April 2014 Executions

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
April 22, 2014 Texas Colleen Gill
Tiffany Gill, 4
Ena Mary Cordt, 35
Rory "Willie" Cordt, 4
Suzanne Korcz, 27
Stephanie Stroh
Russell Dardeen, 29
Ruby Elaine Dardeen
Peter Dardeen, 3
Baby Boy Dardeen
Melissa Ann Trembley
Kent Alan Lauten, 51
Stephanie Mahaney, 13
Debra Harris, 32
Ambria Halliburton, 8
Mary Bea Perez, 9
Haley McHone, 13
Bobbi Lynn Wofford, 14
Danny Freeman
Kathy Freeman
Ashley Renae Freeman, 16
Laura Jaylene Bible, 16
Joel Kirkpatrick, 10
Kaylene "Katy" Harris, 13
Tommy Sells executed
Stephanie Mahaney, murder victim Mary Perez, murder victim Kathy and Danny Freeman, murder victim Dardeen Family, murder victims Katy Harris, murder victim
Ashley Freeman and Lauria Bible, murder victimsIn July of 1983, a man matching Tommy Lynn Sells’s description was seen leaving the St. Louis, Missouri home of Thomas and Colleen Gill. The bodies of Colleen and the couple’s 4-year-old daughter Tiffany were found beaten to death. 1985, Tommy Lynn Sells was working at a carnival in Forsyth, Missouri. There he met Ena Cordt, 35, who had brought her 4-year old son Rory to the carnival as a treat. Ena and invited Sells back to her home that same evening. According to Sells, he had sex with Ena, but awoke during the night to find her stealing from his backpack. Seizing her son’s baseball bat, he beat her to death. He also murdered her son in case he could be used as a witness. The two badly bludgeoned bodies were found three days later. On the evening of December 30, 1999, Sells was at a convenience store when Terry Harris drove up and spoke to him. Harris said that, when he returned from Kansas, he would repay the $5,000 drug debt he owed Sells. Later that evening, Sells went to a bar where he stayed until closing time. A waitress there, Noell Houchin, confirmed that Sells arrived around 10:00 p.m. and stayed for four hours. During that time he drank four beers and seemed obsessed with having sex with her. Houchin told the jury that Sells repeatedly asked to have sex with her, even offering to pay for it, despite her refusing repeatedly and telling him that she had a boyfriend. Houchin also testified that Sells did not seem intoxicated when he left around 2:15 a.m. After leaving the bar, Sells went to a flea market and drank more beer. After a while, Sells started thinking that Harris "had been fucking with" him about paying the debt, and he decided "to do something about it." Sells thereafter retrieved more beer and a knife from his house and drove over to Harris’s house. Sells parked down the street from Harris’s home, which was located in a somewhat remote area. When Sells entered the backyard, the dog, who was in the front yard, began to bark. Sells walked to the front yard and petted the dog. Because Sells had previously befriended the Harris’s dog, the dog stopped barking. After trying unsuccessfully to break in through the back door and a locked window, Sells found an open window and entered the residence. After looking in various rooms, Sells went into a room where two young girls were sleeping on bunk beds. Sells laid on the bottom bunk with thirteen-year-old Kaylene Harris and cut off her panties with his knife. After Sells inserted his finger into the girl’s vagina, she jumped out of bed. Sells, however, blocked the door and stabbed Katy as she tried to escape. Sells then cut Katy’s throat several more times and went over to her eleven-year-old companion, Krystal Surles, who was still on the top bunk, and cut her throat. Sells left the trailer, wiped his fingerprints off a doorknob, and took two window screens with him because they had his fingerprints on them. Sells disposed of the screens and his knife on the way to his home. Krystal survived the attack and walked about a quarter of a mile to a neighbor’s house to get help. She later supplied a description of the man who had attacked her, and Sells was subsequently identified and arrested. When Harris returned home, he found the telephone line had been cut. He told the authorities that Sells had been to his home on several occasions and had learned where the telephone line was the day Sells helped Harris fix a leaking pipe at the house. Scientific tests conducted on the clothes recovered from Sells and testimony from the medical examiner regarding Katy Harris’s wounds corroborated statements Sells gave to the police concerning the incident. However, Sells claimed that he had no specific intent to commit sexual assault when he broke into the Harris home. Rather, everything happened spontaneously. UPDATE: Stayed due to a challenge to identify the manufacturer of the drugs that will be used in the lethal injection. UPDATE: When asked if he wanted to make a statement before his execution, Sells replied: "No." Terry Harris, whose 13-year-old daughter, Kaylene Harris, was fatally stabbed by Sells in 1999 in South Texas, watched as Sells was executed, saying the injection was "way more gentle than what he gave out." "Basically, the dude just took a nap," the father told reporters later outside the prison. Earlier in the day, the US Supreme Court declined to halt the execution based on claims by Sells’s lawyers that he had the right to know the name of the provider of the drug that would be used in the execution. "My sister didn’t get the constitutional pain and suffering," said Shawn Harris, the victim’s brother, adding that Sells’ punishment was "pretty easy" compared to what his sibling suffered: being stabbed 16 times and having her neck repeatedly slit.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
April 9, 2014 Texas unnamed victim in Mexico
unnamed bar fight victim
Glen H. Lich, 48
unnamed female jailer
Ramiro Hernandez executed
Ramiro Hernandez was sentenced to death for murdering author and former Schreiner College and Baylor University history professor Glen H. Lich on October 14, 1997 at his South Kerr County ranch. Hernandez had worked as a laborer on the ranch, assisting a carpenter with a renovation of the ranch house. After a short time, Hernandez was given free boarding at the ranch in exchange for his work. Hernandez’s cousin testified that, two weeks before the murder and while speaking with Hernandez, Hernandez said he was angry with the Liches and wanted to hurt them and also told his cousin that the Liches owned a vehicle that could be sold in Mexico. The murder victim’s wife, Lera Lich, described the events that occurred on the day of the murder. On the evening of October 14, 1997, the Liches were in their home when Hernandez knocked on the porch door. Glen Lich went outside with Hernandez and Mrs. Lich stayed inside, reading the newspaper. After a short conversation, the two men walked away from the house. Then Hernandez killed Glen by bludgeoning him in the head with a piece of rebar. Hernandez returned to the house covered in blood and holding a knife in his hand. He then held the knife to Mrs. Lich’s throat, took off her glasses and clothing, forced her onto the bed and raped her twice. When she asked about her husband, Hernandez told her that she would see Glen again if she gave Hernandez money. He made several phone calls, then bound Mrs. Lich by her hands and ankles to the bedposts with torn strips of towels, covered her head with a blanket, and proceeded to ransack the bedroom for jewelry and other valuables. Afterwards, he removed the blanket and insisted on obtaining the keys to the Liches’ vehicle. With Mrs. Lich still securely bound, he went outside, started the vehicle, and then turned it off. He returned, used wire to tighten Mrs. Lich’s fastens, and used the telephone again before yanking out the phones. He then untied Mrs. Lich, raped her twice again, wearing her dead husband’s watch and other items of jewelry he had found in the bedroom. Hernandez threatened that he would harm Mrs. Lich’s sleeping mother in the adjoining room if Mrs. Lich called the police, and also threatened to hurt her daughter. He then wrapped his arms around her and appeared to fall asleep. Mrs. Lich was able to slip out of his grasp and escape, running to a neighbor’s house to call police. Hernandez was still asleep when police arrived and violently resisted but was eventually restrained and arrested. Initially, Hernandez provided a false name. Hernandez eventually admitted to a down-played version of the events that night. During the trial, medical testimony was presented that depicted the extAt the punishment phase of the trial, jurors heard testimony that Hernandez raped a 15-year-old Kerrville girl in 1997, less than a year after escaping a 25-year prison sentence in his hometown of Nuevo Laredo, Mexico for a 1989 murder there. Another witness testified that she saw Hernandez stab an individual in an encounter in a bar that occurred prior to the Lich crime. That witness’s spouse was initially arrested for the stabbing but was subsequently released from custody after Hernandez took responsibility and later pled guilty to the stabbing. He spent four years in prison for an aggravated assault with a deadly weapon conviction. While in prison awaiting trial for the murder of Glen, Ramiro stabbed and killed a female jailer and slashed another inmate’s face with a razor blade. In prison, he was found with homemade weapons. The jurors took just five minutes to convict Hernandez, and subsequently sentenced him to death. UPDATE: In a final statement, Hernandez asked forgiveness from the victim’s family and said he was at peace. Lich’s son witnessed the execution and declined to speak with reporters afterward.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
April 16, 2014 Texas Erida Perez Salazar, 23 Jacob Salazer, 3
Alma Perez, 51
Jose Villegas executed
Erida Perez Salazar, murder victimAlma Perez, murder victimAfter deliberating for 20 minutes, a jury convicted Villegas of capital murder for killing his girlfriend, Erida Perez Salazar, her three-year-old son Jacob, and her mother, Alma Perez. At approximately 9:15 a.m. on January 22, 2001, Lionicio Perez returned home to the 3600 block of Curtiss Street in Corpus Christi, Texas after being excused early from jury service. Mr. Perez found his wife’s bruised body lying lifeless in a pool of blood. He ran to a neighbor’s house, asked his neighbor to call the police, and returned to find the bodies of his daughter and grandson. When the police arrived, a neighbor said that she saw Villegas leaving the Perez home at approximately 8:45 a.m. At approximately 9:30 a.m., the police spotted Villegas in Erida Salazar’s vehicle. The police apprehended Villegas after a high-speed chase and foot pursuit. Villegas had three baggies of cocaine in his possession, hidden inside his baseball cap, when arrested. After being advised of his rights, Villegas confessed to the three murders. Villegas claimed that he arrived at the Perez home at 5:00 a.m. that morning. He said that he and Erida consumed around $200 of cocaine. After Alma Perez returned home from taking Ms. Salazar’s daughter to school, she discovered Villegas’ presence in the home. Alma had previously warned her daughter not to let Villegas enter the house. When Alma ordered Villegas to leave, he stabbed her several times with a kitchen knife. Villegas then went to a bedroom and stabbed Erida and her son to death. Erida was stabbed 32 times, the little boy 19 times and her mother Alma 35 times. Villegas left in Erida’s vehicle, pawned a television he stole from the Perez home for $75, and bought more cocaine. Villegas told the police that he wanted to return to the Perez home to commit suicide by overdosing on cocaine, but fled when he saw police already in the home. Following his conviction for capital murder in this case, Villegas was convicted of two counts of indecency with a child related to the daughter of a woman he was accused of punching in the face. He was out on bond on the sexual assault charge at the time of the murders, and was supposed to go to court on the case of punching the child’s mother on the same day of the murders. Erida’s mother had urged her to leave Villegas when she learned of the sex charges against him. He also has convictions for making terroristic threats to kill women, burglary and possessing inhalants. Records showed he had spent at least 200 days in jail and four years on probation. UPDATE: Prior to being executed, Villegas made the following statement: "I would like to remind my children once again I love them," Villegas said when asked if he had a statement before being put to death. "Everything is OK. I love you all, and I love my children. I am at peace."

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
April 16, 2014 Pennsylvania Bobbi Jo Matthew, 2 Stephen Edmiston stayed
Stephen Edmiston kidnapped the two-year-old victim, Bobbi Jo Matthew, from her bedroom in the early morning hours of October 5, 1988, drove her to a remote location, and proceeded to inflict separate and gruesome injuries on her. Bobbi Jo lived with her father, Harold Matthew, and grandmother, Nancy Dotts, and several of Ms. Dotts’ young children. Edmiston was acquainted with the victim’s family, and his uncle, Robert Brown, was Ms. Dotts’ boyfriend. On the night of October 4, 1988, Bobbi Jo went to bed in a bedroom she shared with three other children. Two children saw a man in the bedroom talking to Bobbi Jo at approximately 3:30 in the morning, whom they believed to be Ms. Dotts’ boyfriend, Mr. Brown. Mr. Matthew also observed a man in the house at that time, who said goodbye as he left. When Bobbi Jo’s family discovered that she was missing on the morning of October 5, 1988, they came to believe that the man who had been in the house in the middle of the night was Edmiston. Police arranged an interview with Edmiston the following day. At the police barracks, Edmiston waived his rights and consented to a search of his pickup truck, which revealed blood on the front seat, a blanket with fine, blond hairs, a blood-stained towel, bloody scissors, and a pair of shorts that the victim’s family identified as those Bobbi Jo wore to bed the night she disappeared. The police confronted Edmiston with what they discovered in his truck, voiced their suspicion, and asked him if he killed Bobbi Jo. Although Edmiston initially denied involvement, he soon began to waver. The police asked Edmiston to reveal the location of the body. Edmiston refused, but when the police asked him to draw a map to the location of Bobbi Jo’s body, he complied. When asked what the police would find at that location, Edmiston responded that they would find “a dead raped little girl.” He also stated that he did not know why he did it and began to cry. According to police, Edmiston explained that the rape occurred in his pick-up truck, that he hit Bobbi Jo several times with his fist, and ultimately covered her body with branches. The police kept Edmiston’s hand-drawn map in a notebook, and, because there was no photocopying equipment available, copied the map onto another piece of paper by hand. With the copy of the map in hand, police attempted to find the victim’s body. They enlisted the help of a local resident, Roger W. Kruis, who indicated his familiarity with the landmarks on the map and accompanied the police to the location. Police recovered the body at the location specified on the map. Additionally, investigators matched the tire tread and wear pattern found near the victim’s body with the tires on Edmiston’s truck. An autopsy was performed by Dr. Katherine Jasnosz of the Allegheny County Coroner’s Office, during which her staff took black and white photographs and color slides. Dr. Jasnosz took oral as well as recto-vaginal smears and swabs from the victim. The girl, weighing 34 pounds and standing 36 inches tall, suffered the following serious injuries: scalping, blunt force to her torso, obliteration of her genital area, burning of her body and a skull fracture. She was scalped by being cut with a sharp knife-like instrument from the ear up across the front hair line of her forehead and down to the other ear. Her scalp was then peeled back to the nape of her head exposing the entire skull. Blunt force trauma to her chest and stomach was so forceful that it caused the tearing of her liver and lungs. This force was also one of two possible causes of two feet of the infant’s intestines to protrude from her genital area. (The other possible cause was pulling the intestines out of the genital area). The genital area of the child was completely obliterated and ripped to such an extent that there was only one large and bloody cavity where there originally were the anal and vaginal orifices. There were also areas of burning of the infant’s body, many other lacerations and abrasions and a skull fracture. All of these separate and gruesome injuries occurred while the child was living. Testing of blood samples taken from Edmiston’s truck resulted only in identification of the blood as type “O,” which matched the blood type of both Edmiston and the victim. As to the smears and swabs obtained by the Coroner, the laboratory the Commonwealth chose to conduct DNA testing reported that there was insufficient material for such DNA analysis. The defense chose another laboratory to conduct its own testing, which reported that it was able to extract DNA and that the DNA was from the victim. During a pre-trial conference, the defense indicated to the trial court that because Edmiston’s DNA was not found on the samples it submitted to its laboratory, it chose to decline further testing, and Edmiston indicated his agreement with this decision. Edmiston’s defense was that he was innocent, he was too drunk to commit these crimes or form the intent to commit these crimes, he spent a good part of the night in a drunken sleep inside his truck parked outside his mother’s house, the Commonwealth’s forensic evidence did not identify him as the perpetrator, and he attempted to point suspicion at his uncle Robert Brown, whom he resembled. Edmiston was found guilty at a bench trial and sentenced to death by a jury on October 5, 1989.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
April 22, 2014 Tennessee Mark Vance, 30 Nickolus Johnson stayed
Mark Vance, murder victimOfficer Mark Vance of the Bristol Police Department was shot and killed on November 27, 2004, while responding to a dispatch call at the home of Walter Mitchell. Mr. Mitchell, a long-distance truck driver, lived on Belmont Drive in Bristol, Tennessee with his twin seventeen-year-old daughters, B. and T., and B’s one-year-old son. On the evening of November 27, Mr. Mitchell left his home to pick up a load of goods for his employer. His grandson, two daughters, and two of their friends remained at the home. Not long after Mr. Mitchell left his home, B. called him to report that a man was at the house threatening her with a gun. Mr. Mitchell called 9-1-1 and turned his truck around to go home. The armed man at the Mitchell residence was Nickolus Johnson. Johnson and B. had been seeing each other socially, and B. was pregnant by him. Johnson was twenty-six years old and already had two young children by two different women. He insisted that B. have an abortion, but B. refused (and eventually gave birth to triplet daughters). Earlier that evening, they argued over the telephone about her pregnancy and her refusal to have an abortion. Johnson became angry and B. abruptly ended the discussion. About ten minutes later, Johnson arrived unexpectedly at the Mitchell home, entered the house, and started pacing back and forth, “yelling and cussing.” Johnson, armed with two guns, was worried that Mr. Mitchell would press statutory rape charges against him, and he threatened to kill B. and her father. Johnson laid the guns on the coffee table in the living room, but later picked up the guns and put them in his pocket. Johnson threatened to kill the first person who walked through the door. He vowed that he would go to prison for murder, but not for statutory rape. Termaine McMorris, a mutual friend of Johnson and B., arrived at the house and tried unsuccessfully to calm Johnson. Meanwhile, B. continued to talk to her father on the telephone. When she told Johnson that her father had called the police, he responded that the “police can’t dodge these shells” and threatened to shoot any police officer who arrived at the house. Officer Vance was dispatched to the Mitchell residence. From an upstairs bedroom window, Johnson watched Officer Vance arrive. B.’s twin sister T. and McMorris met Officer Vance on the front porch and told him everything was "okay.” Officer Vance insisted that he still needed to go into the house. T. and McMorris entered the split-level home first and proceeded up the stairs. Officer Vance was right behind them armed only with his flashlight; his gun was still holstered. Johnson was standing out of sight in the upstairs hallway. As Officer Vance reached the hallway and living room area at the top of the stairs, Johnson, from a distance of one to two feet, shot Officer Vance in the head, mortally wounding him. No words were exchanged before the shot was fired. Johnson immediately threw one of his guns into the living room and said “I’m out.” As he was going out of the front door, Johnson laid down the other gun. Lieutenant Eric Senter, also of the Bristol Police Department, arrived at the Mitchell residence at the same time as Officer Vance was entering the home. Lt. Senter watched Officer Vance enter the residence and proceed up the stairs. As Lt. Senter was walking to the front door, he saw an arm holding a gun extend from the hallway toward Officer Vance and heard the gunblast. Lt. Senter retreated behind a nearby tree and called for back-up. Officer Daniel Graham of the Bristol Police Department arrived at the scene as Lt. Senter took cover behind the tree. Johnson ran out of the house, followed by Mr. McMorris. Lt. Senter shouted at the two men and ordered them to lie on the ground. T. carried the gun out of the house and repeatedly shouted “why did you shoot him?” T. was also ordered to lie on the ground. As Johnson was being handcuffed, he said that he had “shot the fucker.” Lt. Senter asked him who he had shot and Johnson said “I shot the fuc&ing cop….I shot him in the head. He’s dead…..Ain’t no use of going in there.” Then Johnson began laughing. According to Johnson, he shot Officer Vance because Johnson did not call the police and did not want the police there. After the officers placed Johnson in a patrol cruiser, Johnson continued to laugh about shooting Officer Vance. The officers then entered the residence and discovered Officer Vance lying in the upstairs hallway, shot once in the head. Bristol Police Officer Bradley Michael Tate arrived shortly after the shooting and attempted to provide medical assistance, but Officer Vance was not breathing, in cardiac arrest, and had no pulse. According to Dr. William McCormick, Deputy Chief Medical Examiner for the State of Tennessee, the bullet entered Officer Vance’s right eye and proceeded in a sharp downward angle, causing massive shattering of the middle and anterior cranial parts. Officer Vance died “as the result of a single intermediate range gunshot wound to the face, with the entrance slightly above the right eye about the level of the mid-eyebrow with destruction of the skull, damage to the brain,…and bleeding.” In the penalty phase, the State presented evidence that Officer Vance was thirty years old when he was murdered and was survived by his wife, nine-year-old daughter, brother, and mother.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
April 22, 2014 Oklahoma Stephanie Michelle Neiman, 19 Clayton Lockett stayed
Stephanie Neiman, murder victimAt around 10:30 p.m. on June 3, 1999, Bobby Bornt was asleep on the couch at his house in Perry, Oklahoma, when his front door was kicked in. Three men, Clayton Derrell Lockett, Shawn Mathis and Alfonzo Lockett, entered his house and immediately started beating and kicking him. Bornt recognized Lockett because Lockett had recently covered a tattoo for him. Lockett was carrying a shotgun which he used to hit Bornt. After the beating, Bornt’s attackers used duct tape to secure his hands behind his back and they gagged him and left him on the couch while they ransacked the house looking for drugs.  As Bornt lay restrained on the couch his friend, Summer Hair, approached the open door.  She was pulled inside, hit in the face and thrown against a wall. One of the men put a gun to her head and ordered her to call to her friend, Stephanie Neiman, who was outside sitting in her pickup. When Stephanie came inside, they hit her several times to get the keys to her pickup and the code to disarm the alarm on her pickup. The men put all three victims in the bedroom where Bornt’s nine-month old son, Sam, had been sleeping. Alfonzo Lockett came into the bedroom and got Summer. He took her into the bathroom where he made her perform oral sodomy on him. He then took her into Bornt’s bedroom where he told her to get undressed and he raped her. When he was finished, he left her there and Lockett came into the bedroom. He raped her vaginally and anally and he made her perform oral sodomy on him. When he was finished, he told her to get dressed and she went back into Sam’s bedroom with the others. Alfonzo Lockett came into the bedroom and used duct tape to secure Summer’s and Stephanie’s hands behind their backs. He also put tape across their mouths. Lockett instructed Mathis to look in the garage for a shovel. When he returned with a shovel, the victims were loaded into Bobby Bornt’s and Stephanie Neiman’s pickups. Bornt and his son were placed in his pickup with Lockett. Summer and Stephanie were placed in Stephanie Neiman’s pickup with Mathis and Alfonzo Lockett. They took off driving with Lockett in the lead. They left Perry and drove to a rural area in Kay County. Lockett stopped on a country road where he got out of the pickup he was driving and went over to Stephanie Neiman’s pickup. He made Summer get out and go with him to a ditch where he raped her and forced her to perform oral sex on him. When he was finished, he took her back to Bornt’s pickup. While Summer was sitting in the pickup, Mathis got her and took her back to Stephanie Neiman’s pickup where he made her perform oral sex on him. He grabbed her head and said, “In order for you to live, this is what you have got to do.” While stopped on the country road, Lockett told Mathis to get the shovel and start digging. When Mathis was digging in the ditch, Bornt heard Lockett say, “Someone has got to go.” Stephanie was taken to the hole dug by Mathis and Lockett shot her. The gun jammed and Lockett came back up to the pickup to fix it. While he was doing this, Bornt could hear Stephanie’s muffled screams. When the gun was fixed, Lockett went back down to the ditch and shot Stephanie again. While Mathis buried Stephanie’s body, Lockett and Alfonzo Lockett warned Bobby and Summer that if they told anyone they would be killed too. They then drove both pickups to another location where they left Stephanie’s pickup. All of them rode back to Bornt’s house in his pickup. Lockett, Mathis and Alfonzo Lockett dropped off Bornt, his son and Summer Hair at Bornt’s house and they left in Bornt’s pickup. The following day, Bobby Bornt and Summer Hair told the Perry police what had happened. Stephanie Neiman’s pickup and her body were recovered and Lockett, Mathis and Alfonzo Lockett were subsequently arrested. Lockett was interviewed by the police three times. The first time he terminated the interview and asked for an attorney. He later reinitiated the interview and although he denied shooting Stephanie Neiman during the second interview, he confessed to having killed her in a third interview.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
April 23, 2014 Florida Elmer Bryant Scott, 25
Susan Michelle Scott, 18
Robert Hendrix executed
Elmer and Michelle Scott, murder victimsRobert Eugene Hendrix was sentenced to die for the murders of his cousin Elmer Scott and Elmer’s wife Michelle. Hendrix broke into a house with his cousin, Elmer Scott. Elmer was caught and entered into a plea agreement with the State wherein he would plead no contest to a reduced charge of simple burglary, adjudication would be withheld, and he would serve two years’ community control. As a condition of the plea, Elmer agreed to testify truthfully against Hendrix. Based on Elmer’s deposition, Hendrix was arrested and charged with armed burglary of the dwelling. The State offered a plea agreement to Hendrix wherein he would receive four years’ imprisonment and five years’ probation. The court date was set for August 28, 1990. Hendrix did not want to accept a plea and told several friends prior to his court date that he was going to kill Elmer to keep him from testifying. Hendrix discussed with his live-in girlfriend, Denise Turbyville, various plans to kill Elmer. Hendrix also tried to secure from a number of people a "throw-away" pistol that could not be traced to him. On August 27, 1990, the day before his court date, he came home with a handgun, attempted to construct a silencer for it, and test-fired it. At some time after 11 p.m. that night, he told Denise to get ready, that they were going to Elmer’s. He had a mask, gloves, and hat. She drove to the vicinity of Elmer’s mobile home, dropped him off, drove to the county line, and pulled over to wait. Denise heard a number of shots and then several minutes later Hendrix got in the car, saying "Don’t look, just go." When they arrived home, they did not turn on the lights. Hendrix took a shower and burned his clothes out back. He gave Denise an account of the murders: He shot Elmer Scott in the head, and when Elmer’s wife, Michelle, tried to fight him, he slashed her throat with a knife. He then hit Elmer over the head with the gun butt and slashed his throat "for insurance." As he shot Elmer, he swore — "I’ll see you in hell!" The next day, Elmer’s mother Thelma Scott found the bodies of her son and his wife. She had to step over her son’s face-down body in the hallway and walk past Michelle in order to get to her 5-month-old granddaughter Rachel. Hendrix was arrested and tried for the crimes. The medical examiner testified that each victim had been shot, bludgeoned, and stabbed. Several witnesses, including Denise, testified that Hendrix admitted committing the murders to silence Elmer. He was convicted of two counts of premeditated first-degree murder, two counts of conspiracy to commit murder, and one count of armed burglary. Dr. Manuel Leal, assistant medical examiner, testified it probably took Hendrix about three minutes to ”take Elmer out of the picture” by shooting him once in the head and pounding him on the skull 10 times with the pistol. It probably took anywhere from five to eight minutes for Michelle Scott to die, Leal said. The jury deliberated for less than one hour in delivering a recommendation of a sentence of death. Alma Denise Turbyville pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree murder, two counts of conspiracy to commit murder, armed burglary of a dwelling and perjury. She originally was charged with two counts of first-degree murder, which could have resulted in a death sentence. Because of concurrent sentences, her total sentence was 75 years in prison of which she will serve less than half before being eligible for parole. Thelma Scott’s sister Doris is the mother of Robert Hendrix. A 1993 story in the Orlando Sentinel said that Thelma and Doris had talked on the telephone twice during the previous year. ”This tore me and her apart. It tore both our hearts out,” Thelma Scott said. ”She’s been through hell, too, just like I have. I still love her, and I know deep in her heart she still loves me.” But that beloved sister’s boy is sitting on death row for the murders. His father cannot forgive Thelma Scott for pushing for the death penalty. They no longer speak. She has a court injunction forbidding him from having contact with her. ”We used to be a close family,” Thelma Scott said. ”Bobby knew how much I loved Elmer Bryant. He knew it would kill me. ”The way I figure it, he really killed six people: He killed me and Elmer, his mama and his daddy, and them two kids. We’ll never get over it, as long as we live. ”And it won’t be the same even after they kill Bobby.” Thelma has since passed away and she and her husband Elmer are buried next to the murdered couple.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
April 23, 2014 Missouri Charles E Lewis, III , 67
Grace E Lewis , 62
William Rousan executed
Chuck and Grace Lewis, murder victimsOn September 21, 1993, William Rousan, his son, Brent Rousan, and his brother, Robert Rousan, met and discussed stealing cattle from Charles "Chuck" and Grace Lewis. Chuck Lewis, sixty-seven, and his wife, Grace, sixty-two, lived near the farm where Rousan resided. Rousan had known the Lewises since 1975 and once sought refuge at their farm after escaping from prison in Washington state. Not only did Charles give William food, clothing, and shelter at that time, when the fugitive was leaving the farm the Lewises gave him $20. Having devised a plan, the Rousans set out for the Lewis farm. On the way, they discussed killing Mr. and Mrs. Lewis. They agreed that “if it had to be done it had to be done.” As Rousan, his brother, and his son drove past the Lewis farm, Rousan pointed out the cattle that they would be stealing. Rousan parked his truck approximately two miles from the farm. He got out of the truck and removed a.22 caliber rifle that belonged to his girlfriend, Mary Lambing. He loaded the rifle for use in the crime “in case anyone was home.” Rousan and his son then argued over who would carry the gun. Brent, the son, said that he was “man enough to do whatever needed to be done and that he would use the weapon.” Rousan at first stated that Brent was not man enough, but eventually gave him the gun. He warned Brent that if they were caught, they would “fry.” The three men then hiked through the woods to the Lewis farm where they waited under cover behind a fallen tree. Between 3:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. that afternoon, Mr. and Mrs. Lewis returned home. Chuck began to mow the lawn. Grace spoke on the phone to the couple’s oldest daughter, who called at approximately 4:00 p.m. Brent grew tired of waiting and exclaimed that he wanted to “do it.” Rousan told Brent to wait until Rousan and Robert had secured the house. Rousan headed for the front door and Robert made his way to the back door. Before they arrived at the home, Chuck saw Brent and called out. Brent fired at least six shots from the rifle, all of which struck Chuck. Chuck died as a result of the multiple gunshot wounds. Grace, speaking by telephone with her daughter, told her daughter that she heard gunfire and hung up the telephone. As Grace exited the house through the front door, Brent shot her several times. Although the bullets fractured both of Grace’s arms, the wounds were not fatal. Grace ran back into the house. Rousan followed her, removed a garment bag from a coat rack, placed the bag over Grace’s head and the upper part of her body, picked her up, and carried her outside. When Rousan placed Grace on the ground, she was alive. Rousan turned to Brent and instructed him to “finish her off.” Brent fired one shot into the left side of Grace’s head. The shot killed her. The three men wrapped the bodies in a tarpaulin and tied it with a rope. Rousan instructed that they should pick up the shell casings and clean up the blood stains. After doing so, the men deposited the bodies near a shed and left, planning to return later to get the bodies and the cattle. The three men, along with Jerry Rousan, another of Rousan’s brothers, returned to the Lewis farm that night. There, they loaded the bodies into Chuck’s truck. They took two cows, a VCR, jewelry, soda, two gas cans, and a saddle. The four men then returned to Mary Lambing’s farm, where Rousan lived. On the return trip, Brent bragged about the murders. At the Lambing farm, the men buried Chuck and Grace Lewis in a shallow grave by the barn. After digging the grave and placing the bodies in it, the men poured concrete over the bodies. They covered the grave with a pile of manure. They burned rags used to clean the blood from the Lewis house. The men disposed of the Lewises’ property in various ways. On the night of the murders, the men consumed the soda. The cows were later sold at auction. Robert gave the VCR to his sister and brother-in-law, Barbara and Bruce Williams, on the day following the murders. Mr. and Mrs. Williams sold the VCR to a local pawn broker approximately eight months later. Rousan buried the couple’s personal items. He gave the remainder of the jewelry to Mary Lambing on special occasions during the following year. The four men hid and later burned Chuck’s truck. When the Lewises’ daughter could not reach her parents the following day, she became concerned. She called the police, who undertook an investigation into the Lewises’ disappearance. The police investigation continued for nearly a year without an arrest. Nearly a year after the disappearance of Mr. and Mrs. Lewis, on September 15, 1994, Bruce Williams, the brother-in-law to whom Robert Rousan had given the stolen VCR, made a telephone call to the police, believing his call to be anonymous. Bruce Williams told the police where the person who killed Mr. and Mrs. Lewis lived. The police traced the call to Mr. Williams. They interviewed him and later obtained additional information from Robert Rousan. The police attempted to contact Rousan at Mary Lambing’s farm. The officers confronted Rousan, and Rousan fled. On September 20, 1994, Rousan contacted Bruce Williams to ask for a ride to a barn in Washington County. Williams took Rousan to the barn, then notified the police. Rousan, armed with a.22 caliber rifle, was arrested at the barn without incident. He was taken to Washington County Sheriff’s Department. There, the officers advised Rousan of his Miranda rights and questioned him. Rousan provided information that implicated him in the murders. He told the police that he had first met the victims in 1975. He saw them again in 1989 after he escaped from custody in the State of Washington and sought refuge at the Lewises’ farm. When Chuck discovered Rousan hiding in his barn, he fed him, clothed him, and when Rousan left the farm two weeks later, Chuck gave him twenty dollars. Shortly after that time, Rousan was apprehended and returned to prison. After release from prison in June of 1993, Rousan returned to the farm to thank Mr. and Mrs. Lewis for their kindness and to rekindle their friendship, he said. According to Rousan, Grace Lewis was in poor health. Rousan explained that Chuck asked Rousan to kill Grace to put her out of her misery and to kill him because he did not want to live without his wife. Rousan also claimed that he was hired by Charles Lewis, IV, son of Mr. and Mrs. Lewis, to kill them in exchange for fifty-thousand dollars. Rousan maintained, however, that his actual motivation for the murders was mercy. The police discovered the Lewises’ bodies at Mary Lambing’s farm. They also discovered the murder weapon and various articles of the Lewises’ personal property there. Rousan was charged with the murder of Charles and Grace Lewis. The jury found Rousan guilty of two counts of first degree murder. At the penalty phase, the state introduced evidence of Rousan’s prior convictions for rape, assault, escape, and unlawful possession of a firearm. In addition, the state presented testimony from family members of Mr. and Mrs. Lewis with respect to the impact of their deaths on the family. Rousan presented testimony of friends and family members in mitigation of punishment. The jury recommended that Rousan be sentenced to death for the murder of Grace Lewis. An additional sentence of life without parole was handed down for the murder of Chuck Lewis. Brent Rousan, 16 at the time of the murders, pleaded guilty to two countsChuck and Grace Lewis, murder victims of first-degree murder and is serving consecutive life sentences without the possibility for parole. Robert, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 15 years in prison. The plea agreement for the lesser charge and sentence was in return for Robert Rousan’s testimony at his brother’s trial. A documentary about this murder has been produced and can be found here: http://amzn.com/B00I81AL6Q

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
April 29, 2014 Oklahoma Adriana Waller, 1 Charles Warner stayed
In August of 1997, Shonda Waller and her eleven month-old daughter, Adriana Waller, lived in Oklahoma City with Charles Frederick Warner and his three children, aged 7, 5 and 2. At about 7:30 am on August 22, Warner left the house to go pay a traffic ticket. When Shonda woke up at 8:00 am, she stayed in bed and played with Adriana for a while. Adriana was her normal, playful self and did not seem to be experiencing any type of discomfort. When Shonda changed Adriana’s diaper that morning, she did not notice anything wrong with Adriana. After Shonda got up, she made sandwiches for the kids and for Warner when he came home. Shonda and Warner had planned to go grocery shopping with all of the children that morning but Warner suggested that she go by herself and leave the children with him at the house. Shonda left to go shopping around noon. She arrived back at the house with the groceries at around 2:30 pm. She looked in on Adriana and saw her laying on the bed. A short time later Shonda told Warner that she wanted to go pay to have the telephone connected. When Warner went to get Adriana, he brought her out of the bedroom and said that she wasn’t breathing. Shonda grabbed Adriana and asked Warner to drive them to the hospital. On the way to the hospital Shonda performed CPR on her daughter. When Shonda carried Adriana into the emergency room of Mercy Health Center in Oklahoma City, Adriana appeared lifeless. Resuscitation efforts by medical personnel failed and she was pronounced dead approximately forty minutes later. Emergency room nurses proceeded to clean the baby. When nurse Robin Jones was changing Adriana’s diaper, she noticed bright red blood around the child’s anus and tears in the child’s rectum. The injury appeared recent as there were no scabs or signs of healing. At this point post-mortem care stopped and the police were called. From the autopsy, the forensic pathologist opined that head and abdominal injuries had caused the child’s death. She testified that the injuries were probably inflicted upon the child within an hour of her death, although they could have been inflicted up to three hours before she died. The police interviewed Warner late in the day on August 22 and into the early morning on August 23. Warner was subsequently arrested, charged and convicted of the first degree murder and first degree rape of 1-year-old Adriana Waller. In addition to the death sentence, the jury assessed punishment at nine hundred ninety-nine years imprisonment on the rape conviction. Warner’s original conviction in 1999 was overturned by the appeals court after it found the trial judge erred by seating a juror who said he had “a strong bias towards the death penalty.” Warner was again convicted and sentenced to death in 2003. During the retrial, Warner’s 12-year-old son testified that he saw his father shake Adriana on the day she died. "My dad didn’t get along with Adriana," said the boy, who lives in California with his mother and siblings. "She would cry, make a lot of noise." He also said the day the infant died wasn’t the first time he had seen his father shaking the infant. After the baby was shaken, the boy said, he stayed most of the afternoon in his sister’s bedroom. "I think he was angry so that’s why I stayed in my sister’s room," the boy said.

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