testimony as to the origin of the plot to kill Poage and steal his property varies. It is unclear whether all three of the assailants planned on stealing items in the house so they could buy LSD, or whether Piper pulled Page outside to inform him he was going to steal stereo equipment from Poage’s vehicle. It is also unclear whether they initially planned to kill Poage, or just beat him up. However, it is clear that the initial discussions as to killing Poage were limited to Piper and Page, and only after it was decided to kill him was Hoadley informed of the plan. All four ended up at the house in which Piper, Page and Hoadley had been staying. Once there, Page exposed a.22 caliber pistol, which he had stolen from Poage’s mother’s room at the Poage residence, and ordered Poage to get on the floor. Once Poage was on the floor, Piper kicked him in the face, knocking him unconscious. While Poage was unconscious, he was tied up with a cord and sat upright in a chair. After he regained consciousness, Piper laid a tire iron across his feet to prevent him from moving, while Page made him drink a mixture containing crushed pills, beer and hydrochloric acid. During this time, Poage begged for an explanation as to why his alleged friends were doing this. In response, Page hit him in the face and told him to “shut up.” While Piper and Page discussed their plan to kill Poage, which included slitting the victim’s throat, Poage pleaded for his life and offered to give them everything he owned in exchange for his release. At this point, Page asked Poage for the personal identification number for his ATM card, and Poage gave it to him. Next, the group escorted Poage to his own vehicle, placed him in the back seat and threatened his life if he attempted to escape. Piper got in the driver’s seat. The group stopped at a gas station, and then Piper drove the group to Higgins Gulch in the Black Hills, a wooded area about seven miles away from the house where Piper, Page, and Hoadley had been staying. Upon arriving at Higgins Gulch, the group forced Poage out of his vehicle into twelve-inch deep snow. Poage was forced by Piper and Page to take off all of his clothes, except his tank-top style undershirt, shoes, and socks in temperatures of about twenty-five degrees Fahrenheit. The three young men then took Poage’s wallet. Thereafter, the three tried holding Poage down and covering him up with snow. Poage was then escorted to an icy creek, just over fifty feet from the road they had driven on to reach the gulch. Page and Piper admitted kicking him numerous times in various parts of his body and head. Page said he kicked Poage in the head so many times it "made his own foot sore." At one point in the 3-hour attack, Poage did try to escape, but upon Piper’s urging, Page recaptured him and continued to beat his near-naked body in the freezing temperatures. Poage was also made to lie in the icy creek water for a lengthy period of time. Piper later stated he had kicked Poage at the gulch a couple of times in the body and a couple of times in the head. Throughout the beatings, Piper laughed and said things like “Ohh… like that would suck” and “Ah, that’s got to hurt.” At one point, Poage asked to be let into his vehicle to warm himself. The record indicates that Poage said he preferred to bleed to death in the warmth rather than freeze to death in the cold. Piper agreed to grant his request, so long as he washed the blood off of his body in the creek. After rinsing in the icy waters, Piper refused to let him warm himself in the vehicle. Instead, they continued beating and taunting Poage. Next, Poage was dragged back into the creek, where Piper and the others attempted to drown the victim. The co-defendants’ stories diverge somewhat on the final fate of Poage. One witness stated that Piper admitted standing on Poage’s neck to help Hoadley drown him, then Piper stabbed him twice or more — once by the ear and then under the chin. Piper’s brief contends he did not participate in the drowning attempts or stabbings, but instead that he went back to Poage’s vehicle. After the drowning attempts, stabbings, beatings and stoning, Poage was still moving. According to Piper, Hoadley threw the final basketball-sized rock that killed Poage, but at that point Piper was not there to personally witness this act. Both Page and Hoadley admitted they jointly dropped large rocks on Poage’s head, actions which they believed finally killed him. Approximately four hours after the three kidnapped Poage, and about three hours after the beatings began at the gulch, Poage was left for dead in the creek. Piper drove the three away from the secluded area in Poage’s vehicle, and they proceeded to discuss how they would divide Poage’s property. They went to Poage’s house and stole numerous items. The group then drove to Hannibal, Missouri, together. There, they visited Piper’s sister, but upon her refusal to let them stay, they headed back to South Dakota. The group returned to Rapid City, South Dakota, using Poage’s ATM card for cash and pawning some of Poage’s property throughout the trip. Records from Poage’s bank show the ATM card was used six times in various locations in South Dakota and Nebraska. Some of Poage’s property was later found at pawnshops in Wyoming and Missouri. When the trio returned to Spearfish, Hoadley’s juvenile girlfriend testified that she saw the three unpack the stolen PlayStation, video games and many other items from Poage’s house. She also testified that Piper confessed the murder to her in detail. She said Piper laughed about the killing as he told her about it, “and thought it was just like a really cool neat thing.” Another friend of Piper’s testified that Piper confessed to him as well and confirmed the nonchalant attitude, stating, Piper acted “a bit cocky” while telling the story of the beatings. Eventually, the three went their own ways. Piper ultimately ended up in his home state of Alaska. On April 22, 2000, over a month after the three left Poage for dead, a woman who owned land near Higgins Gulch spotted what was later determined to be Poage’s remains in the creek. His body was found, clad in a sleeveless t-shirt, socks and shoes. A forensic pathologist from the Clinical Laboratory in Rapid City performed an autopsy on the body. He discovered numerous head injuries and stab wounds. Some examples of the head injuries inflicted included: a stab wound that nearly severed the jugular vein, another stab wound through the skull and into the brain, and a complex, spider-web shaped skull fracture that measured five inches. Poage’s ears were almost torn off from being kicked repeatedly. He determined the cause of death was the “stab wounds and the blunt force injury to the head.” After the body was discovered, Piper became a suspect. Law enforcement from South Dakota tracked him down in Alaska, questioned him and arrested him for first degree murder. While still in Alaska, he gave a detailed statement describing Poage’s murder and his participation in it to South Dakota law enforcement. He was subsequently extradited to South Dakota. Piper was then jailed in Lawrence County, South Dakota. He later pleaded guilty to, and was convicted of, first degree felony murder; kidnapping; robbery in the first degree; burglary in the first degree; and grand theft. The circuit court ruled that the death penalty would be imposed for the first degree murder conviction. Thereafter, co-defendant Page, who had been arrested in Texas, also pleaded guilty to the same charges, and after an extensive sentencing hearing, he was also sentenced to death by the same judge. Hoadley then stood trial in front of a jury on the same charges. He was found guilty of the same charges but the jury sentenced him to life in prison. "The sheer brutality of this crime places it among the worst of the worst," assistant attorney general Sherri Sundem Wald stated in written arguments to the high court. Piper was enthralled when describing the abduction and slaying to fellow jail inmates after he was arrested, deputy attorney general Craig Eichstadt said. Piper feigned remorse only when he felt it would result in a more lenient sentence, the deputy attorney general said. While waiting to learn his fate, Piper tried to recruit inmates to help him kill a guard and break out of jail. Assistant attorney general Gary Campbell said said Page was a merciless killer who inflicted the greatest punishment on Poage. "We’re not talking about a passive follower here." UPDATE: Elijah Page was scheduled for execution in August 2006 but was granted a last-minute reprieve from Governor Mike Rounds, due to concerns over the legality of the mixture of drugs that were to be used for the lethal injection. South Dakota’s death penalty law stated that executions would be carried out by using an "ultra-short-acting barbiturate in combination with a chemical paralytic agent" but the plan of penitentiary staff was to use the three drug protocol that most other states use. The legislature updated the death penalty statute to include the use of the three drug mixture and the new legislation becomes effective on July 1 of this year. Page is set to be executed during the week of July 9. Per South Dakota state law, the warden of the penitentiary is responsible for setting the date and time of the execution after the trial court sets the week it should be carried out. The warden cannot announce the actual date and time until 48 hours prior to the execution. UPDATE: Elijah Page was executed shortly after 10:00 pm on July 11, 2007. Among the witnesses to Page’s death was Dottie Poage, mother of murder victim Chester Allan Poage. After the execution, Poage met with reporters, leafing through a photo album of images and newspaper clippings of her son. "He was a normal, happy child. He had a mom, dad, sister and grandparents, cousins who loved him. I never dreamt I’d be dealing with what I have dealt with these last seven years," she said. Poage said that after Page and Piper confessed to Chester’s murder, she asked Lawrence County State’s Attorney John Fitzgerald if South Dakota had the death penalty. "When he said ‘yes,’ my heart rose," she said. "Elijah Page had the ultimate penalty for the ultimate crime, and for that I’m proud of the state, the attorney general, the governor and everyone at the state penitentiary for doing a job well done. I’m proud to be an American." Attorney General Larry Long also witnessed the execution, as did Fitzgerald, who prosecuted Page at his trial. "His debt to the state of South Dakota is now paid in full," Fitzgerald said. Lawrence County Sheriff Richard Mowell, who watched the execution as well, said the death penalty was the appropriate penalty for what he called "a brutal, torturous murder. I can assure you that Elijah Page had a much quieter, quicker and apparently painless death," Mowell said. "But I can assure you he will never be able to do this again."

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
July 10, 2007 Ohio Johnny Allen, 33
Unnamed victim
Clarence Carter stayed

On 12/28/88, Carter murdered 33-year-old Johnny Allen, who was Carter’s fellow inmate at the Jail Annex to the Hamilton County Courthouse. For nearly 25 minutes, Carter, who was muscular and strong, beat, choked, stomped, punched and kicked Mr. Allen, who was 5’10" and weighed 122 pounds. At the time, Carter was in jail, awaiting sentence for another aggravated murder conviction.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
July 10, 2007 Texas Theresa Rodriguez Rolando Ruiz stayed

Michael Rodriguez hired a hit man, Rolando Ruiz, to kill his wife Theresa Rodriguez in 1992. In the winter of 1995 Rodriguez plead guilty to capital murder. There was sufficient evidence at trial from which the jury could conclude that Ruiz was hired by Mark and Michael Rodriguez to murder Michael’s wife, Theresa, for two thousand dollars; that he did so by shooting her in the head at close range with a.357 revolver. "He paid the hit man $2,000 to have his wife killed," Judge Mark Luitjen, a former prosecutor, said of Rodriguez. Luitjen was the prosecutor that sent five men, including Rodriguez and his brother, to prison for plotting the murder of Theresa Rodriguez. Michael Rodriguez’s brother Mark received a life sentence. The man who actually pulled the trigger, Rolando Ruiz, is behind bars on death row. "You have to wonder who is worse, the person who has a loved one killed or the person who will kill someone for money," Luitjen said. Theresa Rodriguez was shot to death in the garage of the couple’s house. She had just arrived home with her husband and his brother when the hit man opened fire. Prosecutors believe the brothers wanted to collect insurance money. In December of 2000, Michael Rodriguez escaped from prison as a member of the Texas 7. During the ensuing crime spree, police officer Aubrey Hawkins was murdered when he interrupted a hold-up.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
July 12, 2007 Pennsylvania Jose Ortiz Miguel Rios stayed

On August 27, 1992 Miguel Rios rang the doorbell of a residence where Jose Ortiz lived with his girlfriend, Carmen Colon, their two-year old son, and Carmen’s sister, Irma Colon. When Irma Colon answered the door, she found Rios dressed in a Philadelphia Gas Works uniform and representing that he was there to check the gas meter. After being let into the house, Rios took hold of Irma Colon’s neck and demanded that she give him the key to admit an accomplice into the house. Rios and his accomplice proceeded to the bedroom in which Mr. Ortiz, Carmen Colon and their son were sleeping. He threatened to kill Irma Colon unless Ortiz let him into the bedroom. Rios then demanded money, jewelry, and drugs. Rios forced Ortiz and Irma Colon to the floor, threatening to kill them if he did not find what he was seeking. The accomplice proceeded to ransack the house. Rios beat Irma Colon in the head with his gun until she lost consciousness. Carmen Colon watched as Rios and his accomplice beat Ortiz and bound his hands and feet. Her eyes were closed when she heard a gunshot. When she opened them, she saw Ortiz laying on the floor with a gunshot wound to the head. Thereafter, both Irma and Carmen Colon were able to identify Rios from a police photo array. After a warrant was issued, Rios was apprehended while hiding in the closet of a home in Lancaster and arrested. On June 17, 1993 a jury convicted Rios of first-degree murder, robbery, unlawful restraint, aggravated assault, burglary, criminal conspiracy, and possession of an instrument of a crime. At the penalty phase, the jury found three aggravating circumstances: the murder occurred in the perpetration of a felony (burglary); defendant knowingly created a grave risk of death to another; and defendant had a significant history of violent crime felony convictions. The jury found two mitigating circumstances: defendant was under the influence of extreme mental or emotional disturbance at the time of the crime; and the defendant’s circumstances fit within the catch-all mitigating circumstance. As the mitigating circumstances were out-weighed by the aggravating circumstances, the jury sentenced Rios to death for the murder of Jose Ortiz.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
July 17, 2007 Georgia Mark Allen MacPhail, 27 Troy Davis stayed

mark macphailAt midnight on August 18, 1989, Mark Allen MacPhail, a Savannah police officer, reported for work as a security guard at the Greyhound bus station in Savannah, adjacent to a fast-food restaurant. According to court records, Troy Anthony Davis shot into a car that was leaving a party on Cloverdale Drive in a Savannah subdivision and struck a man in the head, severely injuring him by a bullet that lodged in his right jaw. A few hours later, as the Burger King restaurant was closing, a fight broke out in which Davis struck a homeless man in the head with a pistol. Officer MacPhail, wearing his police uniform — including badge, shoulder patches, gun belt,.38 revolver and nightstick — ran to the scene of the disturbance. Davis fled. When Officer MacPhail ordered him to halt, Davis turned around and shot him. Officer MacPhail fell to the ground. Davis, smiling, walked up to the stricken officer and shot him two more times. The officer’s gun was still in his holster. Mark MacPhail wore a bullet-proof vest, but the vest did not cover his sides and the fatal bullet entered the left side of his chest, penetrated his left lung and aorta, and came to rest at the back of his chest cavity. The officer was also shot in the left cheek and the right leg. The next afternoon, Davis told a friend that he had been involved in an argument at the restaurant the previous evening and struck someone with a gun. He told the friend that when a police officer ran up, Davis shot him and that he went to the officer and "finished the job" because he knew the officer got a good look at his face when he shot him the first time. After his arrest, Davis told a cellmate a similar story. A shell casing that was found at the scene of the murder was linked to the Cloverdale Drive shooting. A woman who was staying in a hotel across the street from where Mark MacPhail was murdered identified Troy Davis as the shooter after seeing a photograph of him. She also chose his photo from a 5-person lineup, as well as identified him at his trial. Numerous other eyewitnesses also identified Davis. UPDATE: The execution of Troy Davis was stopped with less than 24 hours to go when the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles granted a 90-day stay.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
July 24, 2007 Texas Gunar "Sean" Nelson Fulk, 16
Leroy "Punkin" McCaffrey, Jr., 17
Lonnie Johnson executed

Lonnie Earl Johnson was convicted and sentenced to death for the double murders of two teenage boys. Johnson approached the boys outside of a convenience store in Tomball, a small suburb northwest of Houston, and asked for a ride. They agreed, but when they were about 4 miles from the store, Johnson forced the pair out of the vehicle at gunpoint and shot each of them several times. Leroy "Punkin" McCaffrey ran away from the scene but Johnson chased him for a distance of about 350 feet before catching and killing him. Johnson then stole Sean’s truck and drove to Austin to see his girlfriend. He told her that he had killed two boys. He later dumped the stolen truck in San Marcos, Texas, and sold the murder weapon for cocaine. He was arrested after two weeks and he claimed that he killed the boys in self-defense. Chris Schultz and Laura McCaffrey are the boys’ mothers and they were outraged when they found a web page dedicated to their sons’ killer. The mothers said Johnson is still victimizing their sons from his cell on death row. Chris Schultz, mother of Sean Fulk, told a local Houston reporter, "When something like this comes up, you start thinking of all the horrible things they had to go through." Punkin McCaffrey’s mom, Laura agreed. "Then when you read all that, you start re-hashing it all in your mind, it brings it all back to you. And it hurts." Johnson’s web page says that the women’s sons were racists, and says he was simply fighting his own "lynching." Chris Schultz said of the web site, "He’s being allowed to say anything about these kids."

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
July 26, 2007 Alabama Annie Laura Orr, 86 Darrell Grayson executed

Darrell Grayson was convicted in the 1980 beating and suffocation death of an 86-year-old widow. Grayson and Victor Kennedy were convicted of killing Annie Laura Orr at her home in Montevallo, Alabama on Christmas Eve in 1980. Her granddaughter visited her during the day of December 23rd, 1980, and found her appearing to be in good health, ambulatory, and in possession of her mental faculties. During the evening hours of December 23rd, 1980, Darrell Grayson, co-defendant Victor Kennedy, and two other individuals met at Kennedy’s residence, also in Montevallo, and a short distance from that of Mrs. Orr. They drank wine and played cards. Sometime shortly after midnight, and after the other individuals had gone, Kennedy and Grayson left Kennedy’s house on foot, walking in the direction of Mrs. Orr’s house. They were armed with a.38 Caliber handgun, which belonged to Kennedy. They decided to burglarize Mrs. Orr’s residence in order to get some money. They had previously discussed such a burglary, that Mrs. Orr was elderly, and where she kept her money. They entered the Orr house during the very early morning hours of December 24th, 1980, through a rear basement door. They then proceeded through the dirt basement, up several steps, and into the main living portion of the house near Mrs. Orr’s bedroom. The pair used a flashlight to illuminate their way. Once inside the living portion of the house they entered Mrs. Orr’s bedroom where she was apparently sleeping. Annie, who was only 5′ 3" and weighed 117 pounds was attacked as she slept. They subdued and beat her, striking her in the head with a blunt instrument and breaking several of her ribs. Grayson then placed a pillowcase over her head and wrapped two relatively long lengths of masking tape very tightly around her head so that when they were finished her head appeared to be that of a mummy. Then they proceeded to look for money and other valuables. When apparently they could not find a significant amount of cash, the pair began threatening Mrs. Orr by beating her further, threatening to drown her, and firing two shots from Kennedy’s pistol, into her bedroom block and wall. During their assault, the pair raped Annie Orr repeatedly. Darrell Grayson said he didn’t want to rape Mrs. Orr but that he did so twice. She lived through the assault of being raped, beaten, threatened, unable to see or adequately breathe, and begging her assailants not to hurt her but to take her money and leave, for a considerable period of time. She then died. On the morning of December 24, 1980, Mrs. Orr’s son discovered her dead body in her home in Montevallo, Alabama, and called law enforcement officers. The officers discovered a trail of playing cards leading from Mrs. Orr’s home to the home of Victor Kennedy, a known burglar. Knowing that Kennedy and Grayson had been seen together the previous night, officers began looking for Grayson on the afternoon of December 24, 1980, and discovered him “squatting in the bushes” in a wooded area near his home. Following his arrest, Grayson confessed. Officers also discovered Mrs. Orr’s wedding rings in Grayson’s wallet and obtained physical evidence from Grayson that linked Grayson to the crime. Grayson was taken into custody. When interviewed by police, Grayson told the officers that he had performed yard work for Mrs. Orr in the past, was familiar with her house, and had entered her home with Kennedy in the early morning of December 24, awakening Mrs. Orr. Grayson admitted that they had repeatedly raped Mrs. Orr while searching her house for valuables. Grayson and Kennedy took the money and valuables they found, left Mrs. Orr on her bed, and left the house. Within thirty minutes of this interview, Grayson again waived his Miranda rights and confessed to the officers again. This time, the officers tape-recorded the confession. Grayson again admitted that he had worked for Mrs. Orr in the past and knew the house, but claimed that the burglary and rape were Kennedy’s ideas. Grayson also claimed that he and Kennedy had consumed several gallons of wine the evening of the crime. Two days later, Grayson again waived his Miranda rights and gave another recorded statement to police. This time, Grayson explained that he and Kennedy had been planning for a couple of weeks to rob Mrs. Orr to get money for Christmas. They selected Mrs. Orr as a target because Grayson had worked for her and knew where she kept money. Grayson also stated that Mrs. Orr had begged them to take her money and not hurt her. Grayson taped a pillowcase over Mrs. Orr’s face to prevent her from recognizing him, and after that, he could not understand what she was saying. Grayson stated that both he and Kennedy raped Mrs. Orr repeatedly and unsuccessfully searched for money and other valuables. Grayson admitted that at one point he had taken Mrs. Orr to the bathroom and then returned her to the bedroom, where he raped her again, but he could not remember why he took her to the bathroom or what happened there. Grayson explained that Kennedy urged him to leave the house while he was raping Mrs. Orr, and Grayson left Mrs. Orr on her bed with the pillowcase taped over her head and face as he left the house. Grayson was tried for capital murder during a burglary. At trial, the officers described the crime scene, the physical evidence, including the playing cards that led to Kennedy’s house, and the circumstances leading to Grayson’s arrest. The officers also recounted their discovery of Mrs. Orr’s wedding rings in Grayson’s wallet and the bloody shirt belonging to Grayson in the woods near his home. The transcripts of Grayson’s confessions were admitted into evidence. The State additionally presented expert testimony about the crime scene. For example, the State’s trace evidence expert testified about the comparison of hairs recovered from the crime scene and hairs taken from Grayson and Kennedy. The expert explained that several hairs recovered at the crime scene had “negroid” characteristics consistent with Grayson’s and Kennedy’s hair and inconsistent with the victim’s, but that the hairs were too small to allow an individual comparison of them with Grayson’s and Kennedy’s samples. The expert also testified that a hair recovered from Grayson’s sock following his arrest was consistent with the victim’s head hair and inconsistent with Grayson’s, but the expert could not opine as to whether the hair was the victim’s. The State’s fingerprint expert testified that the latent fingerprints lifted from Mrs. Orr’s home and on evidence were insufficient to allow analysis. The State’s ballistics expert testified that the two bullets found in the wall between Mrs. Orr’s bedroom and bathroom and on the floor in her bedroom were of the.38 caliber size and were fired from the same weapon, likely a Smith and Wesson revolver. The expert further testified that the hole in a shattered clock in Mrs. Orr’s home also was consistent with a.38 bullet. However, on cross-examination, the ballistics expert testified that the police had not given him a gun that matched up with the bullets. The State’s serology expert testified that bloodstains found on a pillowcase and a bed spread in Mrs. Orr’s bedroom could not be typed; nor could urine and semen stains found on a bed sheet recovered from Mrs. Orr’s bathroom. The expert also testified that the bloodstains on Grayson’s shirt recovered from the woods near his house were type O and could have come from either Mrs. Orr or Kennedy, both of whom were type O, but could not have come from Grayson, who is type B. The serology expert testified that a large blood and semen stain on Mrs. Orr’s nightgown was type B, which was consistent with Grayson’s blood. Grayson provided garbled testimony in his own behalf, mainly to the effect that he was too drunk to remember anything. A jury took only two hours to find him guilty of murder and burglary. Kennedy was executed in Alabama’s electric chair at Holman Prison in Atmore on Aug. 6, 1999. The trial judge said, "The court cannot think of a case it has seen, heard, or even read, that would equal the cruelty shown in this case by the defendant to Mrs. Orr." An 11th Circuit Court of Appeals judge said, "Grayson confessed several times, testified at trial about the murder and his role in it, and does not contend that he was denied a fair trial. The non-biological evidence against him was and is overwhelming. For example, Grayson admitted that he and Kennedy planned the robbery a week before; the victim’s wedding rings were found in Grayson’s wallet; Grayson’s bloody shirt was found in the woods near his house; and Grayson was discovered hiding in the woods after his mother told him of Mrs. Orr’s death." UPDATE: Just before he was executed, Darrell Grayson, 46, made a peace sign with both hands and waved them at witnesses. He then smiled and nodded at witnesses he recognized and said, "Peace." Grayson was pronounced dead at 6:16 pm. The victim’s granddaughter, Lee Rawlings Binion, wiped away tears as she witnessed the execution and in a statement said, "The Orr family has seen the final chapter of a 27-year struggle. We are grateful that justice has finally been served."

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