October 2014 Executions

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
October 7, 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 between her legs, due to 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 vaginal and anal rape. After the child was taken to the emergency room, Irick left the home and was located by the police the next day hiding beneath a bridge. When apprehended, Irick stated: “I have been hiding under the bridge all day, and several police cars have gone by and I had thought about turning myself in.” After his arrest, Irick gave a statement to the police, in which he admitted killing Paula. UPDATE: Irick’s execution was stayed by the Tennessee Supreme Court due to a lawsuit regarding the method of execution.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
October 14, 2014 Pennsylvania Victoria Marie Adams , 21
Sidney Michael Parrish , 2
Michael Parrish stayed
Victoria Adams and Sidney Parrish, murder victimsMichael Parrish, a prison guard, and his girlfriend, Victoria Adams, lived together with their 19–month–old son, Sidney Parrish, in an upstairs apartment located at Route 115 and Gilbert Road in Cresco, Pennsylvania. Sidney was born with a heart defect and received a heart transplant in September 2008, when he was 9 months old. As a transplant recipient, Sidney was required to take anti-rejection medications, which Victoria administered to him at around 8:00 p.m. each night, before he went to bed. Notably, Parrish had never given Sidney the medication and, thus, was not familiar with how the medication was to be administered or how much Sidney was to receive. On the morning of July 6, 2009, Victoria left Sidney with Parrish while she spent the day with her family at the home of her cousin, James Ahern. As several hours passed and Victoria did not return, Parrish grew concerned that she would not be home in time to give Sidney his medication. Accordingly, Parrish began calling Victoria numerous times to inquire into her whereabouts and when she would return. Victoria, who had been drinking, initially answered Parrish’s phone calls, but began ignoring them as the evening progressed. That night, after Parrish continued to call her, Victoria confided in her family and friends that Parrish was controlling and abusive, and that she wanted to leave him. Fearful of how Parrish would react to her decision, she asked Ahern, her brother, Keith Adams, and her friend, Christopher Ramos, to accompany her to the apartment so that she could pick up Sidney and bring him with her to Ahern’s house, where she planned to stay. The men agreed and drove Victoria to her home at around 10:00 p.m. that night. Upon their arrival, Victoria exited the car and went inside the apartment. Shortly thereafter, Parrish came outside, approached the men, and pointed a gun at Ahern. Although Ahern was not armed, he told Parrish that he had a gun, and Parrish ran back up the stairs and inside the apartment. Moments later, the men heard gunfire and saw multiple flashes through the apartment window. Concerned by what they had observed, the men approached the building and attempted to run up the steps leading to the back of Parrish’s apartment. Parrish began firing shots at them through the apartment’s back door, however, and the men ran back to the car and drove to a friend’s house to call 911. They returned to the apartment approximately 30 to 40 minutes later, kicked open the door, and went inside. After looking around briefly, the men saw nothing unusual and drove home. Pennsylvania State Troopers responded to the 911 call about an hour later, at around midnight. The troopers took an hour to respond to the 911 call because, initially, they were unable to ascertain the exact location of the reported gunshots. Upon their arrival at the apartment, the troopers smelled fresh gunpowder and observed a bullet hole in the back door. The troopers then walked through the apartment and proceeded into a back bedroom, where they found Victoria and Sidney, lying dead on the floor with multiple gunshot wounds throughout their bodies. An autopsy performed on the bodies later revealed that Victoria had sustained two gunshot wounds in her chin and jaw; one in her neck; one in the top backside of her right arm; three in her back; and a gunshot wound in her thigh that pierced through the leg and reentered in her left calf. The bullets destroyed Victoria’s cervical spine, tore her vocal cords, fractured her jaw and teeth, and bruised her esophagus. One of the bullets was recovered from inside Victoria’s heart. The autopsy report also revealed that Sidney sustained one gunshot wound in his left chin, one in his upper neck, two in his chest, one in his left thigh, and one in his left elbow. Two bullets were recovered from Sidney’s brain, and he suffered multiple skull fractures. Dr. Samuel L. Land, the forensic pathologist who performed the autopsy on Sidney, opined at trial that both Victoria and Sidney were alive throughout the repeated gunfire. Following the discovery of the bodies, a multi-state manhunt for Parrish ensued. The next night, Parrish and his friend, Conrad Jankowski, who picked up Parrish after the shooting, were found and apprehended by local police in Somersworth, New Hampshire. During the arrest, officers recovered from Parrish’s person a black,.357 Glock semi-automatic handgun, which forensic experts later determined matched the thirteen.357 cartridge casings recovered from the crime scene. Pennsylvania State Police arrived in New Hampshire the following evening to interview Parrish, at which time Parrish waived his Miranda rights and confessed to the murders. According to Parrish’s account of the facts, Victoria had agreed to return home by 6:00 p.m. in the evening on July 6 in order to give Sidney his medication. When Victoria failed to return home in time, however, Parrish claimed that he grew increasingly worried and upset, and that he began to fear Victoria was cheating on him. According to Parrish, when Victoria finally returned home that night, she was disheveled, laughed at him, and refused to answer his questions about where she was going with Sidney or where she had been. Parrish explained that Victoria’s actions infuriated him, causing him to fire a warning shot at the ceiling to get her attention. After he fired the initial shot, Parrish maintained that he “lost it,” and shot Victoria in the chest, causing both Victoria and Sidney, whom she had been holding, to fall to the ground. Parrish then described that he began to “spray” bullets at Victoria and Sidney, and, thereafter, approached the bodies and alternated between firing two shots each at Victoria and Sidney, until all his rounds of ammunition were expelled. The day after the murders, Parris was arrested in New Hampshire. A friend had driven him over 350 miles away from his home in order to escape arrest for the murders. When they stopped for the night, they were arrested after the license plate on their Ford Bronco indicated the occupants were wanted for felony charges. In August, about a month after the murders, Parrish sent a letter to Victoria’s mother Kim, begging her forgiveness and admitting his "evil act." Parrish was charged with two counts of first-degree murder, and he pleaded guilty to both charges. However, Parrish later withdrew his guilty plea, and the case proceeded to trial. During trial, Parrish’s counsel advanced the theory that Parrish “lost it” and lacked the specific intent to kill. The jury nevertheless found that Parrish intended to kill Victoria and Sidney, and convicted Parrish of both counts of first-degree murder on March 30, 2012. On April 2, 2012, following the penalty phase of Parrish’s trial, the jury found two aggravating factors as to the murder of both Victoria and Sidney, and three mitigating factors. After finding the aggravating circumstances outweighed the mitigating circumstances, the jury recommended imposing two sentences of death, and the trial court formally sentenced Parrish to two death sentences on May 15, 2012.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
October 15, 2014 Ohio Fred Hicks, 67
Judith Sue Crawford
Raymond Tibbetts stayed
On November 6, 1997, Fred Hicks’s sister, Joan Hicks Landwehr, arrived at Fred’s home in Cincinnati to meet him for lunch. Joan often visited Fred, who was sixty-seven years old and suffered from emphysema. Due to his condition, Fred employed Judith Sue Crawford as a live-in caretaker. Raymond Tibbetts, who had married Judith just over a month earlier, also lived in the house. After getting no answer at the door and seeing Fred’s car missing from its usual parking space, Joan entered the home with her spare key. Joan went to a second-floor living room and found Fred’s dead body slumped in a chair. Joan immediately called 911. Joan noticed that her brother’s chest and stomach were bloody and that his right pants pocket, where Fred usually kept his money, was turned inside out. When Cincinnati police officers responded a short time later, they found Fred with a tube still connecting his nose to a nearby oxygen tank. Two knives protruded from Fred’s chest, a third knife protruded from his back, and the broken blade of a fourth knife was also in his back. Officers found additional knives and a knife sheath near Fred. A butcher block used to store knives lay behind Fred’s chair. Deputy coroner Daniel Schultz later determined that Fred died as a result of multiple stab wounds to his chest that punctured Fred’s heart, lungs, and aorta. Fred did not have any defensive wounds. Officers searched the rest of the house and found Judith lying dead on the floor of a third-floor room, covered with a sheet. Judith had been brutally beaten; her head was cracked open and lay in a pool of blood. Pieces of Judith’s brain were lying on the floor next to her head. Judith had also been stabbed several times, with one knife still stuck in her neck. Judith also had a broken left arm, which Dr. Schultz characterized as a probable result of her attempt to ward off blows. Police found a bloodstained baseball bat and several knives near Judith’s body. Dr. Schultz concluded that Judith died of multiple skull fractures and that at least nine of her stab wounds were inflicted after her death. In all, Judith had been struck at least four times in the head with blunt-force blows and sustained stab wounds to her back, lungs, chest, arm, shoulder, and neck. Dr. Schultz, who also investigated the crime scene, determined that Fred and Judith had been dead for several hours. Police investigators found no identifiable fingerprints on the baseball bat or the knives. The only fingerprints found in the house belonged to either Tibbetts or Judith. There were no signs of forced entry anywhere in the residence. Police also learned from Joan and others at the scene that Fred’ s car, a white Geo Metro, was missing. Joan told police that Tibbetts did not have permission to drive the car. The day after discovering the bodies, Cincinnati police learned that a Covington, Kentucky police officer had stopped Tibbetts on the night of the murders. Just after midnight on November 6, 1997, Covington police lieutenant Michael Kraft found Tibbetts in a white Geo Metro that had broken down in the middle of an intersection. According to Kraft, Tibbetts appeared nervous and “smelled somewhat of intoxicants.” Tibbetts also lied to Kraft about the car’s owner, saying that the car belonged to a friend in Covington. Kraft summoned another officer to the scene to assist Tibbetts and investigate whether Tibbetts was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Officer David Finan arrived a short time later and also noted that Tibbetts was nervous and smelled of intoxicants. He allowed Tibbetts to go, however, after concluding that Tibbetts was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The car was towed away and impounded by Covington police. Cincinnati police later recovered the Geo Metro from the Covington impoundment lot and found bloodstains on the steering wheel, gearshift, door panel, and brake handle. After learning of the Covington police’s encounter with Tibbetts, Cincinnati police charged Tibbetts with receiving stolen property and obtained an arrest warrant on November 7, 1997. The very next day, Tibbetts voluntarily admitted himself to the psychiatric unit at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Edgewood, Kentucky. Tibbetts told nurses that his name was Ray Harvey and provided an incorrect Social Security number. Despite the false name and identification information, nurses at the psychiatric unit recognized Tibbetts from his previous treatment at the hospital. On the same day that Tibbetts checked into St. Elizabeth, police arrested Tibbetts on the warrant for receiving stolen property and took him to a local jail for questioning. Tibbetts signed a waiver of his Miranda rights and calmly cooperated with the two investigating officers who questioned him. Tibbetts had a noticeable cut on his hand and told the investigators he had cut his hand on a river barge where he had been staying. When an officer asked whether Tibbetts had seen his wife lately, Tibbetts responded that he had not and then terminated the interview. As police were leaving, Tibbetts queried, “What’s the charge, manslaughter?” Investigators, who had not mentioned the murders to Tibbetts during the interview, responded that the matter was under investigation. A few days later, a Cincinnati police officer retrieved from St. Elizabeth the clothing Tibbetts was wearing when he checked himself into the psychiatric unit and took it to the crime lab for DNA testing. The socks, T-shirt, and blue jeans Tibbetts was wearing on November 8, 1997, were all stained with human blood. A serologist found that the blood on Tibbetts’s T-shirt matched Tibbetts’s blood, that blood on the socks matched Hicks’s blood, and that blood on the blue jeans matched blood from Tibbetts, Crawford, and an unknown person. The serologist also analyzed blood found in the Geo Metro and concluded that blood on the door, brake handle, and gearshift matched Tibbetts’s blood. A Hamilton County grand jury indicted Tibbetts on four counts of aggravated murder (two counts per victim) with death-penalty specifications. The first and third counts alleged aggravated murder with prior calculation and design. The second and fourth counts charged aggravated murder in the course of committing aggravated robbery. Each count carried two death-penalty specifications: (1) a course of conduct involving the purposeful killing of two or more persons; and (2) murder while the principal offender in an aggravated robbery. A fifth count in the indictment charged Tibbetts with aggravated robbery in connection with the theft of Fred’s car. A jury returned guilty verdicts on three counts of aggravated murder. On these counts, the jury also found Tibbetts guilty of each death-penalty specification. The jury found Tibbetts not guilty on count one, the aggravated murder of Judith with prior calculation and design, but found him guilty of the lesser included offense of murder. The jury also returned a guilty verdict on the aggravated-robbery count. The trial court merged the murder verdicts into two counts for purposes of sentencing. At the conclusion of the penalty phase, the jury recommended that Tibbetts be sentenced to death for the Fred Hicks murder and to life imprisonment without parole for the Judith Crawford murder. The trial court adopted the jury’s recommendation and sentenced Tibbetts accordingly.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
October 15, 2014 Texas Isaac Jackson, 5 Larry Hatten stayed

In the early morning hours of September 19, 1995, Larry Hatten broke into Isaac Robinson’s apartment in Corpus Christi, Texas, went to the bedroom, kicked the door open, and repeatedly fired a handgun into the darkness.   Hatten believed he was retaliating against Robinson for setting fire to cars following an escalating series of quarrels among local drug dealers.   Hatten admitted that he intended to kill Robinson, but Robinson was not home.   Instead, Robinson’s girlfriend, Tabitha Thompson, and their five-year-old son, Isaac Jackson, were in the bed.   Hatten severely wounded Thompson with four shots and killed Jackson with two.   After firing, Hatten moved to the kitchen, but fled when Thompson emerged from the bedroom.   Police later arrested Hatten after finding him driving around covered in blood.

In February 1996, Hatten was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death

– See more at: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-5th-circuit/1187156.html#sthash.CGF1SljM.dpuf

In the early morning hours of September 19, 1995, Larry Hatten broke into Isaac Robinson’s apartment in Corpus Christi, Texas, went to the bedroom, kicked the door open, and repeatedly fired a handgun into the darkness. Hatten believed he was retaliating against Robinson for setting fire to cars following an escalating series of quarrels among local drug dealers. Hatten admitted that he intended to kill Robinson, but Robinson was not home. Instead, Robinson’s girlfriend, Tabitha Thompson, and their five-year-old son, Isaac Jackson, were in the bed. Hatten severely wounded Thompson with four shots and killed Jackson with two. After firing, Hatten moved to the kitchen, but fled when Thompson emerged from the bedroom. Police later arrested Hatten after finding him driving around covered in blood. In February 1996, Hatten was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death. UPDATE: The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has given Larry Hatten a reprieve to resolve a 1997 filing with his trial court in Nueces County. The judges issued a three-page ruling that the filing never was decided by the trial court and was never properly forwarded to the appeals court. The appeals court has given the trial court six months to resolve the claims in the filing.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
October 28, 2014 Texas Adrian Torres
Nelly Bravo
Shawn Cain
Miguel Paredes executed
Miguel Paredes, John Saenz, and Greg Alvarado, who were all members of the Hermanos Pistoleros Latinos gang, anticipated a confrontation regarding an illegal drug transaction and allegedly armed themselves, lay in wait, then shot and killed rival gang members Adrian Torres, Nelly Bravo, and Shawn Cain inside Saenz’s home. The victims were slain within seconds of one another. Paredes was charged with murdering more than one person during the same criminal transaction under the Texas capital murder statute. The State of Texas alleged alternatively that Paredes should be held responsible for the deaths of more than one of the three decedents under Texas’s law of parties, which permits a defendant to be held criminally responsible for an offense committed by another if “with intent to promote or assist the commission of the offense, he solicits, encourages, directs, aids, or attempts to aid the other person to commit the offense.” At trial, a witness testified that Paredes admitted to shooting Bravo, and other witnesses testified that Paredes remained silent when, in Paredes’s presence, John Saenz recounted that Paredes had shot both Bravo and Cain. One witness, Eric Saenz, the brother of John Saenz, testified that after John Saenz, in Paredes’s presence, had described in some detail how he, John Saenz, shot Torres, how Paredes shot Bravo in the head, and how Paredes then shot Cain, Paredes stated to Eric Saenz that Eric “should have been there, that Eric would have had some fun.” Medical evidence was consistent with testimony that Paredes was the shooter in the deaths of Bravo and Cain but not Torres. There was direct evidence that Paredes was in John Saenz’s home at the time of the killings and assisted in cleaning blood off the floor and walls of the home and in disposing of the bodies afterwards. There was also strong circumstantial evidence that Paredes was present during the killing of each of the three decedents, and that at a minimum, he aided or attempted to aid Saenz in carrying out the plan to kill these individuals. In a general charge, the trial judge instructed the jury that it could convict Paredes of capital murder if it found that he killed (1) Torres and either Bravo or Cain; or (2) Bravo and either Torres or Cain; or (3) Cain and either Torres or Bravo. The jury was also permitted to find that Paredes had committed capital murder under the law of parties. The jury was not required to specify which of the alternative grounds it found to be true, and Paredes’s lawyer did not object to the instructions. The jury returned a general verdict finding “Paredes guilty of Capital Murder as charged in the indictment,” and Paredes was subsequently sentenced to death at the conclusion of the penalty phase of his trial. UPDATE: In a final statement, Paredes said he hoped the victims’ family would "let go of all of the hate because of all my actions. I came in as a lion and I come as peaceful as a lamb. I’m at peace. I hope society sees who else they are hurting with this." There were no friends or relatives of the victims who witnessed the execution. Shawn Cain’s family said in a statement that he was "no longer with us for no other reason than being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Our family has waited 14 years for justice to finally be served."

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
October 29, 2014 Missouri Susan Jo Southard Brouk, 36
Adrian K Brouk, 12
Kyle C Brouk, 9
Mark Christeson stayed
Susan, Adrian and Kyle Brouk, murder victimsOn Saturday, January 31, 1998, Mark Christeson, 18, and his cousin Jesse Carter, 17, who were living in the home of a relative, David Bolin, concocted a plan to run away. The Bolin home was located in a rural area near Vichy, Missouri. Susan Brouk, along with her children, twelve-year-old Adrian and nine-year-old Kyle, lived about a half mile away.   On Sunday morning, February 1, 1998, after Mr. Bolin left for work, Christeson and Carter each took shotguns and went to the Brouk home. After hiding outside for a few minutes, they entered the home and found Adrian and Kyle sitting on the living room floor. Susan came in from the kitchen and encountered Carter binding her children’s hands with shoelaces that he had brought for that purpose. Christeson forced Susan into her daughter Adrian’s bedroom at gunpoint, where he then raped her on Adrian’s bed.   When Christeson brought her back out to the living room, Carter bound her hands behind her back with a piece of yellow rope. Susan said, “You had your fun, now get out.” At some point during the confrontation, Susan and Kyle were both struck in the head with a blunt object. About that time, Adrian recognized Carter and said “J.R.,” Carter’s nickname, and “Jesse Carter,” which prompted Christeson to tell Carter “we got to get rid of ’em.” They forced Susan and her children into the back seat of Susan’s Bronco and also loaded her television, VCR, car stereo, video game player, checkbook, and a few other small items. Christeson drove down the highway, down a gravel road, and then across a neighbor’s field to a pond at the edge of a wooded area. They forced Susan and her children to the bank of the pond. Christeson kicked Susan just below her ribs with enough force that she was knocked to the ground. Christeson then placed his foot on her mid-section, and reached down and cut her throat with a bone knife. She bled profusely, but she did not die immediately, and as she lay on the bank of the pond, she told Adrian and Kyle that she loved them. Then Christeson cut Kyle’s throat twice and held him under the pond water until he drowned. Carter pushed Kyle’s body farther out into the pond so the body would sink. At Christeson’s direction, Carter retrieved cinder blocks from a nearby barn, and while there, heard Christeson fire a shot from one of the shotguns.   When Carter returned to the pond, Adrian was struggling to free herself from Christeson.   Carter held Adrian’s feet while Christeson pressed down on her throat until she suffocated, and Carter then pushed Adrian’s body into the pond. While Susan was still alive, but barely breathing, Christeson grabbed her arms and Carter grabbed her legs, and they threw her into the pond on top of her children’s bodies. As she drowned, Carter went into the woods to get a long stick, which he used to push the Brouks’ bodies further out into the pond. Christeson and Carter returned to Mr. Bolin’s property in the Bronco and parked it near a garbage pile. They took one of the shotguns back into Mr. Bolin’s house, loaded their personal belongings into an Oldsmobile, and then drove the Oldsmobile back to the garbage pile and transferred their belongings to the Bronco. At that point, they drove off in the Bronco, eventually heading west on Interstate 44. Susan’s sister, Kay Hayes, thought it was unusual that Susan and her children did not come to Sunday dinner, as planned, but she was not concerned until Tuesday evening, when she called Susan’s home and there was no answer. That evening Ms. Hayes called another sister, Joy Lemoine, to inquire if she had heard from Susan, but she had had no contact either. When family members went to Susan’s house the next evening, they discovered that Susan’s prescription glasses and the children’s and Susan’s coats were still in the house and that the television, VCR, and Bronco were missing. They called the police, and that night officers from the Maries County Sheriff’s Department secured the home and searched the premises. The next morning, officers in a Missouri State Highway Patrol helicopter conducting an aerial search spotted a body floating in a pond located slightly southeast of the Brouk’s residence. After landing the helicopter in a field just south of the pond, they found the bodies of Susan, Adrian, and Kyle partially submerged. The officers then investigated the area around the pond and found a sixteen-gauge shotgun shell on the south bank, some leaves and soil splattered with blood, shoe impressions, and two cinder blocks on the west bank near the area where the bodies were recovered. There were also tire impressions leading from the pond to the garbage pile on Mr. Bolin’s property where Christeson and Carter had parked the Bronco. In the meantime, Christeson and Carter were driving from Missouri to California. On the way, they sold several items of Susan’s property to pay for gas and food. Christeson also pawned the sixteen-gauge shotgun at a pawnshop in Amarillo, Texas. On February 9, 1998, a detective with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, stationed in Blythe, California, recognized Christeson and Carter from their photographs on a flyer that had been circulated by law enforcement officials, and later that day the fugitives were arrested. Missouri officials continued to investigate the crimes. A medical examiner’s autopsy report showed that the cuts to Susan’s neck were not severe enough to cause her death immediately and that the actual cause of death was drowning. Autopsies also revealed that Susan and Kyle had hemorrhaging or bleeding under the scalp, indicating a blunt impact injury or blow to the head, and that there were two superficial cuts across Kyle’s neck, but that he, too, died from drowning. Adrian died from suffocation, but there also was a small, shallow puncture wound in Adrian’s left arm that could have been caused by a pellet from a shotgun shell, although no pellet was present. DNA testing performed by the Missouri State Highway Patrol Crime Laboratory established that genetic material from semen recovered from Susan’s body and from Adrian’s sheets matched Christeson’s genetic profile. Firearms-identification testing established conclusively that the sixteen-gauge shotgun that Christeson pawned in Texas was the one that fired the shell found on the bank of the pond. The case was tried in Vernon County on a change of venue from Maries County. Defendant Christeson took the witness stand to deny his involvement in the murders. He testified that he had a secret sexual relationship with Susan and that at about noon on Saturday, January 31, 1998, he had sex with her on Adrian’s bed. In addition, he claimed that on the morning of February 1, 1998, Carter stole Susan’s Bronco and asked Christeson to run away with him and that Christeson did so simply because he, too, wanted to run away. The jury returned verdicts of guilty for each of the three counts of murder in the first degree and the case proceeded to the penalty phase. The state’s witnesses included Mike Wagner, who testified that Christeson sodomized him when they shared a cell in February 1999, while incarcerated in the Vernon County jail. Among the state’s other witnesses was Susan’s younger sister, Joy Lemoine, who gave victim impact testimony. In mitigation, the defense called Christeson’s mother, aunt, and former girlfriend, each of whom testified about Christeson’s difficult, abusive and unhappy upbringing. The defense also called Dr. Wanda Draper, a psychologist, who confirmed that Christeson had several unresolved traumatic experiences from his childhood. At the conclusion of penalty phase, the jury found four aggravating circumstances in the murder of Susan Brouk: that the murder was committed during the unlawful homicide of her daughter, Adrian; that the murder was committed during the unlawful homicide of her son, Kyle; that the murder was committed during the perpetration of rape; and that the murder involved depravity of mind and was therefore outrageously and wantonly vile, horrible, and inhuman. The jury found three aggravating circumstances in the murders of Adrian and Kyle: that the murders were committed during the unlawful homicide of their mother; that the murders were committed during the unlawful homicide of each other; and that the murders involved depravity of mind and were therefore outrageously and wantonly vile, horrible, and inhuman. The jury returned verdicts of death on all three counts. On October 8, 1999, the trial court imposed sentence in accordance with the recommendation of the jury. UPDATE: The US Supreme Court issued a stay in this case while they decide whether to review the case. He has filed an appeal saying that his lawyers were ineffective and missed a deadline to file an appeal with a federal court in 2005.

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