February 2012 Executions

Four killers were executed in February 2012. They had murdered at least 6 people.
Three killers were given a stay in February 2012. They have murdered at least 3 people.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
February 8, 2012 Mississippi Eddie Brooks, 37
Everett Curry, 38
Edwin Turner executed
On December 12, 1995, Edwin Hart Turner and another individual, Paul Stewart, were drinking beer and smoking marijuana while driving around in Stewart’s car. Eventually, Turner and Stewart decided to rob convenience stores in Carroll County, Mississippi. They first drove to Mims Truck Stop, but left after finding it too crowded. They then drove to Mims Turkey Village Truck Stop, about four miles away. At around 2:00 a.m. on December 13th, the two entered the store wearing masks and carrying rifles. Turner shot the store clerk in the chest. Turner and Stewart then tried to open the cash register, and at one point, both men shot at the register. After their unsuccessful attempts to open the register, Turner placed the barrel of his rifle inches from the store clerk’s head and shot him. Turner and Stewart then drove back to Mims Truck Stop. While Stewart went inside the store, Turner approached Everett Curry, who was pumping gas outside. Turner ordered Curry to the ground, robbed him, and shot him in the head. Meanwhile, inside the store, Stewart grabbed some of the store’s cash. Turner then came into the store and pointed his gun at the people inside. Stewart testified at trial that he told Turner there was no need to kill anyone else because Stewart already had the money from the cash register. The pair left the store and returned to Turner’s home where they reportedly split up the $400 in cash from the robberies, ate a shrimp dinner and cinnamon rolls and went to bed. The next morning, they awoke as police officers arrived at Turner’s home and found the two guns used in the crimes inside. They also found the hockey mask Stewart used during the robberies in the backseat of Turner’s car. After the two were arrested, Stewart gave a full confession and pleaded guilty to two counts of capital murder. As part of his plea, Stewart agreed to testify against Turner. The jury ultimately found Turner guilty of two counts of capital murder while engaged in an armed robbery and imposed the death penalty. UPDATE: Edwin Turner was executed after a stay was lifted and the Governor refused to intervene. Turner had no final words before his execution and did not discuss his crimes. A sister and a cousin of Eddie Brooks witnessed the execution as did a brother of Everett Curry, Roy Curry, who said afterwards that his pain has not diminished. "This evening, after 16 years, we feel that justice, although delayed, has finally been served for the horrendous crime done to our family. This awful person brutally murdered a beloved husband, father and brother. The hurt and pain are just as real to us now as on that day 16 years ago. One of the perpetrators of this evil act recently sought a pardon from the outgoing governor, yet Everett was robbed of the possibility of ever requesting a pardon for his life," Roy Curry said. "May God have mercy on their souls. I don’t think we’ll ever have complete closure because a void will always exist in our hearts. At least we’ll have some consolation in knowing the person who committed this cowardly and senseless act is finally gone. We pray that God would give us the faith and courage and strength to move on with our lives."
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
February 15, 2012 Florida Ella Carter, 77
Deborah Kammerer, 29
Robert Waterhouse executed
In 1966, Robert Brian Waterhouse was indicted on charges of First-Degree Murder and Burglary in New York. He was charged with breaking into a home and raping and strangling 77-year-old Ella Carter. He broke almost every rib in Ella’s body and left teeth marks on one of her breasts. Waterhouse pled guilty to Second-Degree Murder and was sentenced to life imprisonment. He was released after only eight years on lifetime parole. On the morning of January 3, 1980, the St. Petersburg police responded to the call of a citizen who had discovered the dead body of a woman lying face down in the mud flats at low tide on the shore of Tampa Bay. An examination of the body revealed severe lacerations on the head and bruises around the throat. Examination of the body also revealed—and this fact is recited not for its sensationalism but because it became relevant in the course of the police investigation—that a blood-soaked tampon had been stuffed in the victim’s mouth. The victim’s wounds were such that they were probably made with a hard instrument such as a steel tire changing tool. Examination of the body also revealed lacerations of the rectum. The cause of death was determined to have been drowning, and there was evidence to indicate that the body had been dragged from a grassy area on the shore into the water at high tide. The body when discovered was completely unclothed. Several items of clothing were gathered from along the shore at the scene. The body showed evidence of thirty lacerations and thirty-six bruises. Hemorrhaging indicated the victim was alive, and defense wounds indicated she was conscious, at the time these lacerations and bruises were inflicted. Her teeth were broken, her nose was broken, her eyes were swollen. Acid phosphotase was found in the victim’s rectum in sufficient amount to strongly indicate the presence of semen there. Also, the lacerations in this area indicated that the victim had been battered by the insertion of a large object. The medical examiner was also able to determine that at the time of the murder the victim was having her menstrual period. After several days of investigation the police were unable to identify the victim, so they announced the situation to the public. They then received an anonymous telephone call simply informing them of Robert Waterhouse’s automobile tag number and advising them to investigate it. The police also learned the identity of the victim from two of her neighbors. These two acquaintances, Yohan Wenz and Carol Byers, testified at trial that they went to the ABC lounge with Deborah Kammerer on Wednesday night, January 2, 1980. They testified that they later left the lounge and that Deborah remained there at that time. Kyoe Ginn, who was working there as a bartender that night, testified that the victim came into the bar with a man and a woman, that they later left, that Deborah then began talking with Waterhouse (who was known to the witness) and that at about 1:00 a.m. Waterhouse and Deborah Kammerer left the bar together. On the evening of January 7, 1980, police officers asked Waterhouse to voluntarily go with them to police headquarters for an interview. At this time he said that he did not know any girl named Debbie and that he went to the ABC lounge on January 2 but did not leave with a woman. After this interview Waterhouse was allowed to leave but his car was impounded for searching pursuant to warrant. The automobile was searched on January 8 and Waterhouse was arrested on January 9. Detectives Murry and Hitchcox arrested Waterhouse. In the car on the way to the police station, after advising Waterhouse of his rights, Hitchcox asked him, “We were right the other night, weren’t we, when we talked to you about being involved in this case?” Waterhouse responded simply, “Might.” Shown a picture of Deborah Kammerer, Waterhouse this time admitted that he did in fact know her. On the afternoon of January 9, the detectives again interviewed Waterhouse. Detective Murry testified concerning this interview. She said that Waterhouse became emotionally upset and said repeatedly that his life was over, that he was going to the electric chair. He said that he wanted to talk to his interviewers as people and not as police officers. He then said that he had some personal problems with alcohol, sex, and violence. The two detectives interrogated Waterhouse again on January 10. Again Waterhouse said he wanted to talk to them as people rather than as police officers. Detective Murry testified that Waterhouse again indicated that he experienced a problem involving sexual activity. He said that when he drinks a lot, it is like something snaps and he then finds himself doing things that he knows are terrible and bad, and that he cannot control his behavior on such occasions. Waterhouse also told the officers that when he wanted to engage in sexual activity with a woman but learned that she was having her menstrual period, he would become frustrated and angry and that this is what had happened the previous Wednesday night [i.e., the night of the murder]. He also said that he had had a lot to drink on Wednesday night. Inspection of the interior of Waterhouse’s car revealed the presence of visible blood stains, and a luminol test revealed that a large quantity of blood had been in the car but had been wiped up. Analysis of the blood in the car and comparison with known blood samples of Waterhouse and the victim revealed that the blood in Waterhouse’s car could have come from the victim but was not Waterhouse’s blood. A forensic blood analyst testified that it is possible through analysis of blood stains on certain surfaces to make estimates concerning the direction and velocity of motion of the blood making the stains. This witness concluded from her analysis that the blood in Waterhouse’s car was deposited in the course of a violent attack. A forensic hair analyst testified that hairs found in Waterhouse’s car were consistent in their characteristics with known hair samples from the victim. A forensic fiber analyst testified that fibers found in the debris adhering to the victim’s coat were similar to fibers from the fabric of the seat cover in Waterhouse’s car. Also, fibers were found in the car that had the same characteristics as fibers from the victim’s coat and pants. Waterhouse was employed as a plaster and drywall worker. His foreman testified at trial that on the morning of January 3, Waterhouse arrived at work asking for the day off. He appeared to have a hangover and said he was feeling rough. The witness said that at this time Waterhouse had scratches on his face. The witness also said that Waterhouse had told him that he liked anal intercourse and liked being with women who allowed themselves to be hit and slapped. The jury recommended, and the trial court imposed, a sentence of death. UPDATE: Following the execution of Robert Waterhouse, family members of the victim said they felt a sense of closure. Linda Cope, Deborah Kammerer’s sister, said the two of them had been very close. They went shopping together, planned their children’s birthday parties together, and went on family vacations. Debbie was a divorced mother of three children, and her friends described her as fun, friendly and "little." Shortly before the murder, Debbie had visited her children in Indiana for Christmas. Linda Cope says her sister didn’t deserve to die that way. "I’ve always thought about her, all these years," she said. "I wish I could talk to her. I loved her so much. And I miss her so much."
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
February 16, 2012 Oklahoma Gail Titsworth Garry Allen stayed
Garry Thomas Allen shot and killed his girlfriend, Lawanna Gail Titsworth on November 21, 1986, three days after she moved out with their sons, six-year-old Anthony and two-year-old Adrian. Angry confrontations punctuated those three days, as Allen tried repeatedly to persuade Gail to come back to him. Their last argument occurred when Gail came to pick up their sons at Beulah’s Day Care Center in Oklahoma City. Allen confronted Gail inside the center, and the two moved to an empty room to argue. Allen left just ahead of Gail and the boys. When Gail opened the door of her truck, Allen came up behind her and shut it. She opened it again; again he shut it. This argument ended when Allen reached into his sock, pulled out a.38 caliber snub-nosed revolver, and shot Gail Titsworth twice in the chest. After she was shot, Gail began begging Allen not to shoot her again and then fell to the ground. Allen asked Gail if she was alright. He then lifted up her blouse, apparently attempting to figure out the extent of her injuries. She fell, and he looked under her blouse before walking away. At the time of the shooting, some of the daycare employees were in the parking lot and several of the children were in a van parked a few feet from Gail’s truck. A day care employee ran to Gail to help her into the day care center. Just as she and Gail Titsworth reached the front door, Allen shoved the other woman inside and pushed Gail down on the outside steps. Allen then shot her two more times in the back at close range and walked away. He was captured in an alley less than a block away by the police officer who responded to the 911 call. Officer Mike Taylor of the Oklahoma City Police Department was on patrol in the area and responded to the 911 call within minutes of the shooting. As Officer Taylor was nearing the daycare center, a witness to the shooting directed him to an alley where Allen was apparently hiding. Officer Taylor spotted Allen as he drove into the alley. Officer Taylor drew his service revolver and ordered Allen to stop and remain still. Allen initially complied with Officer Taylor’s order but then began walking away. Officer Taylor followed Allen and reached out to place his hand on him. Allen quickly turned around and grabbed Officer Taylor’s gun. A struggle ensued, during which Allen obtained partial control of Officer Taylor’s gun. Allen attempted to make Officer Taylor shoot himself by applying pressure to Taylor’s finger which was still on the trigger. Ultimately, Officer Taylor regained control of the gun and shot Allen in the face. Allen was rushed to the hospital where a CT scan revealed an air pocket in the front part of his brain and cerebral spinal fluid leaking from his nose and ear. Allen remained in the hospital approximately two months for treatment for injuries to his face, left eye, and brain. As a result of the gunshot wound, Allen lost his left eye and suffered permanent brain damage. UPDATE: Granted a stay from the Governor of Oklahoma while a clemency petition is considered.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
February 22, 2012 Ohio Michael Patrick Webb, 3 Michael D. Webb stayed
Mikey Webb, murder victimMichael Webb was sentenced to death for intentionally setting fire to his family residence in Goshen Township in the early morning hours of November 21, 1990. Webb planned to kill his his wife Susan, two teenage daughters from his first marriage, Tami and Amy, and two sons Charlie and Mikey so that he could be with his mistress and collect on insurance money. Webb’s first wife Linda and her mother were killed in a traffic accident and his daughter Amy was badly injured when she was five years old and Tami was eight. Amy and Tami received a settlement from the accident and money from their grandmother’s estate and later received a inheritance when their grandfather died and Webb was appointed guardian of their trust. From 1985 to 1988, Webb appropriated most of the $100,000 estate for his own personal use. While married to Susan, Webb met a woman named Nadine and began having an affair. On the evening of November 20, 1990, Tami Webb locked the door leading outside from the basement where she and Amy had their bedrooms and went to bed. Early the next morning, Tami was awakened by cold air and the smell of gasoline. Webb came into her room. A frightened Tami told him she smelled gasoline. Webb said that he did too and that he thought the house was "rigged." He told Tami to get down, and to get Amy but did not tell her to get out of the house. He then went upstairs. Tami, too frightened to leave her bed, pulled the covers up and closed her eyes. She said when she opened them, she saw a man in a red sweatshirt staring at her. She testified that her feeling that someone else was in the house was based upon the fact that she could not believe her father had set the fire. After that, Amy heard an explosion upstairs. Tami yelled at Amy to get out of the house and they both ran out through the basement door and around to the front of the house where they saw their father. His hands were bloody. It was later discovered that Webb got out of the house by breaking the bathroom window. Webb told Tami to "get back in the house" and save her mother and brothers. Tami, Susan’s brother Larry and her mother, and a neighbor all entered the basement in an attempt to save the victims, however Webb made no attempt. A firefighter rescued Charlie and Susan from the master bedroom, but three-year-old Mikey died of smoke inhalation and burns, over 80% of his body. The fire chief investigating the fire scene found a plastic gasoline can that had come from Webb’s garage. There was a visible "pour pattern" from the foyer down the hallway leading to the bathroom and bedrooms. From the hallway, the trail led into the master bedroom, up to the base of the bed. Charlie’s crib stood next to the bed. It then went into Mikey’s room, up the side of the bed and across the bed to the rear wall. After examining the house, the fire chief concluded that the fire was intentionally set and had two separate origins. One fire was contained in the hallway closet and the second had started at the bathroom door at the end of the hallway nearest the bedrooms and moved from there into the bedrooms and down the hall toward the living room. An un-ignited gasoline trail led downstairs to the basement where the fire chief found a two-liter soda bottle containing gasoline. The bottle had Webb’s fingerprints on it. Gasoline had been poured directly on Tami’s bed and the chief could smell it on Amy’s bedclothes. The chief stated that if all of the accelerant had ignited, the chances of anyone escaping from that home were "very, very slim." Police found bloodstains matching Webb’s blood type on the bathroom window sill and basement door. The bathroom window and been broken from the inside. Blood trails on the ground led away from the window. A matchbook found outside bore a partial fingerprint in blood. Webb later admitted to police the print was his. Moreover, Webb had a peculiar way of holding a matchbook when he lit matches and the print’s location indicated that Webb had put it there while lighting a match. On the morning after the fire, Webb told one of his wife’s brothers that a fire bomb had been thrown through the bathroom window. Subsequently, he told Amy, Tami and Susan’s brother Larry that he had broken the bathroom window to get out. He also told Amy that, when the explosion occurred, he was going into the master bedroom to get Susan and the explosion had thrown him into the bathroom. Following a jury trial, Webb was convicted on June 25, 1991 of two counts of aggravated murder with death penalty specifications, four counts of attempted aggravated murder, and six counts of aggravated arson. The jury took only four hours to determine that Webb was guilty and recommended a sentence of death on the two counts of aggravated murder and the trial court adopted the recommended sentence on July 18, 1991. A year after he was convicted, Webb tried to blame his daughter Tami for the fire. UDPATE: Opposing clemency, Susan, Webb’s wife at the time to of offense, stated that the entire family had traveled a rough road in the 21 years since the crime. She said it took her two years to accept the fact that her husband committed this crime. She and other family members were in denial and did not want to believe that he could commit such an evil act. She said she was somewhat aware of their financial situation and knew that Webb was responsible for his daughters’ trusts but was led to believe that Webb’s withdrawals from their trust were from the interest on the account. Susan said Webb had a history of starting fired, including his mother’s barn at age 10, his second wife Lois’s garage and his own tow truck, which he burned for insurance money. Susan believes Webb waited until 6:00 am to commit the crime because her brother Jim lived next door and was up remodeling his basement until 4:00 am and Webb was waiting until the lights went out to execute his plan. Susan said her son Charlie suffered immensely, being badly burned and scarred in the fire. Susan’s opinion about Webb’s guilt changed after he wrote a letter to Amy instructing her to frame Tami for this arson. About Mikey, Susan said, "I will forever hold the picture in my mind of his perfect little face and rosy cheeks, the little cowlick that he had in front of his hair…how excited he would get when I read him his bunny books. I often wonder what path he would have chosen…what kind of girl he would have married." Michael Webb received a stay from a US District judge while Ohio revises their execution protocol.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
February 28, 2012 Texas David Cook, 37 Anthony Bartee stayed
On August 17, 1996, the victim David Cook’s body was discovered by police and his family in his home in San Antonio, Texas. He had been shot twice in the head and stabbed in the shoulder. The bullet fragments at the scene were consistent with having been fired from a pistol owned by the victim. This pistol and David’s red Harley Davidson motorcycle were missing from his home. At some point that summer, Bartee had asked an acquaintance to assist him in robbing and killing a neighbor, informing him this neighbor “had some gold [credit] cards and a motorcycle” that Bartee wanted. And, two days prior to the discovery of David Cook’s body, Bartee had informed another acquaintance, Munoz, that he intended to “ace some white dude out”. Bartee unsuccessfully solicited both Munoz and several others to assist him in achieving this result. That same day, at nearly midnight, Bartee arrived at Munoz’s home, riding a Harley Davidson motorcycle and claiming to carry a gun. Several witnesses identified this motorcycle as being similar or identical to the victim’s. In April 1997, Bartee was indicted for capital murder. In April 1998, on the day the trial’s guilt phase was to begin, one of Bartee’s attorneys, Sawyer, who had conducted the month-long voir dire of the jury, notified the court that he had discovered that morning that he was acquainted with David Cook’s family and asked to withdraw as Bartee’s co-counsel. Sawyer informed the court he was concerned “there might be a basic built-in conflict later on in trial” as a result of this acquaintance. He was replaced, and the trial court delayed resuming the trial for four weeks. In May 1998, the jury found Bartee guilty of capital murder. At the punishment phase, two women testified to Bartee’s having sexually assaulted them at knife-point in 1982 when they were teenagers. Bartee called as witnesses his father and a public-school risk counselor. The jury found, beyond a reasonable doubt, there was a probability Bartee “would commit criminal acts of violence that would constitute a continuing threat to society”; and there were inadequate mitigating circumstances for Bartee to be sentenced to life in prison, rather than death. A death sentence was imposed. Bartee was parole for a conviction of two counts of aggravated rape at the time of the murder. UPDATE: A stay was granted by a state district judge to allow more time for DNA testing.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
February 29, 2012 Arizona Roberta Moormann, 74 Robert Moorman executed
In January 1984, Robert Moormann was incarcerated in the Arizona State Prison in Florence, Arizona, serving a sentence of nine years to life for kidnapping. Moormann’s adoptive mother, Roberta, then age 74, traveled by bus on Thursday, January 12, to visit with Moormann during a 72-hour furlough. They checked into the Blue Mist Motel in Florence. At about seven a.m. the next morning, Friday, January 13, 1984, Moormann called Marianne Southworth, the friend who had brought Roberta to the prison from the bus depot, and told her that when she came to the motel that afternoon, he would like her to take him to Mesa so that he could see a lawyer. Sometime between six and seven-thirty a.m., Moormann walked to a store where he purchased a buck knife, a steak knife, and some food. Shortly after eight a.m., Moormann went to a local pizza parlor owned by a former prison guard, where he bought a soda. He told the owner that he was on furlough with his mother, that she was not feeling well, but that they would come back that evening for dinner. At about nine a.m., Moormann went to the front desk of the Blue Mist and asked the owner to hold both maid service and phone calls because his mother was ill. At around this time, he also approached the owner’s wife, asked her not to come to the room because his mother was sick, and asked to borrow some disinfectant spray. She testified that Moormann smelled horrible, that he had some blood on his face, and that some towels he later left outside his room smelled so bad that she threw them away. When Roberta’s friend, Marianne Southworth, arrived that afternoon with Roberta’s suitcase, Moormann told her that his mother had been gone since he returned from getting her a salad at ten that morning. Moormann also said that his mother had asked him to dispose of some garbage bags. Marianne refused to help dispose of the bags. She noticed that Roberta’s purse was still in the motel room and that the room was extremely cold because the air conditioning was turned up all the way. At around four p.m., Moormann called Marianne at her home and asked whether his mother had called. At about four-thirty p.m., Moormann approached the motel owner and asked him whether the garbage would be collected the next morning. When the owner told Moormann that the garbage would not be collected until Monday morning, Moormann explained that his mother had bought some meat that spoiled and he needed to throw it out. During the evening, Moormann asked a liquor store clerk and the pizza parlor owner whether he could dispose of spoiled meat or animal guts in their dumpsters. Both refused. Acting on a tip from the suspicious pizza parlor owner, two Florence police officers went to the Blue Mist at around ten-thirty, where they knocked on Moormann’s door and explained that they had heard his mother was ill and they wanted to check on her welfare. Moormann told them that his mother had been sick that morning but, after feeling better, had gone visiting with a Mexican woman at about six p.m. He said that he had not heard from her since, and that he was very worried. Moormann was wearing only a pair of unzipped trousers and a belt. The officers looked in the motel’s dumpsters, but did not see anything suspicious. They left the motel and went to the prison, where they got a partial description of Roberta. They then returned to the motel, where they parked in front of Moormann’s room. About five minutes later, Moormann came out of his room and approached the police car. The officers asked if his mother had returned, and when he said no they asked him for a physical description of his mother. Moormann expressed concern that his mother had not returned because she had not taken her medication with her. When two other officers arrived at the motel a few minutes later, he insisted on taking them into the room to show them his mother’s medication. Moormann told the officers that his mother had sent him to the U-Totem to buy a knife for her to give to a friend, and that when he returned his mother was gone. This version of events contradicted his earlier story. Moormann also told one of the officers that a friend had given him some cow guts, that he had been trying to get rid of them, and that he had eventually flushed them down the toilet. Sometime between ten-thirty and eleven p.m., Moormann asked a corrections officer, whom he encountered in the motel parking lot, where he could dispose of twenty-five pounds of spoiled hamburger meat that his parents had brought with them. The officer suggested that he call the officer in charge of his unit at the prison. At twelve-twenty a.m. on Saturday the 14th, Moormann called the lieutenant in charge of his prison unit and asked for help. He said that his cousin had dropped off some dog bones a couple of days earlier and that he needed to get rid of them and some other stuff, that his mother was out visiting, and that the dumpster at the motel was full. The lieutenant agreed to help and came by about ten minutes later. Moormann put a box in the bed of the lieutenant’s truck. He then asked for a ride back to the prison so that he could get something out of his living quarters. The lieutenant refused, returned to the prison and put the box, in which he could see some clean bones, out by the dumpster. At around one-thirty a.m., when he received a call from the police saying that Moormann had been acting suspiciously, asking to throw out spoiled meat, and that Moormann’s mother was apparently missing, the lieutenant told the police about the box he had picked up. He and a policeman opened the bags in the box and found what looked like human bones and tissue. The policeman took the box to a hospital for analysis. After their second conversation with Moormann, the officers went back to their car to wait. Moormann came out of his room about fifteen minutes later, around one-thirty a.m., and crossed the parking lot to the public telephone. The officers called this activity in to the police captain, who told the officers not to let Moormann go back into his room. The officers drove their car back to the front of Moormann’s room and asked him if he would like to wait in the car for his mother to come back. When he said yes, one of the police officers offered him the front passenger seat and went to sit in the back seat. For about an hour and fifteen minutes, Moormann sat in the car, dozing off and occasionally conversing with the officers. At two-forty-five a.m., two officers from the prison arrived at the Blue Mist and informed the officers that the bones in the box were human. The officers asked Moormann to get out of the car, hand-cuffed him, and told him that he was under arrest on suspicion of murder. As Moormann was getting back into the car, he said "I wonder if I need a lawyer. I’ll leave it up to you guys whether I need a lawyer." The officers did not reply. Moormann then stated that he wanted to confess. The officers told him to wait, that they were on their way to the police station. About five minutes later, Moormann said "You can change the charge, she’s dead." Moormann told the officers that he had called the prison because he was afraid they might be mad that his mother was not with him, and that he had just "lost his cool" when his mother made him "take his father’s place" and "do things he just couldn’t handle." The officers took Moormann to the police station where, after being read his Miranda warning, he confessed to killing his mother and dismembering her body. CONFESSION: ROBERT MOORMANN: Well, my mom and I had a — we had a argument, and during it I hit her a few times, and then it got worse and I — I lost my cool and — and I tied her up, and she kept on me, talkin’ about things that, uh, pertained to my real family and, I don’t remember the exact time, and I suffocated her. Then I took the 409 and went into the wash room. I panicked, at which time I dissected her. CAPT. HORRALL: Where did you do that at? ROBERT MOORMANN: In the sh-shower and tub. OFFICER THUESEN: Was that this morning, Robert? ROBERT MOORMANN: Yes, sir. OFFICER THUESEN: Now you told me earlier when we were trying to find her that, uh, you know, while — while she was missing that, uh, you got up about 6:30 or 7:00 o’clock; is that about the time you got up? ROBERT MOORMANN: I never went to bed. OFFICER THUESEN: You never went to bed last night? ROBERT MOORMANN: (No answer) OFFICER THUESEN: Thursday night. That would have been the night of the 12th. Uh, did your mother stay up all night, too? ROBERT MOORMANN: Yes, sir. OFFICER THUESEN: Okay, uh, was it sunup yet? Do you know, uh, Robert? ROBERT MOORMANN: I — I didn’t get to check. OFFICER THUESEN: Didn’t pay any attention. Did you, uh, what — what did you use to suffocate her? ROBERT MOORMANN: A pillow. OFFICER THUESEN: Okay. Was that, uh — was she in the bed, Robert? ROBERT MOORMANN: The bed closest to the bathroom. OFFICER THUESEN: On the bed closest to the bathroom. Okay. And then you, uh, you held a pillow over her face? ROBERT MOORMANN: Yeah, and kept it until she was dead. OFFICER THUESEN: You had — you had tied her up before then? ROBERT MOORMANN: Yes. OFFICER THUESEN: What did you tie her up with, Robert? ROBERT MOORMANN: I tore a towel up. OFFICER THUESEN: Tore a towel up? What did you — what did you do with the towel after? ROBERT MOORMANN: I threw it away this morning. CAPTAIN HORRALL: You threw that away this morning? Do you know where you threw it? ROBERT MOORMANN: Yes. It’s probably in one of those bins where the maids put the stuff. OFFICER THUESEN: Okay. Did you, you throw it in the trash in the, uh, room there? ROBERT MOORMANN: I — I gave it to the maid in — it was in a plastic bag I gave the maid this morning. OFFICER THUESEN: You gave the maid a plastic bag this morning? ROBERT MOORMANN: Yeah, when I to — when I to — when I told `em that my mom was sick and didn’t want to be disturbed, and they didn’t — instead of, instead of going inside, they had me hand `em the stuff. OFFICER THUESEN: Okay, was there anything else in the bag that you handed the maid? ROBERT MOORMANN: A razor blade that I used to cut’er with. I had torn one of the razors I had apart. OFFICER THUESEN: Uh, the — there was just, uh, there was just trash and some, uh — was there bloody material or anything in the bag? ROBERT MOORMANN: No. OFFICER THUESEN: Just the parts of the towel and a piece of razor or one of the razors? ROBERT MOORMANN: There might be — I can’t remember if I put that one piece of towel that was kind of bloody in there or not. There might be. I can’t remember. OFFICER THUESEN: Okay, uh — CAPTAIN HORRALL: Okay, uh, Robert, after you suffocated her, uh, then what happened? ROBERT MOORMANN: I untied `er and let `er lay there for awhile. Then I knew I had to do something because I knew that Baker and Mrs. Southworth was gonna’ be there. CAPTAIN HORRALL: Did she show up at one o’clock? ROBERT MOORMANN: Yes. CAPTAIN HORRALL: Okay. What did you do before she showed up? ROBERT MOORMANN: That’s when I dissected my mom. CAPTAIN HORRALL: Okay. When did you, uh — when you did that then what did you do — how did you dispose of `er? ROBERT MOORMANN: I went down and bought some plastic bags from, uh, the grocery store. CAPTAIN HORRALL: From U-Totem er — ROBERT MOORMANN: Yes, and I used the knife you have, so on. And if you look in the fan, the one that’s against the far wall, there’s some — there’s some little holes on — on top. CAPTAIN HORRALL: Uh-huh. ROBERT MOORMANN: You’ll find the steak knife that I used to cut the bones. CAPTAIN HORRALL: Okay. OFFICER THUESEN: Do you know — do you recall how many bags, uh, you had to use, Robert? ROBERT MOORMANN: No. OFFICER THUESEN: Okay. ROBERT MOORMANN: But I know that on some of the parts I doubled. OFFICER THUESEN: You doubled the bags or, uh, you used two bags on some parts? ROBERT MOORMANN: But then I decided at first I’d just cut `er, just — and put the — put the arms and legs into bags and then later on I decided — I knew if I could — it would be easier to dispose of `er; then I dissected her completely. That’s when I panicked and that’s the reason I wanted to talk to the Major. There’s something I’ll tell him. OFFICER THUESEN: Okay. ROBERT MOORMANN: But I would — OFFICER THUESEN: Go ahead. ROBERT MOORMANN: I would like to have — you two can be there. I — this part I’d like to have off this record. OFFICER THUESEN: Okay. OFFICER HORRALL: Okay. (Off the record discussion) OFFICER HORRALL: Did you flush anything down the toilet? ROBERT MOORMANN: Yes. CAPTAIN HORRALL: What did you flush down the toilet? ROBERT MOORMANN: Nine fingers. CAPTAIN HORRALL: Fingers? ROBERT MOORMANN: Yes. CAPTAIN HORRALL: Okay. Is that all? ROBERT MOORMANN: Yes, sir. OFFICER THUESEN: Robert, you said nine fingers? ROBERT MOORMANN: The tenth one I did this afternoon. OFFICER THUESEN: Now, you say you did this afternoon. What do you mean by that? ROBERT MOORMANN: I was, uh, when I was cuttin’ `em off I lost one of `em. OFFICER THUESEN: I see. ROBERT MOORMANN: And this afternoon I found that. CAPTAIN HORRALL: Did you flush it also? ROBERT MOORMANN: Yes. CAPTAIN HORRALL: Okay. OFFICER THUESEN: Do you — do you recall how many trips, uh, you made to, uh, any of the, uh, trash areas with bags? ROBERT MOORMANN: Not that I remember. Uh, about four. OFFICER THUESEN: About four. ROBERT MOORMANN: `Cause I didn’t want people to know what I was doing. OFFICER THUESEN: I see. CAPTAIN HORRALL: After — wha — what clothes — where are the clothes that you had on when you did this? ROBERT MOORMANN: Nothin’. CAPTAIN HORRALL: No clothing? ROBERT MOORMANN: Nothin’. CAPTAIN HORRALL: You didn’t have any clothes on when you did this? ROBERT MOORMANN: No. CAPTAIN HORRALL: Did you want to talk to the Major now? ROBERT MOORMANN: Whenever he wants to, yeah. CAPTAIN HORRALL: Okay. This concludes the interview. It is 0236 a.m. The police obtained a warrant to search Moormann’s room at the Blue Mist, where they found bedding stained with Roberta’s blood; towels, a washcloth, and a cooking pot stained with blood; bloodstains on the bathroom walls and floor; a scouring pad with bloodstains and human tissue; and a buck knife and steak knife. They also found Roberta’s brassiere hanging in the closet with five hundred dollars in cash safety-pinned to it. In trash dumpsters at and near the motel, the police officers found trash bags containing Roberta’s thorax, head, pelvic area, feet and hands, and muscle and skin cut from her limbs as well as torn strips of towel, a razor, the package in which the steak knife was sold, and some pajamas. The police found a finger in the sewer. A search of Moormann’s living quarters in the prison revealed a notebook of bizarre writings, including instructions to train a dog to make bank deposits, a document entitled "last will and testament" that purported to transfer Roberta’s estate to Moormann in exchange for shares in his business, and a letter purporting to be from Roberta explaining why she was making the transfer. Roberta’s actual will left her entire estate to Moormann, but stated her belief that he was not competent to handle his own affairs and placed the money in trust for his benefit. The executor of Roberta’s estate testified that Roberta was planning to move to Oklahoma to be with her remaining relatives in April 1984, which happened to be the next time that Moormann was up for parole. The medical examiner testified that Roberta had died of asphyxiation as a result of something being held on her face and blocking her air supply. He testified that, between twelve hours and one half-hour prior to her death, she had sustained bruises as the result of moderate force from a fist or blunt object on her left upper arm, both breasts, and on her lower back. He also testified that, between two hours and one half-hour before her death, Roberta was cut by a knife or other sharp, pointed object once on her right breast and five times on her right buttock. The medical examiner found no defensive wounds on Roberta’s hands and found no marks indicating that her wrists or ankles were bound. However, her hands had been cut from her wrists and her feet from her ankles, so any such marks may have been impossible to find. The medical examiner did find bruises in and around Roberta’s mouth consistent with being gagged. The medical examiner noted that the dismemberment of the body was very meticulous, particularly the cutting off of the hands at the wrist, the feet at the ankles, and then the fingers at the knuckles. The entire process would probably have taken two hours. The medical examiner found no evidence of sexual activity, and tests run on the sheets and bedspread found no evidence of semen. While the medical examiner could determine that Roberta was alive when she was bruised and cut, he could not tell whether she was conscious, but noted that the cuts would have been painful if she was conscious. Numerous lay witnesses testified that Moormann was odd, that he switched conversational topics frequently and seemed not all there or off in another world. A woman with whom Moormann stayed while he was on parole testified that he would dress normally during the day, but wear only black at night; that he claimed to have ties to the mafia; and that although his mother supported him generously, he was unsuccessful in his business affairs. His parole officer testified that Moormann failed to adjust to the outside world because of frequent fantasies that interfered with daily activities. The parole officer testified that, despite his mother’s generous support, Moormann was unable to succeed in business because he was not intellectually capable of success. At the time that Moormann’s parole was revoked, his parole officer recommended that he be hospitalized, rather than returned to prison. The parole officer did state, however, that he was never sure whether Moormann was incompetent or whether he was a con man. Many of the people with whom Moormann interacted on that Friday reported statements that Moormann made about his business dealings and family affairs that were untrue. He told the clerk who sold him the buck knife that it was a gift for his son, mentioned his dead father to several people as though he was alive and visiting Moormann on this furlough, and told the liquor store clerk that he was married and that his mother had recently died of cancer. The defense called one expert witness, Dr. Overbeck, a psychologist who interviewed Moormann for almost ten hours in five sessions, gave him psychological tests, and reviewed his lengthy medical history and school and prison records. Dr. Overbeck concluded that Moormann suffers from organic delusional syndrome, pedophilia, and schizoid personality disorder, and that he was unable to appreciate the nature and consequences of his actions when he killed his mother. Dr. Overbeck also noted that a delusional diagnosis is difficult because it depends on whether or not you believe Moormann’s allegations of an incestuous relationship with his mother. The state called three expert witnesses. Dr. Cleary, a court-appointed expert psychiatrist, diagnosed Moormann as suffering from pedophilia and antisocial personality disorder. Dr. Cleary stated that he did not believe that Moormann was unable to understand and appreciate the nature of his actions, although his subsequent knowledge of Moormann’s bizarre writings and some of his statements on the day of the crime made him less certain of his conclusion. Dr. Tuchler, a board-certified forensic psychiatrist who had diagnosed Moormann on four prior occasions beginning in his teens, testified that Moormann does not suffer from organic delusional syndrome. Dr. Tuchler testified that Moormann is a pedophile with anti-social personality disorder, but that he is capable of under-standing the nature of his actions. However, Dr. Tuchler believed Moormann, who told him that he had an incestuous relationship with his mother, that he had sex with her that night, that she wanted her breasts pinched, and that she was making noises and he put a pillow over her face so that he would not hear her. Dr. Tuchler testified that he believed Roberta’s death was accidental. Dr. Buchsbaum, a board-certified neurologist who examined Moormann, testified that while he found no evidence of an organic brain defect, he could not rule out the possibility. After two hours of deliberation, the jury found Moormann guilty of first-degree murder, rejecting his insanity defense. The trial judge received a pre-sentencing report and held a sentencing hearing, at which Moormann’s counsel argued that Moormann’s inability to fully understand his actions and record of good conduct in prison weighed in favor of a life sentence. The trial judge found three statutory aggravating factors (prior life sentence, pecuniary motive, and cruel, heinous, or depraved murder) and one mitigating factor (diminished ability to understand actions) and sentenced Moormann to death.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
February 29, 2012 Texas Aubrey Hawkins George Rivas executed

aubrey hawkins

George Rivas was one of the Texas Seven who escaped from the Connally Unit, a Texas prison near Karnes City, in December of 2000 and went on a crime spree which included the murder of police officer Aubrey Hawkins. At the time of the escape, Rivas was serving a life sentence for 13 counts of aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon, 4 counts of aggravated kidnapping and one count of burglary of a habitation. On December 13, 2000, Rivas and six of his fellow inmates escaped from the Connally Prison Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. The group included Rivas, Joseph Garcia, Randy Halprin, Larry Harper, Patrick Murphy, Donald Newbury, and Michael Rodriguez. Eleven days after their escape, the [escapees] initiated a Christmas Eve robbery of the Oshman’s Superstore in Irving, Texas, that ended with the death of Irving police officer Aubrey Hawkins. Armed with weapons and two-way radios, Garcia, Halprin, Newbury, and Rodriguez entered the store just prior to closing pretending to be customers, while Rivas and Harper masqueraded as Oshman’s security guards. Murphy, the seventh member of the group, waited in a truck outside the store, serving as a lookout and checking police radio frequencies. Rivas and Harper explained to the store managers that they were investigating a theft at another Oshman’s and asked that a manager bring the store’s employees together to look at a photo spread. Meanwhile, the other men moved throughout the store collecting merchandise. Once the employees were gathered together, Rivas brandished a gun and told everyone of his intent to rob the store. Rivas then instructed the men in his group to take the Oshman’s employees to the store’s breakroom and tie them up. While this was happening, Rivas told store manager Wesley Ferris to open the store’s gun vault, safe, and cash registers. Rivas repeatedly warned Ferris not to try anything or he and the others would be shot. Afterwards, Rivas left Ferris with the employees in the breakroom, took Ferris’s car keys, exited the Oshman’s through the main front entrance, and drove Ferris’s Ford Explorer around the store to the loading dock located in the back. Altogether, the escapees stole over $70,000 in cash, forty-four firearms, ammunition, and other goods from the store, in addition to the employees’ jewelry and wallets. During the robbery, Misty Wright, a girlfriend of one of the Oshman’s employees, waited in her car outside the store and saw the employees inside raising their hands over their heads. Wright called a friend who joined her in her car. The two saw Rivas exit the Oshman’s and drive Ferris’s Ford Explorer to the back of the store. Wright and her friend then fled the parking lot and called the police from a nearby restaurant. Rivas, who had seen Wright and her friend driving away in haste, used his two-way radio to warn the others, and he directed them to get to the back of the store. Within minutes, Murphy radioed the group, alerting them to a police vehicle he had seen entering the Oshman’s parking lot. The police dispatcher who took Wright’s emergency call sent four officers to the scene. Irving police officer Aubrey Hawkins was the first to arrive. Hawkins drove directly through the parking lot to the back of the store, where he was shot eleven times by various members of the escapees. Evidence at trial established that at least five different guns fired at Hawkins from at least three directions in less than a minute and that he died immediately. Some of the escapees pulled Hawkins from the police vehicle and took his sidearm. Moments later, Rivas ran over Hawkins in the Ford Explorer, dragging his body approximately ten feet. According to Rivas, he did not know he had run over Hawkins until he heard the evidence at trial. During his trial, Rivas testified that as he approached Hawkins’s vehicle, he thought he saw the officer reaching for his gun and that Rivas only shot Hawkins in an attempt to subdue him. Rivas claimed that he purposefully shot the officer in the chest because he knew Hawkins would be wearing a bulletproof vest. In addition, Rivas said that he shot at Hawkins four times in response to what he thought were shots fired by Hawkins. The evidence showed that Rivas was, in fact, shot during the period of intense gunfire. Following the robbery, the seven inmates escaped to Colorado where someone identified them and notified the Federal Bureau of Investigation. All of the men were arrested, except Harper, who committed suicide before authorities could apprehend him. On the day of his arrest, Rivas was interviewed by police and, after waiving his Miranda rights, signed a 21-page written confession. During searches of an RV and another vehicle the escapees had been using, authorities recovered Hawkins’s gun, as well as guns and merchandise stolen from the Oshman’s in Irving, Texas. UPDATE: Shortly before his execution, Rivas acknowledged his friends who were there, including a Canadian woman named "Cheri" that he had recently married by proxy. He also said, "First of all, for the Aubrey Hawkins family, I do apologize for everything that happened. Not because I am here, but for closure in your hearts. I really believe you deserve that."

Page visited times since

Page last updated 12/06/12