|Date of scheduled execution||State||Victim name||Inmate name||Status|
|January 7, 2014||Florida||Sydney Gans, 64
Lillian Gans, 60
(aka Thomas Knight)
|On July 17, 1974, Askari Abdullah Muhammad, then known as Thomas Otis Knight, abducted his employer, Sydney Gans, a wealthy Miami business man on his way to work, forced him to return to his home and held his wife Lillian hostage, demanding a $50,000 ransom. Gans obtained the money from his bank while Knight held Lillian hostage, pointing a semi-automatic weapon at her head as she circled the block in the car. Gans was able to speak to FBI agents while in the bank, and told them he preferred to pay the ransom rather than risk his wife’s life. After returning to the car, Knight instructed Gans to drive to a secluded area, where Knight fatally shot Gans and his wife. Law enforcement officers, hot on Knight’s trail after Gans’ tip, came upon the crime scene just as Knight was running away. Knight was apprehended four and a half hours later, hiding in the brush 2000 feet away from the crime scene as police and FBI used tear gas and tracker dogs to flush him out of the underbrush. He had bloodstains on his pants and was standing atop a buried rifle and a bag containing $50,000. Knight, who had previously served a prison term for burglary, worked the night shift at Gans’s Sydney Bag and Paper Company, then left the firm, returning shortly before the crime as a day shift package bundler. On the day of the murder he had called his supervisor and told him that he was sick and could not work. On September 19, 1974, while awaiting trial on two counts of first-degree murder, Knight escaped from jail with 10 other inmates. A massive, nationwide manhunt ensued and Knight was recaptured on December 31, 1974. In April 1975, Knight was tried, convicted and sentenced to death. On October 12, 1980, Knight repeatedly thrust a sharpened serving spoon into the chest of corrections officer Richard Burke, 48, while he was being escorted to the showers, because the prison would not let Knight see his mother, who was making her first visit. Almost 40 years since the date of the Gans murders, he was finally executed. Sydney Gans was a philanthropist who was presented with a medal for his aid to Israel and was a week away from sailing aboard the Queen Elizabeth 2 for a vacation in Europe.|
|Date of scheduled execution||State||Victim name||Inmate name||Status|
|January 9, 2014||Oklahoma||Richard Kevin Yost , 30||Michael Wilson||executed|
|Michael Lee Wilson and Richard Yost were employees at the QuikTrip convenience store located at 215 North Garnett Road in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Wilson and his friends planned to rob the convenience store at least two weeks before this crime actually occurred. The plan commenced on February 25, 1995. Wilson had completed his shift at 11:00 p.m. with Yost beginning his shift at that time. Wilson and his three friends came into the store during the early morning hours of February 26 and waited for the most opportune time to accost Yost. The QuikTrip surveillance camera captured the events as they unfolded. The video of the events is quite telling. Yost was cleaning the windows on the coolers with Wilson and the codefendants surrounding him. As Yost was walking near a passage way to the back room, all four defendants attacked him and dragged him to the back room. One of the defendants, identified as Billy D. Alverson, came back out and picked up some items that were knocked from the shelves and kept watch for customers. A few moments later, Alverson and Richard J. Harjo walked out the front door of the store. While they were going out, Yost was yelling and screaming for help, possibly thinking that a customer had entered the store. Alverson and Harjo re-entered the store with Harjo carrying a black aluminum baseball bat. He carried the bat to where Yost had been taken. The surveillance camera picked up the sounds of the bat striking Yost. Circumstantial evidence showed that the baseball bat struck the handcuffs on Yost’s wrists which Yost was holding above his head to ward off the blows. As the blows were being struck, Wilson walked from the back room, checked his hands, put on a QuikTrip jacket, got behind the counter and tried to move the safe. While Wilson was behind the counter, several customers came in. Wilson greeted them with a friendly greeting, sold them merchandise, then said “thank you, come again” or “have a nice day.” All this time Wilson continued to try and pull the safe from underneath the counter. He took money from the cash drawer and pulled money out of the currency change machine. At some point after this, Wilson left the counter area and took the video from the surveillance camera recorder. The defendants then loaded the safes into Wilson’s car using a dolly from QuikTrip. Yost’s body was discovered by Larry Wiseman, a customer, at about 6:00 a.m. Yost was laying on the floor in a pool of blood, milk and beer. Yost’s ankles were taped together with duct tape. One handcuff was found near Yost’s body. The other cuff was missing from the scene. Detectives learned that Wilson was at the store between the hours of 4:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. Wilson failed to show up for work at the scheduled time of 3:00 p.m. on the same day. Officer Allen set up surveillan ce on Wilson’s house and at about 4:00 p.m. he spotted Wilson get into a gray vehicle. The vehicle was stopped. Wilson was taken into custody. Also arrested were the other occupants in the vehicle: co-defendants Alverson, Harjo, and Darwin Demond Brown. Large sums of money were recovered from all of the defendants except Wilson. Wilson was questioned by Detective Folks. He told Folks that they planned on robbing the QuikTrip and that he knew Yost would be killed. He said that they had been talking about the robbery for a bout two weeks. The plan was for him to assume the role of sales clerk once Yost was “taken care of.” Officers searched Alverson’s place of abode where they discovered the drop safe, the dolly, QuikTrip glass cleaner, money tubes and the store surveillance video tape. A search was conducted of Wilson’s house but nothing of value was discovered. The next day Wilson’s mother called Officer Makinson to come to her house. Once there, the detectives found several items of evidence on the front porch, including the baseball bat, a bloody QuikTrip jacket with Yost’s name on it, Wilson’s Nike jacket matching the one worn in the store video and the other cuff of the set of handcuffs. Wilson, Brown and Alverson were all sentenced to death for the murder of Richard Kevin Yost. Darwin Brown was executed Jan. 22, 2009; Billy Alverson was executed Jan. 6, 2011. Richard Harjo was sentenced to life in prison without parole as he was under the age of 18 at the time of the murder. UPDATE: Yost’s widow Angela Yost, two grown sons who were 2 and 8 years old at the time of the murder, and his mother-in-law were among the witnesses to his execution. Yost’s family issued a written statement after the execution: "This is the third and last one. Closure will be not hearing this on the news and reading about it in the paper," the family said in a statement issued by Yost’s widow. "That is my closure – not to relive his death over and over but to remember the good times." QuikTrip has continued to pay Richard’s annual salary to Angela and will do so until Kyle, the youngest, turns 18, plus the company set up a $30,000 trust fund for each boy. Angela never remarried and says it feels she’s been carrying a heavy load on her back during a very long journey and is glad it’s finally coming to an end. Click here to read a letter written by Angela Yost to oppose clemency for Wilson.|
|Date of scheduled execution||State||Victim name||Inmate name||Status|
|January 15, 2014||Texas||Nicolas Macias, 19 mo||Rigoberto Avila||stayed|
|Sometime between 6:00 and 6:15 p.m., on February 29, 2000, in El Paso, Texas, 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 Rigoberto 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’ 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, Avila was sentenced to death.|
|Date of scheduled execution||State||Victim name||Inmate name||Status|
|January 15, 2014||Tennessee||Paula Kery Dyer , 7||Billy Irick||stayed|
|Billy Ray Irick was sentenced to death for the 1985 murder of 7-year-old Paula Kery Dyer. Irick was a friend of the child’s mother and step-father and had lived with them for a time, often caring for the five young children in the family while the Jeffers were working. At the time of the incident the Jeffers were separated. Mr. Jeffers and Irick were living with Jeffers’ mother. On the night of the occurrence, Mrs. Jeffers left Irick with the children when she went to work. She was somewhat uneasy about this because Irick had been drinking, although he did not seem to be intoxicated. He was in a bad mood because he had been in an argument with Mr. Jeffers’ mother earlier in the day. He did not want to keep the children since he planned to leave Knoxville for Virginia that night. Mrs. Jeffers called her husband at the truck stop where he worked to tell him of her fears. He reassured her and said he would check on the children. About midnight Mr. Jeffers received a telephone call from Irick telling him to come home, suggesting there was something wrong with the little girl, saying, “I can’t wake her up.” When Jeffers arrived at the house Irick was waiting at the door. The child was lying on the living room floor with blood between her legs. After ascertaining she still had a pulse, Jeffers wrapped her in a blanket and took her to Children’s Hospital. Efforts to resuscitate her there failed and she was pronounced dead a short time later. Physical examinations of her body at the hospital emergency room and during the autopsy were indicative of asphyxiation or suffocation. The cause of death was cardiopulmonary arrest from inadequate oxygen to the heart. There was an abrasion to her nose near one eye and lesions on her right chin consistent with teeth or fingernail marks. Blood was oozing from her vagina, which had suffered an extreme tear extending into the pelvic region. There were less severe lacerations around the opening of her rectum in which semen and pubic hair were found. These injuries were consistent with penetration of the vagina and anus by a penis.|
|Date of scheduled execution||State||Victim name||Inmate name||Status|
|January 16, 2014||Ohio|| Joy G. Morningstar Stewart , 22
Carl E. Stewart, unborn
|Joy Stewart was last seen alive on February 11, 1989. That morning, she had breakfast with her neighbors between 9 and 10. She went there alone that morning because her husband, Kenny Stewart, a truck driver, worked that day from approximately 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. After breakfast, Joy went to visit Juanita Deaton, the mother of her friend Chris Deaton. Mrs. Deaton and her son lived next to each other in a duplex in West Alexandria. McGuire had been hired by Chris Deaton to clean the ice out of his gutters that day. According to Chris, McGuire started around 9 or 10 a.m., and finished around noon. Mrs. Deaton testified that Joy arrived at around 9:30 or 10:00, while McGuire was working. Mrs. Deaton saw Joy talking to two unidentified males in a dark-colored car before she left. As Joy was leaving, she told Mrs. Deaton that “she was going to catch a ride somewhere,” although Mrs. Deaton did not actually see Joy leave in the car. Mrs. Deaton was unsure whether McGuire was one of the men in the car. A few minutes later, however, Mrs. Deaton asked whether McGuire had finished working on the gutters, and her son stated that McGuire had been paid and left. Jerry Richardson, McGuire’s brother-in-law, testified that McGuire later came over to his house that afternoon. While they were in Richardson’s garage, Joy came in and said she wanted some marijuana. Richardson further testified that McGuire offered to get her some, and the two left in McGuire’s car. The following day, February 12, two hikers found the body of Joy Stewart in some woods near Bantas Creek. The front of her shirt was saturated with blood. One deputy sheriff at the scene, Larry Swihart, also noted that there appeared to be a “blood wipe mark” on her right arm. The body was taken to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office, where an autopsy was performed. The autopsy revealed that Joy had been stabbed twice. One wound, located above the left collarbone, caused no significant injury. The critical wound was a four-and-a-half-inch-deep cut in the throat, which completely severed the carotid artery and jugular vein. The doctor determined that Joy was alive when she received the wound, and that such a wound could have been caused by a single-edged blade shorter than four and a half inches, due to “how soft and moveable the tissues are in the neck.” The autopsy also revealed abrasions around the neck, impressed with the cloth pattern of Joy’s shirt. The coroner’s office also took vaginal, oral, and anal swabs. The coroner found an abundant amount of sperm on the anal swab, some sperm on the vaginal swab, and none on the oral swab. The coroner indicated that sperm could be detected in the vagina for days or sometimes weeks after ejaculation; however, sperm in the rectum could be detected for a lesser time “because the environment is fairly hostile for sperm, and a bowel movement usually will purge the rectum of any sperm.” Investigator David Lindloff of the Preble County Prosecutor’s Office investigated the murder, but to no immediate avail. However, in December 1989, Lindloff was notified that McGuire wanted to talk to him about information concerning a murder in Preble County. McGuire was in jail at the time on an unrelated offense and told a corrections officer that he needed to talk to Investigator Lindloff and Deputy Swihart. Joseph Goodwin, the corrections officer McGuire initially talked to, took him to a private room to talk, where McGuire told him that he knew who had killed Joy Stewart. McGuire stated that Jerry Richardson, McGuire’s brother-in-law, had killed Joy with a knife, and he could lead investigators to it. McGuire explained to Officer Goodwin that Richardson had wanted to have sex with Joy, but she had refused. McGuire claimed that Richardson then pulled a knife on her, and forced her to have oral sex with him. McGuire then said Richardson anally sodomized her because he “couldn’t have regular sex with her because she was pregnant.” He also said Richardson stabbed her “in the shoulder bone” and “cut her throat.” Based on these details, Goodwin contacted Investigator Lindloff, who talked to McGuire on December 22, 1989. McGuire told Lindloff that Richardson committed the murder, that he stabbed Joy twice in the neck, and that “the first time it didn’t go in. He pulled the knife back out and stuck her again.” Lindloff was interested, since the fact that Joy had been stabbed twice in the neck and anally sodomized had not been revealed to the public at that time. McGuire also described in detail the area where Joy’s body had been found. McGuire then led Lindloff and deputies to the murder weapon, on a local farm where he and Richardson had occasionally worked. McGuire led the officers to the hayloft and showed them where a knife was hidden behind a beam. A subsequent audio-taped interview by Deputy Swihart elicited further details from McGuire. McGuire claimed that Richardson choked Joy before stabbing her and wiped his bloody hands off on her, both of which actions were consistent with the state of Joy’s body at the crime scene. Again, Swihart felt that these details were significant, since they had never become a matter of public knowledge. Furthermore, McGuire stated that he was pretty sure that Richardson was driving his mother’s blue Ford Escort the day of the murder. However, Richardson’s mother later testified at trial that she had traded that car in 1988, a year before the murder, and Richardson did not have access to her car on the day of the murder, since she had driven it to work. While in prison on December 24, 1989, McGuire received a visit from his childhood friend Shawn Baird. At the time, McGuire told Baird that he knew about a murder that happened in Preble County in February. When Baird asked who did it, McGuire stated that he and Jerry Richardson had done it, and he was going to blame it all on Jerry. A fellow inmate at the Preble County Jail, Jack Stapleton, testified that he had overheard a conversation between McGuire and another inmate, in which McGuire claimed that he had seen his brother-in-law rape and murder Joy. However, at one point, McGuire apparently slipped and implicated himself when telling the story. While describing the murder, Stapleton testified that McGuire “had his hand like this describing, telling the guy how she was killed. And he said said ‘I’ — he goes ‘I mean he. Stabbed her like this. Hit a bone. It didn’t kill her. So he stabbed her again.’” McGuire was later transferred to Madison Correctional Institute. An inmate there, Willie Reeves, testified that McGuire told him that while he was cleaning gutters, Joy showed up asking whether McGuire had any marijuana. McGuire offered to share some with her, and they left in his car. At one point McGuire asked whether she wanted to have sex, and she refused. McGuire then told Reeves he did it anyway. He then explained that because she was so pregnant, it was difficult to engage in sex with her, so instead he anally sodomized her. Joy then became “hysterical,” which made McGuire nervous. He ended up killing Joy for fear that he would go to jail for raping a pregnant woman. In June 1992, the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office sent the vaginal, anal, and oral swabs collected from Joy’s body, along with a cutting from her underpants, to Forensic Science Associates, a private laboratory, for DNA testing using the PCR technique. A forensic scientist there compared DNA extracted from the samples with blood samples taken from Dennis McGuire, Jerry Richardson, Joy Stewart, and Joy’s husband, Kenny Stewart, who died in 1992. The scientist determined that McGuire could not be eliminated as a source of the sperm. Kenny Stewart and Richardson, however, could be eliminated, unless there were two sperm sources, e.g., multiple assailants. This was because the sperm analyzed contained a DQ Alpha type 3, 4, with a trace amount of DQ Alpha type 1.1, 2. McGuire’s DNA was the DQ Alpha type 3, 4, whereas Richardson, Stewart, and the victim’s DNA was the DQ Alpha type 1.1, 2. The forensic scientist testified that the trace amount of 1.1, 2 could have resulted either from Joy’s epithelial cells taken in the swab, or from a secondary sperm source. The sperm DNA analyzed had characteristics that appear in about one in one hundred nineteen males in the white population. On December 22, 1993, McGuire was indicted on one count of aggravated murder, with one felony-murder specification for rape and was also indicted on two counts of rape (vaginal and anal) and one count of kidnapping. On December 8, 1994, the jury returned a guilty verdict on the aggravated murder and specification charge. McGuire was also convicted of anal rape and kidnapping. After a sentencing hearing, the jury recommended a sentence of death for the aggravated murder. The trial judge sentenced McGuire to death, and the court of appeals affirmed.|
|Date of scheduled execution||State||Victim name||Inmate name||Status|
|January 16, 2014||Texas||Juan Jose Lugo, 35
Esmeralda Alvarado, 15
Carlos M. Yanez, 15
Laura Ayala, 13
Maria Teresa Moreno Rangel, 38
Roxana Aracelie Capulin, 24
| On January 22, 2002, an individual found the partially nude body of fifteen-year-old Esmeralda Alvarado in a secluded area of Harris County. Four days earlier, Esmerelda, a Lamar High School sophomore, disappeared after leaving her boyfriend’s house to use a pay phone. Police investigation showed that Esmerelda died from a single gunshot to the head. Her body bore signs of sexual trauma. Several months passed without any leads. Finally, Cubas’ co-defendant Walter Sorto incriminated him in the duo’s nine-month crime spree, of which Esmerelda’s murder was only one incident. On August 21, 2002, the police arrested Cubas. Cubas gave the police five videotaped statements over a two-day period. Cubas’ statements chronicle several robberies, rapes, and murders he committed with Sorto. With regard to Esmerelda’s murder, Cubas explained that he and Sorto were driving around when they saw her talking on a pay phone. Intending to rob her, Sorto forced Esmerelda into the vehicle. After unsuccessfully searching her for money, Cubas began raping Esmerelda. The two men drove to various locations and took turns sexually assaulting her. Finally after traveling to a secluded area, Sorto told Cubas that they would have to kill Esmerelda so that she could not identify them. Cubas originally told the police that Sorto fired the killing shot. In Cubas’ final statement given to Houston Police Department Officer Xavier Avila, he admitted that he shot Esmerelda Alvarado. Esmerelda Alvarado got good grades, participated in the ROTC in her school, was a ballet dancer and wanted to become a lawyer. Her mother said in a victim impact statement that Esmerelda loved horseback riding and basketball. "Our lives will never be the same. I will never see her graduate and get married and have children." Houston police detective Jesus Sosa testified at trial that Cubas talked about participating in the killing of Juan Jose Lugo on Dec. 8, 2001, in the parking lot of a bar at 2200 Telephone Road in Houston.
Maria Rangel and Roxana Capulin were working at El Mirador restaurant on Canal Street in Houston on the evening of May 31, 2002. Ms. Capulin’s husband testified that Roxana called him at about 10:00 p.m. to tell him that she was closing the restaurant and would be coming home soon. The cook, Gabriel Mello, testified that he left at about 10:15 p.m., and that Ms. Rangel and Ms. Capulin stayed behind to close the restaurant.
Ruben Limon testified that he drove by the restaurant at around 11:15 p.m. and saw two men and two women outside. One woman was putting a chain around the door, and the other woman was standing nearby talking to one of the men. The second man, whom Limon identified at trial as appellant, was talking on a pay phone. Limon further testified that he observed a “red truck” parked outside the restaurant.
Roxana’s husband became worried when she did not arrive home by 10:30 p.m., so he called the restaurant. When no one answered the phone, he drove to the restaurant to look for her. As soon as he arrived, he saw that Roxana’s maroon Dodge Durango 9 was gone, the restaurant lights were off, and the restaurant door was chained but unlocked. Maria Rangel’s husband later arrived, and they entered the restaurant and found no one inside.
Roxana’s car was found on the morning of June 1, 2002. Emil Havelka testified that he saw a Dodge Durango parked in the middle of Joyner Street, near his office, at 7:00 a.m. When he saw two bodies inside the car and a large pool of blood on the ground by the back passenger door, he called the police.
The police arrived and found the bodies of Roxana Capulin and Maria Rangel inside the car. The car doors were unlocked and the keys were in the ignition. The Durango had three rows of seats; Ms. Rangel’s body was in the middle row, and Ms. Capulin’s body was in the back row. Ms. Rangel was wearing an El Mirador apron, and she had duct tape on her hands and wrists and over her eyes and mouth. Ms. Capulin also had duct tape over her eyes and mouth. The medical examiner testified that Ms. Rangel’s death was caused by two gunshot wounds to her head, and that Ms. Capulin died from a single gunshot wound to her head.
Police recovered a bullet and three cartridge casings from inside the car. The medical examiner also recovered bullet fragments from Ms. Capulin’s head during her autopsy. The firearms expert who examined the ballistics evidence testified that all three bullets could have been fired from the same 9-millimeter firearm.
Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy Miguel Gonzalez testified that, over two months later, on August 20, 2002, he was contacted by a confidential informant with information about the murders. Deputy Gonzalez and Detective Alejandro Ortiz met with the informant and appellant at a Marriott hotel room at about 7:30 p.m. that evening.10 Deputy Gonzalez testified that appellant said he had information regarding the women who were abducted from El Mirador restaurant, and that he needed the $5,000 Crimestoppers reward money because his wife was pregnant. Appellant stated that Edgardo Cubas and Eduardo Navarro, a juvenile, had abducted and murdered the victims.11 He said that Cubas and Navarro had invited him to go along with them that night, but he declined their invitation and followed them instead. He parked his car in a parking lot across the street from the restaurant and saw Cubas and Navarro abduct the women. He then followed them to a remote location and parked nearby, but he left the scene after he heard gunshots.
At this point, Det. Ortiz thought appellant was a witness to the double murder, so he asked appellant and the informant if they would continue the interview at the Harris County Sheriff’s homicide division office. They agreed to do so, and appellant drove himself and the informant to the office. When they arrived at around 9:45 p.m., Det. Ortiz and a Detective Brown conducted a videotaped interview with appellant. Appellant again stated that he witnessed the abduction from across the street. He said that Navarro stayed in Cubas’s Honda Accord while Cubas talked to the women outside the restaurant; then Cubas got into a Dodge Durango with the women, and Navarro followed them as they drove away. Appellant followed both cars to a second location and parked about one hundred twenty feet away. Cubas and the women remained parked in the Durango for about thirty minutes. One of the women got out of the car and tried to run away, but Cubas caught her and put her back inside the vehicle. Appellant saw that Cubas had a pistol and a large roll of tape in his hands, and he watched as Cubas fired three shots into the Durango. Appellant then left, and Navarro saw him as he was driving away. Appellant later saw Cubas and Navarro in a bar, and Cubas threatened to kill him and his family if he told anyone what he had seen.
During the interview, Det. Ortiz asked appellant if he would agree to give a saliva sample. After appellant consented to give a saliva sample, he added that he, Cubas, and Navarro left the club and returned to the scene, where Cubas forced him to have sex with Ms. Rangel’s body.
Det. Ortiz testified that he took appellant into custody after he learned of an outstanding warrant for appellant’s arrest at approximately 1:10 a.m. Appellant then agreed to show the detective where Cubas and Navarro lived. They left the homicide division office at 2:05 a.m. and returned at 3:10 a.m. At 7:30 a.m., appellant was taken before a magistrate, who gave him his statutory warnings.
Appellant was then taken to the Houston Police Department homicide division office, where he was interviewed by Officers Jesus Sosa and Heraclio Chavez. In this videotaped statement, appellant told a very different version of the events. He said that Cubas picked him up in his Honda Accord at about 8:30 p.m., and they then picked up fourteen-year-old Navarro. Appellant and Cubas went to a few bars while Navarro waited in the car; then they went looking for a bar that would admit Navarro. Cubas, who was in possession of a 9-millimeter Beretta pistol, said that he wanted to commit a robbery because he needed money to pay rent. They were driving on Canal Street when they saw two women coming out of a restaurant. Cubas parked in a nearby parking lot, got out of the car, and approached the women from behind as they were walking toward the Durango. Cubas motioned for appellant to come over to them, and Cubas made Roxana Capulin give appellant the keys. Ms. Capulin sat in the back seat with Cubas, Maria Rangel sat in the middle seat, and appellant drove the vehicle. As appellant drove to an area near “Dixie and Wayside,” Cubas placed tape over the eyes and mouths of the women and bound Ms. Rangel’s hands with tape. Cubas wanted to sexually assault Roxana Capulin, so he told Ms. Rangel “to get down from the truck” when they stopped. Ms. Rangel fell out of the car onto the ground. Appellant also got out of the car, and Cubas stayed inside with Roxana Capulin. When Ms. Rangel later got too close to the car, Cubas pointed the gun at her and told her to take her clothes off. He told appellant “to fuck her by force,” and appellant “gave her like 3 thrusts” and ejaculated. Appellant then “fixed ․ her pants” and put her back inside the Durango, where Cubas was forcing Ms. Capulin to perform oral sex on him. Appellant told Cubas to let the women go. He drove the car a short distance, then turned it off, left the key in the ignition, got out, and started walking away. As he was walking to the Accord where Navarro was waiting, he heard three shots coming from the direction of the Durango. Cubas then came running toward him, and they got into the Accord with Navarro and left. When appellant asked Cubas what happened to the women, he said, “I killed them whores.” Cubas said he had taken money and jewelry from the women, and he showed appellant a chain that belonged to one of them. Cubas dropped appellant and Navarro off at the apartment complex where they both lived at about 12:05 a.m.
Appellant’s videotaped statements were not the only evidence of his participation in the double murder. DNA evidence also tied appellant to the offense. Appellant’s DNA profile was consistent with the DNA profile of sperm found on Rangel’s clothing and in her vagina. Cubas’s DNA profile was consistent with the DNA profile of sperm found on Capulin’s panty hose and in her mouth.
The State also presented evidence of appellant’s involvement in the extraneous murder of fifteen-year-old Esmeralda Alvarado on January 18, 2002, four months before the charged murders. Ms. Alvarado’s boyfriend, Osiel Blanco, testified that she came over to his house to watch television that evening, and that she went outside to use a nearby pay phone at about 9:30 p.m. When Blanco went outside to look for her about ten minutes later, she was gone. Her body was found four days later. The medical examiner testified that she died from a gunshot wound to the head. Appellant was included as a possible contributor of the DNA obtained from sperm found in Ms. Alvarado’s anus. Cubas’s DNA was consistent with the DNA profile of sperm found in Ms. Alvarado’s vagina.
Appellant admitted his involvement in Esmeralda Alvarado’s murder in a videotaped interview with Detectives Chavez and Ortiz. Appellant stated that one night in January 2002, he and Cubas were driving around in a truck belonging to Cubas’s father. They passed by a young girl talking on a pay phone, and Cubas said that he wanted to have sex with her, so he turned the truck around and went back to where she was standing. Cubas forced her at gunpoint to get into the back seat of the truck, and appellant got into the back seat with her. Cubas tied a rag over the girl’s eyes and drove them to a deserted area. Appellant stayed in the truck while Cubas took the girl outside and raped her. When they returned to the truck, appellant made her get into the back seat with him, and he raped her. They initially planned to leave her at the scene, but as they were leaving she yelled, “Hey, don’t leave me here.” They let her back into the truck, and she asked them to drop her off near her home. Cubas started to drive away, but then decided to take her back to where they had raped her. They got out of the truck and Cubas made her perform oral sex on him. Cubas then shot her in the head, and he and appellant got into the truck and drove away.
– See more at: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/tx-court-of-criminal-appeals/1297531.html#sthash.XuhyCVBW.dpuf
Juan was shot several times in the head and died while another victim, his friend Juan Catares, 30, was critically injured. On May 20, 2002 Cubas got into a shootout with Carlos M. Yanez, 15, during an attempted robbery, police said. Carlos was in the parking lot of a bar in the 7600 block of Pecan Villas when was killed, police said, but Cubas claimed self-defense. Maria Rangel and Roxana Capulin were working at El Mirador restaurant on Canal Street in Houston on the evening of May 31, 2002. Roxana’s husband testified that Roxana called him at about 10:00 p.m. to tell him that she was closing the restaurant and would be coming home soon. The cook, Gabriel Mello, testified that he left at about 10:15 p.m., and that Maria and Roxana stayed behind to close the restaurant. Ruben Limon testified that he drove by the restaurant at around 11:15 p.m. and saw two men and two women outside. One woman was putting a chain around the door, and the other woman was standing nearby talking to one of the men. The second man, whom Limon identified at trial as Walter Sorto, was talking on a pay phone. Limon further testified that he observed a “red truck” parked outside the restaurant. Roxana’s husband became worried when she did not arrive home by 10:30 p.m., so he called the restaurant. When no one answered the phone, he drove to the restaurant to look for her. As soon as he arrived, he saw that Roxana’s maroon Dodge Durango was gone, the restaurant lights were off, and the restaurant door was chained but unlocked. Maria Rangel’s husband later arrived, and they entered the restaurant and found no one inside. Roxana’s car was found on the morning of June 1, 2002. Emil Havelka testified that he saw a Dodge Durango parked in the middle of Joyner Street, near his office, at 7:00 a.m. When he saw two bodies inside the car and a large pool of blood on the ground by the back passenger door, he called the police. The police arrived and found the bodies of Roxana Capulin and Maria Rangel inside the car. The car doors were unlocked and the keys were in the ignition. The Durango had three rows of seats; Maria’s body was in the middle row, and Roxana’s body was in the back row. Maria was wearing an El Mirador apron, and she had duct tape on her hands and wrists and over her eyes and mouth. Roxana also had duct tape over her eyes and mouth. The medical examiner testified that Maria’s death was caused by two gunshot wounds to her head, and that Roxana died from a single gunshot wound to her head. Police recovered a bullet and three cartridge casings from inside the car. The medical examiner also recovered bullet fragments from Roxana’s head during her autopsy. The firearms expert who examined the ballistics evidence testified that all three bullets could have been fired from the same 9-millimeter firearm. Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy Miguel Gonzalez testified that, over two months later, on August 20, 2002, he was contacted by a confidential informant with information about the murders. Deputy Gonzalez and Detective Alejandro Ortiz met with the informant and Sorto at a Marriott hotel room at about 7:30 p.m. that evening where Deputy Gonzalez was working a second job as a security officer. Deputy Gonzalez testified that Sorto said he had information regarding the women who were abducted from El Mirador restaurant, and that he needed the $5,000 Crimestoppers reward money because his wife was pregnant. Sorto stated that Edgardo Cubas and Eduardo "Lalo" Navarro, a juvenile, had abducted and murdered the victims. He said that Cubas and Navarro had invited him to go along with them that night, but he declined their invitation and followed them instead. He parked his car in a parking lot across the street from the restaurant and saw Cubas and Navarro abduct the women. He then followed them to a remote location and parked nearby, but he left the scene after he heard gunshots. At this point, Det. Ortiz thought Sorto was a witness to the double murder, so he asked Sorto and the informant if they would continue the interview at the Harris County Sheriff’s homicide division office. They agreed to do so, and Sorto drove himself and the informant to the office. When they arrived at around 9:45 p.m., Det. Ortiz and a Detective Brown conducted a videotaped interview with Sorto. Sorto again stated that he witnessed the abduction from across the street. He said that Navarro stayed in Cubas’s Honda Accord while Cubas talked to the women outside the restaurant; then Cubas got into a Dodge Durango with the women, and Navarro followed them as they drove away. Sorto followed both cars to a second location and parked about one hundred twenty feet away. Cubas and the women remained parked in the Durango for about thirty minutes. One of the women got out of the car and tried to run away, but Cubas caught her and put her back inside the vehicle. Sorto saw that Cubas had a pistol and a large roll of tape in his hands, and he watched as Cubas fired three shots into the Durango. Sorto then left, and Navarro saw him as he was driving away. Sorto later saw Cubas and Navarro in a bar, and Cubas threatened to kill him and his family if he told anyone what he had seen. During the interview, Det. Ortiz asked Sorto if he would agree to give a saliva sample. After Sorto consented to give a saliva sample, he added that he, Cubas, and Navarro left the club and returned to the scene, where Cubas forced him to have sex with Maria Rangel’s body. Det. Ortiz testified that he took Sorto into custody after he learned of an outstanding warrant for Sorto’s arrest at approximately 1:10 a.m. Sorto then agreed to show the detective where Cubas and Navarro lived. They left the homicide division office at 2:05 a.m. and returned at 3:10 a.m. At 7:30 a.m., Sorto was taken before a magistrate, who gave him his statutory warnings. Sorto was then taken to the Houston Police Department homicide division office, where he was interviewed by Officers Jesus Sosa and Heraclio Chavez. In this videotaped statement, Sorto told a very different version of the events. He said that Cubas picked him up in his Honda Accord at about 8:30 p.m., and they then picked up fourteen-year-old Navarro. Sorto and Cubas went to a few bars while Navarro waited in the car; then they went looking for a bar that would admit Navarro. Cubas, who was in possession of a 9-millimeter Beretta pistol, said that he wanted to commit a robbery because he needed money to pay rent. They were driving on Canal Street when they saw two women coming out of a restaurant. Cubas parked in a nearby parking lot, got out of the car, and approached the women from behind as they were walking toward the Durango. Cubas motioned for Sorto to come over to them, and Cubas made Roxana Capulin give Sorto the keys. Roxana sat in the back seat with Cubas, Maria Rangel sat in the middle seat, and Sorto drove the vehicle. As Sorto drove to an area near “Dixie and Wayside,” Cubas placed tape over the eyes and mouths of the women and bound Maria Rangel’s hands with tape. Cubas wanted to sexually assault Roxana Capulin, so he told Maria “to get down from the truck” when they stopped. Maria fell out of the car onto the ground. Sorto also got out of the car, and Cubas stayed inside with Roxana Capulin. When Maria later got too close to the car, Cubas pointed the gun at her and told her to take her clothes off. He told Sorto “to f*** her by force,” and Sorto “gave her like 3 thrusts” and ejaculated. Sorto then “fixed her pants” and put her back inside the Durango, where Cubas was forcing Roxana to perform oral sex on him. Sorto told Cubas to let the women go. He drove the car a short distance, then turned it off, left the key in the ignition, got out, and started walking away. As he was walking to the Accord where Navarro was waiting, he heard three shots coming from the direction of the Durango. Cubas then came running toward him, and they got into the Accord with Navarro and left. When Sorto asked Cubas what happened to the women, he said, “I killed them whores.” Cubas said he had taken money and jewelry from the women, and he showed Sorto a chain that belonged to one of them. Cubas dropped Sorto and Navarro off at the apartment complex where they both lived at about 12:05 a.m. Sorto’s videotaped statements were not the only evidence of his participation in the double murder. DNA evidence also tied him to the offense. Sorto’s DNA profile was consistent with the DNA profile of sperm found on Maria Rangel’s clothing and in her vagina. Cubas’s DNA profile was consistent with the DNA profile of sperm found on Roxana Capulin’s panty hose and in her mouth. The State also presented evidence of Sorto’s involvement in the extraneous murder of fifteen-year-old Esmeralda Alvarado on January 18, 2002, four months before the charged murders. Esmerelda’s boyfriend, Osiel Blanco, testified that she came over to his house to watch television that evening, and that she went outside to use a nearby pay phone at about 9:30 p.m. When Blanco went outside to look for her about ten minutes later, she was gone. Her body was found four days later. The medical examiner testified that she died from a gunshot wound to the head. Sorto was included as a possible contributor of the DNA obtained from sperm found in Esmerelda Alvarado’s anus. Cubas’s DNA was consistent with the DNA profile of sperm found in her vagina. Sorto admitted his involvement in Esmeralda Alvarado’s murder in a videotaped interview with Detectives Chavez and Ortiz. Sorto stated that one night in January 2002, he and Cubas were driving around in a truck belonging to Cubas’s father. They passed by a young girl talking on a pay phone, and Cubas said that he wanted to have sex with her, so he turned the truck around and went back to where she was standing. Cubas forced her at gunpoint to get into the back seat of the truck, and Sorto got into the back seat with her. Cubas tied a rag over the girl’s eyes and drove them to a deserted area. Sorto stayed in the truck while Cubas took the girl outside and raped her. When they returned to the truck, Sorto made her get into the back seat with him, and he raped her. They initially planned to leave her at the scene, but as they were leaving she yelled, “Hey, don’t leave me here.” They let her back into the truck, and she asked them to drop her off near her home. Cubas started to drive away, but then decided to take her back to where they had raped her. They got out of the truck and Cubas made her perform oral sex on him. Cubas then shot her in the head, and he and Sorto got into the truck and drove away. In February of 2003, Houston police got their first break in the case of 13-year-old Laura Ayala, who had been missing since the previous March. Houston police said that DNA evidence links Ayala to three suspects in a series of rapes and murders known as the East End murders. Walter Alexander Sorto, 25, and Edgardo Rafael Cubas, 23, and a juvenile were charged with three counts of capital murder in the murder spree. While investigating the East End murders, detectives found blood, which turned out to be DNA of an unknown female. Investigators then asked the Ayala family for samples of Laura’s DNA. Two days ago, Ayala’s samples were matched to the scene. Detectives said, "We’re still trying to find Laura Ayala. She’s still missing. It’s very depressing news. I should caution you — it’s devastating news to the family. We’re still going to keep looking until we recover her." Police said that Laura was abducted some time after 10:15 p.m. Sunday, March 10, behind her family’s apartment, located at 7939 Sarita in southeast Houston. She disappeared after she walked behind her apartment complex to the Broadway Convenience store at Conoco, less than 100 feet behind her residence, to buy a newspaper for a school project. Laura’s mother later found her daughter’s shoes along with the newspaper on the street near the gas station. The clerk at the station remembered selling her a newspaper. Volunteers searched on foot and horseback in various locations around the Houston area after her disappearance, but did not found any clues. Police described Laura Ayala as a Hispanic female, 4 feet tall, and weighing about 90 pounds. She has black, medium-length straight hair with brown highlights. She was last seen wearing a blue-checkered dress. Walter Sorto was also sentenced to death. Eduardo Navarro was sentenced to prison for aggravated robbery in the Rangel-Capulin case after being certified to stand trial as an adult and has been eligible for parole since 2009. His sentence will be complete in August of 2015. There are a total of six homicides the trio of murderers was linked to, but they were only charged in three. The suspects also admitted their roles in an attempted abduction of a woman waiting for her friends outside a nightclub at 200 North Ennis on July 20, 2002. UPDATE: The execution has been rescheduled to May 29, 2014 following a request from the Honduran Embassy.
|Date of scheduled execution||State||Victim name||Inmate name||Status|
|January 22, 2014||Texas||Guy Patrick Gaddis, 24||Edgar Tamayo||executed|
|Case history from Houston Police Officers Union web site: On Sunday night, January 30, 1994, Officer Gaddis reported for duty on the night shift at the Beechnut. He was assigned to ride a one-man unit, 17E23N. After running several report calls, Gaddis was flagged down in the 6700 block of Bissonnet by a citizen who reported that he had been robbed by two suspects at the Topaz Night Club. The officer reported this on-view complaint to the dispatcher and requested other units to check by with him at the Topaz, a known area trouble spot located at 6501 Chimney Rock. The reporting time was 2:21 a.m. now on the morning of Monday, January 31. Three of Officer Gaddis’ fellow units, with a total of five officers on board, immediately responded to this request. The first officer to arrive observed Officer Gaddis to have two suspects against a wall, spread-eagled and undergoing a search. This officer also observed that Gaddis had apparently completed his search of what will now be referred to as the No. 2 suspect. This first responding officer took control of this suspect and immediately handcuffed him with his hands to the rear. While doing so, this officer observed Gaddis continue his search of the No. 1 suspect. In doing so, he discovered the robbery complainant’s watch. At this point, Officer Gaddis very likely ended his search of the No. 1 suspect prematurely, handcuffing his hands behind him. Other officers were arrived and observed the end results of the arrest. They watched as Officer Gaddis and the first arriving officer placed both suspects in the rear of Gaddis’ patrol car. Suspect No. 1, later identified as Edgar Tamayo, was seated in the left rear seat while Suspect No. 2, Jesus Zarco Mendoza, was placed in the right rear seat. A very careful review of all officers present took place not only for the prosecution of the offense but also eleven years later to document the line of duty death for this publication. While no blame was assessed, important lessons were learned from the Gaddis experience. Without a doubt, the events of this early morning will live forever in the hearts and minds of all five officers present prior to Officer Gaddis’ departure with the two suspects. There names are not used here. While they did not suffer the same consequence as Guy Gaddis, their names should not be brought forth for further questions about their actions. These two suspects were in custody, handcuffed behind their back in the rear seat of a caged patrol car. While Gaddis transported them to the Southeast Command Station, the following is known: Officer Gaddis drove southbound in the 8100 block of Chimney Rock. He drove through the City of Bellaire, just north of Chimney Rock and Holly. Then something went terribly awry in the back seat of the patrol car from behind the Plexiglas cage. While driving, Officer Gaddis was shot in the back of his head, causing his patrol car to veer to the left, out of control. The unit crossed a residential yard on the northeast corner of this intersection, traveled further south across Holly and into the yard of a residence at 5229 Holly, striking the house at a high rate of speed and landing near the front door that faced north. The crash awakened the occupants of this residence. They immediately came out the side door, only to see that a Houston police had crashed into the front of their home. The patrol officer who had been the driver was slumped over the steering wheel. They also saw an individual in the back seat cage portion of the police vehicle bleeding from the head and apparently unconscious. The residents immediately summoned the Bellaire police. The Bellaire dispatcher sent Officer W. T. Warner to the scene, backed up by Officer J. M. Manning. Officer Warner had been monitoring HPD’s radio channel and was aware of the arrests having been made on Chimney Rock. The Bellaire officers saw a real-life scene unlike anything they had seen in their veteran police careers: the crashed HPD patrol car and, more importantly, the condition of Officer Gaddis. They quickly called an ambulance manned by City of Bellaire paramedics Carla Breeding and Chuck Lysack. Breeding and Lysack found that the officer was not breathing and had no vital signs. They didn’t give up. They made every effort possible to resuscitate Gaddis, who had three gunshot wounds to the back of his head. As they did so, the LifeFlight helicopter was in flight. Bellaire Officers Warner and Manning took control of the scene as well as the suspect Mendoza in the rear of the police car. The suspect had regained consciousness. The paramedics also examined him, finding no serious injuries. While these activities took place, Houston police officers virtually surrounded the neighborhood. LifeFlight rushed Officer Gaddis to Hermann Hospital, with little hope for his survival. Doctors pronounced him dead at 4:31 a.m., January 31, 1994. He was only twenty-four years old, leaving his pregnant wife Rosa behind. Besides his wife, the officer was survived his parents, Mr. And Mrs. Edwin (Gayle) Gaddis of Brookside Village; brother Glenn and his wife Angela of Houston; brother Gary and nephew Justyn Gaddis of Brookside; his aunt Patsy Reeves of Shreveport; Uncle Charles Gottlick and wife Maureen of Scotch Plains, New Jersey; aunt Bernadette Lopez and husband George and uncle Russell Gottlick and wife Joyce. Funeral services were held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, February 2, 1994, at the Second Baptist Church in Houston with Dr. Ed Young, Reverend David Dixon, and HPD Chaplain Ed Davis officiating. Burial followed at the South Park Cemetery in Pearland. The on-duty Homicide supervisor, Lieutenant, C. S. "Steve" Arrington, upon learning of this tragedy, began an immediate call to the Homicide Murder squad responsible for this particular time segment. Lieutenant Nelson Zoch was the Homicide Murder Squad lieutenant on-call at this time of the morning. "I can vividly recall arriving on the scene to find it very professionally protected not only by Lieutenant Arrington of HPD Homicide and the Beechnut Patrol officers and supervisors as well as Bellaire P.D.," Zoch said. "This offense occurred in the City of Bellaire, a municipality complete and separate from the City of Houston. As such, Bellaire had legal jurisdiction into the offenses which had occurred at that location on Chimney Rock and Holly. "Having had previous experience with conflicting jurisdictional issues, after being assessed of the situation, Lieutenant Arrington and I approached the highest-ranking supervisor on the scene, the Bellaire chief of police. Words cannot describe the look on the chief’s face when I, as a mere lieutenant of the Houston Police Department, volunteered to take complete responsibility for this investigation. That offer was graciously accepted, at which time their full support and cooperation was also pledged to provide their assistance to our department. There was never any doubt in my mind that the chief and his department could and would have conducted a professional investigation. However, as learned from previous incidents, law enforcement/justice was best served with one agency assuming total responsibility for the investigation." Shortly after this jurisdictional matter was resolved, Criminal Investigations Assistant Chief John Gallemore and Homicide Captain W. G. "Bill" Edison arrived on the scene. Both were in complete agreement about the jurisdictional issue and assisted from that time forth in providing any additional manpower and resources necessary to pursue the goal of securing a conviction of those responsible for the capital murder of one of Houston’s finest, Officer Guy Patrick Gaddis. Lieutenant Zoch began a complete squad callout to assist the initial scene investigators, Sergeants Jerry Novak and Larry Webber, who were to be the lead investigators under the supervision of Captain Bill Edison and Lieutenant Zoch. It would be their responsibility to coordinate all investigative responsibilities through their supervisors and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. "Lieutenant Arrington and I, while at the scene, reviewed the personnel which had been utilized to this point," Zoch recalled. Two Homicide Chicano Squad Investigators, Jaime Escalante and Vincente Garcia were called in to assist in the all important interviews with the principals, Tamayo and Mendoza. As had been the practice in previous officer-involved Investigations, a Homicide investigator was assigned to be personally responsible for the care of the suspect, mainly assuring that a suspect was provided full constitutional rights under the law. In this instance, Zoch assigned Sergeant Rick Maxey the responsibility for the main suspect, Tamayo. The lieutenant gave Maxey’s partner, Sergeant Stuart Hal Kennedy, the assignment to interview the second suspect, Mendoza, who at this time appeared to us not only as a robbery suspect, but as a valuable witness to a capital crime. "Thus, we had a full squad of capable investigators to choose from, as well as a pool of qualified detectives to assist from in the two other dayshift Murder squads and the Chicano Squad," Zoch said. Sergeant Fred W. Carroll was assigned to conduct the hospital investigation while Sergeant Stuart. H. "Hal" Kennedy, who had been assigned to the suspect Mendoza, also was given the difficult task of attending the autopsy of the officer. Officer Gaddis’ patrol car, heavily damaged from the impact with the house, was towed to the HPD print stall building and secured. Sergeant Eugene Yanchak was assigned to coordinate a thorough Crime Scene Unit and Lab personnel processing of this vehicle. Lieutenant Zoch assigned Sergeant David A. Ferguson as his assistant, whose job was to coordinate with the District Attorney’s Office regarding any charges that would be filed in this case. Chief Prosecutor Ned Morris was present during the scene investigation, this being the norm in cases involving the death and/or serious on-duty injury of a police officer. Further assignments were as follows: Sergeant D. D. Shirley conducted an at-length interview with the original robbery complainant. (This became more important than ever since it was this offense that eventually led to the death of Officer Gaddis); Sergeant R. L. "Rick" Maxey began to do thorough computer background investigations into the criminal histories of both suspects, mainly Tamayo; When it became apparent that Tamayo and Mendoza’s language barrier was an issue, Chicano Squad Investigators Jaime Escalante and Vincente Garcia were assigned to conduct interviews with the suspects; Veteran Detectives Maxey and Kennedy supervised these all-important proceedings; Sergeants Larry Ott and Bruce Baker assisted in the acquisition of legal consents and warrants relating to the recovery of additional evidence from both suspects. Other observations and evidence recovered and/or noted at the scene and during the vehicle examination were that there were five bullet holes in the Plexiglas shield supposedly in place to protect the police officer. Six spent.380 hulls and were recovered from the rear area of the police car as well as a Bersa.380 automatic weapon. From the evidence recovered, as well as from a statement provided by the second robbery suspect, the following was believed to have been the chain of events leading up to this tragedy: Somehow, during the original pat down and cursory searches conducted at the robbery scene, Edgar Tamayo had managed to secrete a semi-automatic.380 pistol on his person. After leaving the scene with both suspects, Officer Gaddis stopped to make a telephone call, believed to have been to confer with the District Attorney’s Intake Office over charges he intended to file on both suspects. During this phone call while Tamayo and Mendoza were alone, but in the sight of Officer Gaddis, according to Mendoza, Tamayo spoke of shooting his way out of this situation. He was able to get the pistol in his handcuffed hands behind his back. When Officer Gaddis drove south on Chimney Rock in the block north of Holly, Tamayo was able to turn himself around in the rear seat and place the pistol right up against the Plexiglas barrier and fire it six times. Later, investigating officers asked themselves: Now, what person in his right mind would believe he could shoot the driver of a car with your hands cuffed behind you in a locked backseat, and still be able to escape safely? The actions of Tamayo rendered Officer Gaddis totally disabled and the police car careened out of control. It crossed a residential yard on the northeast corner of Chimney Rock and Holly, then crossed Holly, and into the yard of the Clay family home. It crashed into the front door at a high rate of speed. The impact injured both Tamayo and Mendoza, but Tamayo was able to then kick out the window glass of the left rear door and escape. Tamayo fled north on Chimney Rock, but HPD Officer O. R. Warren was southbound on Chimney Rock when he observed what had to have been his sight of a lifetime, a suspect running with his hands cuffed behind his back. Amazingly, this was the man who had just minutes before, murdered Officer Gaddis. The evidence was stronger by the minute: the handcuffs recovered from Tamayo bore Officer Guy Gaddis’ employee number, 98834. UPDATE: Edgar Tamayo, 46, received a lethal injection for the January 1994 fatal shooting of Officer Guy Gaddis, 24. Asked by a warden if he had a final statement, he mumbled "no" and shook his head. As the lethal dose of pentobarbital began taking effect, he took a few breaths and then made one slightly audible snore before all movement stopped. He was pronounced dead 17 minutes after the drug was administered, at 9:32 p.m. CST. Tamayo never looked toward Gaddis’ mother, two brothers and two other relatives who watched through a window. He selected no witnesses of his own. There were several dozen police officers and supporters of the slain patrolman were revving their motorcycles outside of the prison before witnesses were let inside the death chamber.|
|Date of scheduled execution||State||Victim name||Inmate name||Status|
|January 24, 2014||Oklahoma||Lisa Stanley, 21||Kenneth Hogan||executed|
|On January 28, 1988, Kenneth Eugene Hogan stabbed and cut Lisa Stanley more than twenty times in the throat, head, neck, chest, and back. Approximately three of these stab wounds would have been independently fatal without immediate medical attention. George Stanley, the victim’s husband, found her dead body that evening in the couple’s apartment and called the police. At the crime scene, investigators found evidence of a struggle but no sign of forced entry and discovered a large butcher knife and red stains that appeared to be blood in the bathroom sink. Hogan confessed to the crime six days later. Hogan and the victim had been friends for several years. Although the exact nature of their relationship was disputed at trial, Becky Glenn, Stanley’s close friend and next-door neighbor, testified that Hogan and Lisa Stanley were close friends who saw each other regularly outside of her husband’s presence and without his knowledge during the months leading up to the murder. Hogan’s wife testified that Lisa Stanley frequently called Hogan during that same time period. Although Hogan told a police officer during his interrogation that he had thought about having sex with Lisa Stanley, there is no evidence on the record that the two were ever intimate. George Stanley testified at trial that approximately six days before the murder, Hogan visited the Stanleys at their apartment, during which time he boasted of taking a martial arts class in which he was learning how to use a knife to cause fatal injury and displayed a knife he had brought with him. George Stanley testified that after the visit, Lisa stated that Hogan was making her nervous. On the morning of the murder, George and Lisa Stanley smoked marijuana together between approximately 11:00 and 11:45 A.M., before George left for work. In Hogan’s February 3, 1988, confession to the police, a tape recording of which was played to the jurors, he related the following: After lying to his wife about going to work, Hogan visited the Stanley home on the early afternoon of January 28, at Lisa’s request, to assist her with a book report she was writing. He and Lisa smoked marijuana together. Hogan alleges that the marijuana they smoked had been dipped in PCP, but a test conducted by the medical examiner’s office of Lisa Stanley’s body revealed no evidence of PCP in her bloodstream. The record contains no evidence to support Hogan’s allegation. Lisa requested that Hogan steal a stereo for her, but he declined because of burglary charges pending against him. Soon thereafter, the two began to argue. Lisa threw a coat rack down in anger and refused to let Hogan leave the house. Hogan placed his hand over her mouth to quiet her, and she threatened to scream and bang on the apartment walls to alert the neighbors and to tell the police that he had attempted to rape her. Lisa then ran into a bathroom and locked the door. Hogan tried to reason with her, then kicked open the bathroom door and threatened to tell her husband "about the stuff that she’s been doing, that he don’t know that she is doing… or done." Lisa ran towards the front door, but Hogan kicked the door shut and threatened to tell both her husband and her mother about an abortion that she had shortly before her marriage from a sexual encounter with a former boyfriend. Hogan said Lisa then "got a wild look in her eye" and ran to the kitchen. She returned with a knife and "pushed" the knife at him. As Hogan attempted to grab the knife from her hand, Lisa pulled the knife back and "swung" at Hogan again, cutting him. Hogan seized the knife, and Lisa ran towards the kitchen, where Hogan assumed she was going to get another knife. Hogan claimed he was afraid that Lisa would falsely accuse him of rape to explain his injuries. Hogan chased Lisa and stabbed her repeatedly, ultimately killing her. Reviewing blood evidence from the crime scene, a police expert concluded that Lisa remained in an upright position during a portion of the stabbing, and that the stabbing began in the kitchen, with the final stabs coming in the living room area. Expert testimony stated that it was not possible to determine whether blood on a fragment of the knife came from only one person. In his confession, Hogan stated that he killed her "with the knife she cut me with and it wasn’t… it was like I wasn’t even there… just somebody else… it wasn’t even me… It was stabbing her and I couldn’t stop him." Before fleeing the scene, Hogan threw the room’s contents into disarray, hoping to make it appear as though there had been a fight between Lisa Stanley and an unknown intruder. He cleaned the wounds Lisa had inflicted on his hand and the butcher knife, left the apartment, and drove to a hospital emergency room for treatment. Hospital staff who admitted him that afternoon testified that he gave conflicting stories about how he was wounded and that he did not appear to be suffering from either an emotional disturbance or from the influence of drugs. Hogan’s hand wounds had bled profusely and ultimately required treatment by a surgeon. An examining physician testified that Hogan’s wounds were not inconsistent with his grabbing the knife and having it pulled away. Hogan later asked his wife to lie to the police about his whereabouts on January 28 and the source of his injuries, but she instead informed investigators that he was not home on the day of the murder, that she did not know where he had been that day, and that he had asked her to tell the police that he had been home all day. Bloodstains were found on Hogan’s clothes. On February 3, 1988, the police interviewed Hogan, and during the taped interrogation he ultimately confessed in detail to the killing. Hogan was convicted and sentenced to death, based on the jury’s finding of the "especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel" aggravating circumstance. UPDATE: "I am guilty for what I’m here for, and I take full responsibility for my actions," Hogan said in his final statement. "And to Lisa’s family, I say I’m sorry that I can’t undo it. "And I’m sorry to my family for all the pain I’ve caused," he said.|
|Date of scheduled execution||State||Victim name||Inmate name||Status|
|January 5, 2014||Missouri||Stephen Honickman, 51||Herbert Smulls||executed|
|Stephen and Florence Honickman owned and operated a jewelry business, F & M Crown Jewels in an appointment only basement-level store below the American Bank building. Typically, customers would make an appointment to examine the jewelry for sale. In early July 1991, a person identifying himself as Jeffrey Taylor called the Honickmans and made an appointment to buy a diamond. Jeffrey Taylor was later identified as Herbert L. Smulls. On July 22, 1991, Smulls and Norman Brown went to the Honickman’s store. After viewing several diamonds, Smulls and Brown left the store without making a purchase. On the afternoon of July 27, 1991, Smulls and Norman Brown followed another customer into the store. Florence Honickman was unable to show them any jewelry at that time but suggested she might be able to help them later. Smulls and Brown returned to the store late that evening. After viewing some diamonds, Smulls and Brown went into a hallway, purportedly to discuss the diamond prices. A short time later, Florence Honickman looked up and saw Smulls aiming a pistol at her. Stephen Honickman pleaded with them not to shoot but to take whatever they wanted from the store. Brown yelled at Florence because she did not remove her wedding ring quickly enough. They also took her bracelet and necklace. Florence ran and hid behind a door. Smulls fired three shots at her, striking her arm and side. Stephen again yelled at them, "Stop shooting, you can have anything you want!" Smulls then fired several shots at Stephen Honickman, who was struck three times. Smulls and Brown stole items from under the glass counters in the store. As Florence pretended to be dead she said she heard her husband moaning but didn’t move at first for fear they were still in the store. After she was sure the two men left the store, Florence Honickman called the police. Stephen Honickman was taken to the hospital but died from his wounds around 1:00 am. Florence Honickman suffered permanent injuries from the attack. A short time after the robbery, police stopped Smulls and Brown for speeding. While Smulls was standing at the rear of his car, the police officer heard a radio broadcast describing the men who robbed the Honickmans store. Smulls and Brown fit the descriptions. The officer ordered Smulls to lie on the ground. Smulls then ran from his car but was apprehended while hiding near a service road. The police found jewelry and other stolen items from the store in the car and in Brown’s possession. The following morning police found a pistol on the shoulder of the road on which Smulls drove prior to being stopped for speeding. Bullets test fired from the pistol matched bullets recovered from the store and Stephen Honickman. Roy Post, a neighbor and business associate of Stephen Honickman, said Stephen was president of STG Electrosystem, Inc. and had worked on a military contract to design radar systems for aircraft. The family had lived in Chesterfield for at least 17 years, neighbors said. Honickman ran the jewelry store as a sideline, Post said. He had set up the store for his wife and daughter, he said. Police said they had no reports of earlier robberies. The store had just opened in December of 1990. ”I never expected anything like this to happen, ” Post said. ”It was out of the blue, a hell of a shock.” Smulls declined to take the stand at his retrial, and he presented no testimony in his defense. The jury found Smulls guilty as charged of first degree murder, first degree assault, first degree robbery and two counts of armed criminal action. In the punishment phase, the State presented evidence of Smulls’s eleven prior felony convictions for robbery, stealing and operating a vehicle without the owner’s consent, as well as evidence that Smulls had committed a prior robbery in a manner similar to that employed by him in the robbery and shooting of the Honickmans. A few months before the murder, Smulls had been released from a Missouri prison after serving 11 years for a robbery in University City in which a victim was tied up in her home and possessions were taken. Smulls adduced testimony from a psychologist and from several persons acquainted with or related to him in purported mitigation of punishment. Thereafter, the jury returned a sentence of death upon Smulls for his murder of Stephen Honickman, finding three statutory aggravating circumstances as a basis for consideration of capital punishment. Smulls was sentenced as a prior, persistent and class X offender to five concurrent life terms for his remaining offenses. Brown, 15 at the time of the crime, was certified to stand trial as an adult and convicted in 1993 of first-degree murder, assault, robbery and two counts of armed criminal action, and sentenced to life without parole.|
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