August 2013 Executions

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
August 5, 2013 Florida Livingston Stocker, 33
Michael Miller, 24
Henry Clayton, 35
John Holmes, 26
Gilbert Williams, 37
Charles Cesar Stinson, 35
Brian Glenfield, 17
Belinda Worley, 17
John Ferguson executed
On the night of July 27, 1977, John Errol Ferguson, posing as a Florida Power and Light employee who needed to check some electrical outlets, persuaded Miss Margaret Wooden to let him enter her home. After pretending to check the outlets in several rooms, Ferguson drew a gun on Wooden and bound and blindfolded her. He then let two of his criminal cohorts into the house so that they could search it for drugs and valuables. About two hours later the owner of the house and five of his friends arrived. Wielding guns, Ferguson and his accomplices bound and blindfolded and searched the six men. Shortly thereafter, Wooden’s boyfriend, Michael Miller, arrived. He, too, was bound and blindfolded and searched at gunpoint. While six of the robbery victims were forced to kneel in the living room, Miller and Wooden were taken into her bedroom. There they were put with their knees on the floor and their upper bodies lying across the bed. Then the killing began. Ferguson and his partners in crime methodically murdered five of the six men who were kneeling in the living room by shooting each one in the back of the head while his hands were tied behind him. One of the six men somehow survived the shot to the back of his head, living to tell about the methodical murders of the other men in the living room. While Miller and Wooden were kneeling in the bedroom, Wooden heard the gunshots in the living room. She saw her boyfriend shot to death beside her. She saw a pillow coming toward her before she was shot in the head. And she heard Ferguson running out of the bedroom after the shootings. Despite her head wound, Wooden managed to make it to a neighbor’s house. When the police arrived at Wooden’s house, they found six dead victims, all of whom had been shot in the back of the head while their hands were bound behind their backs, and they found the two intended murder victims who had been shot in that same manner but had somehow survived. Ferguson had two accomplices when he committed the six Carol City murders, but less than six months later he committed two more murders all by himself. On the evening of January 8, 1978, Brian Glenfeld and Belinda Worley, both of whom were seventeen years old, left a Youth for Christ meeting in Hialeah. They were supposed to meet some friends at a local ice cream parlor, but they never arrived. Apparently on the way to meeting their friends, the young couple pulled off the road. What Ferguson did to the two teenagers when he chanced upon them was recounted by the trial court judge: The facts reveal that the two victims were seated in an automobile and while seated therein a gunshot was fired through the window striking Brian Glenfeld in the arm and chest area. A significant amount of bleeding followed and this victim’s blood was found throughout many areas of the front of the automobile as well as on the clothing of Belinda Worley. Following the shooting, the female victim ran many hundreds of feet from the car in an attempt to elude the shooter and was finally overtaken in some rather dense overgrowth and trees. She was subjected to many physical abuses by Ferguson, including but not limited to, sexual penetration of her vagina and anus. The discovery of embedded dirt in her fingers, on her torso both front and back and in many areas within her mouth and the findings of hemorrhaging around her vagina and anal cavity would indicate that she put up a significant struggle and suffered substantially during the perpetration of these indignities upon her body. Expert testimony indicates that she was a virgin at the time of the occurrence of this crime. The position of her body and the location of the wounds on her head would indicate that she was in a kneeling position at the time she was shot through the top of the head. She was left in a partially nude condition in the area where the crime was committed to be thereafter fed upon by insects and other predators. Physical evidence would substantiate that following the attack upon Belinda Worley Ferguson went back to the car and shot Brian Glenfeld through the head. Ferguson stole cash from Brian Glenfeld’s wallet. Among the items he took from Belinda Worley, or her body, were two rings, a gold bracelet, and a pair of earrings. When he ripped one of those earrings from Worley’s ear, he tore her ear lobe. To murder the two young victims Ferguson used a.357 magnum pistol that had been stolen from a victim of the Carol City murders nearly six months earlier. He confessed to killing the “two kids.”
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
August 7, 2013 Ohio Mari Ann Pope Billy Slagle suicide
In the early morning hours of August 13, 1987, the victim Mari Anne Pope was awakened in her home by Billy Slagle. Two children, who she had agreed to watch for her neighbors, were also awakened. The children awoke to the voice of Mari Anne inquiring as to who this person was that had entered her home. A man’s voice angrily threatened her and ordered her to roll onto her stomach. The man asked if there were others in the house, to which she replied that there were two children upstairs. The man told the victim not to move and that he had a knife at her back.   The children then heard Mari Anne begin to pray. The man responded by ordering her to stop praying. The children recognized the voice and knew the man as Billy Slagle, who lived next door. They first sought to hide, and then to escape. They scurried through the hall and out the back door. One of the children looked into the bedroom and observed Slagle sitting on top of the victim, who was lying upon her stomach. Slagle had on only his underwear. As the children exited, the victim could be heard screaming. The children were admitted into a neighbor’s home and police were called. Police officers arrived momentarily and as they moved around the house, shining a flashlight into the windows, one officer observed a man standing in the rear bedroom. The officer entered and observed Slagle attempting to hide in the dining room, armed with blood-covered scissors. After ordering Slagle to discard the scissors and lie face down on the floor, the officer placed handcuffs on him. The officer then went into the bedroom. He observed Mari Anne Pope lying across the middle of the bed. Her nightgown was pulled up around her neck. She was drenched in blood with large holes in her body. On the floor lay Mari Anne’s broken rosary, and Slagle’s tank-top T-shirt. The officer called to his companion, telling him to call for medical treatment and to take custody of the handcuffed man on the dining room floor. The other officer responded that there was no one on the dining room floor and both officers began to search. Slagle had gotten up and hidden himself in a hallway closet. When the officer passed the closet door in this as yet darkened home, Slagle burst from the closet and sought to escape. The first officer to react testified that Slagle was very quick and agile. The officer was unable to subdue Slagle until two other officers entered the fray. Slagle was observed to have blood on his hands and clothing. He also had a number of superficial scratches and bruises. Despite efforts to save her, Mari Anne Pope was pronounced dead at 6:00 a.m. The coroner reported that she had been stabbed seventeen times, with many of the stab wounds having been inflicted in and around her chest area. There were four stab wounds in her abdomen, five in the upper and lower extremities, with eight to the chest area, including wounds to the right atrium, pulmonary artery and right lung.   She had also been severely beaten about her head and face. At 10:00 a.m. the same day, Detective John J. McKibben interviewed Slagle, after having first advised him of his Fifth Amendment rights. At first, Slagle claimed to have no knowledge of the events of that morning. After being reminded that he had been arrested in the victim’s home, Slagle described his actions on the night of August 12 and the morning of August 13 in some detail. Slagle told Detective McKibben that he entered through a window and proceeded to the basement, looking for something to steal.   Slagle said that he took his shoes off and then went upstairs to the room in which the children were sleeping. He next went to Pope’s bedroom. As he was searching in her purse, Pope woke up and began screaming. He placed his hands on her mouth to quiet her. Slagle said that they began fighting for the sewing scissors that were next to the bed, and that he ultimately stabbed her “maybe 3 times.” Slagle also admitted that he tried to rape Pope, but he said that he could not get an erection. After the murder, he saw a flashlight shining into the window, so he ran into a kitchen closet, where the police found him. He said that he was sorry for what had happened.   Slagle provided the patrolmen with the name and address of his friend Mike Davis, and with Slagle’s social security number, date of birth, and residence. Detective McKidden said that, although Slagle’s eyes were glassy, McKidden smelled no alcohol on Slagle’s person at the scene or the next morning. At trial, the evidence revealed that eighteen-year-old Slagle spent the afternoon and evening of the murder with his friends Mike Davis, Kim Jones, and William Vivolo. It is unclear how much Slagle drank that night. Davis testified that he had about twenty beers that day and night and that he and Slagle “always kept up with each other.” Slagle also had shots of whiskey and smoked about $50 worth of marijuana. Mike Davis’s sister, Andrea, arrived later. She testified that by the early morning Slagle’s eyes were bloodshot and that he was slurring his speech. Slagle, according to Mike Davis however, was not staggering, vomiting, or falling over. He left in the early morning on a bicycle and rode for two miles to get home. Slagle chose to testify. He stated that he broke into Pope’s house to steal something so that he would have money for alcohol the next day. He did not recall any events after entering Pope’s house until he was fighting with her and holding bloody scissors. He only recalled stabbing Pope once, and he testified that he did not know why he killed her. On cross-examination, the prosecution asked several questions that Slagle now challenges. The prosecution asked Slagle about his education and work history. The State then asked Slagle how he made money when he was not working. Slagle responded that he sold marijuana to anyone. The State asked whether he sold marijuana to children, and Slagle testified that he did not. When the State asked, over defense counsel’s objection, whether Slagle had ever broken into a house to get money, Slagle responded that he had done so twice. The prosecution also asked whether he supported his family or whether his family supported him. Slagle answered that he was not responsible for anyone. The State later asked Slagle whether he knew what a rosary was, whether Pope began to pray as he attempted to rape her, whether he told her to shut up, and whether he liked and said prayers. Slagle testified that he did not remember her praying, that he saw nothing wrong with prayers, and that he says prayers. The prosecution then asked Slagle whether he would have murdered the police officer at the scene, murdered the children, and taken the scissors home to “use them in the next-”. Defense counsel’s objection cut off the prosecutor. The court sustained the objection, told the prosecution that “the question is highly improper,” and instructed the jury to disregard the inquiry. Near the end of the cross-examination, when Slagle responded that he did not think that Pope scratched his face, the prosecution responded, “Policemen don’t scratch. Isn’t that a fact?” The trial court sustained defense counsel’s objection as to whether it is a fact that policemen scratch. Throughout the trial, the defense’s primary argument was that Slagle was too drunk to form the intent to murder. The defense called expert witnesses to testify to Slagle’s alcoholism and to the fact that a high level of intoxication can preclude one from being able to form intent. The State responded with its own expert who testified that alcohol is processed rapidly in the body and that consumption of a large amount of alcohol does not guarantee that an individual will remain intoxicated at a future time. The trial judge instructed the jury that evidence of intoxication was “admissible for the purpose of showing that the defendant’s mind was in such condition that he was not capable of forming the specific intent to kill Mari Pope.” After the guilt phase of the trial, the jury convicted Slagle of aggravated murder with two death-penalty specifications of committing murder in the course of aggravated burglary and aggravated robbery. The jury also convicted Slagle of aggravated burglary and aggravated robbery. The jury, however, acquitted him of attempted rape. The penalty phase commenced about three weeks later. Slagle’s counsel called Slagle’s mother, father, and sister to testify that his alcohol abuse had changed him from a well-behaved child. The testimony revealed that Slagle’s childhood was far from ideal. His parents divorced when Slagle was three years old, and he attended several schools and changed residences fifteen to twenty times. Slagle started using drugs and alcohol by the age of thirteen. At the age of seventeen, Slagle received inpatient treatment for alcoholism after being arrested as a passenger joyriding in a stolen car. Although testing revealed that he had above-average intelligence, Slagle dropped out of high school after failing the eleventh grade for the second time. He held various jobs for short periods of time before settling into a pattern of drinking every day. Dr. Kurt A. Bertschinger, M.D., testified that Slagle was predisposed to be an alcoholic because of his family history and other factors. He also testified that Slagle could be treated in jail. The court’s psychologist for competency and sanity, Dr. Thomas W. Hall, Ph.D., testified that Slagle was an alcoholic and that his judgment was impaired at the time of the crime. Finally, Slagle made a brief unsworn statement, apologizing for Pope’s death and requesting that the jury not give him the death penalty. The defense submitted several exhibits into evidence. The defense was permitted to make the first and last of the arguments to the jury. Slagle challenges several comments that the prosecution made during its closing argument at the sentencing phase and claims that the State was referring to non-statutory aggravating factors. The State first said that Slagle was a young murderer because he was 19 years old at the time of trial.   Over defense counsel’s objection, the prosecution asked the jurors whether Slagle sympathized with Pope or showed her any mercy. The prosecution referred to several circumstances of the murder and its brutality. At one point, after detailing the circumstances of the crime, he asked the jury, “How aggravating is that?” In response to Slagle’s evidence that he came from a broken home and had an alcohol problem, the State told the jurors, “We all know people from divorced homes. We all know people who have had alcohol problems either in the present or in the past. And they chose and they lead full and functional lives.” Slagle also argues that besides these comments, the prosecutorial misconduct from the guilt phase of the trial infected the sentencing proceedings. After deliberating, the jury recommended the death penalty. The trial court agreed and sentenced Slagle to death for the aggravated murder of Pope. The court also sentenced Slagle to concurrent terms of imprisonment for aggravated robbery and burglary.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
August 15, 2013 Virginia Derrick McFarland , 26
Eric Evine Sutphin , 40
William Morva stayed
In the summer of 2006, William Charles Morva was in jail awaiting trial on charges of attempted burglary, conspiracy to commit burglary, burglary, attempted robbery, and use of a firearm. He had been in jail for approximately one year. While in jail he wrote a letter to his mother stating, “I will kick an unarmed guard in the neck and make him drop. Then I’ll stomp him until he is as dead as I’ll be.” Morva was scheduled to go to trial on August 23, 2006. In the evening on August 19, 2006, he informed the jail personnel that he required medical attention due to an injury to his leg and forearm. During the early morning hours of August 20, 2006, Sheriff’s Deputy Russell Quesenberry, who was in uniform and armed with a Glock.40 caliber semi-automatic pistol, transported Morva to the Montgomery Regional Hospital located in Montgomery County. Morva was wearing waist chains, but Deputy Quesenberry did not secure Morva’s allegedly injured arm. Upon arrival at the hospital, Morva “kept trying” to walk on Deputy Quesenberry’s right side even though he was ordered to walk on Deputy Quesenberry’s left side. Quesenberry was required to have Morva walk on his left because Quesenberry wore his gun on his right side. Quesenberry observed that Morva’s limping was sporadic and “sort of went away.” Also, Nurse Melissa Epperly observed Morva walking as if he were not injured. After the hospital treated Morva, Morva requested to use the bathroom. Deputy Quesenberry inspected the bathroom and allowed Morva access. While in the bathroom, Morva removed a metal toilet paper holder that was screwed to the wall. As Deputy Quesenberry entered the bathroom, Morva attacked him with the metal toilet paper holder, breaking Quesenberry’s nose, fracturing his face, and knocking him unconscious. Morva then took Quesenberry’s gun. Prior to leaving the bathroom, Morva confirmed that Quesenberry’s gun was ready to fire, ejecting a live round from the chamber. After escaping from the bathroom, Morva encountered Derrick McFarland, an unarmed hospital security guard. Morva pointed Quesenberry’s gun at McFarland’s face. McFarland stood with his hands out by his side and palms facing Morva. Despite McFarland’s apparent surrender, Morva shot McFarland in the face from a distance of two feet and ran out of the hospital, firing five gunshots into the electronic emergency room doors when they would not open. McFarland died from the gunshot to his face. McFarland had worked at the hospital since 2004. Those that worked alongside McFarland described him as very professional and willing to do anything he was asked. In the morning of August 21, 2006, Morva was seen in Montgomery County near “Huckleberry Trail,” a paved path for walking and bicycling. Corporal Eric Sutphin, who was in uniform and armed, responded to that information by proceeding to “Huckleberry Trail.” Andrew J. Duncan observed Morva and then later observed Corporal Sutphin on “Huckleberry Trail.” Four minutes later, Duncan heard two gunshots, less than a second apart. David Carter, who lived nearby, heard shouting, followed by two gunshots, and saw Corporal Sutphin fall to the ground. Shortly thereafter, Officer Brian Roe discovered Corporal Sutphin, who was dead from a gunshot to the back of his head. Corporal Sutphin’s gun was still in its holster with the safety strap engaged. Officer Roe confiscated Corporal Sutphin’s gun to secure it and continued to search for Morva. Later that day, Officer Ryan Hite found Morva lying in a ditch in thick grass. Even though Morva claimed to be unarmed, officers discovered Quesenberry’s gun on the ground where Morva had been lying. Morva’s DNA was found on the trigger and handle of Quesenberry’s gun. Corporal Sutphin was the son of the late Frank A. Sutphin. He was survived by his mother, Jeaneen L. Sutphin; his wife, Tamara Sutphin and his twin daughters, Rachel and Emily Sutphin. Stayed by a district court judge to allow appeals to proceed.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
August 18, 2013 Colorado Colleen O’Connor, 17
Benjamin Grant, 17
Sylvia Crowell, 19
Marge Kohlberg, 50
Nathan Dunlap stayed
In May 1993, nineteen-year-old Nathan Dunlap began working as a cook at the Chuck E Cheese’s restaurant in Aurora. In late July, Dunlap and his supervisor had a disagreement over whether Dunlap would work additional hours beyond his scheduled shift, and Dunlap’s supervisor fired him. The evidence at trial suggested that Dunlap was angry about being fired and felt that his supervisor had made a fool of him. Later that summer, Dunlap told a former Chuck E Cheese’s co-worker that he planned to “get even” for the incident. He talked with other friends about robbing Chuck E Cheese’s and killing his former supervisor. Then, on December 14, 1993, while playing basketball with friends, Dunlap indicated that his mind was made up and that he was going to “go to Chuck E Cheese, kill them all, and take the money.” That night, shortly before 9:00 p.m., Dunlap went to the restaurant, carrying a concealed small caliber handgun. He ordered a sandwich, and sat alone at a table near the front of the restaurant. Later, he played a video game, talked to a Chuck E Cheese’s employee who had just finished a shift, and called his girlfriend. He learned that his former supervisor was not working that night.   Then, at some point after about 9:50 p.m., he went into the men’s bathroom and waited until the restaurant closed at 10:00 p.m. While Dunlap was in the bathroom, the last customers left, and five Chuck E Cheese’s employees began to close for the night.   Nineteen-year-old Sylvia Crowell began disassembling a salad bar close to the bathroom where Dunlap hid. Seventeen-year-old Ben Grant ran a vacuum cleaner near Crowell, and seventeen-year-old Colleen O’Connor performed closing duties further back in the dining area. Bobby Stephens, who was nineteen years old, was cleaning the kitchen, and Marge Kohlberg, the restaurant’s assistant manager, totaled the day’s receipts in a back office. At some point shortly after 10:05 p.m., Dunlap emerged from the bathroom, walked up behind Sylvia Crowell and shot her from close range behind the right ear. Next, Dunlap approached Ben Grant, and shot him in the face near his left eye. Dunlap then turned to Colleen O’Connor, who knelt before him, begging for her life and promising not to tell anyone what she had seen. Dunlap shot her through the top of her head. A witness later testified that Dunlap said that “she went out like a soldier.” Then Dunlap burst into the kitchen and shot Stephens in the face. The bullet knocked Stephens to the floor, but did not kill him. Dunlap left the kitchen, and entered the office where Marge Kohlberg was working. He commanded her to open the restaurant’s safe, which she did, and then he shot her through an ear. Kohlberg fell to the floor. Believing Kohlberg was still alive, Dunlap shot her through the other ear, killing her instantly. He took Kolhberg’s purse and emptied it over her body. He then loaded the purse with approximately $1500 from the safe, Chuck E Cheese’s key chains, and arcade game tokens, and left. Meanwhile, Bobby Stephens recovered from his initial shock, and left the restaurant through an emergency door, setting off an alarm. He ran to a nearby condominium complex for assistance.   Shortly thereafter, paramedics arrived at the restaurant, but within a few hours every victim but Stephens had died. Upon leaving Chuck E Cheese’s, Dunlap went to the nearby apartment of two of his friends, arriving shortly after 10:00 p.m. He described his crimes to his friend Carl Wilson, with whom he counted the stolen money, and asked Wilson to give him an alibi. According to Wilson, Dunlap said, “I did it. Chuck E Cheese.” Dunlap then went to the home of his girlfriend, Tracie Lechman, where he had a telephone conversation with his mother, Carol Dunlap. His mother told him that she was with police officers, who were already looking for him, and he agreed to meet with the officers. Later, Lechman overheard Dunlap asking someone over the telephone if peroxide would remove gunshot residue. Following this conversation, Dunlap washed his hands with peroxide and took a shower. Dunlap subsequently met with the police and asserted that he had left Chuck E Cheese’s between 9:00 p.m. and 9:20 p.m. The following morning, the police arrested Dunlap. On December 23, 1993, the People charged Dunlap with four counts of deliberative murder, four counts of felony murder, attempted first degree murder after deliberation, attempted first degree felony murder, first degree burglary, first degree assault, aggravated robbery, theft, and three violent crime sentencing counts. On January 20, 1995, the People announced that they would seek the death penalty. Following extensive pre-trial motion hearings throughout most of 1995, Dunlap’s capital murder jury trial began on January 12, 1996. The trial concluded six weeks later, on February 26, 1996, when the jury found Dunlap guilty of all charges filed.   The trial proceeded into the penalty phase on February 28, 1996. On March 7, 1996, the jury returned four verdicts of death. On May 17, 1996, the trial court sentenced Dunlap to death on the four murder counts, and to the Department of Corrections for consecutive terms totaling 113 years for the other counts. In July 1993, Nathan Dunlap had been fired from his position as a cook at the restaurant and wanted to "get even." UPDATE: Stayed by Colorado governor John Hickenlooper.

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