October 2012 Executions

Five killers were executed in October 2012. They had murdered at least 6 people.
Six killers were given a stay in October 2012. They have murdered at least 17 people.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
October 3, 2012 Pennsylvania Herbert Hamilton, 51
Amos Norwood, 56
Terrance Williams stayed
Terrance Williams was a local football star, the quarterback of the Germantown High School team that won the Philadelphia Public League championship in 1982. He was presented with the sportsman of the year award by the Philadelphia Board of Sports Officials, and he was recruited by at least eight different collegiate institutions. Nearly all of Williams’ coaches and teachers described him as mild-mannered, law-abiding, and honest. In 1983, Williams graduated from Germantown High and matriculated to Cheney State College in Philadelphia. In the estimation of one of his instructors, Williams was “highly respected and admired by his teachers and all of his classmates.” He was “not only the star of the school’s football team, but was also a classmate and student who showed respect for others and accepted his popularity with modesty.” But apparently Terrance Williams had a sinister side. In the dead of night on Christmas Eve in 1982, a sixteen-year-old Williams broke into the Philadelphia residence of Don and Hilda Dorfman, aged sixty-nine and sixty-four, respectively. He entered Mrs. Dorfman’s bedroom, wakened her by pressing a.22 caliber Winchester rifle to her neck, and then pulled a bedsheet over her face. When Mrs. Dorfman attempted to remove the sheet, Williams ordered her to stop “or her f***ing head would be blown off.” Williams then fired the rifle three times into the wall to show the victims he was serious. Williams and an accomplice ransacked the home before making off with cash, jewelry, and the Dorfmans’ automobile. It was not long before Williams was apprehended and criminally charged for robbing and terrorizing the Dorfmans. Although his age placed him under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court, the Commonwealth moved to certify Williams as an adult. In an attempt to avoid certification, Williams produced no fewer than eight witnesses who attested to his stable home life, loving parents, and supportive extended family. Every character witness interviewed by the Commonwealth believed Williams to be innocent. Even his own attorney would testify years later, “I didn’t feel in my own mind of minds and heart of hearts that he was involved in the matter.” Such was the nature of Williams’ dual existence. In spite of the efforts to avoid it, Williams was certified to stand trial as an adult. He was released pending trial, however, and in January of 1984, he embarked in earnest on a crime spree that would continue for the better part of six months. Williams’ next victim was a fifty-one-year-old man named Herbert Hamilton, an individual from whom Williams had been receiving money in exchange for sex. This relationship, like much else in Williams’ life, was kept hidden from most who knew him. Hamilton apparently threatened to publicize the secret, so Williams took action. On January 26, 1984, Williams called on Hamilton at his home. The two eventually retired to the bedroom and, as they proceeded toward the bed, Williams withdrew a concealed ten-inch butcher knife and attempted to stab Hamilton. Hamilton fought back, wrestled the knife from Williams, and stabbed Williams in the chest. Hamilton then dropped the knife and ran into the kitchen to telephone for assistance. Meanwhile, Williams retrieved a nearby baseball bat, chased after Hamilton, and beat him with the bat until Hamilton was bloody and severely wounded. Williams then recovered the butcher knife and stabbed Hamilton approximately twenty times—twice in the head, ten times in the back, once in the neck, four times in the chest, and once each in the abdomen, arm, and thumb. Finally, Williams drove the butcher knife through the back of Hamilton’s neck until it protruded through the other side. He then doused Hamilton’s body with kerosene and unsuccessfully attempted to set fire to it. When police officers later entered the apartment, they found Hamilton’s kerosene-soaked body with the knife jammed through his neck; on the bathroom mirror, the phrase “I loved you” was scrawled in toothpaste. Williams was then seventeen. The Hamilton murder remained unsolved at the time that Williams went to trial for the Dorfman robbery in February of 1984. Williams maintained his innocence of the robbery throughout trial. He and his counsel mustered at least nine character witnesses who testified that Williams was a peaceful, law-abiding, and honest young man. The jury was not persuaded. They returned a conviction for two counts of robbery as felonies of the first degree, one count of burglary, one count of simple assault, one count of unauthorized use of an automobile, and one count of conspiracy. Williams was nevertheless released pending sentencing. Tragically, his crime spree continued. On June 11, 1984, Williams and a friend, Marc Draper, were gambling with several others on a street corner in the West Mount Airy neighborhood of Philadelphia. It was not long before both young men lost all of their money. While brainstorming potential means by which to recoup their losses, Williams said that he knew a man who lived nearby from whom they could extort cash. Approximately one month before this date, Williams and Draper were arrested for the armed robbery of fifty-three-year-old Robert Hill, an acquaintance of the late Herbert Hamilton. The Commonwealth discontinued the prosecution for this offense after Williams was sentenced to death for the Norwood killing. According to Williams, this individual—fifty-six-year-old Amos Norwood—was a closeted homosexual. With a plan that they would threaten to reveal Norwood’s secret to his wife, Draper and Williams set off for Norwood’s apartment. When they arrived at Norwood’s residence, Williams told Draper to wait outside. Williams emerged with $10 in cash approximately twenty minutes later. Williams and Draper were apparently satisfied with this amount because they returned to the street corner to resume gambling. A short time later, Norwood drove by the corner in his blue Chrysler LeBaron. When he spotted the vehicle, Williams said, “There goes my uncle,” flagged down the car, and entered via the passenger side door. Norwood then drove away. The blue LeBaron returned to the intersection several minutes later, whereupon Williams exited the vehicle, approached Draper, and said quietly, “Play it off like you going home, like you want a ride home, and we gonna take some money.” Draper understood Williams to be proposing a robbery. The two then got inside Norwood’s automobile and Draper began to provide false directions to his “home.” In reality, Draper’s directions led Norwood to a secluded area adjacent to the Ivy Hill Cemetery. Once there, Draper reached over the backseat, grabbed Norwood from behind and ordered him “to be quiet and get out of the car.” Norwood stopped the vehicle and complied. Williams and Draper then led Norwood into the cemetery and ordered him to lie facedown near a tombstone. A quick search of Norwood’s person revealed $20 hidden in his sock. At this point, Norwood began to plead for his life. The two assailants responded by removing Norwood’s clothing and tying him up; Norwood’s hands were bound behind his back with his shirt, his legs were bound together with his pants, and his socks were forcefully jammed into his mouth. Once Norwood was bound, Williams said to Draper, “Wait, I’m going to the car. We’re getting ready to do something.” And he walked off. Williams returned with a tire iron and a socket wrench, the latter of which he gave to Draper. Draper, seemingly having second thoughts, urged Williams to leave. Williams replied, “I know what I’m doin, I know what I’m doin. Don’t worry about it, I know what I’m doin.” He then began battering Norwood’s head with the tire iron. When he noticed that Draper was frozen in place, Williams said, “Man, you with me? We got to do this together.” Draper then sprung into action himself, striking Norwood repeatedly with the socket wrench. This violent scene continued until Norwood lay motionless and dead. Draper later recalled that there was blood everywhere. On the day of his second murder, Williams was four months past his eighteenth birthday. Williams and Draper soon parted ways. Draper reported to work, while Williams took Norwood’s automobile downtown to meet a friend, Ronald Rucker. Rucker noticed that Williams was “hyper” and asked him if everything was okay. Williams then disclosed that he had just “offed a guy” named Amos. Although Rucker initially did not believe his friend, he began to reconsider after observing blood stains on Williams’ shoes. Later that night, Williams told Rucker he was “going to get some gas from a gas station to go back to the scene of the crime.” Rucker surmised that Williams intended to burn Norwood’s body. That is precisely what Williams did. Williams and Draper were eventually undone by their use of a credit card and telephone calling card—both in Norwood’s name—that they had taken from Norwood’s automobile. Philadelphia police traced use of the calling card back to Rucker; upon questioning, he implicated Williams and Draper. When his interview with law enforcement concluded, Rucker informed Williams that he had provided police with Williams’ last name. Panicked, Williams boarded a bus bound for San Francisco. In the meantime, Draper was arrested and promptly confessed. He also told police about the Herbert Hamilton killing. With this information, officers proceeded to obtain a warrant for Williams’ arrest. Approximately halfway through his cross-country bus ride, Williams telephoned his girlfriend, Marlene Rogers. Rogers informed him about the outstanding arrest warrant, and urged her boyfriend to return to Philadelphia so that he could defend the charges against him. Her entreaty was apparently convincing, for Williams promptly boarded an airplane and returned east. On July 23, 1984, he arranged to be arrested in the Philadelphia office of his attorney, Ronald White. Williams’ mother notified a reporter from the Daily News that her son would surrender to authorities in White’s office. Before his arrest, Williams told the newspaper, “I wanted to come back and clear my name.” The reporter snapped photographs as Williams was led out of White’s office in handcuffs. Two days later, Williams was sentenced to twelve-and-a-half to twenty years’ imprisonment for his participation in the Dorfman robbery. In February 1985, he was tried and convicted of third degree murder for the Hamilton killing. Finally, a jury trial for the Norwood murder commenced in January of 1986 in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. Draper testified for the Commonwealth and detailed the manner in which he and Williams guided Norwood to the Ivy Hill Cemetery, robbed and bound him, and then beat him to death. Williams later took the stand in his own defense and pinned the murder on Draper and another individual, Michael Hopkins. The jury rejected Williams’ testimony and returned a conviction for first degree murder, robbery, and conspiracy. The trial’s penalty phase began immediately after the jury announced its verdict. The Commonwealth introduced evidence that Williams was recently convicted of armed robbery and third degree murder. Williams, in turn, presented three witnesses in mitigation. His mother, Patricia Kemp, described her son’s athletic success and testified that he was well-liked and respected by those who knew him. She also characterized Williams’ stepfather as a verbally abusive alcoholic who routinely berated her son and once pushed him down a flight of stairs. Ms. Kemp denied participating in any abuse herself. Marlene Rogers, Williams’ girlfriend and the mother of his thirteen-month-old child, said that Williams was a “very supportive father” and had never been violent towards her or anyone she knew. The defendant’s last mitigation witness added little, rambling that “we all have sinned and come short of the glory of God…. We all have committed murder. We all have stolen some things that we should not have done. We all have committed adultery. I don’t believe you should kill another person. Blood will be on your hands.” After witness testimony was complete, Williams’ trial counsel, Nicholas Panarella, closed by emphasizing the defendant’s youth at the time of the murder and by urging the jury to find that age was a mitigating factor in the offense. He then asked that they consider any residual doubt remaining from the guilt phase and argued that a sentence of life imprisonment was sufficiently severe, for it would subject Williams to “all of the brutalities that are associated with prison life.” Panarella concluded by pleading for mercy. His plea was rejected. The jury found two aggravating circumstances, namely (1) that the murder occurred during commission of a felony (robbery), and (2) that Williams had a significant history of felony convictions involving the use or threat of violence. The jury found that there were no mitigating circumstances present in the case. They returned a sentence of death. UPDATE: Williams received a stay of execution from Philadelphia judge Teresa Sarmina who also granted a new penalty phase in the case, ruling that evidence of alleged sexual abuse was not heard by the jury and might have resulted in a different verdict. Accomplice Marc Draper recanted his trial testimony when made aware of Williams’s execution date. He said he had told the prosecutor and detectives about the sexual relationship between Williams and Norwood but "they didn’t want to hear it." Draper claims he was promised a chance for parole after 10 or 15 years in return for his testimony against Williams, but he received a life sentence in the crime. The prosecutor said the abuse allegations are hearsay that only came to light a few months ago, 28 years since the murder and represent a "last ditch effort to escape punishment."
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
October 9, 2012 Pennsylvania Sherry Chamberlain
Greg Inman
Terry Chamberlain stayed
Terry Ray Chamberlain’s estranged wife Sherri Chamberlain and her boyfriend Greg Inman, with whom she lived, were found dead at their residence in the early morning hours of August 22, 1991. Each victim had been shot multiple times. Sherri sustained five gunshot wounds, one of which was a shot to the chest that would have been fatal in a few minutes, and the last of which was an execution-style shot to the head that killed her instantly. Greg Inman had been shot four times, including one execution-style shot to the head. The evidence demonstrated that the shooter gained entry by throwing a typewriter through a sliding glass door. An examination of the residence revealed multiple fired bullets and bullet fragments. There was blood throughout the living room and kitchen, where the victims were killed, including on the floors, walls, light switch, telephone, and sliding glass door. Additionally, blood was found on a washcloth and vanity surface in an upstairs bathroom. The state police collected blood evidence from the following locations in the victims’ home (which will collectively be referred to as the blood evidence): the sliding glass door; the refrigerator door; the kitchen floor; the bathroom vanity; a light switch; the living room floor; the stairs; the railing along the stairs; and a living room wall. No forensic evidence linked Chamberlain to the murder, and police were unable to locate the murder weapon. The Commonwealth’s sole direct evidence connecting Chamberlain to the murders was the testimony of Kim Ulrich. Mrs. Ulrich was Sherri’s friend and neighbor. She testified that she was awakened by the telephone at 2:24 a.m. on August 22, 1991, and when she picked up the receiver the caller said "call an ambulance—Terry shot Greg and me." Mrs. Ulrich recognized the caller’s voice as Sherri Chamberlain’s. When Mrs. Ulrich asked "Sherri?" the caller failed to respond. Mrs. Ulrich explained that the telephone call lasted approximately 2.5 seconds, and she did not hear any background noise. She further testified that she had spoken to Sherri on the telephone and face-to-face over 100 times within the last year and was certain the caller was Sherri. Mrs. Ulrich immediately told her husband about the telephone call. As Mrs. Ulrich called 911, Mr. Ulrich, a game warden, hurried to Sherri’s and Greg Inman’s residence, where he discovered the victims’ bodies about five minutes after the telephone call. As he drove to the residence, which was 150 yards from his own home, Mr. Ulrich did not hear any gunshots or see anyone leaving the residence. According to his subsequent trial testimony, when he arrived at the home he could smell gunpowder in the air. He observed the telephone handset on the floor next to Sherri. Police immediately apprehended Chamberlain at his home at 3:55 a.m., where they called him on the telephone, asked him to walk to the end of the driveway to surrender, and arrested him.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
October 10, 2012 Texas Christina Neal, 12 Jonathan Green executed
Christina Neal, murder victimIn June 2000, Victor Neal, who was separated from his wife Laura, lived in the small community of Dobbin with his three daughters: sixteen-year-old Victoria, fifteen-year-old Jennifer, and the victim, twelve-year-old Christina. On the evening of June 21, 2000, Victor and Jennifer left home to get dinner for the family. Victoria and Christina said that they would eat when they returned from a friend’s house. The friend, Maria Jimenez, lived just down the street from the Neal family. After Victor and Jennifer left, Victoria’s boyfriend (and Maria’s uncle), Manuel Jimenez, came by the house to pick up the two girls. After driving around for a while, the group went to Maria’s house where they stood outside talking with Maria and her two brothers, Martin and Jose. While standing outside by the truck, Victoria and Christina began arguing. Victoria walked away from the argument and toward Maria’s house, leaving Christina and Jose outside. Shortly thereafter, Jose told Victoria that Christina was angry and had left. When Victoria returned home, she discovered that Christina was not there. The next morning, Victor saw Jennifer and Victoria sleeping on the couch. He also noticed that the door to the girls’ bedroom was closed. Assuming Christina was asleep in the bedroom, Victor left for work. When he got home about 3:00 or 4:00 p.m., Jennifer and Victoria told him that Christina had never returned home the night before. Victor asked the girls to go to Maria’s house and tell Christina to come home. They found that Christina was not at Maria’s house. After learning about the argument between Christina and Victoria the night before, Victor concluded that Christina had spent the night at another friend’s house, and the family began searching the neighborhood. Along the road near the Neal home, Victoria and Maria found Christina’s glasses. The glasses were "smashed and broken," but Victoria testified that Christina had a habit of destroying her glasses when she got mad. Victor stopped looking for Christina around 11:00 or 11:30 p.m. The next morning, Victor asked his sister, Tereza Goodwin, to look for Christina while he was at work. Christina had run away before, so Victor told Tereza to report her as a runaway if she could not find her. Later that day, having failed to locate Christina, Tereza reported her missing to a Montgomery County Sheriff’s deputy. Local law-enforcement officers then joined the family in searching for Christina. On June 26, the FBI joined the search. On that same day, Jennifer and her mother found what appeared to be Christina’s panties at the edge of the woods across from the Neal home. Also around this time, Victoria found Christina’s bracelet and necklace along a pathway in the woods. The search continued. On June 28, investigators spoke with Jonathan Marcus Green, who lived in Dobbin. He said he had no information concerning Christina’s disappearance, and that he was either at home or at his neighbor’s house on the night she disappeared. He gave the investigators permission to search his home and property, with the condition that he be present. Investigators performed a cursory search of the house and property, but they noticed nothing significant. A few days later, investigators again asked Green his whereabouts on the night of Christina’s disappearance. Again, Green claimed to have been at home or at his neighbor’s house. On July 19, Manuel Jimenez, who lived on the property behind Green’s, told investigators that Green had an unusually large fire in his burn pile the day after Christina disappeared. A few days later, investigators went to Green’s home and asked if they could search his property again, including his burn pile. Green again consented, but insisted that he be present during the search. FBI agents Sue Hillard and Mark Young walked around the burn pile with Green. Young pushed a metal probe into the ground to vent the soil and check for any disturbances. When the probe sank three feet into the ground at one location, Young determined that the ground had been disturbed or dug up in that area; he concluded that the disturbed section covered a very large area. He also smelled a distinct odor emanating from the disturbed section of ground which he identified as "some sort of decaying body." The investigation team then began to dig up the disturbed area. Green, who had been cooperative up to that point, became angry and told the officers to get off his property. The investigative team returned to Green’s property later that night with a search warrant. They discovered that part of the burn pile had been excavated, leaving what appeared to be a shallow grave. They also smelled the "extremely foul, fetid odor" of a "dead body in a decaying state." When investigators asked Green what had happened at the burn pile, Green said that he had dug the pit to show authorities that "there was no dead body in there." An officer then arrived with a "cadaver dog," trained to detect human remains. As the dog was walking to the burn pile, it alerted to the house. Upon entering the house, the dog repeatedly went to the side of a recliner that was wedged into a corner of the room. Agent Hillard looked behind the recliner and saw "a foot sticking out of the top of a blue bag" and what appeared to be human remains. Before the discovery was announced, Green was overheard to say, "Those Mexicans are setting me up" and "put a body in my house." The remains were identified as Christina’s. The medical examiner, Dr. Joye Carter, concluded from a ligature mark around Christina’s neck that Christina was strangled. She also determined that Christina’s arms had been tied behind her back and that Christina had been sexually assaulted before she died. She testified that the body had been wrapped in a blanket and placed inside a blue bag. During the course of the autopsy, various materials were recovered from Christina’s body. Two black hairs that did not appear to be Christina’s were found in her pubic area. Based on the way Christina was positioned within the blanket, Carter determined that the hairs must have been present before her body was wrapped in the blanket, and could not have been transferred there afterward. Mitochondrial-DNA testing excluded 99.7% of the African-American population as a source of the hair. Green, an African-American, could not be excluded from the remaining 0.3%. Carter also recovered a black cotton cloth from Christina’s mouth. The cloth was positioned in such a way that Carter determined, to a medical certainty, that the cloth did not cause Christina’s death. Criminalist Bradley Mullins from the Texas Department of Public Safety crime lab testified that many of the fibers recovered from Christina’s body matched fiber samples seized from Green’s property and residence. On the panties that were recovered near the Neal home five days after Christina had disappeared and nearly a month before her body was found, Mullins found a fiber that had characteristics identical to carpet in Green’s residence. UPDATE: When Jonathan Martin Green was sentenced to death, Christina’s mom and dad were allowed to make a statement to the man who raped and killed their daughter. "I hope he doesn’t ever forget the smell of Christina’s dead composing body. Because I won’t," said the victim’s mother, Laura Neal. "I just basically told him that he had no right to kill our daughter and that there’s no reason for it," said the victim’s father, Victor Neal. Ten years after Christina’s murder, her family reflected on the long wait for justice. "Christina didn’t have any rights. When he murdered her, raped her and kidnapped her, she had no rights. She was only 12-years-old. She never hurt anybody," said Laura Neal, Christina’s mother. "She always liked to play basketball and football." Victor Neal, Christina’s father said, "It was like somebody done ripped your heart plum out of you. That was the hardest news I ever got." After getting into a fight with her sister, Christina stormed out. "She never showed back up. It’s hard because I could have walked home with her, and maybe she still would have been here. I think about that everyday," said Victoria Neal, Christina’s sister. After her body was found, an autopsy revealed Christina had been raped and strangled to death. "I often wonder, ‘Was she screaming? Was she hollering for her mom and dad? Was she even able to?’" said Laura Neal.


Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
October 10, 2012 Pennsylvania Beverly Yohn, 26 Andre Staton stayed
Andre Staton, on parole for a stabbing assault, began dating Beverly Yohn in the Spring or Summer of 2003. In the Fall of 2003, one of Beverly’s friends observed injuries to Beverly. In late January of 2004, Beverly called the police alleging that Staton had struck her. After the incident, Beverly filed a Protection From Abuse ("PFA") petition against Staton and on January 27, 2004 a temporary PFA order was entered against him. Subsequently, a PFA hearing was held on February 19, 2004 (before Judge Doyle). At the conclusion of the hearing, a final PFA order was entered against Staton. On February 24, 2004, Staton was at the 10th Street CafĂ©, a bar in Altoona at 6 p.m. He left and returned there at 9 p.m. where he drank for two hours and talked to Lynn McDonough, the bartender, about "his girlfriend." He said he had peeked in her windows the night before. Staton also told the bartender that he gave Beverly "forty thousand dollars for a house and now he can’t live in the house," but stated it "will be taken care of." On the morning of February 25, 2004, at 6:40 a.m., Staton was observed in a parked car in front of 212 Third Street, Altoona, approximately a block and a half from Beverly’s mother’s residence, located at 228 Third Avenue. At that time Beverly was staying at her mother’s residence with her three sons. Beverly’s son, Justin, was outside the residence starting a car in order for his mother to drive him to school. Penny Lantz, Justin’s grandmother, had earlier left the house for work. Justin saw Staton run up to the residence. Staton put his finger to his lips, indicating that Justin was to be quiet. Staton then entered a rear porch and kicked in the back door. Justin saw Staton come out a short time later, whereupon Staton threw Justin from the car and drove away in it. Meanwhile, Jeremy Yohn, another son of the victim, was in the kitchen. Jeremy saw his mother lock the back door and, shortly thereafter, saw Staton kick in the back door and enter the kitchen. Jeremy testified that Staton opened his jacket and pulled out a knife with his left hand. Immediately after pulling out the knife, Staton began stabbing Beverly until she fell to the floor. Staton then left the residence through the back door. Beverly was taken to the Altoona Hospital Trauma Center with a large knife still protruding from her back. She was later pronounced dead that day. Dr. Vimal Mittal testified at trial as an expert witness in forensic pathology and that, in his opinion within a reasonable degree of medical certainty, the cause of Beverly’s death was multiple stab wounds to the heart and left jugular vein, with cardiac tamponade, and that the manner of her death was homicide. Staton testified at trial. He admitted that he stabbed Beverly, and caused her death, but denied that he had gone to the residence with the intent to harm her. Instead, he claimed that it was Beverly who had the knife in her hand and began "swinging at him"; the next thing he remembered was seeing Beverly with blood coming out of her mouth. N.T., 5/1/2006, at 26-29. On May 2, 2006, a jury convicted Staton of all charges, including first-degree murder. Following the penalty phase of trial, the jury found both aggravating circumstances and found four mitigating circumstances under the "catchall" mitigator — Staton’s childhood circumstances, his polysubstance abuse, his medical history, and his potential for good. The jury further found that the aggravating circumstances outweighed the mitigating circumstances and returned a sentence of death. The sentence of death was formally imposed by Judge Doyle on June 1, 2006. The trial court sentenced Staton further to forty-eight to ninety-six months of imprisonment for burglary and a consecutive term of twelve to twenty-four months for theft by unlawful taking. *There are still appeals pending and the execution is not likely to take place on this date.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
October 11, 2012 Pennsylvania Jarrett Osborne David Ramtahal stayed
On the evening of November 15, 2006, David Richard Ramtahal and his codefendant, Nyako Pippen, were driving through Winder Village, a high-crime area in Bristol Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, when they observed Shawn Parker, Jarrett Osborne, and Jamar Osborne standing together on a street corner. Based on the reputation of the neighborhood, Ramtahal and Pippen surmised that the men were likely drug dealers who possessed large sums of cash and would not alert police if robbed of their drug proceeds. Thus, Ramtahal and Pippen viewed the men as prime targets and conspired to rob them at gunpoint. Ramtahal drove to a nearby playground where he and his confederate armed themselves and concealed their identities; Ramtahal donned a ski mask and carried a nine-millimeter Kel–Tec handgun while Pippen procured a sawed-off shotgun and tied a t-shirt around his face. Ramtahal and Pippen drove back into the residential area where the three men were standing, parked in front of a house, and approached the targeted individuals on foot. As they neared the trio, Pippen raised the shotgun and attempted to cock the weapon, but the gun jammed. Alerted to their assailants’ presence, Parker and his companions fled on foot. As the three men were running along Elmhurst Avenue, Ramtahal pointed his handgun at them and fired a single round from a distance of approximately seventy feet, wounding Jarrett Osborne in the buttocks. Jarrett ran a short distance, fell to the ground, and began writhing in pain. Ramtahal and Pippen immediately returned to their vehicle and drove off while Jamar Osborne summoned emergency medical personnel to the scene. Paramedics arrived three minutes later and placed Jarrett inside an ambulance where he suffered cardiac arrest and heart failure on the way to Frankford–Torresdale Hospital. Subsequent efforts to revive Jarrett were unsuccessful, and he was pronounced dead at 11:43 p.m. An autopsy revealed that the bullet traveled through the pelvis and severed a large blood vessel called the iliac artery, causing high volume blood loss that ultimately resulted in Jarrett’s death. Homicide investigators amassed a substantial amount of evidence tying Ramtahal to the fatal shooting. Detective Greg Beidler of the Bristol Township Police Department testified that he responded to the police radio dispatch concerning the incident and recovered two objects at the crime scene: a fired nine-millimeter shell casing and a black neoprene ski mask. The shell casing and the bullet recovered from Jarrett Osborne’s body were submitted to a firearms examiner employed by the Montgomery County District Attorney, and the ski mask was sent to the Pennsylvania State Police Crime Laboratory in Bethlehem for forensic analysis. The nose and mouth areas of the ski mask were swabbed and found to contain genetic material that produced a single DNA profile of an unknown male. After recovering the Kel–Tec handgun and acquiring information that identified Ramtahal as a suspect, police obtained a search warrant for a DNA sample and submitted genetic material provided by Ramtahal to the crime laboratory for analysis. The known sample procured through the search warrant exhibited the same DNA profile as samples collected from the ski mask and the Kel–Tec handgun. All of the DNA evidence was entered by way of stipulation; the defense conceded the accuracy of the laboratory reports. Furthermore, expert analysis of the firearm, shell casing, and projectile removed from Jarrett Osborne’s body revealed that the fatal shot had been fired from the Kel–Tec handgun that bore traces of Ramtahal’s DNA. Investigators also analyzed cellular telephone traffic and discovered a series of telephone calls linking Ramtahal and Pippen to Winder Village at the time of the shooting. Detective Beidler explained to the jury that telephone records showed Ramtahal and Pippen began using their cellular telephones in Philadelphia before placing calls which indicated that they were traveling toward Bristol Township on the night in question. At 9:40 p.m., Pippen’s telephone transmitted a signal to a cellular telephone tower located in Bristol Township, and another call made by Pippen at 10:36 p.m., approximately four minutes after Jamar Osborne contacted a 911 operator to request an ambulance for the victim, was traced to a tower “just outside of the Winder Village neighborhood.” Subsequent calls placed by Ramtahal and Pippen after 11:00 p.m. demonstrated that both men returned to their homes in Philadelphia upon leaving the Winder Village area. The cellular telephone evidence was corroborated by Ramtahal’s codefendant, Nyako Pippen, who appeared as a prosecution witness in accordance with a plea agreement that enabled him to plead guilty to third-degree murder in exchange for a twelve-to-twenty-four-year prison sentence. Pippen testified that on the night of the murder, he and Ramtahal drove to Bristol Township at approximately 9:00 p.m. to socialize with some women, but their plans fell through, and the two men ended up “just riding around.” As they proceeded through Winder Village, they observed a group of men standing on the corner of Elmhurst Avenue and Winder Drive, and Ramtahal “brought up the idea of robbing them” because they appeared to be drug dealers conducting business in an area known for drug activity. Ramtahal drove to a playground where they decided that Ramtahal would hold the victims at gunpoint while Pippen searched their pockets for money. After concealing their identities, Ramtahal drove back up Elmhurst Avenue and parked in front of a house. Ramtahal supplied Pippen with a sawed-off pump-action shotgun, and they approached the men on foot; however, as the targets came into view, Pippen tried to cock his weapon, and the three men “took off running.” Pippen testified that he immediately retreated to Ramtahal’s vehicle, and, at that time, he saw Ramtahal point his pistol at the fleeing men. Pippen heard a gunshot as he returned to the car, placed his shotgun in the trunk, and re-entered the vehicle through the passenger-side door.   Ramtahal returned to the vehicle moments later and began driving toward Philadelphia. When Pippen asked if one of the men discharged a gun during the incident, Ramtahal replied in the negative and stated that he had fired one round “in the air to scare them.” Pippen claimed that several months passed before he learned that someone had been killed during the robbery attempt at Winder Village. The defense did not dispute Pippen’s version of the incident or deny that Ramtahal fired the bullet that killed Jarrett Osborne. Instead, defense counsel argued throughout the trial that the killing was unintentional based on evidence that the barrel in Ramtahal’s handgun had been altered in a manner that made the weapon “inherently inaccurate.” In support of this claim, counsel referenced the testimony of two firearm examiners with expertise in ballistics and marksmanship, both of whom test-fired the murder weapon and concluded that its accuracy had been degraded when someone reamed the barrel with an unknown object to alter the rifling and hinder firearm identification. The Commonwealth’s expert, Montgomery County Detective John Finor, testified that he took the handgun to an indoor shooting range, fired six bullets for accuracy at a distance of seventy-five feet and found that the bullets formed a group ten inches in diameter that impacted the target approximately 12.5 inches to the left of center. Defense expert Carl Leisinger III achieved similar results when he fired the gun at an outdoor range, creating a six-inch-diameter group at seventy-five feet with the bullets striking the right side of the target. Mr. Leisinger also tested for accuracy at one hundred feet and found that the bullets drifted so far to the right at that distance that he could not hit the target when aiming at the center;  however, by aiming at “the extreme left side” of the target, Mr. Leisinger was able to hit the target fifty percent of the time. Ramtahal requested a demurrer to the charge of first-degree murder on the basis that there was no evidence to support a determination that the killing was premeditated. That request was denied, and he was subsequently convicted of the aforementioned crimes. At the penalty phase, the jury recommended a sentence of death after finding two aggravating factors and one mitigating factor. Ramtahal was formally sentenced to death for first-degree murder on May 18, 2009 and received a consecutive forty-to-eighty-year term of imprisonment for the remaining charges. *There are still appeals pending and the execution is not likely to take place on this date.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
October 14, 2012 South Dakota Ronald Johnson Eric Robert executed
Ron Johnson, murder victimEric Donald Robert was incarcerated at the State Penitentiary in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, serving an 80-year sentence for a kidnapping conviction. In that case, an 18-year-old woman told police a man posing as a plainclothes police officer pulled over her car near Black Hawk, told her he needed to search it and then forced her into the trunk. She used her cell phone to call for help, and she was found unharmed. Robert, who most recently was head of a city’s water treatment department and had previously been a chemist with the Environmental Protection Agency, had more than $200,000 in assets and no debt when he was arrested on the kidnapping charges in 2005. Robert contends he was drunk and trying to rob the 18-year-old girl of $200, not sexually assault her. He was sentenced to 80 years in prison and would not have been eligible for parole until he was 83. On April 12, 2011, in Minnehaha County, Robert and co-defendant Rodney Berget killed State Corrections Officer Ronald Johnson with a metal pipe. The pair attacked the prison guard, wrapped his head in plastic shrink wrap and left him to die before using his uniform to sneak past security in an unsuccessful escape attempt. Ronald Johnson was working alone in a part of the Sioux Falls prison known as Pheasantland Industries, where inmates work on upholstery, signs, custom furniture and other projects. Robert put on Johnson’s brown pants, hat and lightweight jacket before approaching the prison’s west gate with his head down, pushing a cart with two boxes wrapped in packing tape, according to an investigator’s affidavit. Berget was hidden inside one of the boxes. Another corrections officer opened an inner gate and allowed Robert to wheel the cart into a holding area, but became suspicious when Robert didn’t swipe his electronic ID card. Robert claimed he forgot his badge and said main control was out of temporary cards. The officer then asked Cpl. Matthew Freeburg if he recognized the guard, and Freeburg said no. When the officer called for a supervisor, Robert started kicking and beating Freeburg and Berget jumped out of the box to join in. More officers arrived to find Berget still beating Freeburg. Robert had climbed the outer gate, reaching the razor wire on top. Both inmates were apprehended before leaving the grounds and taken to a jail in Sioux Falls. Freeburg was taken to a hospital, but returned to work the next day. Johnson, who had worked at the penitentiary for more than 23 years, was a father of two and grandfather of six. He died on his birthday, said his son, Jesse Johnson. "He loved to relax and play with his grandkids," Jesse Johnson told the Argus Leader. "He never had a bad thing to say about anybody." Jesse Johnson said his father, known to friends and family as R.J., had lived through a riot at the penitentiary in 1993 and knew the danger of his job but never dwelled on it. At the sentencing hearing for Robert, a witness who responded to the "code 5" call for help testified, "I saw the sergeant pulling the saran wrap off of RJ’s head, I knew it was RJ." Lynette Johnson, Ronald Johnson’s widow, said she has a hard time responding when one of her six grandchildren ask about their papa. Rodney Berget was also sentenced to death. Berget has been in and out of South Dakota’s prison system since the mid-1980s and is serving life sentences for attempted murder and kidnapping. He was convicted of escaping from the penitentiary in 1984. In 1987, he and five other inmates again broke out of the same facility on Memorial Day by cutting through bars in an auto shop. He was caught in mid-July of that year.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
October 18, 2012 Florida Brian Glenfeldt, 17
Belinda Worley, 17
Livingston Stocker, 33
Michael Miller, 24
Henry Clayton, 35
John Holmes, 26
Gilbert Williams, 37
Charles Cesar Stinson, 35
unnamed man
unnamed woman
John Ferguson stayed
Belinda Worley, murder victimWhen John Errol Ferguson was 21 years old, he stole a deputy’s gun and was about to shoot when the deputy fished another gun from his boot, shooting Ferguson four times — including a round to the head. In 1975, Ferguson was diagnosed as homicidal and dangerous by court psychiatrists when he was acquitted of six robberies and two assault charges on a plea of insanity. A court-appointed psychiatrist said he was "dangerous to himself and others, homicidal and should not be released under any circumstances." He was was sent to the Florida mental hospital, from which he later escaped. In May of 1977, police found an elderly couple from St. Petersburg — in town for a funeral — shot to death at Miami’s Gold Dust motel. The couple had been tied up, robbed, brutally beaten and shot, execution-style. On 27 July 1977, Ferguson, posing as a Florida Power and Light employee, was let into a home by Margaret Wooden on a ruse to check the electrical outlets. After looking in several rooms, Ferguson drew a gun, then bound and blindfolded Margaret. Ferguson let two men, Marvin Francois and Beauford White, into the home to continue searching for drugs and money. Two hours later, the owner of the home, Livingston Stocker, and five friends returned home and were bound, blindfolded, and searched by Ferguson, Francois, and White. The seven bound and blindfolded people were then moved from the living room to a bedroom. Later, Wooden’s boyfriend, Michael Miller, entered the house and was bound, blindfolded, and searched. Miller and Wooden were moved to another bedroom together and the other six men were moved to the living room. At some point in the evening, Marvin Francois’ mask fell off and his face was revealed to the others. Wooden heard shots coming from the living room, where Francois was shooting the men. Ferguson placed a pillow over Wooden’s head and then shot her. Not fatally wounded, Wooden saw Miller being shot and heard Ferguson run from the room. She managed to escape and ran to a neighbor’s house to call the police. When the police arrived, they found six dead bodies, all of which had their hands tied behind their back and had been shot in the back of the head. Johnnie Hall survived a shotgun blast to the head and testified regarding the execution of the other men in the living room. Ferguson was also convicted of attempted murder in the robbery of another couple at a lover’s lane. On October 30, he shot and wounded two teenagers when they refused to unlock the car door. The couple drove off, wounded but alive. The next day, he raped a woman. He was also suspected but not charged with the brutal robbery slaying of an elderly St. Petersburg couple at a Miami motel on Biscayne Boulevard. They were in town to attend a funeral. The same gun was used in that crime. On the evening of 8 January 1978, Brian Glenfeldt and Belinda Worley, both seventeen, left a Youth-for-Christ meeting in Hialeah, Florida. They were supposed to meet friends at an ice cream parlor, but never arrived. The next morning, two passersby discovered their bodies in a nearby wooded area. Glenfeldt had been killed by a bullet to the head and also had been shot in the chest and arm. Worley was found several hundred yards away under a dense growth. All of her clothes, except for her jeans, were next to her body, and she had been shot in the back of the head. An autopsy revealed that she had been raped. At trial, there was testimony that she had been wearing jewelry, but none was found with the bodies. The cash from Glenfeldt’s wallet, which was found in Worley’s purse near her body, also had been removed. On 5 April 1978, police arrested Ferguson at his apartment pursuant to a warrant for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution in connection with the Carol City murders. At the time of his arrest, police found in his possession a.357 magnum, which was capable of firing.38 caliber bullets, the same kind used to kill Glenfeldt and Worley. The gun was registered to Stocker, one of the victims in the Carol City murders. At some point after Ferguson’s arrest, he confessed to killing “the two kids,” i.e., Glenfeldt and Worley. Ferguson, White, and Francois were indicted together as coconspirators, but each was tried separately. White was convicted on all counts of the indictment. The jury recommended life imprisonment, but the judge sentenced him to death. White was executed on 08/28/87. Francois was convicted on all counts of the indictment. The jury recommended death sentences, and he was sentenced to death. Francois was executed on 05/29/85. Adolphus Archie, who drove the car used to drop off and pick up the shooters, pled guilty to Second-Degree Murder and was sentenced to twenty years imprisonment. Read more here:

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
October 18, 2012 Texas Kent Kinkaid, 40 Anthony Haynes stayed
Kent Kinkaid, murder victimAt around 10:30 p.m. on May 22, 1998, off-duty Houston Police Department Sergeant Kent Kincaid and his wife Nancy left their home in a private vehicle on their way to meet some friends at a sports bar. As they drove past a truck driven by Haynes, something hit and cracked the Kincaids’ windshield. Sgt. Kincaid thought someone threw a rock at his car; Haynes had actually fired a shot at them. Sgt. Kincaid turned his car around and followed Haynes’ vehicle until the two pulled alongside each other. Sgt. Kincaid exited his vehicle, approached Haynes who remained sitting in his truck, and said “You hit my window.” Haynes replied, “I accidentally threw something at your window.” Sgt. Kincaid said, “I am a police officer. Let’s talk about it.” After asking for Haynes’ license, Sgt. Kincaid reached towards his back pocket, presumably to retrieve his police identification. Haynes lifted up a pistol, shot Sgt. Kincaid in the head, and fled the scene. Sgt. Kincaid was transported by LifeFlight to Houston’s Hermann Hospital trauma center and died a few hours later. The police soon arrested Haynes. Haynes confessed to Sgt. Kincaid’s murder. Kent Kinkaid was survived by his wife Nancy and two daughters, 10 and 6 at the time of their father’s murder. UPDATE: The US Supreme Court has issued a stay of execution for Anthony Haynes while they consider whether to review claims by his appellate lawyers that his defense attorneys were ineffective during his trial.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
October 24, 2012 Texas Michelle Wendy Haupt, 26 Bobby Hines executed
Michelle Wendy Haupt, murder victimOn October 19, 1991, Mary Ann Linch went to the apartment of her friend Michelle Wendy Haupt in Carrollton, Texas, to spend the weekend. Mary Ann brought with her a Marlboro cigarette carton in which only four packs remained. She had purchased the cigarettes at Brookshires’ in Corsicana and the carton contained a stamp showing "Brookshires’ Store" on the side. Mary Ann left the carton at Michelle’s apartment when they left that evening to go to a nightclub. Mary Ann had intended to return to Michelle’s, but instead spent the night with another friend. Mary Ann testified that when they went to the club, Michelle was wearing a gold sand-dollar charm necklace which she always wore. During the evening, Michelle became ill and another friend drove her back to her apartment. When he left, he testified that Michelle locked the door behind him. Meanwhile, at Michelle’s apartment complex, Bobbie Lee Hines appeared uninvited at a party. When the hostess asked him who he was, he identified himself as the brother of the apartment manager. He told another guest that he was part of the maintenance crew at the complex. He pulled out a ring of keys and stated that he could get into any apartment that he wanted to at any time. At about 6 a.m. on October 20, 1991, Michelle’s next-door neighbor heard a woman screaming. He could not determine the source of the screams, but his wife called the police. Two police officers were dispatched to the scene, but the screaming had ended before they arrived. After inspecting the premises, the officers could not determine where the screams had come from and they eventually left. Two other residents in the apartment directly below Michelle’s also heard screaming loud enough to awaken them. One of the residents testified that he also heard other loud noises that sounded "like a bowling ball being dropped on Michelle’s floor." He heard this noise at least 20 times. The screaming lasted for approximately 15 minutes. The resident of an adjacent downstairs apartment also heard the screaming. Just before noon that morning, she and the other residents discussed what they had heard and became concerned for Michelle. Eventually, the apartment leasing manager was persuaded to check Michelle’s apartment. After knocking and receiving no answer, the manager opened the door and saw Michelle lying on the floor just inside the door. A stereo cord was tightly wrapped around her neck, her face was black, and she appeared to be dead. Michelle was found dressed in only a robe and lying face up on the floor. There were puncture wounds to her chest area. The robe was stained with blood, but it had no holes to correspond with the puncture wounds to Michelle’s body, indicating the robe was placed on her body after the wounds were inflicted. Further, the belt to the robe was tied tighter than a person would normally tie it against her own body. An object appearing to be an ice pick was found on the nearby couch. Hines’ palm print was found inside Michelle’s apartment in what appeared to be blood, and his thumbprint was found on the inside of the front door. Later that same day, Hines was found to be in possession of Michelle’s gold sand-dollar charm. He had blood on some of his clothing and some other objects from Michelle’s apartment, including the Brookshires’ cigarette carton, were found under the couch where he had been sleeping. When Hines was arrested, he had a scratch under his right eye, scratches to the left side of his neck, and a scratch on his cheek. DNA testing conducted on a bloodstain found on Hines’ underwear indicated that the blood was consistent with Michelle’s blood. The Dallas County Chief Medical Examiner testified that the cause of Michelle’s death was strangulation and puncture wounds. Michelle had abrasions to her neck and jaw, contusions on her neck, and a fractured hyoid bone from being strangled. She had about 18 puncture wounds. She had rectal tears with hemorrhaging. Barnard testified that the puncture wounds could have been made by the object found on the couch in Michelle’s apartment. Hines had a string of juvenile convictions. He was arrested for car theft in 1984 at the age of twelve for which he received a year of juvenile probation. His probation was revoked and he was confined for three months in the Texas Youth Commission (TYC). In 1986 he received ten years of juvenile probation for burglary of a building, which was revoked in 1990. He was then confined in TYC for nine months. In February 1986, Hines was placed on juvenile probation for getting into a school fight, and was committed to TYC for assault. He was confined for 6 months and placed on probation, which he violated in 1987. His probation was revoked and he was confined for another 6 months in TYC. In January 1989, Hines was committed to TYC for attacking an 80-year-old woman and burglarizing a church. In June 1990, Hines received a 10-year prison sentence for a count each of burglary of a habitation and burglary of a building. Under a "shock probation" policy, Hines was sent to prison for 83 days, then released on 10-years probation. Michelle Haupt was murdered one year later. UPDATE: In February of 1999, the Texas Criminal Court of Appeals denied a habeas corpus appeal from a Dallas County death row inmate convicted of strangling a 26-year-old woman in 1991. The court upheld the death penalty against Bobby Lee Hines who said in his appeal that the autopsy photos used in court were not only irrelevant but "inflammatory and prejudicial" because of their gruesome nature. The pictures used in court included close-up color photos and nudity. The judges decided that since the photos were not enhanced in any way and the nudity did not detract from the wounds, the trial court had not "abused discretion to admit any of the exhibits." Bodily fluids found on a robe the victim was wearing were identified as belonging to Hines. In his appeal, he asked that the DNA be retested. The court denied his request. Hines came within two days of execution in 2003 before the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals stopped the punishment so he could pursue claims he was mentally impaired and ineligible for the death penalty under Supreme Court guidelines. His appeal before the 5th Circuit was intended to challenge the findings of lower courts that since then have ruled he’s not mentally impaired. The appeals panel said there’s no indication to show the findings were unreasonable and cited a state court opinion that found “broad and consistent evidence that Hines lied frequently and well when his self-interest demanded it.” In June of 2012, Hines had another execution date stayed, this time at the request of prosecutors, to allow time for DNA testing on material found under Michelle’s fingernails to be completed. In September, the district attorney’s office announced that the tests confirmed Hines’s guilt.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
October 28, 2012 South Dakota Rebecca O’Connell, 9 Donald Moeller executed
Becky O'Connell, murder victimRebecca O’Connell (Becky) was a nine-year-old girl who lived with her mother and stepfather in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Becky was last seen by her parents on the evening of May 8, 1990, when she left their home to buy candy at a nearby convenience store. Later that night, Becky’s mother and stepfather reported to the police that she was missing. The following morning, two men found her body in a ditch in a wooded area near Lake Alvin in Lincoln County, South Dakota. An autopsy suggested she had been raped, vaginally and anally, and had sustained knife wounds to her throat, shoulder, chest, back, hip, and defensive wounds to her hands. A forensic pathologist opined that she died as a result of a cut to the jugular vein of her neck. Following an investigation of Becky’s death, the State charged Donald Moeller with rape in the first degree, felony murder in the first degree, and premeditated murder in the first degree. Three women testified at trial about attempted sexual assaults they had been subjected to from Moeller. In January 1973, when C. B. was twenty-one years old, she worked at the Speedy Car Wash in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. On the morning of January 3, 1973, C. B. was on her way to work. She had stopped her car at the stoplight near Axtell Park in Sioux Falls. C. B. heard a women yell, "Get out, get out of my car." She heard a door slam. Then a man, whom she later identified as Donald Moeller, was pushing on the door handle on the passenger side of her car. Moeller was a stranger to her. He opened the door and slid into her car. He was holding a black-handled folding knife with a three-inch blade. Moeller poked C. B.’s leg with the knife and said, "Go down East Eighth and go straight and keep going." C. B. complied. C. B.’s car stalled and she and Moeller got out of the car. As he held the knife by her ribs, C. B. lifted the hood and checked the carburetor. Then she and Moeller got back into the car on the passenger’s side. Moeller told her to continue driving straight, which she did. When they came upon a cornfield, he held the knife at her hip and told her to take her pants off. She turned the car off and threw the keys out the window. When she refused to remove her clothes, Moeller said, "If you don’t, I’ll kill you." C. B. replied, "You will have to kill me, because I won’t do it." When she tried to slip out of the car, he grabbed her, held the knife to her neck, and said, "Do it or I’ll kill you." She responded, "You’ll have to kill me because I ain’t going to do it for you or anybody else." Shaking, Moeller just sat and stared. He folded the knife and put it in his pocket. He proceeded to tell C. B. about his life. She retrieved her keys and told Moeller to get out of her car. Moeller told her to get in the car and pointed at the knife in his pocket. He told her to drive to work, so she drove to the Speedy Car Wash. He instructed her to tell her boss she had had a flat tire. He warned C. B. that she could look over her shoulder and see him or he could be in the back seat of her car. He walked up the road, saying he was headed to a friend’s house. C. B. told her boss she had had a flat tire. Then, forty-five minutes later, she told him about the man with the knife. In 1979, Moeller lived next door to K.M., then a thirteen-year-old boy, in a trailer park in Wright, Wyoming. K.M. had waved at Moeller a few times on his way to school. On February 10, 1979, K.M. noticed Moeller outside working on his car. K.M. was interested in car mechanics, and he and Moeller struck up a conversation. Moeller invited K.M. into his trailer, where they talked and played cards. K.M.’s father gave him permission to eat dinner at Moeller’s home. K.M. noticed a black buck knife lying on the table in Moeller’s kitchen. When K.M. began to open the knife, Moeller told him not to play with it because it was very sharp. He demonstrated by slicing through paper with the knife. After dinner, Moeller gave K.M. two glasses of wine. Then Moeller made a $100 bet that K.M. could not drink five glasses of wine in two minutes. K.M. did, but Moeller did not pay him the money. Moeller then offered to take him to Gillette, Wyoming, where he could help Moeller repair a car. Moeller insisted that K.M. receive written permission from his father. K.M.’s father came to Moeller’s trailer with a note, giving his son permission to take the trip. K.M.’s father returned to his trailer. K.M. and Moeller resumed playing cards. When K.M. complained of the heat in the trailer, Moeller let him use his robe. K.M. removed all his clothes, except for his underwear, and put on the robe. Moeller instructed K.M. to place a jar of Vaseline on the nightstand in Moeller’s bedroom, stating he would explain the need for the Vaseline later. Then Moeller asked K.M. if he had ever ejaculated, and K.M. replied that he had not. Moeller offered to bet K.M. $50 that he could not ejaculate. K.M. refused the bet. Moeller then bet him $50 that he could not escape if Moeller tied his hands behind his back. Moeller tied K.M.’s hands behind his back and placed a dog chain around his neck, while K.M. knelt on the bed. Once K.M. was tied, Moeller said, "I want to have sex with you." K.M. refused and Moeller stuck the buck knife to K.M.’s throat and said, "You either have a choice, you can do oral sex with me or let me make — have sex with you through your rear end or I’ll kill you." K.M. asked Moeller to remove the dog chain so he could breathe. Moeller laid his knife down and removed the dog chain from K.M.’s neck. K.M. then jumped off the bed and ran for the front door. Moeller grabbed the knife and made a cut two inches long and a quarter inch deep in K.M.’s leg. As K.M. struggled to open the door, Moeller approached with the knife. K.M. slammed against the door and fell into the snow. Moeller grabbed K.M.’s waist and legs, but K.M. escaped into his trailer. K.M. told his father, "That son-of-a-bitch tried to kill me." In November or December of 1989, T.W. met Moeller when he gave an acquaintance of hers a ride to T.W.’s home. She did not see Moeller again until January 20, 1990. At around 10:00 p.m. on that date, T.W. heard a knock at her door. After yelling, "Come in," she turned to see Moeller inside her door. She remembered Moeller’s face but could not remember his name. Moeller sat down and asked if T.W. liked to go out, drink or dance. She replied, "No." Moeller asked if he could come back another time, and she told him he could, as long as he only wanted to watch television. At around 11:00 p.m. that same night, T.W. heard a tap on the door and then someone entered. It was Moeller. He asked if he could watch television with her, and she said it was okay. Moeller had brought a bottle of Jack Daniels whiskey with him and handed a soft drink to T.W. He walked out of the living room towards the kitchen, then returned to the living room with a knife. It was a folding knife, with a three and a half inch blade and a brown handle. Moeller ran the blade up and down T.W.’s breasts, saying "Lift up your shirt or I’m going to cut you. Show them to me or you’re going to get cut." When she told him to stop, he ran the flat side of the blade up and down her arm, saying, "That’s the side of the knife, do you want to feel the edge?" Then he ran the knife up and down her breasts again. T.W. responded, "If you don’t stop—If my baby wakes up because of this shit I’m going to be pissed." Moeller said, "Who do you think is going to get cut first, you or her?" T.W. grabbed the knife and was cut as Moeller pulled it away. She told him, "I’m going to call the cops." She nudged past him and went out the back door. On her way out, Moeller said, "I didn’t know you were going to get cut." T.W. ran to the intersection and flagged down a car. Concerned for her daughter, she returned to the house and saw Moeller driving out of her driveway and memorized his license plate number. Her child slept undisturbed during the incident. Moeller was sentenced to life without parole as a habitual offender in the aggravated assault of T.W. The jury convicted Moeller on all three counts against him in the murder of Becky O’Connell. As to the murder convictions, the jury recommended a sentence of death and the trial court entered a warrant of execution. At his trial, Moeller was given the opportunity to have DNA tests preformed on the evidence taken from the victim, but declined to have the tests done. After Moeller was convicted and sentenced to death because of the heinousness of the crime, he then asked for DNA testing as part of a federal habeas corpus writ. DNA tests were performed on evidence including semen samples found in the victim, fluid found on the victim’s thigh, and on fluid found on some fingernail clippings. The fluid on the victim’s thigh and on the fingernail clippings was determined to be from a female donor. The semen, however, matched a DNA sample taken from Moeller to a probability of 1 in 14.8 billion. Moeller then requested additional DNA testing on the fluid from the victim’s thigh and the fingernail clippings to determine of they came from the same female donor. Upon presentment of the match between Moeller’s DNA and the DNA in the semen sample found on the victim, the judge denied Moeller further DNA testing on the thigh fluid and fingernail clippings because the tests already performed clearly established Moeller’s guilt of the capital crime.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
October 31, 2012 Texas Al Crow
Vicki Bowen
Donnie Roberts executed
Vicki Bowen, murder victimAt the time of the murder, Donnie Lee Roberts lived with the victim, Vicki Bowen. Roberts was unemployed, often drank alcohol, and used cocaine. Bowen worked as a dental assistant. On October 15, 2003, she went shopping with co-worker Brenda Bland, but she did not show up for work the next day. Because Bowen was a punctual person who always called if she was going to be late, Bland became concerned and went to Bowen’s house to check on her. When Bland arrived at the home, she found the front door open. After knocking and receiving no answer, Bland entered the home and found Bowen dead. Bland noticed that Bowen was still in the scrubs she had worn at work the previous day. She was covered by a blanket and was lying face down with her head turned to the side in a pool of blood. Blood spatters were present in the living room on the coffee table, the couch, and the walls. The medical examiner would later determine that Bowen died from two gunshot wounds to the head. It was immediately apparent from an examination of the scene that Bowen’s television and her son’s truck were missing. That same day, the police found Roberts after tracking down the stolen truck. It was later determined that Roberts had taken the truck, the television, Texans/Titans football tickets, jewelry, a Western Union money order, a.22 rifle, and a.22 pistol.  Roberts had sold the football tickets for one hundred dollars. He had bought cocaine from Edwin Gary on October 15 on three different occasions, the last of which involved trading the.22 caliber pistol. Roberts had apparently abandoned the.22 rifle, later determined to be the murder weapon, a few blocks from where he was found.   The Western Union money order was found in the residence at which Roberts had parked his truck, but the television and the jewelry were never recovered. Roberts was interviewed and gave a confession. In that confession, he acknowledged that he had “a crack cocaine problem” and that he would go to bars, get drunk, and then look for drugs. With regard to the victim’s death, Roberts said, “I pointed the gun at her and I told her just give me some money.” Later in the interview, Roberts stated: “I pointed the gun at her and I said, ‘if you’d just give me some money.’ And she said ‘No.’ And then I said, ‘Look, it doesn’t have to be this way.’ That’s all I remember saying to her. And the next thing I know, I shot her.” At trial, Roberts testified to a different sequence of events. He claimed that he picked up the.22 rifle because it was out of place, near the door. He also claimed that he saw what looked like a.22 pistol in Bowen’s pocket and that she moved her hand to her pocket to reach for it. He then said that he “must have chambered a round into the.22 rifle at that time,” but he did not remember if he pulled the safety off. He also claimed that he did not remember his gun firing but that he knows it did. Roberts further testified that he did not intend to rob Bowen at the time he shot her, but he admitted to taking items of her property later. Roberts was found guilty of capital murder on October 15, 2004, and, following a subsequent sentencing hearing, was sentenced to death on October 27, 2004. Evidence at trial showed Roberts had a record for battery while being held in jail in Fulton County, Ga., that he’d threatened his wife to give him money for drugs, and that he warned there would be another killing if he didn’t get a single-person cell in Polk County when he was jailed for Bowen’s murder. His robbery conviction in Louisiana was for a Mother’s Day 2001 convenience store holdup in Baton Rouge, La., where the knife-wielding Roberts threatened to slice the throat of the female clerk. UPDATE: Prior to his execution, Donnie Lee Roberts apologized to the family of his victim, Vicki Bowen. Louisiana ex-con executed for 2003 Texas killing – Local News – Clarksburg, WV | NBC News "I’m really sorry. I never meant to cause you all so much pain," Roberts said to Bowen’s father, who was seated in a chair close to a glass window in the death chamber viewing area. "I hope you can go on with your life. "I loved your daughter. I hope to God he lets me see her in heaven so I can apologize to her and see her and tell her."

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