July 2013 Executions

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
July 10, 2013 Texas Nicholas Macias, 19 mo Rigoberto Avila stayed
An El Paso grand jury charged Rigoberto Avila with the capital murder of Nicholas Macias, 19 months old. Avila pleaded not guilty and was tried by a jury. At trial, the evidence established that sometime between 6:00 and 6:15 p.m., on February 29, 2000, Marcelina Macias left her home to attend a class, leaving her 19-month-old son, Nicholas Macias, and his four-year-old brother, Dylan Salinas, in Avila’s care. At 7:02 p.m., Avila called “911” and told the operator that the infant boy he was babysitting had stopped breathing. When the paramedics arrived, they administered emergency treatment to the child before transporting him to the hospital. While treating the boy, paramedics found a bruise on Nicholas’s abdomen in the shape of a foot print. When they asked Avila about the bruise, he denied any knowledge of the marking. At the hospital, surgical attempts to save Nicholas’s life by repairing the injury to Nicholas’s intestines and other abdominal injuries were unsuccessful, and Nicholas died. An autopsy revealed that major organs in Nicholas’s body had been split in two by considerable blunt-force trauma consistent with being stomped by an adult. Specifically, the medical examiner reported that Nicholas “died of internal bleeding due to massive abdominal trauma resulting from blunt force injury.” The surgeon’s testimony likened Nicholas’s injuries to those caused by such events as exiting an automobile traveling at sixty miles per hour or being dropped twenty feet. Officer Jose Lopez testified that on February 29, 2000, he was dispatched to the home of a child who had stopped breathing. Avila told Lopez that he had been watching the television when Dylan came into the room and told him that Nicholas was not breathing. Dylan told Avila that “he had held Nicholas’s mouth” and then Nicholas stopped breathing. Lopez then allowed Avila to drive to the hospital. Detective Tony Tabullo arrived at the hospital to assess the situation. Because Avila was the last adult known to be with Nicholas, Tabullo asked him if he would be willing to discuss the incident with him at the Crimes Against Persons (CAP) offices. Avila initially gave a statement in which he denied injuring Nicholas. Subsequently, Tabullo received from other detectives Polaroid photographs which appeared to show an adult-sized footprint on Nicholas’s stomach. Tabullo confronted Avila with the photographs, after which Avila orally admitted to stomping Nicholas. Tabullo typed the confession, which Avila signed. The confession was admitted at trial. During the guilt-innocence phase of trial, Avila testified that he did not injure Nicolas. The jury found Avila guilty of capital murder. After the punishment phase of trial, the jury affirmatively answered the first special issue regarding whether Avila would be a continuing threat to society. The jury answered negatively the second special issue regarding whether mitigating circumstances warranted a sentence of life imprisonment. UPDATE: Stayed until January 2014.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
July 10, 2013 Florida Susan Marie Roark, 19
Robyn Novick
Marshall Gore stayed
Police discovered Robyn Novick’s nude body in a rural area of Dade County on March 16, 1988. Her body was hidden by a blue tarpaulin-like material. Robyn suffered stab wounds to the chest and had a belt tied around her neck. According to the medical examiner, Robyn died as a result of the stab wounds and mechanical asphyxia. He estimated that Robyn was killed between 9 p.m. and 1 a.m. on March 11 into March 12, 1988. Robyn was last seen alive on March 11, 1988, leaving the parking lot of the Redlands Tavern in her yellow Corvette. A witness testified that Robyn left with a man, whom the witness identified as Marshall Gore. In the early morning of March 12, Gore was seen driving Robyn’s automobile. David Restrepo, a friend of Gore’s, testified that Gore arrived at his home driving a yellow Corvette with a license plate reading "Robyn." Restrepo had not seen the car before and stated that when he last saw Gore in February 1988, Gore was driving a black Mustang. Gore told Restrepo that his girlfriend had loaned him the Corvette and asked Restrepo to call him "Robyn." Gore also asked Restrepo to accompany him to Coconut Grove. On the way to Coconut Grove, Gore lost control of the vehicle and "wrecked" the Corvette. Gore attempted to drive the vehicle away from the scene of the accident, but abandoned the vehicle a few blocks away. Restrepo testified that shortly after the accident a marked police vehicle was coming towards them, at which time, Gore told him to "run" because the car was stolen. Gore also told Restrepo that he had left jewelry in the car. When the police arrived on the scene, they recovered credit cards, a driver’s license and a cigarette case, all belonging to Robyn, as well as a "power of attorney" executed by Gore. Jessie Casanova, who was thirteen years old at the time of Robyn’s murder, testified that Gore came to her home in the early morning hours of March 12, driving a yellow Corvette. Gore had been staying with Casanova, her mother, and her mother’s friend since February 1988. According to Casanova, Gore returned to her home later that day, stating that he had been injured in a car accident. At that time, Gore gave Casanova the keys to the Corvette. FBI Special Agent Carl Lowery testified that Robyn’s body was recovered "within a few hundred feet" from this house. The following night, March 13, Gore went to the house of a friend, Frank McKee, and asked him if he could borrow some money and stay the night. Gore stated that the police were looking for him. Gore also informed his friend that he had recently been in a car accident involving a yellow Corvette and that he had lost some jewelry. McKee refused to allow Gore to spend the night and Gore subsequently left in a cab. In its case-in-chief, the State also introduced Williams rule evidence that Gore committed similar crimes against Susan Roark and Tina Coralis. The State presented evidence that Gore had murdered Susan shortly after her disappearance in January 30, 1988, by inflicting trauma to her neck and chest. In addition, evidence established that Gore stole Susan’s black Ford Mustang and other personal property, then left her nude body in a rural area used as a trash dump. Similarly, the State presented evidence that Gore attacked Tina Coralis on March 14, 1988, two days after the murder of Robyn. Tina Coralis herself testified against Gore, stating that he beat her with a rock, raped, choked and stabbed her, and left her for dead on the side of the road near the scene where Robyn’s body was found. Gore proceeded to steal Tina’s red Toyota sports car and personal property. FBI agents finally arrested Gore in Paducah, Kentucky on March 17, 1988. At the time of his arrest, Gore was in possession of Tina’s red Toyota automobile and he had her bank and credit cards in the pocket of his jacket. Police officers subsequently questioned Gore regarding the Coralis and Roark crimes. According to the police, Gore denied knowing Susan Roark or Tina Coralis and denied all involvement in the crimes. Gore also denied knowing Robyn. When police prepared to show Gore a photograph of Robyn, Gore stated "just make sure it is not gory" because his "stomach could not take it." At the time that Gore made such statements, the police had yet to inform Gore that Robyn was dead. Detective David Simmons of the Miami-Dade Police Department testified that when Gore looked at Robyn’s picture, Gore’s eyes "swelled with tears." Gore also stated that "if I did this, I deserve the death penalty." In his defense, Gore took the stand and testified on his own behalf. Gore claimed that prior to his interrogation by police in Miami concerning the Robyn Novick murder, reporters previously had told him upon his arrest that Robyn was dead. He also claimed that during his interrogation, police had placed gruesome photographs of the murders all over the interview room. Moreover, Gore stated that police had given him a polygraph examination, which he claimed he had passed. Gore’s claims concerning the officers’ use of gruesome photographs and that he was given a lie detector test were refuted by Detective Steven Parr and Detective Lou Passaro of the Miami-Dade Police Department. Both testified during the State’s rebuttal. Gore testified that he was the owner of an escort service and claimed that Coralis, Novick, Roark, and Restrepo all worked for the escort business. Gore maintained that Robyn worked for him as a nude dancer and he admitted that he was with Robyn at the Redlands Tavern on the evening of March 11, 1988. Gore, however, denied killing her. Gore explained that he was driving Robyn’s Corvette and that he had arranged for both Robyn and Tina to work as escorts that night. Gore claimed that after leaving the Redlands Tavern, he drove Robyn to a club where Tina worked. According to Gore, Robyn, Tina, and another woman left the club with three men in a Mercedes. Gore claimed that he followed this group in Robyn’s vehicle to a warehouse in Homestead, Florida. Gore stated that he called the warehouse later that night and that the phone was answered by a member of a pro-Castro group, with which one of the men was affiliated. Gore testified that he spoke with Robyn later that night and informed her about the accident and told her to report the car stolen so that she could collect the insurance proceeds. During this conversation, Robyn told Gore that Tina had left in the middle of the night because there were "problems" with the three clients who were angry about missing drugs and drug money. Gore claimed that he knew that Tina previously had sold some drugs and used the proceeds to buy a new car. Gore also testified that he spoke with Tina a few days later, and that she was scared because someone was looking for her. Gore claimed that Tina wanted a gun and that he had arranged a meeting with her in an effort to assist her in selling the remainder of her drugs. Furthermore, Gore claimed that he later saw the men who were with Robyn and Tina on the night of the Novick murder and they told him that Robyn "was picked up" from the warehouse. Addressing his relationship with Susan Roark, Gore admitted that he knew her for many years. He acknowledged that he was with Susan on the last night that she was seen alive. He stated, however, that Susan had visited him during his incarceration in Miami, indicating that it was impossible for him to have murdered her. Gore also asserted that Dr. William Maples, a forensic anthropologist, could testify that Susan had been dead for only three weeks when her remains were recovered and that Gore had been in jail for six months at that time. Furthermore, Gore asserted that the evidence found at the site where Susan’s body was found did not link him to the crime. On cross-examination, Gore admitted that he previously had been convicted of committing fifteen felonies. Gore denied trying to kill Tina Coralis and claimed that her injuries were the result of her jumping out of a moving car. Gore also asserted that all of the State witnesses had lied and he refused to explain why he was in possession of the property of people who were either killed or attacked. Ana Fernandez testified on Gore’s behalf. Fernandez worked for Gore in 1984 or 1985 when she was fifteen years old, answering phones for the escort service. Fernandez claimed to have known Roark, Coralis, and Novick through her association with Gore. However, she could not state when, where, or how many times that she had met Tina or Robyn and was unable to describe them. Moreover, when presented with a photograph of several women, she could not identify Tina Coralis. After the close of all the evidence, the jury convicted Gore of first-degree murder and armed robbery with a deadly weapon of Robyn Novick. During the penalty phase, Gore chose to represent himself. The jury recommended that Gore be sentenced to death by a vote of twelve to zero. The trial court imposed the death penalty for the first-degree murder conviction and imposed an upward departure life sentence for the armed robbery conviction to run consecutive to any other sentence Gore was serving. At the time of this conviction, Gore was already under sentence of death for the murder, kidnapping and robbery of Susan Roark, and a life sentence for the sexual battery, theft, robbery, burglary and attempted murder of Tina Coralis.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
July 15, 2013 Georgia Unnamed female victim
Joseph Handspike
Warren Hill stayed
In 1990, Warren Lee Hill and Joseph Handspike were both serving time at the Lee Correctional Institute. Hill was serving a life sentence for the murder of his former girlfriend by shooting her numerous times with a 9-millimeter handgun. Early in the morning of August 17, 1990, as Joseph Handspike slept, Hill removed a 2"x6" board that served as a sink leg in the prison bathroom and forcefully beat Handspike numerous times about the head and chest as onlooking prisoner pleaded with him to stop. A correctional officer, hearing the noise, rushed to Hill’s cell, where he observed Hill bludgeoning Joseph Handspike as he lay in his bed. By the time the officer called for assistance and returned to the cell, the victim was mortally wounded. Hill surrendered his weapon but the victim was already dying. Handspike arrived at the hospital in a coma and died there. Several prisoners testified that Hill mocked the victim as he beat him. interviews and records indicated that Hill was intellectually slow, suffered fevers and convulsions as a child, suffered from seizures or drug-induced delirium several times in his later life, was kidnapped and possibly molested as a child, was physically abused by his mother as a child, worked and provided money to his family from the age of twelve into his adulthood, advanced quickly in the Navy, becoming a nuclear weapons loader, and suffered a precipitous personal decline upon breaking up with his girlfriend, which resulted eventually in his murdering her in public. Hill’s father was an alcoholic, was abusive to Hill’s mother, and was extremely neglectful of Hill and his siblings’ emotional and physical needs. The trial court authorized funds for all of this investigative work and for psychological testing of Hill, which focused on his family and medical history, his intellectual slowness, and his perception that Mr. Handspike had a sexual interest in him, all of which were testified to by Hill’s psychological expert at trial.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
July 16, 2013 Texas Victor Billings, 60 John Quintanilla executed
On November 24, 2002, in Victoria, 27-year-old John Manuel Quintanilla, Jr. and an accomplice entered an action amusement center through a partially opened back door, demanded cash from an employee and advised all other patrons to get down on the floor. Victor Billings, a former Jackson County, Texas sheriff’s deputy, was with his wife at the center. He attempted to disarm Quintanilla in an effort to protect his wife and was fatally shot three times when he grabbed the barrel of the 9 mm carbine rifle. A 56-year-old woman was also shot in the foot. Right after shooting Billings, Quintanilla noticed two other customers trying to leave through the front door. He aimed and fired at the doorway, head high. The robbery amount was $2000. Victoria police officers testified that when they received the report of shooting at the game room, they didn’t know whether or not the shooters were still inside. Senior Patrol Officer Eddie Stevens was dispatched to the call shortly before 7 p.m. It took him 2 minutes to get across town. He was the 1st person on the scene, Stevens said. One of the customers who had run out of the business during the shooting came up to him, Stevens said. "He advised me he did not see anybody else run out," Stevens said. "We did not know if we still had an active shooter inside." When Sgt. Ralph Buentello arrived a couple of minutes later, the scene was still chaotic, Buentello said. "The immediate situation was extremely unstable as we tried to determine if we still had people inside." Knowing that the department’s Special Response Team would take about 40 minutes to mobilize and be at the business, Buentello decided to send three officers in through the front door. Standing behind a 4-foot-tall ballistic shield, the officers made their way in, thus allowing the dead man’s wife, Linda Billings, and another woman to run out. Bradley Hill, Victoria Fire Department emergency medical technician, testified that he and his partner had waited at a distance from the game room until police had assured its safety. He testified that Billings was lying face down in the floor and showed no respiration or pulse. Quintanilla was linked to a series of other armed robberies in the area in the same time span. Quintanilla had a substantial criminal record. While in jail awaiting trial on this charge, he made two “shanks” (knives) and attacked a guard in an escape attempt. Quintanilla confessed to the murder of Billings, but the defense tried to plant doubt that he was really the robber, suggesting that he was taking the blame for the husband of a relative. At the penalty phase, Quintanilla refused to permit his lawyers to present any evidence. Following testimony in the sentencing phase of the trial, the jury found a probability that Quintanilla would commit future acts of criminal violence constituting a continuing threat to society. Accordingly, the trial court sentenced Quintanilla to death.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
July 18, 2013 Texas Viola Leanne Ross McVade, 18
Douglas Birdsall , 53
Vaughn Ross executed
Viola Ross, murder victimDouglas Birdsall, murder victimViola Ross and Douglas Birdsall were apparently murdered on January 30, 2001, in Douglas’s car in an alley outside Vaughn Ross’s apartment complex. Ross’s neighbor reported hearing gunshots in the alley at around 10:00 p.m. The victims’ bodies were discovered in Doug Birdsall’s Saab, which was parked in a ravine in Canyon Lake Park No 6, approximately 4 miles from the alley where the victims were murdered. It was found Wednesday morning by a bicyclist who then reported it to a city employee. The employee then called the police. Doug Birdsall was found in the rear passenger seat of his car and blood was visible on his head, neck, shirt, pants and hand. Viola Ross was found in the front passenger seat bent forward at the waist. Blood was visible on the back of her jacket; she had been shot three times in the head at close range. Officers observed the victims for at least five minutes and saw no signs of life. No footprints were visible in the immediate area or on a trail leading from the area. Inside the car were shell casings, glass shards, and a fingertip piece of a latex glove. Police also received a call to check on the welfare of Birdsall on Jan. 31, at his residence. When police arrived at the scene, Dale Cluff, dean of libraries at Tech, was outside Birdsall’s house. Cluff said he was concerned about Birdsall and had rang the doorbell and knocked but did not get an answer. Police investigated and were unable to locate anyone. Police have also found a link between Viola Ross and Birdsall. According to the affidavit, a mutual friend arranged for Viola Ross and Birdsall to meet. The mutual friend went riding with Viola Ross and Birdsall in his vehicle. After introducing the two, the friend was dropped off. Shortly before the murders, Ross’s girlfriend Liza McVade, who was Viola’s sister, saw Ross wearing latex gloves. Ross told Liza to leave the apartment so she would not be there "if anything happens. If I do something, I don’t want nobody around." Liza left the apartment with her three-year-old son and walked to her father’s house, arriving at about 10:11 p.m. A witness, who called police regarding a shots fired incident, said a short time before he heard the shots, a black female with a child about 3 or 4 years old came to his apartment and used his phone. Reports also state that about 10:45 p.m., Jan. 30, a witness observed two black vehicles traveling east from 10th Street and Avenue T. The witness said both vehicles ran stop signs at Avenue S and Avenue R. The witness also said the cars then turned south onto Avenue Q. The witness said the rear vehicle was a black Saab and believes it was Doug Birdsall’s car. The witness also said he could see people in the vehicles, but could not identify anyone. According to police records, Vaughn Ross has previously been charged with several felony offenses in Missouri, including first degree assault, first degree robbery, stealing a motor vehicle and armed criminal action. He was arrested in 1997 for repeatedly stabbing his former girlfriend. He pleaded guilty and completed three years probation. He has no previous criminal record in Texas. Vaughn Ross had no relation to Viola Ross. In the alley outside Ross’s apartment complex, the police discovered blood stains, glass shards and a shell casing. Testing revealed that the glass shards were similar to the glass windows of Doug’s car. Additionally, the shell casing from the alley was tested and determined to be consistent with the shell casings in Doug’s car. The day after the murders, Ross accompanied Liza to the police station to describe events of the previous night. Ross told police he had argued with Viola over the telephone. During a second interview with police, Ross told an investigator that he and Viola did not get along and that they had argued because Viola kept calling and putting Liza’s ex-boyfriend on the phone. Ross consented to a police search of his apartment, which resulted in the recovery of two latex gloves and a sweatshirt. DNA testing showed that a blood stain on the sweatshirt belonged to Doug Birdsall. DNA testing also showed that Doug’s blood was on the outside of the latex glove tip found in Doug’s car and that Ross’s DNA was on the inside of the glove tip. Ross incriminated himself during police questioning when asked about the location of the murder weapon, and again in a conversation with his mother recorded at the Lubbock County Jail. Doug Birdsall was the Texas Tech University Associate Dean of Libraries. Texas Tech University dedicated a sculpture to Birdsall at the university library September 25. Titled Windsong II, the steel-and-sheet-metal artwork was created by Michael Masse and stands seven feet tall. During his tenure at the library, Birdsall created an Art in the Library Committee, and often recommended purchases and donated artwork. He was killed simply because he happened to be with Viola at the time and had just met her that night.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
July 25, 2013 Alabama Charles Newman Andrew Lackey executed
At 7:34 p.m. on October 31, 2005, the Athens Police Department received and recorded an emergency telephone call that originated from Charles Newman’s house. During that telephone call, Newman could be heard stating, “Don’t do that” and “Leave me alone.” Newman also asked, “What do you want?” His assailant, who could be overheard on the recording, responded repeatedly by asking, “Where’s the vault?” Detective Katrina Flannigan, then a patrol officer with the Athens Police Department, was dispatched to Newman’s house following the emergency telephone call. When she did not receive an answer at the front door, Detective Flannigan went to the rear of the residence. Detective Flannigan noticed that, although the glass storm door was closed, the wooden back door was open and that there was blood on the storm door. Detective Flannigan summoned the officer with her to the back. The officer told her that he could see a body inside the house, so they entered Newman’s house through the back door. Inside, they found Newman’s body on the floor between a couch and a green chair, and a large puddle of blood. Underneath the chair was a set of dentures and the base to a cordless telephone. Detective Flannigan noticed bloody shoe prints leading to the back door from the body and could smell the scent of gunpowder. Later that evening, Officer William Watson, Officer Bobby McCalphin, and Sgt. Clayton Jordan of the Madison Police Department responded to a shooting victim who telephoned the police from a Chevron gasoline station. The officers arrived to find Lackey sitting outside on a curb. Lackey told Officer Watson that he had been shot, and Lackey lifted his shirt. Officer Watson saw two gunshot wounds, one in the center of Lackey’s chest and another on the side of his chest. When asked how he was shot, Lackey responded, “ ‘I have no idea. I don’t know anything. I just know I’ve been shot.” ’ (R. 566.) Lackey would not explain where he was when he was shot, nor would he explain how he came to be at the gasoline station. Officer Watson saw a white Nissan Altima automobile parked in front of the gasoline station. Officer Watson’s attention was drawn to the Altima because of blood on the Altima’s exterior. Looking through the windows, Officer Watson could see blood on the steering wheel and front dash, what appeared to be an insulated pizza bag and a radio scanner in the front-passenger seat, two pistols in the front-passenger floorboard, and a bloody knife with a broken tip in the rear floorboard. Sgt. Jordan telephoned sheriff’s departments and police stations in neighboring counties to determine if there had been any reported shootings that evening. The Athens Police Department responded that it was investigating a shooting, and Sgt. Jordan informed the Athens Police Department about Lackey and his vehicle. During a search of the Altima, officers found a Rossi brand.38 revolver; an 8mm starter pistol; a knife with a broken tip; an insulated pizza bag; a police scanner; a rental agreement for the Altima signed by Lackey; a stun gun with a missing electrode; a baseball batting glove; a utility belt; two flashlights; two black tube socks filled with nylon rope; a pack of six bottles of super glue; two black gym bags; a pair of blood-stained eyeglasses; an axe; a sledgehammer; a hammer with a towel wrapped around it; a roll of duct tape; five screwdrivers; several packs of batteries; a pair of night-vision goggles; and a wallet, which contained Lackey’s driver’s license, several credit cards in his name, and a Paypal card in the name of “Jacob McDeal.” Lackey’s mother testified that Lackey had incorporated his internet-sales business under the name “Jacob McDeal.” Officer Jay Looney of the Athens Police Department collected two one-dollar bills and a receipt from a Long John Silver’s restaurant from Newman’s house. The bills and receipt were found folded together near the back door. The receipt reflected an order of a chicken sandwich and chili-cheese fries. He also recovered a piece of metal that was believed to be an electrode from the stun gun found in the Altima. In a box sitting on the fireplace mantel, Officer Looney found a bill of sale for Newman’s purchase of the Rossi brand.38 revolver. Doris Langster, Newman’s friend, testified that she sold the Rossi.38 revolver to Newman and that he typically carried the revolver in a pocket in his robe. Dr. Emily Ward, a pathologist with the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences (“DFS”), performed the autopsy on Newman. Dr. Ward found that Newman suffered a combination of 54 stab wounds and lacerations to his head, including stab wounds to both eyes, and a broken nose. Newman had seven wounds on his neck, one of which severed his carotid artery, and multiple cuts to his hands. Newman also sustained a gunshot wound. The entrance wound was on the right side of his chest, and the exit wound was on the left side of his chest. Dr. Ward testified that the exit wound was surrounded by purple discoloration, indicating that Newman was against a hard object, such as the floor, when he was shot. Additionally, the entrance wound was surrounded by gunpowder, indicating that the pistol was at a close range when fired. In Dr. Ward’s opinion, Newman died as a result of numerous sharp and blunt-force injuries of the head and neck and a gunshot wound to the chest. Dr. Ward also testified, though, that Newman was likely dead prior to being shot. A subsequent investigation revealed that Lackey was a long-time friend Newman’s grandson Derrick Newman. Derrick Newman testified at trial that he had previously told Lackey of Newman’s wealth and that Newman had a vault in his house. Derrick Newman told Lackey that the vault could be accessed by a door next to the stairwell. Additionally, Derrick Newman testified that he and Lackey had been to a Long John Silver’s restaurant two days before his grandfather’s murder and that Lackey had ordered a chicken sandwich and chili-cheese fries. The computers at Lackey’s apartment were seized. Brian Wilmoth, a computer-forensics analyst with the Regional Organized Crime Information Center, was asked by Lt. Floyd Johnson to analyze the computer hardware recovered from Lackey’s apartment. Wilmoth recovered messages sent from “Jacob” to “Damian”6 from January 2005 through July 2005. Within the messages, “Jacob” wrote to “Damian” about an impending heist; his reconnaissance of the target, the house of an “old rich guy,” and its vulnerabilities; his collection of supplies for the heist; the cash and gold he believed was in the house; his intention to use a pizza bag as a ploy to gain entry into the house; and his desire for money. (C. 298–318.) Also, within Lackey’s computer’s internet history, Wilmoth found a previous search of Newman’s address. Robert Bass, who was a forensic scientist with the DFS, analyzed several pieces of bloodstained evidence collected from Newman’s house and from the Altima. Bass testified that Lackey was a DNA match for bloodstains found on the sweatshirt he was wearing on the night of the murder, on the steering wheel of the Altima, on the interior of the back door to Newman’s house, and on the storm door on the rear of Newman’s house. Newman was a DNA match for bloodstains found on the exterior of the back door to his house and on the interior of the storm door. Bass also testified that there was a mixed-DNA profile on the trigger guard on the Rossi.38 revolver, on the trigger on the starter pistol, and on the hand brake lever on the Altima, and that Newman and Lackey were the likely contributors of that DNA. Crystal Kissel, a forensic scientist with the DFS, testified that Newman was a DNA match for bloodstains found on the soles of the boots Lackey was wearing on the night of the murder. Jacquelyn Bowling, a forensic scientist with the DFS, testified that Newman and Lackey were DNA matches for various bloodstains on the blue jeans Lackey was wearing on the night of the murder. John Kilbourn, a forensic scientist with Analytical and Forensic Associates, examined the bloody shoe prints found near Newman’s body. Kilbourn concluded that the shoe prints were made by a sole that had an identical sole pattern and were the same length and width as the left boot Lackey was wearing on the night of the murder.7 Tammy Sligh, a forensic scientist with the DFS, testified that a piece of metal that was lodged in Newman’s skull, which was found during the autopsy, was the tip of the knife found in the Altima. She also confirmed that the three bullets and one bullet jacket recovered from Newman’s house had been fired from the Rossi.38 revolver. All five cartridges that remained in the revolver had been fired.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
July 31, 2013 Texas Robert Stephen Everett
Nicolas Velasquez
Douglas Feldman executed
Douglas Alan Feldman was riding his motorcycle on the night of August 24, 1998 when Robert Everett, driving an eighteen-wheeler, suddenly passed Feldman and pulled into his lane, missing Feldman’s left hand by inches. Enraged, Feldman took out his firearm and fired several shots into the back of Robert’s trailer. Feldman then reloaded his weapon and pulled up alongside the cab of the truck. He fired several shots directly at Robert, killing him. After returning to the scene of the crime to verify that Robert Everett was dead, Feldman headed home. Approximately 45 minutes after Feldman shot and killed Robert Everett, and about eleven miles from the scene of the original shooting, Feldman passed an Exxon service station where Nicolas Velasquez, an Exxon tanker truck driver, was refilling the station’s gas supply. Feldman drove into the station and shot Nicolas twice in the back, killing him. Feldman then returned home. Over a week later, Feldman shot Antonio Vega while Mr. Vega was standing outside of a Jack-in-the-Box restaurant. Mr. Vega was seriously injured but survived. A bystander noted Feldman’s license plate number and relayed the information to police. When the police apprehended Feldman, they recovered two firearms and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. Testing on one of the weapons and the shell casings found at the scene of the shootings of the three men, Everett, Velasquez, and Vega, confirmed that the weapon had been used at all three locations. After his arrest but prior to trial, Feldman admitted committing the shootings to a police investigator, stating that they were the consequence of his traffic altercation with Robert Everett. Feldman also testified to the shootings at his trial, noting that he had not forgiven Robert Everett for his trespasses. Feldman explained that he had shot Nicolas Velasquez because the man was standing beside an eighteen-wheeler, which caused Feldman to “explode again in anger.” Feldman was convicted of capital murder in a Texas trial court and sentenced to death on August 31, 1999.

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