November 2013 Executions

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
Nov 12, 2013 Texas Michael Keith Dwyer, 20 Jamie McCoskey executed
Jamie Bruce McCoskey dropped out of school in the 9th grade and worked as a landscaper before his final arrest. He was in and out of trouble with the law for several years. He was arrested for kidnapping in Travis County, Texas in January of 1983, and given a 10-year sentence serving six months before being released. He was arrested again in October of 1984, for violating his parole and served almost three years before being released. A year after his release, he was arrested again for parole violation in October of 1988. In 1991, he was released under mandatory supervision. Between approximately 6:00 and 6:30 pm on November 13, 1991, an engaged couple, Michael Keith Dwyer and Laurie Collins, returned to their apartment complex from a shopping trip. They went to their apartment, leaving the keys in the door while they brought groceries inside. As Dwyer went to remove the keys, he encountered McCoskey standing in the doorway. McCoskey unzipped his jacket to reveal a hunting knife. When asked what he wanted, McCoskey replied that he wanted a ride and that the couple were going to take him where he wanted to go. Dwyer agreed to take McCoskey on the condition that Collins stay behind, but McCoskey insisted that she come along. They started out with the couple in the front seat and McCoskey in back, but McCoskey eventually switched places with Collins so that he could exit quickly if a police officer pulled them over. McCoskey directed Dwyer to get onto a freeway. During the drive, McCoskey made several contradictory statements, including threatening to kill the couple, and telling them that he just needed a ride, that he knew how to kill people using martial arts techniques, and that he was doing this for someone else who wanted him to steal the car. Eventually, McCoskey told Dwyer to exit the freeway and directed him to an embankment in the middle of an empty field. After the car was parked, McCoskey took the keys and walked over to an SUV parked nearby to tell its occupants that they were on private property and had to leave. McCoskey returned to the car, grabbed Dwyer around the neck, and put the knife to his throat. He then ordered Collins to handcuff Dwyer’s hands behind him. McCoskey then put Dwyer in the trunk. He returned to the car, got in the driver’s seat, and tried to figure out how to drive the manual transmission. He ordered Collins to remove her shorts because he did not want her to jump out of the car and run. McCoskey left the embankment, but could not find his way out of the surrounding neighborhood. He eventually got back onto the freeway. At some point while driving, he began fondling Collins’s genitals. When she started crying, he turned up the radio so "she would not get embarrassed and so her boyfriend could not hear." McCoskey then unzipped his pants and tried to force her to engage in oral sex, but stopped when she started gagging. As McCoskey drove in the direction of the couple’s apartment, Dwyer tried to tell him that Collins was pregnant and asked him not to hurt her. McCoskey responded that Dwyer better shut up and not make him mad. McCoskey then told the couple that he was going to leave Dwyer with some friends, drop Collins at the apartment, and then call his friends to release Dwyer. He thought this would ensure that they would be too scared to call the police. As they neared the apartment, however, McCoskey turned away and drove to an empty house near the freeway. He took Collins into the house at knife point and raped her. He then returned to the car and took Dwyer into the house. The next sound Collins heard was a noise like "if somebody hit you in the stomach and you get the breath knocked out of you." She recognized the sound as coming from Dwyer. Collins then jumped from the car and fled to a nearby house. The occupant of the house would not let her in until McCoskey showed up brandishing his knife. The occupant then let her in and locked the door. She then called 911. McCoskey fled in the couple’s car. When the police arrived, they found Dwyer’s body in the empty house. He had been stabbed approximately two dozen times. When the police arrested McCoskey, they noticed knife scabbards strapped to his belt and his right leg. The knife used to stab Dwyer was on the floor a few feet away. Based on this evidence, the jury found McCoskey guilty of capital murder for murdering Dwyer during the course of kidnapping. The State presented testimony by mental health professionals diagnosing McCoskey with antisocial personality disorder. The State also presented evidence of McCoskey’s prior criminal record, prison disciplinary record, and that McCoskey, after the guilty verdict but out of the jury’s presence, picked up a chair and threw it at the prosecutors. The jury answered in the affirmative the statutory special issue asking whether McCoskey posed a future danger to society, and answered in the negative the special issue asking whether the mitigating evidence was sufficient to warrant a life sentence. Accordingly, the trial court sentenced McCoskey to death.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
November 12, 2013 Florida Denise Collins, 28 Darius Kimbrough executed
The victim, Denise Collins, was found nude and semi-conscious in her bathroom by paramedics; she was covered with blood. The sliding glass door to her second floor apartment was partially open, and there were some ladder impressions under the balcony. Collins was rushed to the hospital, where she died soon thereafter. The officers took semen evidence from the bed sheets, took blood evidence from the victim, and found pubic hairs in the bed and in a towel. The samples were sealed in a bag and sent to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement lab for analysis. A resident of the apartment complex named Lee told officers that he had twice seen a man in the vicinity of the apartment and had seen a ladder on the apartment’s balcony. Officers were unsuccessful in searching for the man, but later Lee identified Kimbrough from a picture lineup. A workman in the complex identified Kimbrough as a man who had watched him putting away a ladder in the complex around the time of the murder. The DNA evidence showed that the semen taken from the bed sheets was compatible with Kimbrough’s, and some of the pubic hairs matched his. There were, however, additional pubic hairs from another unidentified black man and a caucasian male. The DNA evidence indicated that the blood samples taken from the bed matched Kimbrough’s. The medical examiner testified at trial that the victim had a fractured jaw and fracturing around her left temple. The cause of death was hemorrhaging and head injury in the brain area resulting from blunt injury to the face. There was also evidence of vaginal injury, including tears and swelling consistent with penetration. There were bruises on her arms. The defense’s theory suggested that the victim’s ex-boyfriend had committed the crime since he was with the victim shortly before, had used a ladder before at her apartment, had a key, and had beaten her previously. The evidence of prior beating was excluded. In the sentencing order, the judge listed three aggravators:  prior violent felony, committed during the course of a felony, and heinous, atrocious, or cruel. To support the prior violent felony aggravator, the judge cited Kimbrough’s prior convictions for both burglary of a dwelling with battery therein and sexual battery.   The court found that the murder here was committed during sexual battery or attempt to commit sexual battery, citing DNA evidence and bruising, as well as evidence that the victim and defendant did not know each other.   The heinous nature of the crime was supported by the size of the victim, the three blows to her head causing fracture by blunt force, evidence of a struggle (the room was in disarray), and the amount of blood found around the room. The judge considered age as a statutory mitigator (Kimbrough was nineteen), but rejected it because there was no evidence establishing that he was immature or impaired. The court considered the following nonstatutory mitigation: Kimbrough had an unstable childhood, maternal deprivation, an alcoholic father, a dysfunctional family, and a talent for singing. The court found that the mitigation did not temper the aggravators. Denise Collins was an aspiring artist at the time of her death. She went to high school in Titusville and attended colleges in Boston. She got a job at Kinko’s in Orlando after earning a fine arts degree, but she wanted to be a graphic artist. She loved cats and was "big-hearted," said her mother. "She had a very pleasing personality. She was outgoing and laid-back," Stewart said. "She was very pretty, a very attractive girl." Collins spent her last evening listening to CDs at a friend’s apartment along with other friends, including Gary Boodhoo, her former boyfriend. She returned to her apartment at night, and detectives believe she was attacked sometime between midnight and 4 a.m. the next day. "He lived 22 years too long and too well and he’s going to go out clean and easy, and he doesn’t deserve it," said Diane Stewart, Collins’ mother, in a recent telephone interview. "She didn’t go out that way, and he doesn’t deserve what he’s getting. He should go out the way she did. That’s how we feel." Stewart, who lives in New Jersey, said she planned to attend the execution with Collins’ sister. Boodhoo recalled Collins as a loving person who did work in painting, drawing and collages. "There was such a beauty to her work, her personality, her relationship with others," Boodhoo said. "I’m just glad he’s going to die… I couldn’t be happier about it. He’s the worst kind of human being there is."
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
November 14, 2013 Ohio Sheila Marie Evans, 3 Ronald Phillips stayed
On January 18, 1993, Sheila Marie Evans, age three, died as a result of cardiovascular collapse due to severe, blunt force trauma to her abdomen. At the time, Sheila’s mother, Fae Evans, was dating and occasionally cohabiting with Ronald Ray Phillips. In addition to Sheila, Evans had two other children, Sara, twenty-nine months old, and Ronald, Jr., Phillips’s infant son. Shortly after 10:00 a.m. on the morning of January 18, 1993, Fae Evans took Ronald, Jr. to see the family physician for a routine physical examination. Phillips remained at Evans’s apartment to care for Sheila and Sara. Evans returned to the apartment at approximately 11:25 a.m. and found Phillips sitting in the kitchen. Soon thereafter, Evans called out to her daughters, but they failed either to respond or to appear. Phillips walked into the girls’ bedroom and found Sheila lying on her bed motionless, pale and cold. He then lifted Sheila and carried her downstairs to his grandmother’s apartment. Hazel Phillips, the grandmother, telephoned the 911 emergency operator, reported that Sheila was not breathing, and relayed instructions on performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation to Phillips. Phillips in turn attempted to revive Sheila until medical assistance arrived. Paramedics from the city of Akron responded to the 911 call within four minutes of being dispatched and immediately transported Sheila to Children’s Hospital in Akron. Upon her arrival at the emergency room, Sheila was not breathing and had no pulse. The first physician to examine Sheila, Dr. Eugene Izsak, noted that she had multiple bruises on her torso, a distended stomach, apparent internal abdominal injuries, and a stretched anus with some acute, recent changes. Dr. Izsak’s medical team continued cardiopulmonary resuscitation and was eventually able to obtain a pulse. Sheila was transported to the operating room after spending approximately one hour in the emergency room. Dr. Robert Klein performed emergency abdominal surgery, which revealed that Sheila’s abdominal cavity was filled with a significant amount of free air and blood, and that a portion of her intestine, the duodenum, was perforated and gangrenous. Dr. Klein removed the dead portion of the intestine, and attempted to control the internal bleeding. Based upon his observations, Dr. Klein determined that the injury to the duodenum had been inflicted at least two days prior to Sheila’s admission into the hospital. Despite the significant medical efforts performed at Children’s Hospital, Sheila died later that day. On January 19, 1993, Dr. William Cox, the Summit County Coroner, conducted an autopsy on Sheila. During his external examination of Sheila, Dr. Cox documented more than one hundred twenty-five bruises, many of which he identified as acute injures that had been inflicted within a few hours of death. The bruising indicated that Sheila had been severely beaten about her head, face, upper and lower torso, arms, legs, and genitalia. He also detailed that the blows to Sheila’s abdomen had resulted in severe internal trauma, including hemorrhaging in her stomach, intestine and other internal organs. Dr. Cox examined the section of Sheila’s bowel that had been surgically removed, and determined that the injury to the duodenum had occurred approximately forty-eight hours prior to her death. During that period, Dr. Cox opined, Sheila would have suffered from intense abdominal pain, an inability to eat, vomiting, a high temperature, and listlessness. The beating Sheila suffered on the morning of January 18, 1993 caused the already necrotic and gangrenous duodenum to rupture. Dr. Cox concluded that Sheila died as a result of cardiovascular collapse stemming from the severe, blunt force trauma to her abdomen, and the numerous related complications. Dr. Cox also discovered during the autopsy evidence of acute anal penetration. Based upon the presence of contusions and lacerations, Dr. Cox determined that Sheila had sustained repetitive anal penetrations over a period of time, and that the most recent anal trauma had occurred sometime during the morning of January 18, 1993. Given the absence of abrasions within the rectum, Dr. Cox further concluded that Sheila had been anally penetrated by a penis rather than by a finger or some other foreign object. At approximately 3:00 p.m. on the day Sheila died, Detective Jan Falcone, an officer with the Juvenile Bureau of the Akron Police Department, interviewed Phillips at the police station. Although Phillips was not placed under arrest, Falcone read Phillips his Miranda rights, which he waived. During the interview, Phillips admitted that on Friday, January 15, 1993, or Saturday, January 16, 1993, he had spanked Sheila three times with an open hand. After the spanking, Phillips noticed bruises on the girls’ bottom, which surprised him. He said, "I really didn’ t think I spanked her that hard but I told Fae I would not do it anymore." Phillips indicated that Sheila had not felt well during the weekend, and that she had vomited several times. Phillips also told Falcone that Sheila had been injured on several previous occasions. He recalled one incident in which Sheila fell on a railroad spike which penetrated either her vagina or anus. On another occasion, Phillips claimed that Sheila hurt her "vagina and stomach area" when she jumped from a dresser to a bed and struck the corner of the bed. Sheila bruised her eye and cut her lip when she fell down a flight of stairs. Phillips denied having ever touched Sheila or Sara in their "private areas." At some point during the interview, Phillips was informed that Sheila had died. Falcone then asked Phillips again what had happened to Sheila. Phillips responded that the night before Sheila’s death, he had observed Evans in the girls’ bedroom standing over Sheila with both fists clenched after hearing Sheila scream, "Don’t beat me." The interview ceased after that exchange, and Phillips left the police station. In total, the interview lasted approximately seven hours, during which time Phillips was provided with food, beverages, and several breaks. On Wednesday, January 19, 1993, Phillips telephoned the Akron police station in order to speak with the detectives who were investigating Sheila’s death. Detective Ronald Perella, a detective assigned to the case, was attending Sheila’s autopsy at the time Phillips’s call was received and thus was unable to immediately speak with Phillips. The next morning, Perella and his supervisor, Sergeant Dye, drove to South Alternative School, where Phillips was enrolled as a student. The officers met with Phillips and asked him to return to the police department for further questioning. Phillips complied, was driven to the Juvenile Bureau of the police department, and taken to an interviewing room. Perella read Phillips his Miranda rights, which he again waived, and asked Phillips to share whatever additional information he wished to convey. Phillips then repeated the same information he had given to Detective Falcone on the previous day. The detectives questioned Phillips as to why he had telephoned them if he simply wanted to reiterate his earlier statement. They also informed Phillips that the coroner had performed an autopsy on Sheila, and therefore knew everything that had happened to her. At that point, Phillips asked Sergeant Dye to leave the room so that he could speak with Detective Perella alone. Dye agreed. Once they were alone, Phillips told Perella, "I don’t want to go to jail; I don’t want to get pumped in the butt." Perella responded that "not everybody who gets arrested goes to jail, that there could be counseling but without knowing what he wanted to talk about, that I couldn’t promise him anything except to tell the prosecutor and the judge that he cooperated." Phillips then confessed that on the morning of January 18, 1993, he "lost it" and repeatedly hit Sheila. Phillips explained that he had called Sheila three times for breakfast and she had failed to respond. As a result, Phillips went to the girls’ bedroom, pulled the covers off Sheila, and began hitting her, throwing her against the walls, and dragging her by her hair. During the beating, Phillips noticed that Sheila was not wearing underwear, which caused him to become sexually aroused. After beating Sheila, Phillips stated he put Vaseline on her anus and inserted his fingers. While Phillips admitted that he thought about anally penetrating the three-year-old girl with his penis on that morning, he denied doing so. Phillips did confess to anally penetrating Sheila with his penis on two prior occasions, but claimed that Evans had paid him to perform those acts. Toward the end of the approximately three-hour interview, Phillips prepared a handwritten statement detailing the events to which he had verbally confessed. Shortly after he completed the written statement, Phillips was arrested. On February 1, 1993, the Summit County Grand Jury returned an indictment against Phillips for one count of aggravated murder with a death specification, one count of felonious sexual penetration, three counts of rape, one count of felonious assault, and one count of endangering children with a physical harm specification. Phillips entered a plea of not guilty to each count. Prior to trial, the state dismissed the felonious assault and child endangering charges. On August 18, 1993, a jury found Phillips guilty on each of the remaining charges. Following a mitigation hearing, the jury recommended that Phillips be sentenced to death for his conviction of aggravated murder. The trial court agreed with the jury recommendation and sentenced Phillips to death. Additionally, the trial court imposed life sentences for each of the three rape charges and the charge of felonious sexual penetration. Sheila’s mother Fae Evans died of cancer in 2008 – she’d been serving time in the Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marysville for involuntary manslaughter and child endangering for her role in her daughter’s death. UPDATE: Stayed to allow time to consider Phillips’s request to donate his organs to ailing family members.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
November 20, 2013 Missouri Alphonse Manning,23
Toni Schwenn, 23
Gerald Gordon, 42
Johnnie Brookshire, 22
William Bryant Tatum
Harold McIver, 29
Raymond Taylor
Jesse Taylor, 42
Marian Vera Bresette, 31
Mercedes Lynn Masters, 15
Lawrence Reese, 22
Leo Thomas Watkins, 19
Rebecca Bergstrom, 21
Darrell Layne, 14
Dante Evans Brown, 13
Arthur Smothers, 22
Kathleen Mikula, 16
Nancy Santomero, 19
Vicki Durian, 26
Ted Fields, 20
David Martin, 18
Joseph Franklin executed
In September of 1977, believing that Jews were “enemies of the white race,” Joseph Paul Franklin, born as James Clayton Vaughn, Jr., drove to Dallas, Texas after robbing a bank in Little Rock, Arkansas. In Dallas, Franklin bought a 30-06 rifle with a telescopic sight. He then drove to St. Louis, Missouri, checked into a hotel under an assumed name, scouted the city for synagogues, and finally chose Brith Sholom Kneseth Israel Congregation in Richmond Heights. Franklin had previously bombed a synagogue and another building and had long considered developing a plan to murder numerous Jews as they left synagogue, as he believed that African-Americans and Jews were “enemies of the white race.” To prepare for the crime, Franklin bought some ten-inch nails, a guitar case, and a bicycle. He tested the bicycle to assure himself that it could be used to enable him to leave the scene of the crime. He drove the nails into a telephone pole to serve as a rifle rest. Later, he ground the serial number off of the rifle. He then cleaned the rifle, ammunition, and guitar case of any fingerprints and, thereafter, he used gloves to handle the equipment. Lastly, he put the rifle into the guitar case and hid them both in some bushes near the synagogue. On Saturday, October 8, 1977, Franklin waited outside the synagogue for people to emerge. Shortly before 1:00 p.m., some of the guests left the synagogue and walked toward their cars. Franklin began firing on the guests. He fired five shots from approximately one hundred yards. Gerald Gordon was shot in the left side of his chest and later died from blood loss resulting from damage to his lung, stomach, spleen, and other internal organs. Steven Goldman was grazed on the shoulder. William Ash was wounded in the left hand and later lost his small finger on that hand.   Having fired all his ammunition, Franklin abandoned the rifle and the guitar case. He then rode his bicycle to a nearby parking lot where his automobile was parked, hid the bicycle in some bushes, and left St. Louis by car. Police recovered a Remington.30-06 rifle, spent shell casings, a guitar case, and a bicycle used in connection with the shootings, but never apprehended the sniper. The crimes remained unsolved for seventeen years. In 1994, while serving six consecutive life sentences at a federal penitentiary in Marion, Illinois, Franklin requested an interview with an agent from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). During the interview, Franklin confessed to the 1977 St. Louis synagogue shootings. Franklin gave the FBI agent a detailed account of his preparation for and execution of the shootings, which included: (1) buying a.30-06 rifle in Texas, obliterating the rifle’s serial numbers, and wiping his fingerprints from the rifle and shell casings; (2) initially choosing Oklahoma City as the location for the shootings, but selecting St. Louis instead, believing St. Louis had a larger Jewish population; (3) choosing the Richmond Heights (St. Louis) synagogue because it had bushes for cover; (4) carrying the rifle in a guitar case to the scene the night before the shootings; (5) hammering nails into a telephone post to use as a rifle prop; (6) using a bicycle to flee the scene undetected after the shootings; and (7) monitoring the police radio to determine whether the police were looking for him. Franklin repeated his confession in a videotaped interview to a Richmond Heights police officer, and told the officer he wished he “had killed five Jews with the five bullets.” UPDATE: After initially receiving a stay that delayed his execution for several hours, Joseph Franklin was executed despite claims that using pentobarbital for the execution might cause him undue pain.

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