August 2009 Executions

Two killers were executed in August 2009. They had murdered at least 2 people.
killers were given a stay in August 2009. They have murdered at least 12 people.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
August 7, 2009 Missouri Mary Baumruk Kenneth Baumruk stayed

On May 5, 1992, Kenneth Baumruk and his wife, Mary were scheduled for a hearing in the St. Louis County circuit court for dissolution of marriage. Baumruk carried two.38 caliber handguns in his brief case to court that day. Before the scheduled hearing, the attorney for Baumruk’s wife, Scott Pollard, discovered that he had a conflict of interest because he had represented Baumruk in a previous dissolution. Before the hearing Pollard told Mary Baumruk that he recently discovered that he had represented Kenneth Baumruk around 1975. Pollard had been hired to modify the dissolution of Baumruk’s first marriage. Pollard also told Garry Seltzer, Kenneth Baumruk’s attorney, of the potential conflict, and the two attorneys met with Judge Samuel Hais in chambers. Judge Hais decided to make a record in open court and determined that the case would proceed only if both Mary and Kenneth Baumruk waived the conflict. After Judge Hais administered the oath to Mary and Kenneth Baumruk, Pollard examined Mary regarding the conflict, and she stated that she wanted Pollard to remain as her attorney. Baumruk then reached into his brief case and retrieved the two handguns, stood and shot Mary in the neck. Baumruk turned toward Pollard, shooting him in the chest. He then shot attorney Seltzer in the chest and, when Seltzer turned to run, Baumruk shot him in the back. Next, Baumruk walked around the counsel table, put the gun near his wife’s head and shot her again, killing her. Judge Hais escaped through the door behind his bench as Baumruk shot at him and pursued him. As Baumruk proceeded down the hall outside of the courtroom, bailiff Fred Nicolay pushed a clerk and two attorneys into another judge’s chambers and closed and locked the door. Baumruk then shot Nicolay in the shoulder and ran out into the hall. Baumruk then shot at a police officer and then shot and wounded a security officer. Police officers in the courthouse fired weapons at Baumruk, hitting him nine times. Two of the wounds were to his head. After the shooting, the St. Louis County courthouse, which previously had not had metal detectors and other extensive security, received immediate attention. The number of security guards was doubled and metal detectors were installed. Baumruk was indicted in 1993 of first-degree murder and multiple counts of first-degree assault and armed criminal action. His original motion for a change of venue was granted, but the Macon County circuit court, to which the case was transferred, found Baumruk incompetent to stand trial, though not permanently so, due to the brain injuries he sustained in the shootout. A jury found Baumruk did not require a guardian, and following an order by this Court, the Macon County circuit court dismissed the charges against him. Then, in 1998, the St. Louis County prosecutor indicted Baumruk on 18 charges, including first-degree murder for Mary’s death, nine counts of armed criminal action and eight counts of first-degree assault. Baumruk sought a change of venue, which was denied. In October 2000, the court found Baumruk competent to understand and appreciate the proceedings against him and to assist in his own defense, and he was tried on the first-degree murder charge. In 2001, Baumruk was convicted in 2001 of first-degree murder and was sentenced to death in accordance with the jury’s recommendation.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
August 13, 2009 Texas Carolyn "Callie" Click, 62 Tracy Beatty stayed

Tracy Lane Beatty was convicted and sentenced to death by lethal injection by a Smith County jury for killing his mother Carolyn "Callie" Click, 62, stealing her car, draining her credit and bank accounts to buy drugs and alcohol, giving away her personal items and burying her body in a shallow grave behind her mobile home on Nov. 25, 2003. Neighbors testified that Callie Click and her son Tracy Beatty had a rocky relationship and fought almost daily but that the victim offered her son a place to stay after he was paroled from prison in October 2003. Callie reportedly had kicked her son out of her house the day of her murder. Beatty told family, friends and law enforcement about five different stories before he led authorities to his mother’s body and confessed nearly a month after the murder. A pathologist testified that Callie Click was suffocated, strangled or smothered to death. She suffered broken bones in her neck, cracked ribs, blunt force trauma to her head and a fractured breastbone. While awaiting the capital murder trial, Beatty was found with a long, sharp metal shank in jail. Also before the trial began, Beatty was found in contempt of court for refusing Judge Jack Skeen’s order to provide the state with a handwriting sample. Parole records indicated Beatty threatened a parole officer and assaulted his mother, which resulted in his parole being revoked before the capital murder offense. Witnesses said Beatty had been arrested 21 times for various offenses, including injury to his 18-month-old niece in which Beatty shocked her with an electrical cord, burned her with a cigarette, pulled out her hair and struck her in the face. There were 16 incidents where Beatty threatened or attacked prison employees or showed other acts of violence while in several Texas prisons. Since 1987, when Beatty was first released from prison on parole, he has been in and out of prison and has had his parole revoked four times. Beatty was on parole at the time of the capital murder. Beatty once claimed to be a member of the Arian Circle, a white supremacist prison gang. *There are still appeals pending and the execution is not likely to take place on this date.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
August 18, 2009 Ohio Ann Serafino Jason Getsy executed
Charles ("Chuckie") Serafino lived with his mother, Ann Serafino. On the evening of July 6, 1995, Ann went to bed at approximately 11:00 p.m. Chuckie was on the love seat in the family room when, sometime after 1:00 a.m. on July 7, he heard a loud explosion. Shells from a shotgun blasted out the sliding glass door behind him and wounded him in the arm. As he ran for the bathroom to inspect his injuries, Ann came out of her bedroom. Chuckie remembered hearing his mother say to someone, "What are you doing here? Get out of here." He also remembered hearing someone say, "Shoot the bitch," or "Kill the bitch." Serafino next recalled seeing a gun in his face and being shot again. He fell to the bathroom floor and pretended to be dead. After the intruders left, he called 911…. Earlier in the year, John Santine had attempted to purchase a portion of Chuckie Serafino’s lawn-care business and had deposited $2,500 in the business’s account. Subsequently, Chuckie violated probation and was incarcerated in the Trumbull County Jail until July 6, 1995. While Chuckie was in jail, Santine attempted to take over Chuckie’s business. Santine transferred Chuckie’s building lease and equipment into his own name, which caused an altercation between Santine and Ann Serafino and Chuckie’s sister. The Serafinos filed a civil action against Santine while Chuckie was still in jail. After the shootings, Officer Forgacs of the city of Hubbard Police Department searched for Santine’s car because of a conversation he had had on June 20, 1995 with Richard McNulty. McNulty, who lived at 24½ South Main and who is a codefendant, had previously served as a police informant. On June 20, Forgacs asked McNulty, who worked for Santine, "What does Johnny have in store for Chuckie when he gets out of jail?" McNulty told Forgacs, "He’s dead. He’s bought and paid for." McNulty told Forgacs that Santine had lined up a hit man, Tony Antone, to kill Chuckie Serafino. Forgacs gave little credence to McNulty’s statements, and didn’t inform Chuckie or follow up on the information. Initially, McNulty minimized his involvement and denied that he had told Forgacs about the contract on Chuckie. Based on other information obtained from McNulty, Begeot obtained an arrest warrant for Getsy and Getsy was arrested. He was given Miranda warnings at the scene and later at the Hubbard Township Police Department. At approximately 1 am, on July 8, 1995, Getsy gave a videotaped interview. Getsy told Begeot that Ben Hudach called him on the evening of July 6, 1995, and told him to come to 24½ South Main Street. When Getsy got there, Hudach, a codefendant, told Getsy that they (Getsy, Hudach, and McNulty) had to "take out some guy." Santine was not present, but Hudach related what Santine had told him earlier. Money had been discussed, but Hudach was not sure of the amount. Getsy later indicated that he participated in the shootings because he was scared of Santine, but did not do it for the money. Sometime on July 6, 1995, Getsy, Hudach, and McNulty drove to the Serafino residence. They could not find a place to park so they returned to 24½ South Main Street. When they returned, Santine was at the apartment and drove them back to the Serafino house. Getsy described the guns that they took with them, which included a shotgun, a SKS rifle, and a.357 magnum handgun. Getsy explained that after Santine dropped them off, Hudach sprained his ankle and went back to where they were supposed to be picked up. Getsy stated, "That left me and Rick to get it done." He admitted that what they were supposed to do was kill Chuckie Serafino. Getsy explained that he and McNulty fired simultaneously through the sliding glass door on the back of the Serafino house. They entered the house through the shattered door and shot at Chuckie as he was running down the hall. When they saw Ann Serafino, Getsy stated, they "just kept shooting." During the interview with Begeot, Getsy was reluctant to mention Santine’s name. He told Begeot that the same thing that happened last night could happen to him. He asked whether Santine would ever see the interview tape. Begeot assured Getsy that Santine would not be able to get to him. Getsy also asked Begeot if he was going to die, and Begeot told him, "No." Getsy admitted that he had the SKS rifle and the handgun during the shootings. He explained that when he was shooting the SKS, the clip fell out so he had to pull out the handgun. After the shootings, Hudach called Santine to tell him it was finished and to pick them up. Santine told Hudach that there were cops everywhere and that they should run through the woods to get back to the apartment. Santine also told Hudach to ditch the guns in the woods. Getsy, McNulty, and Hudach arrived back at 24½ South Main, where Josh Koch and Santine were waiting for them. Santine ordered them to take off their clothes and take a bath. Getsy was the last to bathe. When he came out of the bathroom, his clothes and boots were gone. He did not know what happened to them. Koch testified that he was at 24½ South Main Street on July 6 and 7, 1995. He knew that Getsy, McNulty, and Hudach were going out to do something for Santine, but they declined to give him any details. He was to watch TV and write down the shows that were on so the other three could memorize the list for an alibi. After Getsy, McNulty, and Hudach left, Koch waited in the apartment. Santine came to the apartment and, sometime around 1:00 a.m., jumped up and said, "I heard the gunshots." Immediately thereafter, the telephone rang and Koch heard Santine talking to someone in a fast, excited manner. Santine said, "So you killed them, right, you killed them both? Okay. Well, I can’t come pick you up. The cops are everywhere, they are pulling over everybody, you got to run through the woods and ditch the guns." Santine hung up and happily screamed, "I fucking love these guys." According to Koch, Santine was very pleased with the three men. He said, "You guys want $10,000? I’ll give you $10,000." McNulty told him he just wanted a wedding ring for his girlfriend. Hudach said that it had been a favor for Santine. Getsy indicated that he needed money for his car. The next day, Koch heard Getsy bragging to Patricia Lawson about shooting Ann Serafino. Getsy grabbed a piece of pizza with no cheese on it and said, "This looks just like this bitch’s face after we shot her." Based on these facts, the Trumbull County Grand Jury returned a five-count indictment against Getsy on July 17, 1995. The indictment charged Getsy with the aggravated murder of Ann Serafino with prior calculation and design. That count included three death penalty specifications: (1) the aggravated murder was committed in conjunction with the purposeful killing of or attempt to kill two or more persons; (2) murder for hire; and (3) felony murder. On August 5, 1996, Getsy proceeded to a jury trial before the Trumbull County Court of Common Pleas. The jury returned verdicts finding Getsy guilty on all counts and specifications; thereafter, the prosecution dismissed the conspiracy count. Following a mitigation hearing and on September 10, 1996, the jury recommended that the death penalty be imposed on Getsy. Two days later, the trial court accepted the jury’s recommendation and imposed a death sentence for the charge of aggravated murder. UPDATE: Prior to his execution, Jason Getsy briefly addressed Charles Serafino, who was shot seven times when his mother was murdered, and his sister, Nancy, who also witnessed, telling them it was his earnest prayer that God would grant them peace. "I am sorry," he said. "It is a little word, I know, but it is true." Getsy also said that, even lying where he was, that he was blessed because of God’s love. Nancy and Charles Serafino and a niece of Ann Serafino, Sue Carfangia, sat quietly and watched without speaking. Afterwards, Nancy Serafino said she believed Getsy’s apology was genuine. Her brother had a harsher assessment. "It’s too little, too late," Charles Serafino said. "He’s never taken responsibility for what he did."
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
August 19, 2009 Florida Adella Marie Simmons, 47 John Marek executed
Adella SimmonsThis tragic incident began on June 16, 1983, when Adella Simmons and her Barry University co-worker were returning home from a vacation. Adella’s companion, Jean Trach, testified that when the car in which the two women were riding broke down on the Florida Turnpike near Jupiter, John Richard Marek, who was driving a pickup truck, pulled over. His companion, Raymond Wigley, stood in the darkness while Marek was talkative and friendly and unsuccessfully attempted to fix the car. He then offered to take one of the women, but not both, to a service station. At approximately 11:30 p.m. Adella left with Marek and Wigley. Jean Trach was suspicious of the men. "I had a very bad feeling. I didn’t like this man," she said of Marek. "But I was terrified of the other man (Wigley) because he never moved." The men offered to take one of them to the next toll booth, so they could call for help. Trach didn’t want to go with them and argued that Simmons shouldn’t either. "She said, ‘You’ve got to be able to trust somebody, sometime,"’ Trach said. "She got in and they drove away. That was the last time I saw her alive. In retrospect, she saved my life. There were guns in the truck," she said. At approximately 3:35 a.m. the following morning, a police officer patrolling Dania Beach noticed two men walking from the vicinity of a lifeguard shack towards a Ford pickup truck. He testified that he spoke to the men, who identified themselves as Marek and Wigley, for about forty minutes. He noted that Marek was the more dominant of the two; that Marek joked with the officer and interrupted Wigley every time Wigley attempted to speak; and that Marek drove the truck away from the beach when the conversation was completed. Later that morning, the nude body of the 47-year-old victim was discovered on the observation deck of the lifeguard shack. According to medical testimony, Adella had been strangled between approximately 3:00 and 3:30 a.m., and was probably conscious for one minute after the ligature was applied to her neck. Her body was extensively bruised and her finger and pubic hairs had been burned. The medical examiner testified that he found sperm in Adella’s cervix and believed she had had sexual intercourse after 11:30 p.m. on June 16. Bruises indicated that Adella had been kicked with a great deal of force. According to the examiner, some of Adella’s injuries indicated she had been dragged up to the roof of the lifeguard shack and into the observation tower. Police issued a "be-on-the-lookout" bulletin to law enforcement agencies for Marek and Wigley. On the evening of June 17, a Daytona Beach police officer, as a result of that bulletin, stopped Wigley, who was driving a truck on Daytona Beach, and found a small automatic pistol in the truck’s glove compartment. Approximately one-half hour later in the same vicinity, police took Marek into custody. Adella’s jewelry, including a gold watch, gold pendant and gold earring, was later found in the truck. A fingerprint expert testified that six prints lifted from the lifeguard shack matched Marek’s fingerprints, and one matched Wigley’s. Only Marek’s print was found inside the observation deck, where the body was discovered. The Marek testified in his own behalf that he and Wigley had traveled together from Texas to Florida for a vacation; that he had attempted to fix Adella’s disabled vehicle and had offered to take the women to a filling station; that he fell asleep after Adella got into the truck and that when he awoke, she was gone; that he went back to sleep and woke up at the beach, where he found Wigley on the observation deck of the lifeguard shack; and that it was dark in the shack and he did not see Adella’s body. Marek admitted that after he had been incarcerated and a detective told him he had "made it to the big time," he responded: "S.O.B. must have told all." Wigley testified that the victim was forced to perform oral sex and was sexually assaulted repeatedly. Simmons was then strangled with a bandana. Wigley was sentenced to life in prison and was killed in prison in 2000. Marek "deserves anything the country wants to give him," said Adella Simmons’ friend, Jean Trach, who was with her that night. "She had no choice. She died a horrible death. They burned her, raped her, beat her up and strangled her."
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
August 19, 2009 Pennsylvania Greta A. Gougler, 69 Michael Pruitt stayed
Greta GouglerMichael Pruitt raped and strangled to death a 69-year-old Sunday school teacher in 2002 in Reading. Pruitt confessed to police that while he was high on crack cocaine, he forced his way into Greta Gougler’s home looking for money to buy drugs and killed her. DNA found at the scene also linked Pruitt to the attack. In 2005, a jury found Pruitt guilty of first-degree murder, rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, robbery, and burglary and sentenced him to death. The state Supreme Court affirmed that judgment in July 2008 and denied reargument in September 2008. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear Pruitt’s appeal in March 2009. Longtime Sunday school teacher Greta A. Gougler celebrated her 69th birthday five days before she was raped and strangled Sept. 28, 2002, in her Reading home. "The week before, we went out for her birthday," Gougler’s sister, Gloria Kotzler of Shillington, said.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
August 20, 2009 Texas Ivy Susanna Williams, 23
Rosa Maria Casio, 24
Karen Baker, 20
Desiree Wheatley, 15
Dawn Smith, 14
Cheryl Vasquez-Dismukes, 19
Angie Frausto, 17
Marjorie Knox, 14
Melissa Alaniz, 14
David Wood stayed
In 1987, young women went missing in El Paso, Texas. Six bodies were found in shallow graves in the desert outside of El Paso. The local papers began referring to the cases as the Northeast Desert Murders. Desiree Wheatley was last seen getting into David L. Wood’s truck on June 2, 1987, after he offered her a ride home. Her body was found Oct. 20, 1987, in a shallow grave. Karen Baker was last seen at the Hawaiian Royale Motel on Dyer Street, leaving with Wood on June 4, 1987. The 20-year-old told someone at the motel she was excited about meeting Wood later that night for a date. Exactly three months later, her body was found in the desert. Mary Baker, her adoptive mother, said Karen was attending cosmetology school and trying to get her life together when she vanished. The bodies might not have been found had it not been for Frank Brooks, who worked for the El Paso Water Utilities and stumbled on the first two victims, Baker and Casio, while hunting for arrowheads on Sept. 4, 1987. Ivy Susanna Williams, who had been charged with prostitution and drug possession, also was known to stay at the Hawaiian Royale Motel. She was married but her husband told police he had not seen her for a year. Williams worked as a topless dancer, as did Rosa Maria Casio and the underaged Angelica Frausto. Before her disappearance, Frausto was seen with Wood on his motorcycle. Before that, she had hung around the Hawaiian Royale Motel. Wheatley lived on Tiber Street, near Wood’s home, and knew of him through friends. Knox, who might have been pregnant, was the first to vanish, on Feb. 14, 1987. She used to ride the bus to school with Wheatley when Wheatley lived in Chaparral, N.M. Baker, who was older, previously lived in Chaparral. Alaniz and Wheatley attended H.E. Charles Middle School. Vasquez-Dismukes had also been a student there. The school was near Wood’s home. Denise Frausto said her sister, Angelica Frausto, knew Wheatley. "Angie nicknamed Desiree ‘Baby Girl,’ and tried to look out after her, so that the older guys would not take advantage of her," Frausto said. Cheryl Vasquez-Dismukes, who graduated from Andress High School, married Robert Dismukes by proxy a week before she vanished. Dismukes was in prison at the time, serving a sentence for attempted murder. Casio was the only victim who did not appear to have any Northeast El Paso or Chaparral connections. During Wood’s murder trial in 1992, prosecutors revealed that he was living with Joann Blaich near the Cabaret Club on Montana Avenue. Casio was last seen leaving the club with a man who fit Wood’s description. On March 14, 1998, Ivy Susanna Williams’s skeletal remains were found. Wood was convicted for Ivy’s murder. Wood had a prior criminal record that included a 5 year sentence in 1977 for indecency with a child. Wood served less than two years of that sentence. In 1980 he was sentenced to 20 years for rape and was released less than 7 years later. At the time of his trial for Ivy’s murder, Wood had served 2 years of a 1990 sentence of 50 years for sexual assault. UPDATE: Marcia Fulton, Desiree Wheatley’s mother, said she planned to travel from Florida to Texas to witness Wood’s execution. "I had promised Desi at her grave the day I buried her that I would find out who did this and help bring them to justice," Fulton said. "Twenty-two years later, it looks like I will be able to keep my promise." UPDATE: The Texas Criminal Court of Appeals stayed the execution of convicted serial killer David Leonard Wood. The court ordered the district court in El Paso to hold the hearing on Wood’s claim that he is mentally retarded.

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