January 2010 Executions

Five killers were executed in January 2010. They had murdered at least 7 people.

One killer was given a stay in January 2010. He has murdered at least 4 people.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
January 7, 2010 Ohio Sohail Darwish Vernon Smith executed
During the afternoon of May 26, 1993, Vernon Lamont Smith met up with Herbert Bryson and Lamont Layson at a dirt basketball court in a park at Highland and Maplewood in Toledo. The trio discussed "hitting a lick," i.e., committing a robbery. The group got in Bryson’s car, and Smith directed them to the corner of Woodstock and Avondale, where the Woodstock Market was located. Layson remained in the car while Smith and Bryson headed toward the carryout. Jeremiah Bishop, who was two houses down from the Woodstock Market at that time, saw Smith and another person enter the carryout. Bryson testified that after he and Smith entered the carryout, they noticed only two people in the store, both of whom were behind the counter. Bryson asked about a type of beer, and the storeowner, Sohail Darwish, came around the counter and walked over to the cooler to assist him. Darwish retrieved a forty-ounce beer bottle from the cooler and placed it on the counter. Bryson did the same. As Darwish was ringing up the sale on the cash register, Smith brandished a black gun and ordered Darwish to "open the cash register, motherf***er." Darwish, who was standing next to Bryson, put his hands up in the air and did not resist. Bryson went behind the counter and hit several buttons on the cash register, trying to open it. Bryson then ordered Darwish to open the cash register, which he did. Darwish then put his hands back up in the air. Osand Tahboub, a former co-worker who was visiting Darwish at the carryout at that time, testified that the gunman then told Darwish to "move and empty your wallet, mother***er." As Darwish was reaching for his wallet, Smith fired a single shot, hitting Darwish in the chest. Smith then ordered Tahboub to empty his wallet as well, and the two assailants then fled the scene. Darwish was able to push the alarm button before he fell to the floor. As a result of the single gunshot wound to the upper left side of his chest, Darwish bled to death. After Smith and Bryson left the carryout, Layson, who was waiting in Bryson’s car, noticed Smith holding a gun in his hand when he and Bryson climbed back into the automobile. According to Layson, Smith exclaimed, "Dang, I forgot the beer." When Bryson asked Smith "why did he do it," Smith replied that he shot the man "in the arm" because "he moved too slow," and that "he took too long opening the cash register." According to Layson, Smith then said, "F*** him, he in our neighborhood anyway. He shouldn’t be in our neighborhood with a store no way." Later, Smith and Bryson split the money taken in the robbery, which was apparently over $400. They also gave Layson all the stolen food stamps from the robbery plus $50. On June 9, approximately two weeks after the murder, police detective Dennis Richardson received information that persons possibly involved in a homicide were incarcerated in the Sandusky County Jail. Based on this and other information he received from sources, Richardson made up an eight-man photo array, including a photo of Herbert Bryson, to show to Tahboub. The next day, upon viewing the array, Tahboub selected Bryson’s photo as "not the guy with the gun, but the other guy." Based on this information and the fact that computer records showed Smith as a known associate of Bryson, Richardson compiled a second photo array that included a picture of Smith. Richardson showed Tahboub the second photo array, and Tahboub immediately selected Smith’s photo as that of the gunman. Consequently, Smith was arrested, and along with Bryson and Layson, was indicted by the grand jury in the Darwish murder. In count one, Smith was charged with aggravated felony-murder during an aggravated robbery. A death penalty specification attached to this count alleged that Smith was the principal offender in the aggravated murder during a robbery. The second count charged Bryson and Layson with aggravated felony-murder during an aggravated robbery. Counts three through five charged all three defendants with aggravated robbery of the carryout, of Darwish, and of Tahboub respectively. All five counts also carried firearm specifications. Prior to trial, defense counsel informed the trial judge that the prosecution had offered Smith a plea bargain to avoid the death penalty. However, Smith declined the plea offer contrary to the advice of defense counsel. At an in-chambers conference, Smith reiterated his desire to decline the plea bargain and proceed to trial. A jury trial was held wherein both Bryson and Layson testified for the state as a result of plea agreements. Bryson, who was in the carryout at the time of the shooting, testified that Smith fired the gunshot that caused Darwish’s death. Layson testified that Smith exhibited no remorse when he admitted that he had shot the carryout owner. Tahboub also testified and identified Smith as the murderer. The defense presented no witnesses and made no closing argument at the conclusion of trial. After deliberation, the jury found Smith guilty as charged. At the mitigation hearing, several witnesses testified on Smith’s behalf, including his wife, mother, and a psychologist, Robert Kahl, who evaluated Smith. In Kahl’s opinion, Smith suffers from a mental illness, but Kahl was unable to identify it specifically, since he was unable to complete his evaluation due to Smith’s lack of cooperation during the interview process. Smith’s mother testified that Smith’s biological father was never around during Smith’s childhood. In addition, Smith’s stepfather physically abused the mother in front of the children, including Smith. Smith’s wife, Grace Smith, testified that Smith broke down and cried one or two days after the murder and told her that it was an accident, and that he didn’t mean to do it. The jury recommended death, and the court imposed the death sentence on Smith.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
January 7, 2010 Louisiana Courtney LeBlanc, 12 Gerald Bordelon executed
Gerald Bordelon, a previously convicted sex offender, was sentenced to death for the rape and murder of his 12-year-old step-daughter, Courtney LeBlanc. Bordelon had prior convictions for forcible rape and aggravated crime against nature. He had been paroled after serving 10 years of a 20-year sentence. Courtney’s mother Jennifer Kocke had met Bordelon on the internet and married him in 2001. They moved from Louisiana to Mississippi and lived in a trailer owned by Bordelon’s parents outside of Gloster, Mississippi. However, during the Christmas holidays in 2001, Courtney’s mother learned from Courtney and one of her sisters that Bordelon had molested them. She notified the police and Bordelon was ordered to leave the residence. Kocke and her children moved back to Louisiana, however she maintained contact with her husband. She moved into a rented trailer Denham Springs in October 2002. Bordelon began working on various repairs to the trailer. On November 15, 2002, Bordelon kidnapped Courtney from her home at knifepoint. Courtney was alone at the trailer because her uncle had been admitted to a local hospital in critical condition following a car accident and Kocke stayed at the hospital overnight with her brother. Local residents volunteered to search for the missing girl, and 11 days after she disappeared, on November 26, 2002, Bordelon confessed to her murder and led authorities to Courtney’s partially nude body. In his videotaped confession, Bordelon admitted that he had taken Courtney to a wooded area near Baton Rouge on the banks of the Amite River where he strangled her. He said he parked his car in a wooded area early that morning and found Courtney sleeping on the couch. He shook her arm and told her to come with him. In his confession, Bordelon said, "I took Courtney and told her if she screamed or hollered or tried to get away, I was going to kill her." He said that during the drive to Mississippi, he forced Courtney to remove her underwear so he could fondle her. He drove down a gravel road and made the girl perform oral sex on him. They left Mississippi around 9 am and returned to Baton Rouge. He made Courtney walk down a dirt path near the Amite River, and Courtney asked, "Where are we going?" He told her they were going "to the river." When asked what Courtney’s last words were, Bordelon said, "Why do you like the river?" After reaching the banks of the river, Bordelon said he pushed Courtney down and she fell on her face, then rolled over. He straddled her and choked her with his hands. Courtney was able to bite Bordelon’s left thumb hard enough to cause bleeding. After choking Courtney to death, Bordelon said he moved her body into a wooded area and concealed her with heavy underbrush, then returned to his car and threw out Courtney’s panties. He then called his sister and went to her home so he could wash his clothing. Bordelon’s semen and Courtney’s DNA were found in Bordelon’s car. While awaiting trial, Bordelon and another inmate escaped from the Livingston Parish jail in 2003, but were recaptured the same weekend. A passing motorist reported seeing Bordelon near a highway. Bordelon has said, "I would commit the crime again if ever given the chance." The jury took only 38 minutes to deliberate before sentencing Bordelon to death. In October 2003, an Amite County jury deliberated for less than half an hour before finding Courtney’s mother, Jennifer Kocke, guilty of felony child abuse for allowing her daughter to have contact with her husband, who was a four-time convicted sex offender. Circuit Judge Forrest “Al” Johnson ordered that Jennifer could never have any contact with Gerald Bordelon. And Johnson ordered that on every June 5, which was Courtney’s birthday, Jennifer must write at least a 200-word letter to her daughter and have it filed in the Amite County Circuit Court no later than each June 10.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
January 7, 2010 Texas Michael "David" Moore, 32 Kenneth Mosley executed

michael mooreOn February 15, 1997, Kenneth Mosley murdered Garland, Texas police officer Michael Moore, 32, while attempting to rob a bank in Garland. Employees called police after noticing Mosley inside the bank acting suspicious. As one of the first officers to arrive at the scene, Officer Moore entered the bank in full uniform and approached Mosley, noticing that the would-be bandit had his hand stuck in his waistband. When Officer Moore told Mosley to show him his hands, a struggle ensued and the two crashed through a glass window. Witnesses heard several shots fired before Mosley re-entered the bank through the broken window and was shot in the wrist after flashing his pistol at a second police officer. Officer Michael Moore died the afternoon of the shooting. He suffered at least four bullet wounds to the torso. Mosley claimed at trial that he walked into the bank unaware that he had a gun in his pocket and then "remembered" that he had it when the police officer working in the bank asked him what was in his hand. He claimed that he tried to pull the gun only to "get rid of it," and in the ensuing struggle, he shot the officer. However, Mosley pointed his gun at David and shot him several times while he was on the ground outside the bank after the struggle took them through the window. Mosley admitted that he was aware of the risks involved in pulling a gun in a crowded bank in front of a police officer. David’s wife Sheila Moore intends to witness the execution of Kenneth Mosley.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
January 8, 2010 South Carolina Dale Evonne Hall, 45
Jedediah Harr, 22
Richard Hawks, 53
Robert Shane Roush, 29
Quincy Allen stayed
Quincy Jovan Allen is a serial killer who was sentenced to death in South Carolina. At approximately 3:00 a.m. on July 7, 2002, Quincy Allen approached a homeless man, fifty-one year old James White, who was lying on a swinging bench in Finlay Park in downtown Columbia. Allen ordered White to stand up, and proceeded to shoot him in the shoulder. When White fell back to the bench, Allen ordered him to stand up and shot him again. According to Allen’s subsequent statement to police, he had just gotten the shot-gun and he used White as a practice victim because he did not know how to shoot the gun. White survived the assault. A few days later, on July 10, 2002, Allen met a prostitute named Dale Hall on Two Notch Road in Columbia; he took her to an isolated dead end cul-de-sac near I-77 where he shot her three times with a 12 gauge shotgun, placing the shotgun in her mouth as she pleaded for her life. After shooting her, Allen left to purchase a can of gasoline, and came back to douse Hall’s body and set her on fire. He then went back to work at his job at the Texas Roadhouse Grill restaurant on Two Notch Road. Several weeks later, on August 8, 2002, while working at the restaurant, Allen got into an argument with two sisters, Taneal and Tiffany Todd; he threatened Tiffany, who was then 12 weeks pregnant, that he was going to slap her so hard her baby would have a mark on it. Tiffany’s boyfriend Brian Marquis came to the restaurant, accompanied by his friend Jedediah Harr. After a confrontation, Allen fired his shotgun into Harr’s car, attempting to shoot Marquis; however, Allen missed Marquis and instead hit Harr in the right side of the head. As the car rolled downhill, Marquis jumped out and ran into a nearby convenience store, where he was hidden in the cooler by an employee. Allen left the convenience store, and went and set fire to the front porch of Marquis’ home. A few hours later Allen set fire to the car of Sarah Barnes, another Texas Roadhouse employee. Harr died of the shotgun blast to his head. The following day, Allen set fire to the car of another man, Don Bundrick, whom he apparently did not know. Later that evening, August 9, 2002, Allen went to a strip club, Platinum Plus, in Columbia, where he pointed his shotgun at a patron. Allen left South Carolina and proceeded to New York City. On his way back, while in North Carolina, Allen shot and killed two men at a convenience store in Surrey County. He admitted killing a clerk and a customer at the store. He was sentenced to life in prison for those murders, receiving two consecutive life sentences without parole. Prosecutors had been seeking the death penalty. The victims were 53-year-old convenience store clerk Richard Hawks of Lowgap, North Carolina, and 29-year-old customer Robert Shane Roush of Lancaster, Ohio, killed in August, 2002. Police said Allen walked in and, without any provocation, shot and killed the two men. Allen then went to Texas, where he was apprehended by law enforcement on August 14th. Allen gave statements to police outlining the details of his crimes. He told police he began killing people because an inmate in federal prison, where Allen spent time for stealing a vehicle, had told him he could get him a job as a mafia hit man. Allen got tired of waiting and embarked on his own killing spree. Allen told police he would have killed more people if he had had a handgun, but his prior record prohibited him from obtaining a handgun. On November 16, 2009, the South Carolina state court denied Allen’s final appeal, clearing the way for his execution date to be set. Two weeks later, Allen and another death row inmate, Mikal Mahdi, attacked and repeatedly stabbed a guard at the Broad River prison. They were being monitored during an outdoor recreation period when the pair stabbed the guard repeatedly with a makeshift knife.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
January 12, 2010 Texas James Mathew Hazelton, 28
Peter Joseph Sparagana, 23
Gary Johnson executed
Bill and Shannon Ferguson were in their pasture on the evening of April 30, 1986, waiting for a mare to foal. Sometime before 10:00 p.m., they saw a truck pull over near a gate to the adjacent Triple Creek Ranch. They saw someone get out of the truck, heard a chain rattle on the gate, and saw the truck go through the gate and onto the ranch. Other evidence showed that the original chain had been cut and a new lock had been placed on the gate. The truck’s headlights were off, but Mrs. Ferguson noticed an unusual brake light pattern on the truck (four large round lights, two on each side, one above the other). Mrs. Ferguson went to the barn and called the Triple Creek Ranch. She spoke to the wife of Jim Hazelton, the ranch manager, and told her that a burglary might be taking place because a truck had entered the ranch with its lights off. Mrs. Hazelton told Mrs. Ferguson that her husband would be right out. Fifteen minutes later, the Fergusons saw Triple Creek Ranch manager Jim Hazelton’s truck appear at the same gate. Hazelton was unable to enter the ranch through that gate, so he backed up and entered the ranch from another location. Eventually the Fergusons heard Hazelton’s truck stop. When they heard a gunshot, Mrs. Ferguson went back to the barn to call the Walker County Sheriff’s Department and Mrs. Hazelton. While Mrs. Ferguson was gone, Mr. Ferguson remained in the pasture. Several minutes after the first gunshot, Mr. Ferguson heard several shots fired in rapid succession. After a brief silence, Mr. Ferguson heard someone plead for his life. The pleas were silenced by two more shots. When the law enforcement officials arrived, they discovered the bodies of Jim Hazelton and his brother-in-law, Peter Sparagana. Mrs. Hazelton was Peter’s sister. Walker County Deputy Sheriff Allen McCandles saw a truck matching Shannon Ferguson’s description of the truck driven by the intruders in Gary James Johnson’s pasture after the shootings, and he saw Johnson driving the truck numerous times. Another law enforcement officer testified that two of the lights on the back of Johnson’s truck were removed in the two weeks after the murders. Johnson and his brother Terry Del Johnson were arrested for the murders two years later. Three of Johnson’s brothers, Tracey, Randy, and Ricky, testified for the State at trial. Tracey testified that Johnson came to Missouri during the fall of 1986, returned Tracey’s.44 caliber pistol, and asked Tracey to destroy it because the gun had been used in a double murder in which Johnson and another brother, Terry, participated. Ricky testified that, during that same visit to Missouri, Johnson was in possession of the.44 caliber pistol, he admitted killing one man with the gun, and he said that he and Terry also killed a second man. A state firearms examiner later identified a bullet fragment retrieved from Hazelton’s body as having been fired from the same.44 caliber pistol that Johnson returned to Tracey. Randy testified that Johnson told him that Johnson and Terry were out at the Triple Creek to steal a welder, tires, livestock feed and other items when two men “got the drop on them”; while Terry distracted them, Johnson shot one of the men; Johnson and Terry caught the other man, brought him back to the barn, made him kneel, and tied his hands behind his back; and while the second man pleaded for mercy, Johnson shoved the gun in his mouth. The medical examiner testified that Jim Hazelton died from a contact bullet wound to the mouth. Randy testified that Johnson told him the two men were killed because “dead mean don’t talk.” The defense called Johnson’s brother, Terry, as a witness. Terry testified that Gary Johnson killed both of the victims. He testified that his brother Gary’s favorite expression was “kill them all, let God sort them out.” The defense also presented testimony from two inmates in the Walker County Jail that Terry Johnson told them that he (Terry) had killed both of the victims. At the penalty phase of the trial, the State presented evidence that Johnson shot and killed a neighbor’s dog from a distance of 75 to 100 yards, while the dog was standing a few feet from the neighbor. The State also presented evidence that Johnson was carrying a loaded handgun when he was arrested for the murders. Johnson’s uncle testified for the defense at the penalty phase that he had never seen Johnson act violently. Johnson’s former boss and a co-worker testified that Johnson was hard-working, respectful, and non-violent. Johnson’s ex-wife testified that Johnson was never violent toward their children, and never drank or used drugs. The jury found that Johnson had acted deliberately and with a reasonable expectation that death would result, and that it was probable that Johnson would commit future acts of criminal violence that constitute a continuing threat to society. The trial court sentenced to Johnson to death. Co-defendant Terry Del Johnson was convicted of murder and sentenced to 99 years after testifying against his brother and accepting a plea bargain to avoid a death sentence.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
January 14, 2010 Oklahoma Joyland Evette Morgan, 20
Kewan Dontae Morgan, 6
Julius Young executed
In 1995, Julius Recardo Young was convicted in Oklahoma state court of two counts of first degree murder for beating to death his girlfriend’s daughter and six year old grandson. The murders occurred two days after his girlfriend, Joyslon Edwards, advised him she wanted to cool their relationship, and he would not get a key to her new apartment. She was not giving him a key because she wanted her daughter and grandson to “feel safe” when they visited her. They did not like Young. Young had a key to the apartment Edwards had been sharing with her daughter, Joyland Morgan, and her grandson, Kewan Morgan. The day before the murders Edwards demanded the key from Young, but he did not return it. Joyland and Kewan Morgan were beaten to death in their Tulsa apartment on October 1, 1993. Their wounds indicated the murder weapon was a blunt instrument similar to a baseball bat, but the murder weapon was never found. Joyland sustained defensive wounds to her hands and arms, and at least thirteen blows to her face and head. These blows broke her jaw, tore open her scalp, and fractured her skull. She was found slumped against a living room wall. Kewan Morgan died in his bed. He sustained massive head fractures caused by two separate blows. Every night before she went to bed Joyland Morgan secured her front door with two locks and a security chain. The intruder opened both locks with a key and pushed through the security chain, breaking it. A piece of the broken chain was missing from the apartment. No eye-witnesses were found. However, a downstairs neighbor was awakened at 3:40 a.m. by a single loud bump from Morgan’s apartment. Joyslon Edwards testified she saw a baseball bat in Young’s trunk the night before the murders, but the next day it was gone. Young always drove Edwards to work and the day of the murders he arrived at 4:15 a.m., earlier than usual. Edwards asked him for change so she could use the vending machines at work. When Young pulled out the contents of his pocket, Edwards saw a piece of security chain similar to the one she had installed on her daughter’s door. Later that day when Edwards learned of the murders, she reported this evidence to the police. Young lived with his mother at the time, and the police obtained a warrant to search the mother’s home. Edwards told them what Young had worn the previous evening. The police recovered the shoes described by Edwards and these bore a visible spot of blood. Young accompanied the police during the search. He volunteered the drop was fish blood. DNA testing revealed the drop was human blood consistent with that of Joyland and Kewan Morgan. The police also recovered a freshly laundered shirt which tested positive for blood when it was exposed to Luminol, a chemical that reacts with the iron found in blood.

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