October 2007 Executions

Eleven killers were given a stay in October 2007. They have murdered at least 22 people.
One killer received a commutation of his death sentence in October 2007. He has murdered at least one person.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
October 3, 2007 Texas Armand Paliotta Heliberto Chi stayed

In the late afternoon of March 24, 2001, Heliberto Chi entered the K & G Men’s Store in Arlington and approached one of the employees. She recognized him as a former employee of the store. He questioned her about whether there were policemen on duty in the store and whether they were uniformed or in plain clothes. He also asked how many employees were working that day and she pointed them out. Chi then had a discussion with the manager, Armand Paliotta, and the assistant manager, Gloria Mendoza, in which he asked for, and was provided, the phone number of one of the employees. Chi remained in the store about 30 minutes before leaving. The store closed at 7 p.m. Paliotta, Mendoza, and another employee, Adrian Riojas, remained to attend to closing duties. Paliotta counted the money and prepared the bank bag for deposit, and Mendoza and Riojas shut down the computers and completed closing matters. Around 8 p.m., Chi knocked on the front door of the store and Paliotta unlocked the door and let him in. Chi stated that he had left his wallet in the tailor shop at the back and went to look for it. The others finished their closing duties and waited for Chi at the front of the store. Paliotta, who was holding the bank bag, held the door open and prepared to set the alarm. As Chi reached the front doors, he pulled out a gun and told them to get back inside the store. Riojas went first, followed by Mendoza, and then Paliotta. Chi took the bank bag from Paliotta and told the three to go to the back of the store. As they were walking, Paliotta pushed Chi and began running to the front of the store. Chi ran after him and then stopped and fired at him. When he turned around, Riojas and Mendoza began running. Riojas ran into the warehouse, pursued by Chi. Riojas quickly found himself trapped by various locked doors. When he saw Chi approaching with his gun drawn, he began to run in a different direction. Chi shot Riojas in the back as Riojas was running from him. After Riojas fell, Chi stated, "Quedate apagado," which means, "Stay dead," in Spanish. In the meantime, Mendoza ran toward the front of the store. She checked on Paliotta and saw that he had been shot. She called 911. Before talking to anyone, she heard the doors from the warehouse open so she set the phone down and hid beneath a rack of clothes. She could hear Chi’s footsteps walking toward her and she heard Chi say, "Vente para frente," which means, "Come to the front," in Spanish. Mendoza remained where she was. After at least ten minutes, Mendoza came out from beneath the rack and checked on Paliotta again. She could no longer detect any breathing. She returned to the phone to attempt to talk to someone at 911 and heard a conversation taking place between Riojas and the operator. The police arrived and Riojas and Mendoza ran outside. Paliotta died from a gunshot wound to the back. Riojas survived. Chi was convicted and sentenced to death for murdering Paliotta while in the course of committing or attempting to commit aggravated robbery.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
October 9, 2007 Pennsylvania Tracey Lawson Anthony Washington stayed

In October 1994, Anthony Washington was sentenced to death for the first-degree murder of an unarmed supermarket security guard, Tracey Lawson, during a robbery. Lawson was shot once in the face after he tried to stop Washington and two accomplices from escaping after a 1993 holdup at the Save-A-Lot market in Philadelphia. Washington was formally sentenced on Dec. 9, 2004.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
October 11, 2007 Pennsylvania Armondo Rodriguez Raymond Solano stayed

The evidence presented at trial established that at approximately 3:00 p.m. on June 3, 2001, a short, stockily built man wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt with the hood drawn over his head, walked onto a basketball court in Valenia Park in the city of Allentown, Pennsylvania and shot the victim, Armondo Rodriguez, several times at close range. After the victim fell to the ground, the assailant stood over him and shot him several more times. The assailant then ran towards a parking lot, turned around, and shot back towards the crowded park where the victim lay. At the time the first officer arrived, there were approximately twenty to thirty people in the immediate vicinity. There were several shell casings lying in the area where the victim lay and several more casings were found in or about the adjacent streets. The victim was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead upon arrival. The autopsy revealed a total of six gunshot wounds, all but one of which were fatal wounds. Jose Aquino, a friend of the victim’s, who was also playing basketball at the time, identified Solano as the assailant at trial. Mr. Jose Aquino testified that he saw Solano standing near the court just prior to the shooting, talking on his cell phone and looking in the direction of the victim. He was able to see Solano’s face before and at the time Solano came charging onto the court. He testified that he had seen Solano a few days prior to the shooting, wearing the same hooded sweatshirt, but not with the hood over his head. Another eyewitness, Israel Aquino, testified that he saw the shooter run towards the victim, shoot him several times, stand over him and shoot again. Mr. Israel Aquino testified that he started towards the victim, but when the assailant pointed a gun in his direction, he turned and ran in the opposite direction. Francisco Rosario, another friend of the victim’s who was also present at the time, testified that he ran as the shooting began. He took cover behind a parked vehicle and pulled out his own gun in an attempt to shoot the assailant. His gun, however, failed to discharge. As the police arrived, Mr. Rosario placed the gun in the car. The police eventually recovered that gun and when Mr. Rosario admitted ownership thereof, he was charged with possession of a firearm. At the time of the instant trial, Mr. Rosario had completed his sentence for that charge. With respect to the identity of the shooter, Mr. Rosario testified that while he initially told police that he did not see the shooter because he was afraid, he, in fact, saw the shooter and identified Solano as that shooter. On June 19, 2001, police in Hartford, Connecticut received information that Solano, wanted in connection with the instant murder, and Cantalino Morales, wanted for attempted murder of deputy sheriffs in Allentown, were staying together in Hartford. After being provided descriptions of the suspects, the police proceeded to a given location in the Westbrook Village section of Hartford. When they arrived, they observed two individuals, one of whom matched the description they had been given of Cantalino Morales, apparently trying to jump-start a vehicle. When the individuals were successful in starting the vehicle, the police, believing the subjects were about to leave, moved in on them, announcing their presence and ordering the two people to “get down.” One of the individuals, later identified as Morales, pulled a gun and began shooting towards the officers. At about the same moment, a man, later identified as Solano, and a female companion exited the rear of the building. Both Solano and Morales fled on foot, with Morales shooting towards police as he fled. As he was running, Morales was observed dropping an object which police later recovered and identified as a 9mm Ruger. Both individuals were apprehended a few moments later, Solano as he attempted to dive into a wooded area, and Morales who, after pointing another gun towards police, fell only a short distance away from Solano when he was hit by police gunfire. The gun Morales was holding at the time he was shot was recovered from the scene and identified as a Standard Arms. At the time of his arrest, Solano’s person was searched and, among other things, a handcuff key and a magazine containing live bullets were discovered in his pocket. The Commonwealth presented a ballistics expert, John Curtis, Jr., who testified that the casings and bullets recovered from the basketball court and properties adjacent to the park were all discharged from the same two firearms found at the time of Solano’s and Morales’ arrest. Specifically, he found that fifteen shell casings recovered from the scene of the murder and two adjacent streets were discharged from the Ruger semiautomatic pistol, as were the bullets removed from the victim’s body, one bullet found embedded in a wall in a nearby garage, and another bullet lodged in a wall in a second floor room of a nearby home. Four additional shell casings which were found behind a building a short distance further from the scene were fired from a Standard Arms semiautomatic pistol. In his defense, Solano presented the testimony of Detective Joseph Effting, of the Allentown Police Department. Detective Effting testified that he had interviewed two eyewitnesses, Jessica Brown and Julio Santiago, who indicated that persons other than the shooter possessed guns at the time and may have also been shooting. According to Detective Effting, at the time he interviewed Ms. Brown she told him that she had seen the shooter and thought that possibly as many as three other persons had guns in the park that day. Ms. Brown testified for the Commonwealth, however, that she observed no one but the assailant with a gun but had assumed that someone other than the fleeing assailant was shooting because the assailant was shooting back towards the crowd. As for Mr. Santiago, Detective Effting testified that when interviewed, Mr. Santiago told him that he thought an individual behind a Jeep may have also been shooting, and that he saw an unidentified individual chasing the shooter as he fled. However, when he testified for the Commonwealth at trial, Mr. Santiago denied having given Detective Effting any such information. Solano took the stand and testified that he was in Hartford, Connecticut the day of the shooting staying with his aunt. He testified that he did not even know the victim and did not know Mr. Morales before meeting him in Connecticut. Although he testified that he saw numerous people while in Hartford, the defense presented no witnesses to corroborate Solano’s testimony that he was there at the relevant time.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
October 15, 2007 Nevada Isabelle Berndt, 86 William Castillo stayed

William Castillo, sentenced to death for beating a retired Las Vegas teacher to death with a tire iron. Castillo, 35, was sentenced to die for the 1995 killing of Isabelle Berndt, after working on a roofing job at her home and finding a hidden house key. He and a woman companion returned, burglarized the home and murdered Berndt. Castillo set the home on fire to destroy evidence, but he later admitted the murder to a co-worker and confessed to police. His companion in the burglary and murder was Michelle Platou, now serving a life term with the possibility of parole for first-degree murder. UPDATE: Castillo’s execution was stopped 90 minutes prior to the scheduled time. Castillo did not want the execution stopped. Two members of the family of the murder victim, retired teacher Isabelle Berndt, 86, of Las Vegas, had planned to witness the execution, and Nevada Corrections Director Howard Skolnik said, “They were hoping for some kind of closure today which they did not get.” He added that the family members said they’d write to the state Supreme Court and the ACLU “enclosing expenses for their travel today which they need not have made.”

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
October 16, 2007 Arkansas Mary Phillips, 34
Lorraine Anne Barrett, 32
Jack Jones, Jr. stayed

Lorraine Anne Barrett, age 32, was found murdered in room 824 at the Days Inn Lauderdale Surf Motel, 440 Seabreeze Blvd., in Fort Lauderdale, Florida at approximately 12:17 p.m. on June 1, 1991. Barrett had just checked into the motel the night before and was in town for several days on vacation from Western Pennsylvania. Forensic detectives processed the room and collected evidence from the room as well as from the victim. Homicide detectives began their investigation and found that Barrett had been seen at the Elbow Room Bar the same night that she had checked into the Days Inn. Witnesses’ recall-seeing Barrett with a white male at the bar and later recall seeing the victim Barrett with this same white male entering an elevator at the Days Inn. The Broward County Medical Examiners Office ruled the death a Homicide by asphyxiation. A composite sketch of the suspect along with descriptions of the suspect’s tattoos was compiled and distributed however no arrests were made. In 2002, Detective John Curcio reopened the “cold case” and began reviewing the investigation. Knowing the great advancements that DNA technology had made over the past 11 years the evidence recovered at the scene in 1991 was submitted by Detective Curcio to the Broward Sheriff’s Office and FDLE labs to be typed and profiled. This information was then sent to NDIS (National DNA indexing System) to be posted with a request for individual states to search their databases for a possible match. During the week of March 14, 2003 Detective Curcio learned the suspect DNA recovered in 1991 matched that of an inmate on Death Row in the State of Arkansas. The DNA match was tested and reconfirmed by investigators of the State Crime Lab in Arkansas. The inmate matched to the DNA is a white male named Jack Harold Jones, 08-10-64, currently on Death Row in connection with the 1995 Murder of a female along with the attempted murder of her 11 year-old daughter in White County Arkansas. Jones at the time of his arrest had multiple tattoos described by witnesses in the 1991 murder of Barrett and matched the over physical description of the suspect. In the Arkansas case, on the afternoon of June 6, 1995, seventeen-year-old Darla Phillips dropped her eleven-year-old sister Lacy off at Automated Tax and Accounting Service in Bald Knob, where their mother, thirty-four-year old Mary Phillips, worked as a bookkeeper. Mary was planning to take her daughter to a 3:00 p.m. dentist appointment. Darla and her fifteen-year-old brother Jessie were expecting their mother and little sister to return to their home in Bradford around 4:30 p.m. or 5:00 p.m. They never arrived. A black-haired male entered the business before Lacy and her mother could leave for the dentist’s office. According to Lacy’s testimony at trial, the man had a teardrop tattoo on his face and more tattoos on his arm. The man had come into the business earlier that day to borrow some books. When he returned, he complained that he had been given the wrong book. He then told Lacy and her mother that he was "sorry," but that he was "going to have to rob (them)." He ordered Mary to lay down on her stomach, and then made Lacy lay down on top of her mother. After retrieving the cash out of the register, he took them into a small break room. The man took Lacy into a bathroom off of the break room, tied her to a chair, then left. When he returned, Lacy, now crying, asked the man not to hurt her mother, to which he replied, "I’m not. I’m going to hurt you." He began to choke Lacy until she passed out. After Lacy lost consciousness, Jones struck her at least eight times in the head with the barrel of a BB gun, causing severe lacerations and multiple skull fractures with bone fragments penetrating into Lacy’s brain. When Lacy woke up, she saw blood and began to vomit. She went back to sleep and awakened later when police, seeing her bloodied body and thinking she was dead, were taking photographs of her. Police found Mary’s body nude from the waist down. A cord from a nearby Mr. Coffee pot was wrapped around her neck and wire was tied around her hands, which were positioned behind her back. Bruises on her arms and back indicated that she had struggled with her attacker prior to her death. According to autopsy results, Mary died from strangulation and blunt-force head injuries. Rectal swabs indicated that she had been anally raped before she was killed. Based on Lacy’s description of the assailant, an officer from the Arkansas State Police went to Jones’s residence and asked him if he would accompany him to the White County Sheriff’s Office. Once there, Jones was read his Miranda rights and signed a waiver-of-rights form. He admitted that he had committed the crimes because he wanted to get revenge against the police. He reasoned that his wife had been raped, and that the police had done nothing about it. UPDATE: After a clemency hearing before the Arkansas Parole Board, Lacy Phillips told reporters, "He’s an evil person. He does not need to be anywhere but where he should be on Oct. 16."

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
October 17, 2007 Virginia John Langley Christopher Emmett stayed

In the early morning hours of April 27, 2001, Christopher Scott Emmett beat his sleeping coworker John Langley to death with the base of a brass motel room lamp in order to rob Langley and use his cash to buy crack cocaine. Weldon Roofing Company employed Emmett and Langley as laborers for its roofing crews. During late April 2001, both men were assigned to a project in the City of Danville and shared a room at a local motel where the roofing crew was staying. On the evening of April 26, 2001, Emmett, Langley, Michael Darryl Pittman, and other members of the roofing crew cooked dinner on a grill at the motel, played cards, and drank beer. During the course of the evening, Langley loaned money to Emmett and Pittman, who used the money to buy crack cocaine. At approximately 11:00 p.m. that evening, Rainey Bell, another member of the roofing crew, heard a noise he described as "bang, bang" coming from the room Emmett and Langley shared. Shortly after midnight, Emmett went to the motel office and asked the clerk to call the police, saying that he had returned to his room, "seen blood and stuff… and didn’t know what had took place." The police arrived at the motel at 12:46 a.m. on April 27, 2001 and accompanied Emmett back to his room. There they discovered Langley’s dead body lying face down on Langley’s bed beneath a comforter. Blood spatters were found on the sheets and headboard of Langley’s bed, on the wall behind it, and on the wall between the bathroom and Emmett’s bed. A damaged brass lamp stained with Langley’s blood was discovered beneath Langley’s bed. In his initial statement to police, Emmett denied killing Langley. He stated that he had returned to the room and gone to bed. Emmett claimed to have discovered the blood and Langley’s body later that night when he got up to use the bathroom. Observing what appeared to be bloodstains on Emmett’s personal effects, the police took possession of Emmett’s boots and clothing with his permission. Emmett suggested that the blood might be his own because he had injured himself earlier in the week. Subsequent testing, however, revealed that Emmett’s boots and clothing were stained with Langley’s blood. Later in the morning of April 27, Emmett voluntarily accompanied the police to the Danville police station. There he agreed to be fingerprinted and gave a sample of his blood. Emmett admitted to the police that he had been drinking and using cocaine on the previous evening. Over the course of the next several hours, Emmett related different versions of the events of the previous evening to the police. He first implicated Pittman as Langley’s murderer, but ultimately Emmett told the police that he alone had beaten Langley to death with the brass lamp. Emmett was given Miranda warnings and he gave a full, taped confession. Emmett stated that he and Pittman decided to rob Langley after Langley refused to loan them more money to buy additional cocaine. Emmett stated that he struck Langley five or six times with the brass lamp, took Langley’s wallet, and left the motel to buy cocaine. "Based upon the amount of blood and bruising of Langley’s brain tissue at the point of impact," the medical examiner opined that "Langley was not killed immediately by the first blow from the lamp, but might have been unconscious after the first blow was struck and may have suffered ‘brain death’ prior to actual death." At the conclusion of the guilt phase of Emmett’s trial, Emmett was convicted by a jury of the capital murder and robbery of Langley. At the separate sentencing hearing, the Commonwealth sought the death penalty based upon Virginia’s statutory aggravating factors of future dangerousness and of vileness based upon aggravated battery and depravity of mind. In support of the future dangerousness factor, the prosecutor presented Emmett’s prior criminal history, to the extent it could be determined. The prosecutor was unable to establish why Emmett was incarcerated as a juvenile. Emmett’s juvenile criminal record had been destroyed pursuant to North Carolina procedure, and defense counsel intentionally avoided opening the door to Emmett’s extensive juvenile criminal history. The history presented consisted of juvenile convictions for felonious larceny and for assault and battery arising from an incident in which Emmett, while incarcerated in a maximum-security juvenile detention facility, rushed a guard and locked him in a closet in order to escape. In addition, the prosecutor presented evidence of an adult conviction for involuntary manslaughter arising from an incident in which Emmett, while driving a van in the wrong direction and under the influence of alcohol, struck and killed a motorcyclist. Testimony was presented that the drunken Emmett was smiling after the driver was killed and told an officer "‘that there was no need to worry about the man on the motorcycle. He was already dead, and that he, (Emmett) could do nothing to help him.’" As noted by the state court, the evidence showed that Emmett lacked remorse for this earlier violent crime and for the current case of killing a coworker. Indeed, Emmett himself confessed that he killed Langley simply because it "just seemed right at the time." Such lack of regard for a human life speaks volumes on the issue of future dangerousness and leaves little doubt of its probability. In support of the vileness factor, the prosecutor highlighted to the jury the aggravated nature of the beating that Emmett inflicted upon his victim. As noted by the state court, Emmett’s actions demonstrated both aggravated battery and depravity of mind. Specifically, "the use of a blunt object to batter the skull of the victim repeatedly and with such force that blood spatters several feet from the victim is clearly both qualitatively and quantitatively more force than the minimum necessary to kill the victim." Additionally, "the evidence established that Emmett violently attacked a co-worker with whom he had apparently enjoyed an amicable relationship. The brutality of the crime amply demonstrates the depravity of mind involved in the murder of Langley."

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
October 18, 2007 Ohio Tryna Middleton, 14 Romell Broom stayed

On September 21, 1984, Tryna Middleton, and two friends were at a high school football game. Tryna was fourteen years old at the time, and she was a ninth-grade student at the high school. After the football game, the three girls began walking home, and they noticed a car that they thought looked suspicious. They walked away from the car and down a different street. A car without its lights on then came towards the girls and stopped in front of them; the driver exited the car and ran past the girls. Once the girls passed by the parked car, they heard footsteps behind them and then an assailant tried to grab all of them. In the course of the struggle with the girls, the assailant said, “Come here, bitch,” and he pulled out a knife. Tryna Middleton, who was short and slightly built, was not able to get away from the assailant, but the other two girls escaped. They ran to a nearby house, where the homeowner allowed them to call their mothers and the police. The girls described the car and the assailant to the police. Approximately two hours later, Tryna’s body was found in a parking lot; she had been stabbed seven times in the chest and abdomen and there were sperm cells found in her rectum and vagina. Five of the stabbings perforated Tryna’s heart and lungs causing almost instantaneous death. Tryna also had a wound on her right arm which the coroner testified was the result of Tryna’s efforts to defend herself. Tryna’s friends were shown a series of photographs, but were unable to identify a suspect at this point. Around the same time, there were two other incidents in the same area involving young girls. On September 18, 1984, a young girl named Venita was walking home when a car passed her and then stopped. When She walked past the car, the driver got out and grabbed her. He also threatened her with a knife, and he called her a “bitch.” Residents who lived nearby heard the noise and the girl was able to escape into their home. The other incident occurred on December 6, 1984, involving an 11-year-old girl named Melinda. A car was following Melinda as she was walking home from a corner store near her home, and as she turned a street corner, a man passed her and then grabbed her neck from behind. The assailant began hitting the girl, and he threw her into his car as she struggled and screamed. Melinda’s younger sister witnessed the beating and abduction and called to their mother, who ran outside barefoot and grabbed the locked car door on the driver’s side. The icy road made the car’s wheel’s spin and slowed it’s progress, allowing the mother to hold on to the car and to pound the window and push the car with her hip so that the car bumped into a parked car. As her mother held on to the car, Melinda was able to escape through the passenger door which she had unlocked. Two young men who witnessed the commotion were able to get the license plate number of the car and gave it to the mother, which the police subsequently traced to William Broom, Romell Broom’s father. When the police arrived, the engine was still warm. Romell Broom admitted that he had been driving the car. The police then took Broom to the hospital, where both Melinda and her mother identified him as the assailant. The other two witnesses to the incident also identified Broom in a line-up. The similarities between these three incidents led the police to bring in the witnesses from the other attempted abductions and the Tryna Middleton case to view a line-up. The victims and witnesses each independently identified Broom from the line-up; Broom was also identified in a photo array. The police discovered that Broom had been driving his girlfriend’s car before it was wrecked on November 6, 1984, and one of the witnesses identified Broom’s girlfriend’s car as the one from the night of the Middleton incident. Tests revealed that the sperm discovered in Tryna Middleton’s vagina belonged to a person with type B blood, which is the blood type of approximately twelve percent of the population; Broom’s blood is type B. There was also hair evidence found that connected Broom to the crime. A Cuyahoga County grand jury issued an indictment charging Broom with aggravated murder, rape and several counts of kidnapping. Broom was tried on the first five counts in proceedings that began on September 16, 1985. The jury found Broom guilty on each of the charges, and at the end of the penalty phase, recommended a sentence of death.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
October 19, 2007 Georgia Barbara Jean Alderman, 20 Jack Alderman stayed

barbara jean aldermanJack Alderman was sentenced to death for the Sept. 21, 1974, killing of his wife Barbara Jean Alderman. Alderman, an assistant manager at a grocery store in 1974, asked an acquaintance, John Arthur Brown, to help him kill his wife in order to collect her insurance proceeds of $10,000. She was employed in the tax assessors’ office in Savannah. Brown went to the Aldermans’ apartment in Garden City and Jack Alderman got a 12-inch crescent wrench and gave it to Brown, telling him to hit his wife in the head with it as she lay sleeping. Barbara Alderman woke up and began cleaning up after their dog in the dining room. Brown followed her until he was able to hit her. She ran but her husband tackled her. Eventually, Alderman and Brown tried to strangle and choke her and covered her nose and mouth until she passed out. Alderman filled a bathtub and placed his wife under the water to make sure she was dead. Alderman and Brown then left the apartment and went to two Savannah bars. Around 10 pm, they returned to the apartment and took Barbara’s body out of the tub and wrapped it in a green quilt. They placed her body in the trunk of Alderman’s car and, with Brown driving the car, Alderman followed on his motorcycle to Dasher’s Creek in Rincon. Once there, they put Barbara’s body behind the steering wheel and pushed the car toward the water, trying to make her death look like an accident. They left the engine and the lights on and the transmission in drive, but the car did not go all the way into the creek. Alderman then told Brown to open the car door and let the victim’s body fall out slightly, leaving the impression that it was an accident. Alderman later said he found his wife’s body that night in the creek but was so traumatized by her death, he didn’t tell anyone. Brown testified against Alderman at the trial. Alderman and Brown were each found guilty of murder and sentenced to death in 1984. Alderman has been on death row for 34 years, nearly a record, and has outlived almost everyone involved in his case, including his accomplice, the victim’s mother, the trial court judge, the prosecutors and his defense attorney. In 1983, a federal appeals court vacated Alderman’s death sentence and ordered a new sentencing hearing. A second jury sentenced Alderman to death in 1984. Before his trial, John Arthur Brown rejected an offer of a life sentence. After serving three years on death row, Brown’s sentence was overturned and he was resentenced on a plea bargain to life in prison. In late 1986, the parole board notified Barbara Alderman’s family that they were considering parole for Brown. Barbara’s mother, Rheta Earlene Blase, opposed Brown’s release, writing to the parole board and asking how they would feel if it was their daughter. Brown was paroled in March of 1987. In 1988, he was investigated on charges of molesting two teenage girls. In 1994, the parole board commuted his life sentence to time served. In February 2000, Brown committed suicide at age 51. UPDATE: The Georgia Supreme Court on Thursday temporarily blocked the scheduled execution of murderer Jack Alderman, condemned to death for the 1974 murder of his wife. Alderman was scheduled to die at 7 p.m. Friday, but 27 hours earlier the Georgia Supreme Court issued a stay. Alderman was convicted more than 30 years ago in Chatham County of murdering his 20-year-old wife, Barbara Jean, on Sept. 21, 1974, with the help of a friend, John Arthur Brown. Alderman wanted a divorce but feared it would be too expensive and he hoped to collect a $20,000 life insurance payout on her death. Alderman’s execution date was set after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear his final appeal of his conviction and sentence. On that same day, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the Kentucky lethal injection challenge, which is the case that led to Alderman’s stay. Henry County District Attorney Tommy Floyd, who is chairman of the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia, said he understood the reason the state court ordered a stay but he also understood the frustrations of survivors. "From the victims’ families’ viewpoint, it is just one more delay getting justice for the loved one that was killed," Floyd said.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
October 23, 2007 Georgia Arthur Lee Jones
Linda Lisa Seaborne
Curtis Osborne stayed

Curtis Osborne, was convicted by a Spalding County jury of the murder of Arthur Lee Jones and Linda Lisa Seaborne. The two victims were found in an automobile by the side of a dirt road. Both had been shot through the head. After investigation, Osborne was arrested, and eventually admitted shooting the victims, claiming that Jones had reached toward the floor for a weapon. However, the crime scene evidence, including powder burns and blood spatters, showed that Jones had been sitting upright when he was shot by a gun whose muzzle was only an inch from his skull. Although the murder weapon was not recovered, ballistics examination of the bullets showed that the murder weapon had been a Ruger single-action.357 revolver firing Winchester.357 magnum copper-wash, wad-cutter bullets. Bullets identical in brand and type to the murder bullets were found in Osborne’s home, and his parents admitted owning a.357 Ruger that was now missing.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
October 24, 2007 Tennessee William Price Michael Boyd commuted

Michael Joe Boyd, was convicted of felony murder stemming from the shooting death of William Price during an armed robbery in November of 1986. Price and a companion, David Hippen, had solicited two women, Barbara Lee and Renita Tate, to accompany them to a Memphis motel. Upon their arrival at the Lorraine Motel, Price gave one of the women a $100 bill to rent two rooms. Michael Boyd, who was Lee’s boyfriend, drove up to the scene with two other men and approached Price’s van. Boyd pointed his pistol at Hippen and demanded money. Price grabbed Boyd’s arm, Boyd fired the gun, and a struggle ensued. When Price tried to drive away from the scene, Boyd “emptied” the gun at him, striking him with five or six shots which caused his death. Boyd had been convicted of second-degree murder in 1983 and had served 3 years of a ten year sentence before being paroled only 4 months before killing William Price. UPDATE: Governor Phil Bredesen today commuted the death sentence of Michael Joe Boyd to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. Gov. Bredesen’s said, "This appears to me an extraordinary death penalty case where the grossly inadequate legal representation received by the defendant at his post-conviction hearing, combined with procedural limitations, has prevented the judical system from ever comprehensively reviewing his legitimate claims of having received ineffective assistance of counsel at the sentencing phase of his trial. This combination of inadequate representation and procedural limitations within the judicial system raises in my mind a substantial and unresolved doubt that the trial jury would have imposed the death penalty had the defendant received competent legal representation."

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
October 25, 2007 Alabama Sherri Weathers
Chad Weathers, 5
Joseph Weathers, 4
Linda Odom, 32
Linda Jarman, 33
Gidget Castro, 28
Nesia McElrath, 23
Beatrice McDougall, 57
unnamed victim
unnamed woman
Daniel Siebert stayed

Sherri Weathers was a hearing-impaired student at the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind and had not shown up for classes for a full week. Her guidance counselor called the manager of her apartments and asked her to check on Sherri’s welfare. Using a passkey, the manager found Sherri and her two small children, Chad, 5 and Joseph, 4, dead in the apartment. Their bodies had all been placed on Sherri’s bed and covered with a blanket. When police arrived, the manager asked them to check another apartment which was occupied by another student of the Institute who had also been missing. Police found the naked body of Linda Jarman, 33, on her bed. Daniel Siebert had been teaching art at the Institute under the assumed name of Daniel Spence and investigators soon learned that he had expressed a romantic interest in Sherri Weathers. A fingerprint match from the murder scenes led to the discover that Spence was instead Daniel Siebert, who had been convicted of manslaughter in Las Vegas in 1979. Police also discovered that Siebert had been dating another woman who had been missing since around the same time as the other women. Linda Odom, a cocktail waitress, was found dead outside of Talladega a short time later. Siebert was finally arrested in Nashville Tennessee several months later. Siebert confessed to the five murders in Alabama and said there were at least a dozen murders in total, "maybe more." UPDATE: A federal appeals court is granting multiple-murderer Daniel Lee Siebert’s request for a stay of execution. Siebert was scheduled to die by lethal injection Thursday. He claimed his cancer medication would counteract with a lethal injection, inflicting unnecessary pain. A three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed a Montgomery district judge’s order and is granting the stay of execution. Siebert, 53, has been on Alabama’s death row for more than 20 years and has terminal pancreatic cancer.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
October 30, 2007 Mississippi Mary Bounds Earl Berry stayed

Earl Berry was convicted and sentenced to death by a Chickasaw County jury for the 1987 killing of Mary Bounds. Mary Bounds was reported missing on November 29, 1987. A few days later, on December 1, her vehicle was located in Houston, Mississippi. Inspection of the vehicle revealed spattered blood around the driver’s side door. Mary Bounds’ body was found nearby; she had been severely beaten. It was later determined that she died of head injuries from repeated blows. Berry’s confession provided the details of what transpired. On the evening of November 29, 1987, while driving through Houston in his grandmother’s vehicle, Berry saw Mary Bounds near a church. As she was preparing to enter her vehicle, he approached, and hit, her and forced her into his vehicle. Berry then drove out of town. Berry took Mary Bounds into a wooded area and ordered her to lie down, intending to rape her. Berry did not do so; he took her back to the vehicle, telling her they would return to town. Instead, Berry drove to another wooded area where they exited the vehicle. Mary Bounds pleaded with Berry, but he beat her with his fists and forearm. Afterwards, he carried her further into the woods and left her. Berry drove to his grandmother’s house, disposing of a pair of mismatched tennis shoes along the way. At his grandmother’s house, he burned his bloodied clothes and wiped the vehicle he had used of any blood stains with a towel, which he threw into a nearby pond. Berry’s brother, who was at the house, witnessed some of this suspicious behavior. On December 5, 1987, he called investigators and told them what he had observed. The next day, Berry was arrested at his grandmother’s home and soon confessed to the crime. Police found the mismatched tennis shoes Berry had discarded; in the above-referenced pond, they found a bloodied towel. Berry was indicted for the murder and kidnapping of Mary Bounds, and as a habitual criminal, on March 1, 1988. In a jury trial, he was convicted of capital murder and, on October 28, 1998, sentenced to death. Berry appealed the conviction and sentence to the Mississippi Supreme Court. It affirmed the conviction but vacated the death sentence and remanded for resentencing, holding the jury instruction with regard to the “especially heinous, atrocious or cruel” aggravating circumstances, a condition required for a death sentence, failed to appropriately channel the jury’s discretion. Berry’s resentencing trial began on June 22, 1992, after venue had been changed from Chickasaw to Union County, due to the nature and extent of the publicity surrounding the case. On June 25, Berry was again sentenced to death. UPDATE: Gov. Haley Barbour on Monday denied to stay the execution of Earl Wesley Berry, who is scheduled to die by lethal injection on Oct. 30 for a 1987 murder. "I find no justification to grant a stay or to interfere with the carrying out of the sentence, therefore, the request is denied," Barbour wrote in a letter on Monday.

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