April 2011 Executions

One killer was executed in April 2011. He had murdered at least 1 person.
killer was given a stay in April 2011. He has murdered at least 1 person.
One killer died on death row while awaiting execution in April 2011. He had murdered at least 1 person.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
April 5, 2011 Texas Rachel Urnosky, 22
Nyanuer "Mary" Pal, 28
Cleve Foster stayed
Rachel Urnosky, murder victimMary Pal was a native of Sudan and lived with her aunt and uncle in Fort Worth. She worked at River Crest Country Club. On February 13, 2002, Cleve Foster and Sheldon Ward met Mary at Fat Albert’s, a Fort Worth pool hall where all three were regular customers. According to the bartender, Pal interacted primarily with Ward until the bar closed at 2:00 a.m. She then walked to the parking lot with Ward where they talked for a few minutes. Afterwards, Pal left in her car, which was followed closely by Foster and Ward driving in Foster’s truck. Approximately eight hours later, Pal’s nude body was discovered in a ditch far off a road in Tarrant County. She had been shot in the head. A wadded-up piece of bloody duct tape lay next to her body. Her unlocked car was later found in the parking lot of the apartment complex where she lived. The police investigation focused on Foster and Ward once police learned that they had been with Pal that night. On February 21, 2002, police searched the motel room shared by Foster and Ward. Only Foster was present. He directed the police to a dresser drawer that contained a gun Ward had purchased from a pawn shop in August 2001. Later that day, Foster voluntarily went to the police department to give a statement and to provide a DNA sample. In his statement, Foster first denied Pal had been inside his truck. However, he then admitted that she may have leaned inside. Finally, he admitted that "they" went cruising, but that "they" brought Pal back to her vehicle at Fat Albert’s. Police also obtained a DNA sample from Ward sometime on the night of February 21, 2002. In the early morning hours of February 22, 2002, Ward called a friend to ask if he could stay with him. Ward told the friend over the phone that he was in trouble because he killed someone. The friend arrived at the motel around 2:00 or 2:30 a.m. to pick up Ward. While in the truck, Ward told his friend that he followed a girl home from a bar, forced her into a truck at gunpoint, took her out to the country, raped her, and shot her. Ward did not mention Foster. The friend stopped the truck at a store and got the police to arrest Ward. Ward then told police that he had been drinking heavily and using cocaine the night of the offense. He claimed that he and Pal arranged to meet after Fat Albert’s closed. Ward also told the police that he drove alone to Pal’s apartment in Foster’s truck to pick up Pal, and that he and Pal had consensual vaginal and anal sex on the front seat of Foster’s truck before they drove back to the motel room where Foster was "pretty much passed out" on the bed. Ward claimed that he and Pal had consensual vaginal sex again in the motel room before they left to drive around. Ward recalled standing over Pal’s body lying on the ground with a gunshot wound to her head and a gun in his hand. Ward claimed not to remember firing the gun. He told police that he stripped her body and dumped her clothes in a dumpster. Ward explained that he left a note in the motel apologizing to Foster for involving him. Ward also stated that he told his friend a few hours earlier that he had sex with a girl and killed her. On March 22, 2002, Foster gave another written statement to police in which he claimed: (1) he and Ward followed Pal to her apartment after meeting her at Fat Albert’s; (2) Pal voluntarily went with them to their motel room in his truck; (3) after taking sleeping pills and drinking beer, Foster fell asleep watching television while Ward and Pal kissed; and (4) Foster awoke to Pal performing oral sex on him. In addition to Foster’s and Ward’s statements, physical evidence also linked the two to the offense. DNA tests established that semen found in Pal’s vagina contained Foster’s DNA, and semen found in Pal’s anus contained Ward’s DNA. Ward may also have been a minor contributor to the semen found in Pal’s vagina. DNA testing also revealed that Pal’s blood and tissue were on the gun recovered during the motel room search. In addition, a police detective and medical examiner testified that Pal was not shot where her body was found because there was no blood splatter in the area. Since the soles of her feet indicated that she had not walked to the location where her body was found, the detective testified that he was "very comfortable" with stating that two people carried Pal’s body to that location. In support of his testimony, the detective noted that the raised-arm position of Pal’s body suggested she may have been carried by her feet and hands. In addition, the detective noted that Pal was five-seven and 130 pounds and Ward is only five-six and 140 pounds, while Foster is six feet tall and around 225 pounds. In February 2004, Foster was convicted of the rape and capital murder of Mary Pal. Based on the necessary jury findings during the punishment phase, the trial court sentenced Foster to death. Sheldon Ward was also sentenced to death for Mary Pal’s murder but he died of a brain tumor in prison in May 2009. The gun that was used as the murder weapon was also identified as the gun used in December 2001 to kill Rachel Urnosky , 22, at her apartment in Fort Worth. Both men were charged in Rachel’s murder, but never tried. Foster told police they were both at her apartment but they left after she refused to have sex with them. When she did not report for work at Buckle, a clothing store at a local shopping mall, her manager called police. They found the door to her apartment open and Rachel was found shot to death in her bed. Rachel was a magna cum laude graduate from Texas Tech and an officer with the Baptist Student Mission and spent her spring breaks on mission trips. She had recently gotten engaged. UDPATE: The US Supreme Court granted a stay of execution to Cleve Foster a few hours before he was supposed to face his punishment for the murder of Mary Pal. The court granted the stay based on claims that Foster’s attorneys were ineffective. The state has 30 days to respond to the petition. This is the second time Foster has received a stay on the day of execution. Rachel Urnosky’s family had traveled to Huntsville from Lubbock. "I just want it to be over," said Rachel’s mother, Pam to the Star Telegram. "This is astounding to me. The irony is that my daughter didn’t get such consideration. I have been so upset. Sickened. We buried her four days before Christmas. I have not done as much good as she did in her short life." She also said, "It’s not about revenge," she said. "To us, it is about justice. I’m not his judge, but I know what he did, and they both had a part in it, and it happened not only once, but twice. I want him to admit he did it. Admit his guilt." Read more: http://www.star-telegram.com/2011/04/02/2970197/execution-of-womans-killer-still.html#ixzz1IkSFQ8NT
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
April 5, 2011 Arizona Carlos Cruz Ramos
Kevin Swaney
Daniel Cook stayed
Shortly after 4:00 a.m. on July 21, 1987, John Matzke and Byron Watkins arrived at the Lake Havasu City Police Department, where Matzke reported his involvement in two murders committed at his apartment during the evening of July 19 and early morning of July 20. Matzke told officers about the crimes and granted the police consent to enter the apartment. Investigating officers went to the apartment that Matzke shared with Daniel Wayne Cook. After arresting Cook, officers searched the apartment and discovered the bodies of Carlos Cruz Ramos and Kevin Swaney in the closet of Matzke’s bedroom. Autopsies revealed that both victims had been strangled. Cook and Matzke were each indicted on two counts of first degree murder. In return for the state’s dismissal of all other charges, Matzke agreed to plead guilty to one count of second degree murder and to testify against Cook. Cook was not offered a plea agreement. At trial Matzke related the following sordid story of bondage, torture, and sodomy, in which Cook was the principal protagonist. Carlos Cruz Ramos was a Guatemalan national employed at the same restaurant where Cook and Matzke worked. He had recently moved into their apartment. According to Matzke, Cook devised a plan to steal Cruz Ramos’ money. While Matzke distracted Cruz Ramos, Cook stole approximately $90 from Cruz Ramos’ money pouch. Shortly afterward, Cruz Ramos noticed his money was missing, and asked Cook and Matzke whether they knew anything about it. The two then lured Cruz Ramos into Cook’s upstairs bedroom. They pushed Cruz Ramos down on the bed and, using strips torn from Cook’s sheets, gagged him and tied him to a chair. Over the course of the next six or seven hours, Cruz Ramos was cut with a knife, beaten with fists, a metal pipe and a wooden stick, burned with cigarettes, sodomized, and had a staple driven through his foreskin. Matzke suggested that they kill Cruz Ramos because they could not let him go. Cook replied that Cruz Ramos should be killed at midnight, "the witching hour." When midnight arrived, Matzke first tried to strangle Cruz Ramos with a sheet. Matzke then took Cruz Ramos out of the chair, put him on the floor, and pushed down on his throat with a metal pipe. According to Matzke, because Cruz Ramos still would not die, Cook pressed down on one end of the pipe while Matzke pressed on the other. Finally, Matzke stood on the pipe as it lay across Cruz Ramos’ throat and killed him. Matzke and Cook later dressed Cruz Ramos and put him in the closet of Matzke’s bedroom. The autopsy revealed that Cruz Ramos had suffered severe lacerations and contusions as a result of his beating, that he had been cut on the chest, and that his stomach and genitals had been burned. The autopsy also revealed that Cruz Ramos had two puncture holes in his foreskin and that his anus was dilated, although no semen was detected. Kevin Swaney was a sixteen-year-old runaway and sometime guest at the apartment. He was a dishwasher at the restaurant where the others worked. Shortly after 2:00 a.m., approximately two hours after Cruz Ramos’ death, Swaney stopped by the apartment. Cook initially told Swaney to leave, but subsequently invited him inside. Cook and Matzke told Swaney they had a dead body upstairs and, according to Matzke, Cook took Swaney upstairs and showed him Cruz Ramos’ body. Swaney was crying when he and Cook returned downstairs. Cook reportedly told Swaney to undress, and Swaney complied, and Cook and Matzke then gagged him and tied him to a chair in the kitchen. Matzke said he told Cook that he would not witness or participate in Swaney’s torture. Matzke then went into the living room and fell asleep in a chair. Cook later woke Matzke, who said he saw Swaney bound and gagged, sitting on the couch, crying. Cook told Matzke he had sodomized Swaney and that they had to kill him. Matzke said they tried to strangle Swaney with a sheet, but Matzke’s end kept slipping out of his hands. Cook then reportedly stated "this one’s mine," placed Swaney on the floor, and strangled him. He carried Swaney’s body upstairs and put him in the closet with Cruz Ramos. The autopsy revealed that Swaney’s anus was dilated and semen was present, although the identity of the donor could not be ascertained. Matzke’s fingerprints were found on the knife used to cut Cruz Ramos’ chest, but no identifiable fingerprints were found on the metal pipe or wooden stick. Cook’s fingerprints were found on the chair to which Cruz Ramos had been tied, the closet door, and the stapler. His semen was found on the strips that had been torn from his bedsheets. There was no other physical evidence of Cook’s participation. After Swaney’s murder, Cook and Matzke fell asleep downstairs. Later in the day, Matzke went to work, but returned a few hours later after quitting his job at the restaurant. Late that evening, some friends came over to the apartment. Early in the morning of July 21, 1987, Matzke took one of the friends, Byron Watkins, outside of the apartment and told him about the murders. Watkins convinced Matzke to go to the police. When Cook was arrested and brought to the station, he was questioned by Detective David Eaton of the Lake Havasu City Police Department. According to Eaton, he advised Cook of his Miranda rights, then asked him how the two bodies found in the apartment had gotten there. Cook replied that "we got to partying; things got out of hand; now two people are dead." When asked how they died, Cook said "my roommate killed one and I killed the other." Cook was initially represented by appointed counsel. Prior to trial, Cook decided to waive his right to counsel and to represent himself. The trial judge strongly advised Cook against representing himself, enumerating the pitfalls he was likely to encounter. The trial court then accepted his waiver of counsel as knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily given, and appointed Cook’s former counsel to be his advisory counsel. Also before trial, the trial court granted the state’s motion to preclude all evidence of intoxication, and allowed the state to proceed on the theory that the murders were committed "knowingly." That is, the state would not have to prove that Cook acted intentionally in the murders of Cruz Ramos and Swaney, and therefore evidence of intoxication, which might negate intent but not knowledge, was precluded. The jury convicted Cook on both counts of first degree murder. At the sentencing hearing, Cook stated that the only penalty he would accept was death, and presented no mitigating evidence, though he did mention his lack of any other felony convictions. The state argued that the murder of Cruz Ramos was committed for pecuniary gain, and that it was committed in an an especially cruel, heinous, and depraved manner. The state also argued that Swaney’s murder was especially cruel, heinous, and depraved. The court found these aggravating factors to exist and found an additional aggravating factor in both murders — that they were committed during the commission of another homicide. The trial court found no mitigating factors, and sentenced Cook to death on each count, with the proviso that if the sentences were reduced to life on appeal, they would run consecutively. UPDATE: The US Supreme Court granted a stay of execution to Daniel Cook who claimed that he was denied the effective assistance of counsel, even though he chose to represent himself at trial.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
April 5, 2011 Pennsylvania Wendy Miller, 28 Dennis Reed stayed
Wendy Miller was a mother of four—in addition to Dennis C. Reed’s son, Markece, she had three minor children fathered by Mark McKnight. Markece testified that, throughout a portion of the months preceding the killing, Reed lived with Wendy and the children in her apartment. Further, Markece related that Reed threatened his mother’s life and physically abused her during this time period. Wendy Miller secured temporary protection from abuse orders from the common pleas court in October and December 2001. Wendy’s daughter, Jayla McKnight, testified that, on the night on which her mother was killed, Reed appeared at the apartment, hit Wendy repeatedly, and removed her from the premises. Further, Jayla indicated that, when Wendy reappeared momentarily with Reed, she told the three McKnight children to dress; the group entered Wendy’s sport-utility vehicle; and Reed drove to Neshannock Village, a local housing project. Reed and Wendy left the children in the vehicle and walked away, with Reed sliding a pistol-grip shotgun into his pants. Jayla also related that Reed returned alone twenty minutes later, telling the children that their mother left for work; he then took the children to Butler County, where they lived largely out of the vehicle for approximately one week. From the witness stand, police officers discussed their subsequent efforts to locate Reed and Wendy Miller’s vehicle, which was spotted eventually in Butler County, where Reed was taken into custody. Officers also confirmed that the McKnight children were in the vehicle, as was a 12-gauge shotgun containing a spent casing consistent with a slug load. Additionally, live and spent shotgun rounds were found on Reed’s person. Officers and Wendy Miller’s brother, Charles Miller, explained that, with the information they learned from the McKnight children, they searched the Neshannock Village area. Eventually Mr. Miller and some friends located Wendy’s body in a wooded area accessible from a roadway extension. A medical examiner described the nature and extent of the fatal wound, which was caused by a close-range discharge of a slug from a shotgun. Police also testified to recovery of a small stain sample from Reed’s clothes, which a forensic specialist identified as containing a genetic marker consistent with the victim’s blood. Further, based on a DNA examination, a specialist in that field found a very high statistical probability of a match between the material and a sample of Wendy Miller’s blood. While Reed is the only living witness to the actual killing, the Commonwealth presented strong circumstantial evidence implicating him as the killer. Moreover, the manner of death, entailing a close-range shot to the head, is indicative of the requisite malice and specific intent to kill. The evidence was sufficient to support the first-degree murder conviction.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
April 6, 2011 Indiana Beth Kubsch
Rick Milewski
Aaron Milewski
Wayne Kubsch stayed
Wayne and Beth Kubsch dated several years before getting married in November 1997. At the time of their marriage, Beth was the mother of two sons from a previous marriage: eleven-year-old Aaron Milewski, and twelve-year-old Anthony Earley. Aaron lived in South Bend with his father Rick Milewski, and Anthony lived with Kubsch and Beth in their Mishawaka home. In addition to the house in Mishawaka, Kubsch owned eleven rental properties throughout St. Joseph County with mortgages totaling over $456,000. By 1998, Kubsch had amassed considerable personal debt. In March 1998, Kubsch refinanced four of his rental properties to pay off credit card debt exceeding $16,000. Despite paying off this debt, by August 1998 Kubsch had accumulated another $23,000 in credit card debt. And by September 1998, Kubsch was falling behind on some of his mortgage payments, and the taxes on his rental properties were so delinquent that he was in danger of losing them in a tax sale. In the midst of these financial problems, Kubsch purchased a life insurance policy on his wife Beth, and listed himself as the sole beneficiary. The policy was issued July 27, 1998, and paid $575,000 upon the death of the insured. On September 18, 1998, Beth was scheduled to retrieve Anthony from a school dance at 4:45 pm. When she failed to show, Anthony received a ride home from a friend. Arriving at the house at approximately 5:30 pm, Anthony saw the cars of both Beth and Rick parked in the driveway. When he entered the house, however, no one appeared to be home. While searching the house, Anthony noticed blood on the floor in his mother’s bedroom as well as signs of a struggle. He then checked the basement, where he found the bodies of Rick and Aaron. Rick had been shot in the head, and a knife was protruding from his chest. A later autopsy revealed that Aaron also had been shot in the head and stabbed twenty-two times. Unable to find the telephone, Anthony ran to the house of a neighbor, who called 911. When Kubsch arrived home around 6:45 pm, his house was closed off with crime scene tape. After being told that Rick and Aaron were dead and that his wife’s whereabouts were unknown, Kubsch accompanied police to the Special Crimes Unit in South Bend for routine questioning. Michael Samp and Mark Reihl, both detectives with the Special Crimes Unit, videotaped and audiotaped the questioning. Although Detective Samp informed Kubsch that he was not under arrest, he nevertheless read Kubsch Miranda warnings. Kubsch signed a waiver of rights form and proceeded to answer the detectives’ questions concerning his whereabouts that day. Kubsch told police that he had not seen Beth since he left for work around 6:00 am that morning and that he had just returned from Three Rivers, Michigan where he had picked up his son. Eventually Kubsch said, "I don’t wanna talk anymore…." When the detectives began asking additional questions, Kubsch again said, "I don’t want to go talk anymore" and left the interview room. Around 9:00 pm, police discovered Beth’s body in the basement. It was hidden in a "fort" that Anthony had built underneath the basement steps. Beth had been "hog-tied" with duct tape, and her head was encased in duct tape. She had been stabbed eleven times. A pair of sunglasses belonging to Kubsch was lying beside her left knee. After learning that Beth’s body had been found, Detective Samp instructed an officer to bring Kubsch back to the Special Crimes Unit. Detective Samp wanted to ask Kubsch a few more questions, seek permission to search his vehicle, and inform him that his wife was dead. This second round of questioning was also audiotaped and videotaped. Upon entering the interview room, Kubsch said "I really don’t want to answer anymore… questions… because if I was you… I would look at me as a prime suspect and I… really don’t want to answer any questions." Detective Samp then asked Kubsch for permission to search his vehicle, and Kubsch signed a consent form permitting officers to do so. At that point, Detective Reihl asked Kubsch "what happened at the house?" When Kubsch did not answer, Detective Reihl informed him that Beth was dead. Kubsch’s reaction was "that was fairly obvious." Detective Reihl then asked Kubsch again what happened at the house, to which Kubsch responded, "I don’t want to answer anymore questions." Detective Reihl replied, "Exactly what do you mean when you say you don’t want to talk to us?" Kubsch elaborated, "I don’t want to talk without an attorney." The questioning was discontinued. From September to December 1998, no one was arrested or charged in connection with the three deaths. However, on December 18, 1998, a person by the name of Tashana Penn told police that during the first week of December she and her boyfriend were present at a restaurant in Mishawaka. According to Penn, when her boyfriend left the table to go to the restroom, she overheard a conversation between two men who were seated in a booth directly behind her. Penn told police that one of the men said he had hurt a little boy and although he did not like the little boy, he never meant to hurt him. According to Penn, the man also admitted hurting the little boy the most severely and predicted that he would never get caught. Penn later identified Kubsch from a photo array as the man talking in the restaurant. On December 22, 1998, the State charged Kubsch with three counts of murder. And on April 7, 1999, the State filed its notice of intent to seek the death penalty. The trial was held June 1-15, 2000. The State’s theory at trial was that Kubsch’s financial difficulties spawned the purchase of the life insurance policy and the plot to kill Beth. The State argued that the murders were committed between 1:53 and 2:51 pm primarily based on Kubsch’s cellular phone records. The State contended that Kubsch first killed Beth, was surprised by Rick and Aaron’s arrival, and then was forced to kill them. The defense theory at trial was that Kubsch was in Michigan picking up his son at the time of the murders and that Brad Hardy, a lifelong friend of Kubsch, committed the murders. In support of its theory, the State presented evidence that Kubsch’s cellular phone records placed him near his home in Mishawaka, when he claimed to be in Michigan. The State also presented evidence that duct tape packaging was found during the search of Kubsch’s vehicle. And despite Kubsch’s claim that he had not seen Beth since 6:00 am on the morning of the crimes, the State presented evidence that a bank receipt stamped 11:13 am on September 18 with Beth’s fingerprints on it had also been found during the search of Kubsch’s vehicle. The jury found Kubsch guilty as charged. The penalty phase of trial was held on June 16, 2000, and the jury returned a recommendation of death.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
April 7, 2011 Pennsylvania Steven Smith
Rasheed Abdul Grant
Aquil Bond stayed
On November 29, 2002, two rival gangs engaged in a gunfight at the North American Motor Inn on City Line and Belmont Avenue in Philadelphia. Aquil Bond was a member of one of the gangs, and, during the gunfight, two of his fellow gang members, Michael Allen Finney and Antoine Steed, were killed. Afterward, Bond’s gang decided to avenge the deaths of Finney and Steed; Bond and several other gang members, including Christopher Smith (hereinafter "Smith" or "co-defendant"), Jawayne Brown, Richard Brown (Bond’s cousin), Vincent Smithwick, and two others named Damar and Lonnie, gathered at the home of Richard Brown’s girlfriend, Tammy, to formulate a plan. The group decided that two members of the rival group, "Brent" and "G Bucks," whom they believed were responsible for shooting Finney and Steed, must be killed. Richard Brown, the reputed leader of Bond’s gang, gave orders that any member of the rival gang should be shot on sight. A day or two later, shortly after midnight on December 1, 2002, Richard Carter was sitting with a female friend on the steps of 4220 Ogden Street. Several other men from the neighborhood were standing outside on the street, including someone whom Carter knew as "Buck," Brent Jenkins, and Jared Barkley. At one point, Carter noticed a burgundy Park Avenue car circling the corner. Jenkins was outside as the car circled the corner the first time, but left the area by the time it circled a second time. As the car circled the corner for the second time, Carter saw the driver’s side window open, and saw Bond, whom Carter recognized from the area, exit the car with a gun in his hand. Bond approached an unidentified male who resembled Jenkins; however, apparently realizing that the man was not Jenkins, Bond returned to the car. The car circled the corner a third time, and then stopped in front of 4210 Ogden Street, at which time Bond and Smith jumped out of the car and began firing shots down Ogden Street. Moments before the shooting began, Carter observed Rasheed Abdul Grant, also known as Abdul Brooks, or "Rev," standing near the passenger side of his maroon Pontiac Bonneville, which was parked in front of Grant’s father’s house at 4219 Ogden Street. When the shooting began, Carter ran. At approximately 1:40 a.m., Philadelphia Police Officer Joseph Rogers received a radio call indicating gunshots in the area of 42nd and Ogden Streets and the 800 block of Brooklyn Street. When Officer Rogers arrived at the scene, he observed Grant lying face down in the street with his eyes open and not breathing. Rogers radioed for a rescue squad, which arrived approximately ten minutes later. Grant was pronounced dead at the scene at 1:53 a.m., having suffered seven gunshot wounds to his body. Another man, Antwoin Weston, had been shot in the leg and was crawling along the sidewalk. He was transported to the hospital for treatment. At approximately 2:10 a.m., William Whitehouse of the Philadelphia Police Crime Scene Unit arrived at 42nd and Ogden Streets to process the crime scene and observed the following vehicles: (1) a maroon Crown Victoria with two holes in the windshield parked in front of 4210 Ogden Street; (2) a maroon Pontiac Bonneville in front of 4219 Ogden Street, next to which Grant’s body was found; and (3) a red Jeep with some damage in front of 4221 Ogden Street. Whitehouse recovered 30 spent cartridges from three separate areas of the scene, including the area in front of 4205 and 4207 Ogden Street; the sidewalk in front of 4217 and 4219 Ogden Street; and the street in front of 4217 and 4219 Ogden Street. All of the cartridges were.357 caliber, and it was determined that 19 were fired from a single weapon, and 11 were fired from a second weapon. Nearly four months after the Ogden Street shooting, on April 13, 2003, Officer Jerrell Short of the 9th Police District was working nightclub detail at 6th and Spring Garden Streets in Philadelphia. At approximately 3:30 a.m., Officer Short observed Smith and Richard Brown running towards him. Officer Short stopped them and ordered them to stand against a gate and show their hands. Smith appeared to be fumbling around the midsection of his pants or jacket. Ultimately, Smith and Brown ran away, and Officer Short and several other officers, including Officer Short’s partner, Officer Gregory Welsh, pursued them on foot. As they did so, Officer Welsh observed Smith remove a black gun from his waistband and throw it into the street. Officer Welsh retrieved the gun, a Sig Pro 2340.357 caliber black semi-automatic handgun, serial number SP0061985. He removed the magazine from the gun, as well as one live round from the chamber. Police also collected seven fired cartridges from the area, and ballistics analysis established that five of them came from the gun thrown into the street by Smith. Smith was captured by police and arrested. On May 14, 2003, Agent Anthony Tropea of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms questioned Smith’s girlfriend, Juanita Stokes-Steadley, regarding her purchase of a Sig Pro.357 caliber semi-automatic pistol from the Firing Line 816*816 Gun Store on November 29, 2002, following the gunfight at the North American Motor Inn. When first questioned, Stokes-Steadley maintained that she purchased the firearm for her own use, with her own money. Agent Tropea asked Stokes-Steadley to produce the firearm, and she indicated that the gun was in the basement of her residence. When agents went to retrieve the firearm, they found an empty gun box bearing the serial number SP0061985, the serial number of the gun Stokes-Steadley admitted to having purchased. Upon further questioning, Stokes-Steadley admitted to Agent Tropea that Smith gave her the money for the firearm and gave her specific instructions to purchase the Sig Pro.357 caliber pistol and ammunition. At trial, Stokes-Steadley testified that Smith first asked her to purchase the gun two days before November 29, 2002; that Smith gave her the money to purchase the gun and ammunition on November 29, 2002; and that after she purchased the gun and ammunition on November 29, 2002, she gave it to Smith, and that was the last time she saw the gun. It later was determined that 19 of the spent cartridges recovered from the scene of the Ogden Street murder came from this gun. In September 2003, one of Bond’s fellow gang members, Vincent Smithwick, nicknamed "Scooter," was arrested on federal drug charges. As part of a plea agreement, Smithwick gave a statement to police concerning seven different homicides, implicating himself in two of the murders. Smithwick also provided information regarding the murder of Grant. At trial in the instant case, Smithwick testified that the members of Richard Brown’s gang decided to retaliate against their rivals for the November 29, 2002 shooting at the North American Motor Inn. Smithwick described how, on November 30, 2002, he, Bond, and Jawana Moore, who was Smithwick’s half-sister and Bond’s girlfriend, went to the Firing Line Gun Store to purchase a.357 caliber Sig Pro firearm. Smithwick testified that Bond wanted to purchase that particular model because "Richard Brown had one first and liked the model." He also testified that only he and Moore went inside the store, and that Moore actually purchased the gun. The serial number of the gun purchased by Moore was SP0061983. Smithwick further testified that he was at the home of Richard Brown’s girlfriend, Tammy, on December 1, 2002, when Bond and Smith stated that they were going to 42nd and Ogden Streets to kill whoever they saw "that was hanging with Brent and Malik [and] G Bucks." Smithwick recounted that, after Bond and Smith returned to the house, Smith bragged that he had shot one man in the leg, and Bond stated that "he needed more bullets" and that both he and Smith had shot someone in the face. The following morning, Smithwick learned that someone named Rev, i.e., Grant, had been shot and killed. Smithwick indicated that he spoke with Bond about Rev getting killed, and Bond stated "That wasn’t the right person, man." Finally, Smithwick testified that a couple of days after Grant was killed, he and Bond were at the home of Chante Baker, another of Bond’s girlfriends, at 54th and Girard Streets, when police arrived to arrest Bond on another matter. Smithwick stated that, after Bond and Baker left the house, he returned to the house because he had some drugs inside and wanted to retrieve them. In addition to removing the drugs from the house, Smithwick also admitted to removing a.357 caliber Sig Pro firearm, the same gun that Jawana Moore purchased for Bond on November 30, 2002, which Smithwick knew Bond kept under Baker’s mattress. Baker also testified at trial. She recounted that, in late November 2002, Bond asked her to purchase a gun for him, but she was unable to do so because she had a prior felony conviction. She indicated that Bond subsequently advised her that he had another individual, Moore, purchase a gun for him. She testified that she eventually saw the gun, and that Bond kept it underneath her mattress when he stayed at her house. She indicated that she was at home with Bond when police arrived to arrest him on December 10, 2002, and that she was arrested at that time for attempting to stop the officers from entering the house. Baker testified that she subsequently asked Smithwick what had happened to the gun that had been under her mattress, and he advised her that he removed it. On December 10, 2002, police executed a search warrant of the apartment of Richard Brown, also known as Richard Bond or "Mannie-Boo," at 4000 Presidential Boulevard, Apartment 2006. The police recovered from the apartment two.357 caliber Sig Pro semi-automatic weapons, including one with the serial number SP0061983, which was the serial number of the gun purchased by Moore from the Firing Line Gun Store on November 30, 2002. Ballistics analysis established that 11 of the spent cartridges recovered from the scene of the Ogden Street shooting came from the gun purchased by Moore. While the bullets lodged in Grant’s body were too damaged to be positively matched to either Bond’s or Smith’s weapon, the bullets were the same type of ammunition as used in their weapons. Bond and Christopher Smith were jointly tried before the Honorable Sheila Woods-Skipper. On May 6, 2005, a jury convicted Bond of the aforementioned charges; it acquitted him of attempted murder with regard to Antwoin Weston. At the penalty phase, the jury found one aggravating factor, and no mitigating factors, and recommended a sentence of death. Bond was formally sentenced to death on July 26, 2005.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
April 10, 2011 Alabama Elmo Roberts, 87 Willie Jackson died on death row
87-year-old Elmo Roberts was murdered in his own home in Elba, Alabama on July 5, 1987. Willie Jackson received the death penalty for stealing $55 cash along with a personal checkbook from Roberts during the murder. A forged check found at an Elba Hardee’s restaurant shortly after the murder led authorities to Jackson. Jackson initially denied everything when a detective spoke to him, and he eventually confessed to the forgery. After some additional interrogation he confessed to the murder. He told the police he had been sniffing and snorting gasoline and had been doing so for a week. Jackson talked about using multiple weapons during the murder, including an antique iron. Roberts also had his throat cut with a pair of scissors, which was followed by a stabbing with a broken brook stick handle.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
April 12, 2011 Ohio Johnny Allen Clarence Carter executed
In December 1988, Clarence Carter and Johnny Allen were inmates in Range "E" at the Jail Annex to the Hamilton County Courthouse. Allen was being held on a theft offense. Carter had been found guilty of aggravated murder on December 9, 1988, and was awaiting sentencing. On December 28, Carter struck and kicked Allen numerous times over a twenty to twenty-five minute period, necessitating Allen’s hospitalization. On January 5, 1989, Carter was sentenced to life imprisonment for the prior aggravated murder. On January 11, 1989, Allen died as a result of Carter’s assault. Inmate Joseph Carroll testified that he and Allen were watching television on a mid-December evening when Carter came in and switched channels. Allen said to Carter, "Don’t we vote on this?" Without saying anything, Carter punched Allen in the eye, then resumed watching television. Allen left to clean up the blood flowing from a cut above his eyebrow. Inmates Calvin Johnson and Phillip Brewer confirm that Allen and Carter exchanged words, and that Carter struck Allen. However, Johnson and Brewer assert that Carter was watching TV, and Allen changed the channel. Allen did not report this incident to jail authorities. Carroll further testified that about a week before December 28, Carter found a broken metal spoon handle in a hole in the shower ceiling. After a brief discussion with Brewer, Carter returned the handle to its hiding place. On December 28, after lunch, Johnson saw Carter retrieve the metal handle from the shower ceiling. Johnson asked Carter what he was going to do. Carter did not reply. About ten minutes later, around 1:10 p.m., the confrontation which led to Allen’s death began in "E" range, a common area into which approximately twelve cells open. According to Carroll, Allen was in his cell when Carter told him it was his turn to sweep the floor. As Allen walked past Carter to get a broom, Carter "jumped on him, punched him, and knocked him down." As Allen lay on the floor, Carter "leaned over him, punched him, kicked him and choked him." Several times during the assault Carter stopped and walked away before returning to the attack. Twice he used a mop to wipe blood off his tennis shoes. During the assault Carroll said to Carter, "damn C.C., you don’t like him, do you." Carter replied "no," and went "back down to where Johnny Allen was, punched him, kicked him some more, stomped on him." After the second beating, Allen managed to get up and sit on a bench, but Carter came back, knocked him off the bench, and continued to kick and choke Allen. Allen never threw a punch or provoked Carter. Inmate Calvin Steele described Carter’s initial blow to Allen as a "sucker punch," delivered suddenly and without warning. Carter struck Allen ten or fifteen times. Allen never struck or attempted to strike a blow at Carter. At one point, Carter returned to his cell and stuck his own leg with some kind of object; he then came back and stomped on Allen’s head with his foot. Carter’s assault on Allen lasted twenty or twenty-five minutes. When Steele asked Carter to stop, Carter told Steele to "get my ass back downstairs." (Steele was standing outside the range in the "bull run," the guard’s access way.) Richard Cunningham saw Carter hit Allen four or five times, then choke Allen, who lay on the floor. As he was beating Allen, Carter said, "that m….. f….. tried to stab me." Carter seemed to be in a rage, but appeared to know what he was doing. Cunningham testified that "Carter started kicking him down the range by his head, and by his ribs, and… he was pulling his head in my bars and stomping his head like a pop can on the floor. And his head was bouncing up off the floor. Blood was everywhere. Guys was on the range saying: Come on, CC, you are going to kill the man. Quit. Leave him alone…. Carter wouldn’t let up. He kept on doing it and doing it, he wouldn’t quit." Carter claimed that Allen assaulted him with the shank and that he, Carter, merely defended himself, being carried away with rage. According to inmate Robert Chapman, a defense witness, the fight began when Allen, holding the metal spoon handle, began hitting Carter. However, Chapman acknowledged that he previously told investigators he was asleep. Howard "Tub" Burns, a high school friend of Carter, heard Carter yell, "Tub, get the police." Brewer said he saw Carter and Allen arguing on December 28, and Allen was holding some kind of metal object in his hand. After a few seconds, Brewer returned to his cell. He explained, "in a place like that you mind your own business, and that’s what I was doing." Around 1:30 p.m., sheriff’s deputies heard unusual noises, like an object being banged against steel bars, and went to investigate. When they arrived at "E" range, they found Allen lying face down on the floor, in a pool of blood. Deputy Raymond J. Loebker saw Carter drop the shank. Loebker described Carter as sweating, breathing heavily, but without any visible signs of injury. Sheriff’s Lieutenant John Douglas saw the metal handle on the floor, four feet from Allen, and retrieved it for later examination. Around 5:00 p.m., on December 28, Carter showed Detective John Hinrichs scratches Carter said he sustained in his fight with Allen. Carter had two or three scratches on his right thigh, scratches on his right arm, and a cut on his chest. None was deep or serious, and only the chest cut showed any sign of possible bleeding. Carter, muscular and strong, was in excellent physical condition. Forensic examination revealed that Carter’s socks, pants, and tennis shoes all contained type "O" human blood. Allen had type "O" blood, but Carter’s blood type was not revealed at trial. Carter’s T-shirt also had human blood, but the stain was not typed. Forensic examination revealed two human blood stains on the metal shank-one stain was type O, the other was undetermined. The shank had no fingerprints on it. The jury had to assess the credibility of the principal witnesses under unusual circumstances. Only inmates witnessed the assault, and they all had prior felony records. Additionally, the prosecution made various beneficial arrangements with inmates who testified for the prosecution. Several inmates who testified for the defense had known Carter before they were incarcerated. When found, Allen was unconscious and had difficulty breathing. His ribs were pulsating, and blood was running out of his mouth. At University Hospital, Doctor Christopher Miller, a resident neurosurgeon, found bruises and lacerations about Allen’s head, face, and neck. Blood exuded from behind Allen’s eardrums, signifying probable basilary skull fractures. Allen had a low level of brain system reflex functioning and was neither conscious nor able to communicate. Doctors connected life support systems. Allen had suffered soft tissue swelling between his larynx and spine, but the cervical region was not fractured. A December 28 CAT scan revealed prominent soft tissue swelling over Allen’s left front temporal region, a subdural hematoma between the brain’s surface and the skull, and diffuse bleeding within the brain. Trauma was the cause of the injuries. However, deprivation of oxygen to Allen’s brain could have been an additional factor. According to Doctor Harry J. Bonnell, Chief Deputy Coroner, Allen’s heart and breathing stopped on January 10th, but doctors revived him. A January 11th examination revealed that Allen was brain dead. Doctors then disconnected life support systems. Dr. Bonnell performed an autopsy on January 12th. Allen was 5’10", and weighed 122 lbs. He died as a result of multiple bruises and swelling of the brain, caused either by blunt objects striking his head or by his head striking blunt objects. His brain had been deprived of oxygen prior to arrival at the emergency room. His injuries were consistent with his head having been banged against the floor or against steel bars. In Dr. Bonnell’s opinion, these injuries were fatal, and Allen would have died within twenty-four hours of the trauma without medical intervention. A jury found Carter guilty of aggravated murder with prior calculation and design. Carter stipulated to the first death-penalty specification that the offense occurred while Carter was a prisoner in a detention facility. The second specification, that Carter was previously convicted of an offense an essential element of which is the purposeful killing of another, was tried to the court, which ultimately found Carter guilty. The only evidence Carter submitted at mitigation was his own statement. The jury recommended a capital sentence. The trial court adopted the recommendation and sentenced Carter to death. UPDATE: Prior to his execution, Clarence Carter’s last words were directed to his victim’s family. "I’d like to say I’m sorry for what I did, especially to his mother. I ask God for forgiveness and them for forgiveness," he said.

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