Death Sentence Reporter

ALABAMA

Benito Ocampo Albarran – Latino, age 31
  Sentenced in Madison County, Alabama
  By: a judge upon jury recommendation
  Date of crime: August 29, 2005
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Albarran fatally shot Huntsville police officer Daniel Golden (age 27). Several witnesses testified that they saw the gun battle between Golden and Albarran. Golden’s gun jammed and he fell. Then, Albarran stood over the wounded officer and shot him twice in the face. Prosecutors argued that Golden was wounded, scooting backward on the ground on the seat of his pants, begging for his life when Albarran fatally shot him. The prosecution offered the following aggravating factors: Albarran killed Golden while trying to avoid or prevent a lawful arrest for third degree domestic violence; Golden’s murder was especially heinous, atrocious or cruel compared to other capital murders. The defense presented the following mitigating factors: Albarran had no significant history of prior criminal activity; the capital offense was committed while the defendant was under the influence of extreme mental or emotional disturbance; the capacity of Albarran to appreciate the criminality of his conduct or to conform his conduct to the requirements of the law was substantially impaired. The defense also urged the jury to consider Albarran’s background of poverty and abuse.
  Prosecutor(s): Robert Broussard, Jay Town
  Defense lawyer(s): Bruce Gardner, Richard Jaffe, Derek Drennen
  Sources: Huntsville Time 6/26/08 (2008 WLNR 14143863), 6/27/08 (2008 WLNR 14320048), 9/4/08 (2008 WLNR 18862055), 11/13/08 (2008 WLNR 23651818); AP Alert 9/4/08 – AL 09:10:46

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Wakilii Brown – black, age 25
  Sentenced in Talladega County, Alabama
  By: a judge upon jury recommendation
  Date of crime: March 9 or 10, 2001
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Brown beat to death his girlfriend, Charae Jemison (age 26) and her mother Dotty Jemison (age 49). The women were struck multiple times in the head with what appeared to be a hammer. The weapon was never recovered. Brown took Charae Jemison’s vehicle sometime after the killing and cashed two $200 checks on the victims’ bank accounts. He then packed up all three of his girlfriend’s children, including the two that he fathered, and drove them to Cleveland, Ohio. Following a 25-hour standoff with police at an apartment building, Brown was extradited to Alabama. Brown was found guilty of three counts of capital murder.
  Prosecutor(s): Steve Giddens
  Defense lawyer(s): Jeb Fannin, Bill Willingham
  Sources: AP Alert 2/29/08 – AL 19:25:10; AP Alert 5/6/08 – AL 21:29:56; AP Alert 5/6/08 – AL 17:46:34; www.dailyhome.com/news/2008/dh-talladegacounty-0506-bfincher-8e05v2013.htm

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Garrett Dotch – black, age 24
  Sentenced in Mobile County, Alabama
  By: a judge upon jury recommendation
  Date of crime: July 10, 2006
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Dotch fatally shot Timarla Taldon (age 24), his ex-girlfriend, four times as she sat in her car after getting off work. The day before the murder, Dotch called Taldon 51 times and had warned her that he would kill her. The defense argued that on the day Dotch shot Taldon he was suffering from mental defect and was not aware of the consequences of his actions.
  Prosecutor(s): Ashley Rich, Jennifer Wright
Defense lawyer(s): Greg Hughes, Lee Hale, Jr.
  Sources: Press-Register 5/10/08 (2008 WLNR 9432714), 5/14/08 (2008 WLNR 9433445), 7/24/08 (2008 WLNR 17102285); www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuSt8P6bjmk; www.nbc15online.com/news/custom/special%20reports/story/EXCLUSIVE-Judge-Yet-To-Sentence-Subway-Killer/IjB8pArF-kK3wbBLODUjFg.cspx

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Demetrius Avery Jackson, Jr. – black, age 21
  Sentenced in Jefferson County, Alabama
  By: a judge against jury recommendation
  Date of crime: October 23, 2006
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Jackson fatally shot Fairfield police officer Mary Smith (age 48) and wounded Erick Burpo. The prosecution offered two aggravating circumstances: Jackson faced going to prison on a probation violation and he killed a police officer in the line of duty. Jackson was sentenced to death for Smith’s murder.
  Prosecutor(s): Ted Mills, David Michaels
  Defense lawyer(s): Billy Jewell
  Sources: Birmingham News 1/28/08 (2008 WLNR 1678770); AP Alert 3/26/08 – AL 22:05:07; blog.al.com/spotnews/2008/03/demetrius_jackson_jr_gets_deat.html; starpolice.blogspot.com/2008_01_20_archive.html; www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,224699,00.html; blog.al.com/spotnews/2008/01/jurors_recommend_life_without.html

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Andrew Reid Lackey – white, age 21
  Sentenced in Limestone County, Alabama
  By: a judge upon jury recommendation
  Date of crime: October 31, 2005
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Lackey murdered Charles Newman (age 80) during an attempted robbery at Newman’s home. Lackey admitted to shooting, stabbing (over 70 times) and gouging out Newman’s eye. The defense argued that Lackey was acting out a video game. The jury found Lackey guilty of two counts of capital murder.
  Prosecutor(s): Kristi Valls
  Defense lawyer(s): Randy Gladden
  Sources: AP Alert 3/26/08 – AL 23:28:00; Decatur Daily 3/27/08 (2008 WLNR 5813259); Birmingham News 3/27/08 (2008 WLNR 5924287); www.joystiq.com/2008/02/28/admitted-murderers-lawyer-brings-up-video-games-in-defense/; www.enewscourier.com/local/local_story_060223303.html; www.waff.com/Global/story.asp?S=7956510; www.waff.com/Global/story.asp?S=7935943

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Kenneth Adam McKinnis – black, age 20
  Sentenced in Houston County, Alabama
  By: a judge upon jury recommendation
  Date of crime: August 19, 2006
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: McKinnis fatally shot Byron L. Belser (age 21) during an attempted robbery of a nightclub. The prosecution presented three aggravating circumstances one of which was that McKinnis was on parole for a previous felony conviction of receiving stolen property.
  Prosecutor(s): Doug Valeska
  Defense attorney(s): David Hogg
  Sources: AP Alert 12/17/08 – AL 11:58:57; www.dothaneagle.com/dea/news/crime_courts/article/nightclub_owner_ids_mckinnis_as_shooter_in_capital_murder_trial/40037/; www.dothaneagle.com/dea/news/crime_courts/article/jury_finds_kenneth_mckinnis_guilty_of_capital_murder/40298/

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Alfonso Morris – black, age 36 (resentence after appellate reversal)
  Sentenced in Jefferson County, Alabama
  By: a judge upon jury recommendation
  Date of crime: February 25, 1997
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Morris bludgeoned Miriam Rochester (age 85) to death. Morris was linked to the crime by DNA evidence. He was found with some of the victim’s jewelry when he was arrested, about four hours after the murder. Morris was convicted and sentenced in 2003, but an appeals court overturned the case. He was resentenced to death in this new penalty trial.
  Prosecutor(s):
  Defense lawyer(s):
  Sources: blog.al.com/spotnews/2008/05/jury_recommends_death_for_man.html

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Montez Spradley – black, age 21

  Sentenced in Jefferson County, Alabama
  By: a judge against jury recommendation
  Date of crime: January 9, 2004
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Spradley stalked, murdered and robbed Marlene Jason (age 58) after a struggle in front of her home. Spradley followed Jackson home from a shopping trip, attacked her and then shot her in the face.
  Prosecutor(s): Mike Anderton
  Defense lawyer(s): Robert Sandford, Matt Theus
  Sources: Birmingham News 4/22/08 (2008 WLNR 7548380); AP Alert 3/1/08 – AL 20:39:32; AP Alert 4/22/08 – AL 11:29:26; blog.al.com/spotnews/2008/04/montez_spradley_gets_death_sen.html; www.abc3340.com/news/stories/0308/500497.html

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ARIZONA


Vincent Lee Accardo – Latino, age 49
  Sentenced in Yuma County, Arizona
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: December 9, 1997
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Accardo was hired by Kay Cloud to kill her husband Kenneth Cloud (age 55). Accardo shot Cloud in the neck while Cloud was sitting in his truck outside of a restaurant after having dinner.
  Prosecutor(s): Frank Collins, Paul Ahler
  Defense lawyer(s): William Michael Smith
  Sources: U.S. State News 7/9/08 (2008 WLNR 12908138); AP Alert 7/9/08 – AZ 23:52:50; www.yumasun.com/news/verdict-42610-cloud-guilty.html; www.adc.state.az.us/inmate_datasearch/results.aspx?InmateNumber=232539&LastName=ACCARDOVINCENT%20&SearchType=SearchInet

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Leroy D. Cropper – white, age 33 (resentence after appellate reversal)
  Sentenced in Maricopa County, Arizona
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: March 7, 1997
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Cropper stabbed an Arizona corrections officer, Brent Lumley, to death while serving as an inmate. The initial death sentence came in 2000 when Arizona law permitted judges to impose sentences on murderers convicted by a jury. In 2003, after the U.S. Supreme Court found this law to be unconstitutional, Cropper petitioned to have his sentence set aside. In effect, Cropper was granted a new sentencing by a jury. A jury resentenced Cropper to death in 2008.
  Prosecutor(s):
  Defense lawyer(s):
  Sources: Arizona Daily Star 9/6/03 (2003 WLNR 6701989); www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2008/05/12/20080512lumley0512.html

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Clarence Wayne Dixon – Native American, age 22
  Sentenced in Maricopa County, Arizona
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: January 7, 1978
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Dixon raped, strangled and stabbed Deana Bowdoin (age 21) in her apartment. Dixon was indicted in November 2002 after police found new DNA evidence that connected him to the murder case. Dixon was serving a life sentence in an Arizona state prison for a 1986 sexual assault conviction.
  Prosecutor(s): Juan Martinez
  Defense lawyer(s):
  Sources: AP Alert 1/26/08 – AZ 17:31:21; AP Alert 1/25/08 – AZ 19:34:52; AP Alert 1/25/08 – AZ 23:58:53; www.azcentral.com/community/tempe/articles/0125abrk-dixonsentence0125.html; www.phoenixmag.com/lifestyle/valley-news/200806/update--dixon-sentenced-to-death/

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Aaron Brian Gunches – white, age 30
  Sentenced in Maricopa County, Arizona
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: December 2002
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Gunches kidnapped and shot Ted Price execution-style in December 2002. On January 15, 2003, Gunches shot Department of Public Safety Officer Robert Flannery twice during a traffic stop. Flannery escaped with minor injuries. Gunches was sentenced to death for the murder and kidnapping of Ted Price.
  Prosecutor(s):
  Defense lawyer(s):
  Sources: www.azcentral.com/community/mesa/articles/0215abrk-gunchessentence021508.html; copshop.freedomblogging.com/2008/02/15/man-sentenced-to-death-for-killing-east-of-mesa/

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Gary Wayne Snelling – white, age 42
  Sentenced in Maricopa County, Arizona
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: July 18, 1996
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Snelling strangled Adele Curtis (age 66). DNA evidence as well as Snelling’s fingerprints and palm print were used to connect him to the murder.
  Prosecutor(s):
  Defense lawyer(s):
  Sources: www.620ktar.com/index.php?nid=6&sid=863832; www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2008/06/12/20080612deathverdict0612.html

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Joshua Villalobos – Latino, age 21
  Sentenced in Maricopa County, Arizona
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: January 3, 2004
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Villalobos beat Ashley Molina (age 5), his girlfriend’s daughter, to death. Authorities said Villalobos beat the child to discipline her for hitting her half-sister. At one point, the child stopped breathing and Villalobos claimed her attempted to administer CPR but did not seek medical attention. A day later, Villalobos and Linda Verdugo (age 25), the child’s mother, brought her to the hospital, but authorities said the child had been dead for hours.
  Prosecutor(s):
  Defense lawyer(s):
  Sources: AP Alert 4/18/08 – AZ 08:04:12; www.azcentral.com/community/phoenix/articles/2008/04/17/20080417sentence0417.html; www.douglasdispatch.com/articles/2008/04/18/news/doc4809051240213534008804.txt; www.ktar.com/?nid=6&sid=809712&r=1

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ARKANSAS

Gregory Christopher Decay – black, age 21
  Sentenced in Washington County, Arkansas
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: April 3, 2007
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Decay shot Kevin Barkley Jones (age 24) and Kendall Rachell Rice (age 24) once each in the face in their apartment. Decay allegedly confessed to police, during an interview, that he killed the couple because he believed they had broken into his apartment and stolen marijuana and a gun. A police report says that at the couple's apartment, Decay confronted Jones, who began acting in a threatening manner, so Decay shot him in the lower part of the face then turned and shot Rice. Decay later told doctors at the state hospital he didn't kill the couple. Jesse Westeen (age 21) drove Decay to the couple’s apartment. The state sought the death penalty because more than one person was killed during the criminal episode and because they believe Decay’s actions were premeditated, deliberate and for the purpose of causing the death of Jones and Rice.
  Prosecutor(s): John Threet
  Defense lawyer(s): Denny Hyslip, Julie Tolleson
  Sources: AP Alert 4/21/08 – AR 21:50:34; AP Alert 4/23/08 – AR 20:49:40; AP Alert 4/25/08 – AR 11:31:07; www.nwanews.com/adg/News/223764/; www.nwaonline.net/articles/2008/04/18/news/041908fzdecay.txt

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Zachariah Scott Marcyniuk – white, age 28
  Sentenced in Washington County, Arkansas
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: March 9, 2008
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Marcyniuk beat and stabbed to death his ex-girlfriend Katharine Wood (age 24) in her apartment three weeks after she had broken up with him. Prosecutor John Threet sought the death penalty because the murder was committed in an especially cruel and depraved manner. The prosecution argued that Marcyniuk broke into Wood’s apartment and waited for her to return and then he attacked and killed her. The defense argued that Marcyniuk’s mental health prevented him from understanding his actions as he beat and stabbed Wood.
  Prosecutor(s): John Threet
  Defense lawyer(s): W.H. Taylor, Stevan Vowell
  Sources: AP Alert 10/11/08 – AR 17:01:26; Arkansas Democrat-Gazette 12/12/08 (Death penalty advised in slaying Man convicted of killing UA student to be sentenced today -LexisNexis), 12/13/08 (Washington County Judge: Death sentence fitting for Marcyniuk Slain woman’s kin get apology – LexisNexis), 12/13/08 (Execution ordered in murder case March 9 slaying of ex-girlfriend gets Marcyniuk death sentence - LexisNexis), 12/20/08 (Confessions of a fence-sitter – LexisNexis); Arkansas Traveler via University Wire (Former U. Arkansas student likely to spend years on death row – LexisNexis); www.nwanews.com/nwat/News/71899/

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James Aaron Miller – white, age 30
  Sentenced in Sebastian County, Arkansas
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: December 26, 2006
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Miller murdered his girlfriend, Bridgette Barr (age 28), and her two children: Sydney Barr (age 5) and Garrett Barr (age 2). Bridgette Barr was strangled, Sydney Barr was stabbed in the neck and Garrett Barr was smothered. The autopsy of Garrett Barr’s body revealed that the body had been placed in a heated oven at some point. Miller lived with the bodies for five days after the killing. He confessed to killing the mother and daughter but said he didn’t remember killing Garrett Barr, though he assumed he must have done it. The defense argued that Miller suffered from a mental defect and didn’t understand, at the time, that his actions were criminal.
  Prosecutor(s): Gunner DeLay
  Defense lawyer(s): Coy J. Rush, Jr.
  Sources: AP Online Regional 4/6/08 – US 02:34:17; Oklahoman 4/08/08 (2008 WLNR 6637889); www.swtimes.com/articles/2008/04/03/news/news01.txt

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CALIFORNIA

Lorenzo Inez Arias – Latino, age 21 (see also Luis Alonzo Mendoza)
  Sentenced in San Bernardino County, California
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: July 2000
  Prosecution case/defense response: Arias and Luis Alonzo Mendoza shot to death four people, including two gang leaders. Emergency personnel who arrived at the scene found the bodies of Johnny Agudo (age 33), his brother Gilbert Agudo (age 27), Anthony Daniel Luna (age 23) and Luna’s half-brother Marselino Gregory Luna (age 19). A total of four people were part of the group believed to be responsible for the shooting. The police have arrested Arias, Mendoza and John Adrian Ramirez. The fourth, Froylan Chiprez, is a fugitive who prosecutors believe is hiding in Mexico. Prosecutors say Johnny Agudo was targeted because he provided information to the police about other gang members.
  Prosecutor(s): Cheryl Kersey
  Defense lawyer(s): Julian Ducre, Dean Pic’l
  Sources: AP Alert 9/11/08 – CA 16:40:38; www.mail-archive.com/deathpenalty@lists.washlaw.edu/msg08620.html; www.mail-archive.com/deathpenalty@lists.washlaw.edu/msg08371.html; www.insidesocal.com/sb/iecourts/2008/07/testimony-ends-in-dead-preside.html; www.insidesocal.com/sb/iecourts/2008/08/post.html; alt.nntp2http.com/politics/immigration/2008/01/a34ccb16c023c04502f887c9e601beef.html; iestreetlife.aforumfree.com/articles-f3/san-bernardino-dead-presidents-t21.htm; cbs2.com/local/death.sentence.presidents.2.815075.html

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Juan Jose Chavez – Latino, age 18
  Sentenced in Los Angeles County, California
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: May 31, 2004; June 6, 2004
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Chavez murdered three people, one of whom was a prospective witness against him. Chavez fatally shot Lynda McGeisey and Abdon Sandoval on May 31, 2004. Six day later, Chavez killed Risa Bejarano (age 18), the prospective witness. Chavez received the death sentence for the murder of Bejarano. The jury also found the following special circumstances: multiple murders, murder of a witness to a crime and murder for the purpose of avoiding arrest. Video from a documentary of Bejarano, “Aging Out”, was used by the prosecution during the penalty phase.
  Prosecutor(s): Robert Sherwood
  Defense lawyer(s): John Hud
  Sources: www.topix.com/forum/news/violent-crime/TO41QT9JRBVBNNF8S; www.pppdocs.com/inproduction.html; media.gfem.org/node/10195; cbs2.com/local/Juan.Jose.Chavez.2.536768.html

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William Jennings Choyce – black, age 43
  Sentenced in San Joaquin County, California
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: 1997; 1998
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Choyce was convicted and sentenced for the rape and murder of three women. In 1997, in Stockton, Choyce raped and murdered Lawanda Beck and Gwendolyn Lee. In 1998, in Oakland, Choyce murdered Victoria Bell. All three women were working as prostitutes. He would bind their hands and feet and rape them at gunpoint before shooting them execution style and dumping their bodies. DNA evidence linked Choyce to the crimes. Three other women testified during the trial that they were raped at gunpoint but survived.
  Prosecutor(s): Thomas Testa
  Defense lawyer(s): William Fattarsi, Lorna Patton-Brown
  Sources: The Record 9/17/08 (2008 WLNR 17652884), 9/18/08 (2008 WLNR 17718404), 9/19/08 (2008 WLNR 17858437), 12/14/08 (2008 WLNR 23968527), 12/16/08 (2008 WLNR 24075976); www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?Category=A_SPECIAL0242; www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080807/A_NEWS/80807011/-1/A_SPECIAL0242

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Tecumseh Nehemiah Colbert – black, age 20
  Sentenced in San Diego County, California
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: October 29, 2004; November 10, 2004
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Colbert fatally shot Robert McCamey (age 32) and Richard Hammes (age 45). According to testimony, Colbert’s girlfriend, Tatiana Daniels persuaded McCamey to follow her to an apartment complex on October 29, 2004. When McCamey got out of his vehicle, Colbert ran up and shot him five times. Prosecutors argued that Colbert shot McCamey over drug debt. On November 10, 2004, Colbert attempted to rob a liquor store at which Hammes worked. Colbert entered the store wearing a mask and carrying two guns while Theron Peters waited outside in the getaway car. Colbert shot Hammes because Hammes refused to give him any money. The next day, Colbert bragged about the shooting when he and Peters carjacked and kidnapped a man at gunpoint.
  Prosecutor(s): Robert Amador, David Grapilon
  Defense lawyer(s): Brad Patton
  Sources: Union-Tribune 7/31/07 (2007 WLNR 14822456), 7/8/08 (2008 WLNR 12913710), 12/16/08 (2008 WLNR 24298037); www.signonsandiego.com/news/metro/20070628-1528-convicted.html; www.associatedcontent.com/article/296839/southern_california_man_found_guilty.html; www.10news.com/news/16814455/detail.html

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Michael Cook – black, age 26
  Sentenced in Riverside County, California
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: January 24, 1998; April 22, 1998
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Cook murdered two elderly women by setting fire to their trailers. The prosecution argued that Cook went into mobile home parks and set trailers on fire, then burglarized neighboring units. Florence Mash (age 84) was burned to death, in her trailer, on January 24, 1998, and Lucille Quigley (age 86) was murdered, in similar fashion, on April 22, 1998. The defense argued that Cook was mentally disabled and abused as a child. Cook received a death sentence for each murder.
  Prosecutor(s): Tricia Fransdal
  Defense lawyer(s): John Hemmer, David Wiesen
  Sources: City News Service 5/22/08: 2:30PM PST (LexisNexis – Jury Deliberating Fate of Convicted Murderer and Arsonist), 5/22/08: 4:14PM PST (LexisNexis – Jury Recommends Death for Convicted Murderer and Arsonist), 6/25/08 (LexisNexis – Man Gets Death for Fiery Murders of Two Elderly Women in Cathedral City a Decade Ago); The Desert Sun 5/23/08 (LexisNexis – Cook case now in penalty phase), 5/23/08 (LexisNexis – Jury rules in favor of death penalty for Cook), 7/26/08 (LexisNexis – Cook sentenced to death for slayings)

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James Winslow Dixon, Jr. – black, age 28
  Sentenced in Los Angeles County, California
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: August 17, 2001
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Dixon slashed the throat of Christina Burmeister (age 20). Dixon, his wife, and another man kidnapped the Burmeister while she was on her way to a fraternity party in Pomona. They took her to a Montclair bank and withdrew $400 from her account, and then drove her into the mountains above Azusa, where Dixon cut her throat. Prosecutors linked Dixon to the murder both by DNA and through the testimony of one of his accomplices, Henry Singer. During the penalty phase, the defense argued that even though Dixon participated he may not have been as instrumental in the killing as prosecutors portrayed him.
  Prosecutor(s): John Monaghan
  Defense lawyer(s): James Slevin, Nancy Sperber
  Sources: San Bernardino County Sun 3/27/08 (2008 WLNR 6073577), 3/27/08 (2008 WLNR 6073563), 3/27/08 (2008 WLNR 6073567); abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/local&id=6031038; www.dailybulletin.com/ci_3696365

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Ralph Steven Flores, Latino, age 17
  Sentenced in Los Angeles County, California
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: 1999-2004
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Flores was convicted of four counts of first-degree murder with special circumstances including multiple murders to further the activities of a criminal street gang. The jury also found true the special circumstances of robbery murder, torture murder and multiple murders. The judge imposed three death sentences and a life sentence for the May 14, 1999 murder of Christopher Lynch (age 16). Lynch’s murder is believed to be racial motivated, a special circumstance. Because Flores was a minor, he was not eligible for the death penalty for that murder. Flores was convicted of shooting Claudia Rosio Chenet (age 23) to death on November 19, 2003, because he believed she helped police arrest another gang member. He was also found guilty of shooting Miguel Reyes (age 20) outside a Christmas party on December 26, 2004, and beating and strangling to death Fenise Luna (age 28) on December 29, 2004.
  Prosecutor(s): Ian Phan, Michele Hanisee
  Defense lawyer(s): Pierpont M. Laidley
  Sources: AP Alert 3/24/08 – CA 18:51:15; AP Alert 9/9/08 – CA 02:10:43; mylifeofcrime.wordpress.com/2008/03/16/breaking-news-azusa-gang-member-ralph-steven-flores-convicted-of-4-murders-faces-death-penalty/; da.co.la.ca.us/mr/031408b.htm; www.pasadenastarnews.com/ci_8699046?source=rss_emailed

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Frank Christopher Gonzalez – Latino, age 25
  Sentenced in Los Angeles County, California
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: March 28, 2006
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Gonzalez fatally shot off-duty sheriff’s deputy Maria Rosa (age 30) outside her girlfriend’s Long Beach home. Gonzalez and Justin Ashley Flint, allegedly, had been riding stolen bikes that morning looking for easy money to purchase methamphetamines when they came across Rosa. Gonzalez initially tried to rob Rosa, but shot her twice after she pulled a gun and flashed her sheriff’s badge, according to testimony. The deputy was shot once in the back and once in the side. Gonzalez was convicted of first-degree murder, attempted robbery and the special circumstance allegation of murdering during an attempted robbery. The prosecution argued that Gonzalez knew Rosa was an officer before he killed her. Further, the prosecution argued that Rosa was targeted because she was a female, and reported that Gonzalez blamed his girlfriend because she would not give him money to buy drugs.
  Prosecutor(s): Patrick Connolly
  Defense lawyer(s): Franklin Peters, Jr., Katie Murff Trotter
  Sources: Long Beach Press-Telegram 4/26/08 (2008 WLNR 7777295), 5/10/08 (2008 WLNR 8829726), 5/13/08 (2008 WLNR 8998671)

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Michael Allen Lamb – white, age 28
  Sentenced in Orange County, California
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: March 8, 2002
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Lamb shot Scott Miller to death. Miller co-founded the white supremacist gang Public Enemy Number One. The prosecution argued Miller was targeted for death for violating an unwritten code by appearing on a television show and disclosing secrets about the gang. The prosecution argued that Billie Joe Johnson (age 39), a co-defendant, lured Miller into an alley where Jacob Rump (age 26), also a co-defendant, and Lamb were waiting in the dark. Lamb was also charged with trying to kill and undercover police officer three days after Miller was found dead.
  Prosecutor(s): Ebrahim Baytieh
  Defense lawyer(s): Michael Molfetta, Marlin Stapleton
  Sources: The Orange County Register 12/15/07 (2007 WLNR 25964561), 6/12/08 (2008 WLNR 11710702), 8/23/08 (2008 WLNR 16665722); soundportraits.org/in-print/magazine_articles/john_michael_lamb/

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Anthony McKnight – black, age 31
  Sentenced in Alameda County, California
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: October 1985 – January 1986
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: McKnight raped and murdered two teens and three women. McKnight bludgeoned, stabbed and sexually assaulted Betty Lynn Stuart (age 22), Diane Stone (age 17), Talita Dixon (age 13), Monique Franchone Davis (age 18) and Beverly Ann Bryant (age 24). DNA evidence was used to link McKnight with each of the murders. McKnight was found guilty of five special circumstances. Three of the special circumstances are for committing murder during the course of a rape, one is for committing murder during sodomy and one is for committing multiple murders.
  Prosecutor(s): Jim Meehan
  Defense lawyer(s): Alex Selvin, Michael Berger
  Sources: UPI Top Stories 7/16/08 00:00:00; Oakland Tribune 11/19/08 (2008 WLNR 22076207); cbs5.com/investigates/oakland.murder.case.2.460772.html; cbs5.com/crime/east.bay.murders.2.820049.html; www.ktvu.com/news/17667165/detail.html

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Luis Alonzo Mendoza – Latino, age 24 (see also Lorenzo Inez Arias)
  Sentenced in San Bernardino County, California
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: July 2000
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Mendoza and Lorenzo Inez Arias shot to death four people, including two gang leaders. Emergency person who arrived at the scene found the bodies of Johnny Agudo (age 33), his brother Gilbert Agudo (age 27), Anthony Daniel Luna (age 23) and Luna’s half-brother Marselino Gregory Luna (age 19). A total of four people were part of the group believed to be responsible for the shooting. The police have arrested Arias, Mendoza and John Adrian Ramirez. The fourth, Froylan Chiprez, is a fugitive that prosecutors believe is hiding in Mexico. Prosecutors say Johnny Agudo was targeted because he provided information to the police about other gang members. The prosecution argued that Mendoza was motivated by his desire to lead the gang, to eliminate an informant, to protect his own neighborhood and to increase his reputation.
  Prosecutor(s): Cheryl Kersey
  Defense lawyer(s): Richard Crouter
  Sources: AP Alert 9/11/08 – CA 16:40:38; www.mail-archive.com/deathpenalty@lists.washlaw.edu/msg08620.html; www.mail-archive.com/deathpenalty@lists.washlaw.edu/msg08371.html; www.insidesocal.com/sb/iecourts/2008/07/testimony-ends-in-dead-preside.html; www.insidesocal.com/sb/iecourts/2008/08/post.html; alt.nntp2http.com/politics/immigration/2008/01/a34ccb16c023c04502f887c9e601beef.html; iestreetlife.aforumfree.com/articles-f3/san-bernardino-dead-presidents-t21.htm; cbs2.com/local/death.sentence.presidents.2.815075.html

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Carl Edward Molano – Latino, age 38
  Sentenced in Alameda County, California
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: June 16, 1995
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Molano raped and strangled Suzanne McKenna (age 33). DNA evidence was used to link Molano to the murder. Molano had been convicted of rape in Long Beach in 1982, in Oakland 1987, and felony domestic violence in Alameda County. The jury found the special circumstance of committing murder during the course of a rape.
  Prosecutor(s): James Meehan
  Defense lawyer(s):
  Sources: findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4176/is_20040528/ai_n14577095/; www.fogcityjournal.com/news_in_brief/bcn_news_briefs_070821.shtml

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Barry Wendell Mosley – black, age 40
  Sentenced in Torrance County, California
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: April 17, 1999; June 2000
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Mosley murdered Shirley Austin (age 54) and raped and murdered her daughter, Bessie “Mooney” Carter (age 17), in 1999. In June 2000, Mosely raped and murdered Adrienne Reed (age 29). He also raped Reed’s then 8-year old daughter, who survived the attacked. Mosley killed Reed the same night he befriended her. The two met at a mini-mart and he was invited back to her home to watch the Lakers game. Reed’s daughter woke up in the middle of the night to find her mother on the living room floor and Mosley sitting nearby on a couch. Mosley got angry when the girl asked him to wake up her mom. He put a blanket over the girl’s head, choked her unconscious and raped her. He was arrested after his palm print was lifted from a bathroom counter. DNA later linked him to the slayings of Austin and Carter. The judge said he considered Mosley’s crimes and his history, which included 11 victims total, in deciding to sentence Mosley to death.
  Prosecutor(s): Steve Schreiner; Tony Aguilar
  Defense lawyer(s): Louis Sepe, Richard Everett’s
  Sources: Daily Breeze 10/30/08 (2008 WLNR 20831399); Los Angeles Times 10/31/08 (2008 WLNR 20764323); www.insidesocal.com/crime&courts/cases/barry-mosley/; www.dailybreeze.com/news/ci_10862152; da.co.la.ca.us/mr/091108c.htm

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Anthony Navarro – Latino, age 35
  Sentenced in Orange County, California
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: October 2, 2002
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Navarro recruited three Pacoima gang members for the kidnapping and shooting death of David Montemayor (age 44) in a murder-for-hire scheme orchestrated by the victim’s sister. On October 2, Navarro was abducted by gunmen in Compton. They ordered him to drive to his home – where they believed he kept a large amount of money. Montemayor decided to get out of the car and run away. He was shot once in the head. Navarro wasn’t present for the murder, but jurors determined that he was the mastermind behind it. The prosecution argued that Montemayor was targeted by his sister, Deborah Ann Perna, who was upset that their father intended to pass control of the family company to Montemayor. The defense argued that Navarro was a police informant who tried to tip off his handlers, the Los Angeles Police Department and the FBI, about the plot to kill Montemayor. The jury found that Navarro committed the murder during an attempted robbery, a kidnapping and fo  r the benefit of his gang. Armando Macias and Alberto Martinez, who also face the death penalty, are still awaiting trial.
  Prosecutor(s): Dan Wagner
  Defense lawyer(s): Russell Halpern
  Sources: www.ocregister.com/articles/death-jury-recommended-1923477-gang-murder; www.ocregister.com/articles/montemayor-death-penalty-2091420-navarro-three; The Orange County Register 8/16/08 (2008 WLNR 15536216)

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Jesus Guadalupe Velazquez Penuelas – Latino, age 20
  Sentenced in Riverside County, California
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: August 15, 2003
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Penuelas, Sergio Rojas Arias and Aaron Lozada robbed, kidnapped and murdered Jessica De la Torre (age 18), Penuelas’ girlfriend. Penuelas knew De la Torre through work and created a plan with Arias to gain access to her bank account after learning she had several thousand dollars. Penuelas went to De la Torre’s house on the morning of August 15th and Arias joined him there. The men beat the woman and slashed her with knives to get her to turn over her ATM card and PIN. Arias was sent to the bank where he tried, unsuccessfully, to access the account. Before leaving, Penuelas and Rojas robbed De la Torre’s home. After robbing her home, the men set it on fire in an attempt to destroy evidence. De la Torres, who had been beaten unconscious, was loaded into the trunk of her father’s car; which Navarro then stole. Penuelas drove to an isolated area, unloaded De la Torre from the trunk and ran her over several times, killing her. Her body was found nud  e and bound at the ankles. Penuelas was charged with the special circumstances of kidnapping, torture and murder in the commission of a robbery.
  Prosecutor(s): John Molloy
  Defense lawyer(s): Judith Gweon
  Sources: blogs.dailybulletin.com/sb/iecourts/2008/12/jurors-begin-deliberations-in-1.html; www.insidesocal.com/sb/iecourts/2008/11/postponement-in-trial-for-2003.html; www.insidesocal.com/sb/iecourts/2008/11/; www.pe.com/localnews/inland/stories/PE_News_Local_N_close06.40a8cb2.html; www.pe.com/localnews/rivcounty/stories/PE_News_Local_W_close05.433bef0.html

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Noel Jesse Plata – Latino, age 20 (see also Ronald Tri Tran)
  Sentenced in Orange County, California
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: November 9, 1995
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Plata and Ronald Tri Tran tied up and tortured Linda Young Park (age 18) in order to force her to reveal where her family kept money and valuables. Park was killed even though she told her assailants where to find the cash and jewelry. Park’s ankles were bound together and her hands were tied behind her back before she was strangled with an electric cord and her throat slashed. The jury also found the following special circumstances: murder by torture, murder during a robbery or murder during a burglary. Further, Plata had a prior conviction of murder which also qualified him for the death sentence. An informant and DNA evidence were used to convict Plata.
  Prosecutor(s): Ebrahim Baytieh
  Defense lawyer(s): James Enright, Gary Pohlson, Sal Ciulla
  Sources: The Orange County Register 10/18/07 (2007 WLNR 27131753), 11/8/07 (2008 WLNR 24269017), The Orange County Register 12/1/08 (2008 WLNR 23045544)

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Theodore Churchill Shove, III – white, age 49
  Sentenced in Los Angeles County, California
  By: a judge upon jury recommendation
  Date of crime: September 2001
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Shove and co-defendant Lewis Edward Hardin were convicted of the beating deaths of Hubert (age 81) and Elizabeth Ann Souther (age 79). Prosecutors argued Shove hired Hardin to kill the couple in order to take over their surplus hardware and tool company. Hardin broke into the Souther’s home and beat them with a tire iron while they lay in bed sleeping. The jury also found the following special circumstances: multiple murders and the Southers were killed for financial gain.
  Prosecutor(s): Cathryn Brougham, David Walgren
  Defense lawyer(s): Alex Kessel
  Sources: www.tucsoncitizen.com/ss/local/67832.php; cbs2.com/local/La.Habra.Murder.2.537529.html; da.co.la.ca.us/mr/031308a.htm

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Justin Heath Thomas – white, age 21
  Sentenced in Riverside County, California
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: September 1992
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Thomas shot to death Rafael Noriega. The prosecution argued that Thomas was a drug dealer and returned to kill Noriega, his methamphetamine dealer, fearing Noriega would rat him out. Thomas shot Noriega five times, stole money and drugs and then buried the body in the Moreno Valley foothills. Thomas had already been convicted of a 1996 murder in Texas, where he was serving a life sentence. He was extradited to Riverside County in 2000.
  Prosecutor(s): Chuck Hughes
  Defense lawyer(s): Peter Scalisi
  Sources: www.pe.com/localnews/publicsafety/stories/PE_News_Local_C_thomas07.303ce5c.html; www.mymurrieta.com/wordpress/2008/05/06/riverside-district-attorney-lists-top-10-homicide-cases-o; www.rivcoda.org/News/Articles/Top10187casesof07pressrel.pdf

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Ronald Tri Tran – Asian, age 20 (see also Noel Jesse Plata)
  Sentenced in Orange County, California
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: November 9, 1995
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Plata and Ronald Tri Tran tied up and tortured Linda Young Park (age 18) in order to force her to reveal where her family kept money and valuables. Park was killed even though she told her assailants where to find the cash and jewelry. Park’s ankles were bound together and her hands were tied behind her back before she was strangled with an electric cord and her throat slashed. The jury also found the following special circumstances: murder by torture, murder during a robbery or murder during a burglary.
  Prosecutor(s): Ebrahim Baytieh
  Defense lawyer(s): James Enright, Gary Pohlson
  Sources: The Orange County Register 10/18/07 (2007 WLNR 27131753), 11/8/07 (2008 WLNR 24269017), The Orange County Register 12/1/08 (2008 WLNR 23045544); www.ocregister.com/articles/jury-park-family-1916129-kept-tran

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Javier William Victorianne – black, age 22
  Sentenced in Riverside County, California
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: July 29, 1999; July 31, 2000
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Victorianne raped and strangled Maria “Lisa” Boyd (age 37) in 1999 and Amanda Hoffman (age 16) in 2000. Boyd was found hanged in a Riverside motel room closet and Hoffman was found hanging from a tree limb in public park in Banning. DNA evidence was used in each conviction. The prosecution argued that Victorianne went to Boyd’s motel room and an argument ensued. Victorianne broke a lamp over Boyd’s head and tied her up with electrical cords, possibly using one to choke her in and out of consciousness while he raped her. Regarding Hoffman, the prosecution argued Victorianne met the teen at a house party and lured her into a park in the pre-dawn hours with the promise of a job interview. Victorianne strangled Hoffman with her own clothing and hung her from a tree limb. The jury also found the special circumstance of rape.
  Prosecutor(s): Michael Hestrin
  Defense lawyer(s): Regina Filippone, John Aquilina
  Sources: www.pe.com/localnews/inland/stories/PE_News_Local_H_victorianne30.41687e8.html; cbs2.com/local/victorianne.rape.murder.2.687172.html; www.signonsandiego.com/news/riverside/20080206-1725-predator.html; www.la.cityzine.com/2008/03/28/courtroom-man-gets-death-penalty-for-strangling-and-killing-2-women/; www.signonsandiego.com/news/riverside/20080125-0321-murder.html

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Brendt Anthony Volarvich – white, age 19
  Sentenced in Yolo County, California
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: November 17, 2005
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Volarvich murdered California Highway Patrol Officer Andy Stevens (age 37). Volarvich shot Stevens in the face during a traffic stop. The prosecution argued that Volarich, a convicted felon, killed Stevens because he did not want to return to jail. Volvarich was death eligible for the following special circumstances: shooting an officer and shooting from a vehicle.
  Prosecutor(s): Jeff Reisig, David Henderson
  Defense lawyer(s): Clyde Blackmon, Fred Dawson
  Sources: The Sacramento Bee 5/7/08 (2008 WLNR 8611654); AP Alert 6/12/08 – CA 21:43:17; www.adl.org/learn/extremism_in_the_news/White_Supremacy/Volarvich+5-08.htm?LEARN_Cat=Extremism&LEARN_SubCat=Extremism_in_the_News; www.splcenter.org/intel/intelreport/article.jsp?aid=917

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COLORADO

Sir Mario Owens – black, age 20
  Sentenced in Arapahoe County, Colorado
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: June 20, 2005
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Owens fatally shot Javad Marshall-Fields (age 22) and his fiancé, Vivian Wolfe (age 22), as they sat in their car at an intersection. Marshall-Fields, an eyewitness, was murdered one week before he was set to testify against Owens and Robert Ray for the murder of Gregory Vann (age 20) during a July 4, 2004 party. The prosecution presented the following aggravating factor: intentionally killing a witness to a criminal offense. Owens received a death sentence for each murder.
  Prosecutor(s): John Hower, Ann Tomsic
  Defense lawyer(s): Laurie Kepros, Dan King
  Sources: Denver Rocky Mountain News 12/9/08 (2008 WLNR 23613134); Denver Post 12/9/08 (2008 WLNR 23637335), 12/10/08 (2008 WLNR 23706483); www.coadp.org/thedeathrow/SirMarioOwens.html; www.denverpost.com/crime/ci_8850476; origin.denverpost.com/news/ci_9579014

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CONNECTICUT

Lazale Ashby – black, age 18
  Sentenced in Hartford County, Connecticut
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: December 2, 2002
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Ashby raped, beat, stabbed and strangled Elizabeth Garcia (age 21) in her apartment sometime between 7:30 p.m. December 1, 2002 and 7 a.m. December 2, 2002. Ashby was arrested after DNA evidence was used to connect Ashby to the crime. During an interview, Ashby confessed to Garcia murder.
  Prosecutor(s): John Fahey, Thomas Garcia
  Defense lawyer(s): David Smith, M. Fred Decaprio
  Sources: Hartford Courant 6/28/07 (2007 WLNR 12216263), 2/1/08 (2008 WLNR 1943921), 3/29/08 (2008 WLNR 6062147)

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DELAWARE

Shannon Johnson – black, age 22
  Sentenced in New Castle County, Delaware
  By: a judge upon jury recommendation
  Date of crime: September 24, 2006
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Johnson fatally shot Cameron Hamlin (age 25). Johnson’s ex-girlfriend was a passenger in Hamlin’s car when Johnson pulled alongside in his van, questioned the woman and then fired a gun three times. Johnson’s ex-girlfriend was wounded during the shooting. During the penalty phase, prison inmate Lamont Davis testified that Johnson approached him, in prison, about killing the ex-girlfriend so she could not testify against him. A woman also testified that Johnson drove her to a parking lot in Wilmington in 2002 and raped her. On November 10, 2006, Johnson approached a car driven by Lakeisha Truitt, fired a gun at the car, smashed the driver’s side window, dragged her from the car, shot her, and fled the scene. Truitt survived. The defense argued that Johnson suffers from two disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and antisocial personality disorder, and could get better with treatment.
  Prosecutor(s):
  Defense lawyer(s):
  Sources: AP Alert 3/27/08 – DE 18:37:01; AP Alert 4/1/08 – DE 10:44:15; AP Alert 4/4/08 – DE 11:01:34; US State News 9/5/08 (2008 WLNR 17450252); AP Alert 3/18/08 – DE 11:07:35

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FLORIDA

Dane Abdool – white, age 19
  Sentenced in Orange County, Florida
  By: a judge upon jury recommendation
  Date of crime: February 24, 2006
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Abdool bound his girlfriend, Amelia Sookdeo (age 17), with duct tap, doused her with gasoline and set her on fire after the two got into an argument.
  Prosecutor(s): Robin Wilkinson
  Defense lawyer(s): Kelly Sims, Trish Cashman
  Sources: South Florida Sun-Sentinel 2/21/08 (2008 WLNR 3377922); Orlando Sentinel 2/26/08 (2008 WLNR 3744099), 5/13/08 (2008 WLNR 8998638); dc.state.fl.us/ActiveInmates/detail.asp?Bookmark=1&From=list&SessionID=420680847

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Andrew Allred – white, age 21
  Sentenced in Marion County, Florida
  By: a judge upon jury recommendation
  Date of crime: September 24, 2007
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Allred murdered his estranged girlfriend, Tiffany Barwick (age 19), and their mutual friend, Michael Ruschak (age 22). Allred cyberstalked Barwick, forced his way into Ruschak’s house and shot Ruschak four times. Then, he searched for Barwick, who was hiding in a bathroom, and shot her six times. Ruschak also wounded a third person, Eric Thomas Roberts, when he tried to wrestle the gun from Allred.
  Prosecutor(s):
  Defense lawyer(s): Tim Caudill
  Sources: Orlando Sentinel 9/5/08 (2008 WLNR 16837824), 9/23/08 (2008 WLNR 18066271), 11/20/08 (2008 WLNR 22151008); www.seminolechronicle.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2008/09/24/48daba472b989; www.ocala.com/article/20070927/NEWS/209270350?Title=West-Port-graduate-slain-in-Oviedo; www.cfnews13.com/News/Local/2007/9/26/allred_held_without_bond_in_oviedo_murders.html; dc.state.fl.us/ActiveInmates/detail.asp?Bookmark=1&From=list&SessionID=420681037

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Roy P. Ballard – white, age 65
  Sentenced in Polk County, Florida
  By: a judge upon jury recommendation
  Date of crime: September 13, 2006
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Ballard murdered his step-daughter, Autumn Traub (age 33). Her body has not been found. However, DNA evidence, found in Ballard’s car, helped lead to a conviction. The prosecution argued Ballard beat Traub to death with an 18-inch metal pipe and then diposed of her body. Further, the prosecution argued that Ballard killed Traub because she opposed Ballard regaining custody of a 14-year-old female relative. They argued Traub believed Ballard wanted custody so he could continue a sexual relationship with the girl. During the penalty phase, the defense argued that Ballard can carry out plans, but suffers from significant brain damage.
  Prosecutor(s): Cass Castillo
  Defense lawyer(s): Byron Hileman
  Sources: Tampa Tribune 6/15/07 (2007 WLNR 11308903); Orlando Sentinel 9/7/08 (2008 WLNR 16966683); www.theledger.com/article/20080717/NEWS/807170488?Title=Roy-Ballard-s-Lawyer-Wants-Murder-Verdict-Tossed; www.theledger.com/article/20080724/NEWS/807240552?Title=Killer-Roy-Ballard-Suffers-Brain-Injury-Experts-Say; dc.state.fl.us/ActiveInmates/detail.asp?Bookmark=1&From=list&SessionID=420681170

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Donald L. Banks – black, age 32
  Sentenced in Duval County, Florida
  By: a judge upon jury recommendation
  Date of crime: March 9, 2005
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Banks murdered Linda Sue Volum (age 47) by repeatedly stabbing Volum in her home.
  Prosecutor(s):
  Defense lawyer(s):
  Sources: The Florida Times-Union 5/31/08 (LexisNexis – Man convicted in woman’s stabbing); dc.state.fl.us/ActiveInmates/detail.asp?Bookmark=1&From=list&SessionID=420681703

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Tiffany Cole – white, age 23 (see also Alan Lyndell Wade)
  Sentenced in Duval County, Florida
  By: a judge upon jury recommendation
  Date of crime: July 8, 2005
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Cole and her boyfriend, Michael Jackson, along with Alan Lyndell Wade and Bruce Kent Nixon, robbed, kidnapped and murdered James “Reggie” and Carol Sumners (both age 61). Prosecutors argued that Cole was the linchpin because she befriended the Sumners and then set them up. The couple was robbed of jewelry and cash, kidnapped at gunpoint and driven to Georgia in the trunk of their car. Their bodies were found in shallow graves in Georgia near the Florida state line. Prosecutors argued the couple had been buried alive. Cole was given two death sentences, one for each murder.
  Prosecutor(s): Jay Plotkin
  Defense lawyer(s): Greg Messore
  Sources: Orlando Sentinel 10/21/07 (2007 WLNR 20663566); South Florida Sun-Sentinel 12/3/07 (2007 WLNR 23832609); Miami Herald 12/3/07 (23817321); AP Alert 3/5/08 – GA 07:08:36; AP Alert 3/6/08 – FL 22:27:03; dc.state.fl.us/ActiveInmates/detail.asp?Bookmark=14&From=list&SessionID=420681706; www.news4jax.com/news/14378135/detail.html; www.news4jax.com/news/15946213/detail.html

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Wadada Delhall – black, age 24
  Sentenced in Miami-Dade County, Florida
  By: a judge upon jury recommendation
  Date of crime: November 29, 2001
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Delhall killed the one eyewitness in his brother’s murder trial. Delhall shot Hubert McCrae, the eyewitness, at least 11 times. Police investigators said Delhall confessed to driving to the garage, where McCrae worked, with the intent to kill and using two guns.
  Prosecutor(s): Gail Levine
  Defense lawyer(s): Terence Lenamon
  Sources: Miami Herald 6/21/08 (2008 WLNR 11699188), 8/16/08 (2008 WLNR 15392794); 12/16/08 (2008 WLNR 24034254) dc.state.fl.us/ActiveInmates/detail.asp?Bookmark=1&From=list&SessionID=420681782

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Gary Bernard McCray, Jr. – black, age 24
  Sentenced in Clay County, Florida
  By: a judge upon jury recommendation
  Date of crime: May 23, 2004
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: McCray was convicted of the drug-related shooting deaths of four people. McCray shot John Ellis, Jr. (age 51), Phillip Perrotta (age 53), Robin Selkirk (age 45) and John Whitehead (age 37). Witnesses said a masked man, dressed in black chased Ellis out of the house and shot him in the yard. The man went back into the house and shot Whitehead and Perrotta. Then, he shot Selkirk in the carport. Three of the shooting victims were arrested with McCray during a drug bust several months earlier. Witnesses testified McCray had been trying to ascertain who triggered the drug bust and why the others received lesser sentences. McCray received four deaths sentences, one for each murder.
  Prosecutor(s): Dan Skinner
  Defense lawyer(s): Frank Tassone, Refik Eler
  Sources: AP Alert 9/7/08 – FL 08:15:35; AP Alert 9/26/08 – FL 23:10:20; 12/10/08 – FL 19:10:39; www.news4jax.com/news/17400853/detail.html; www.claytoday.biz/content/314_1.php; dc.state.fl.us/ActiveInmates/detail.asp?Bookmark=1&From=list&SessionID=420681885

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Renaldo McGirth – black, age 18
  Sentenced in Marion County, Florida
  By: a judge upon jury recommendation
  Date of crime: July 21, 2006
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: McGirth fatally shot Diana Miller (age 63) in her home, in a retirement community. Her husband, James Miller (age 70), was also shot in the head, but survived. The defense argued that it was unfair for McGirth to face death while Sheila Miller, the Miller’s 40-year-old child, was not even charged. Defense lawyers argued Sheila Miller was involved in planning the crime because she would have inherited her parents’ estate if both parents had died. McGirth had two accomplices, Jarrod Roberts (age 19) and Theodore Houston (age 16).
  Prosecutor(s): Anthony Tatti
  Defense lawyer(s): Candace A. Hawthorne
  Sources: Orlando Sentinel 2/15/08 (2008 WLNR 2992433), 4/4/08 (2008 WLNR 6357947), 5/7/08 (2008 WLNR 8527474); dc.state.fl.us/ActiveInmates/detail.asp?Bookmark=1&From=list&SessionID=420681995

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Lionel Michael Miller – white, age 58
  Sentenced in Orange County, Florida
  By: a judge upon jury recommendation
  Date of crime: April 16, 2006
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Miller fatally stabbed Jerry Smith (age 72), a woman with Alzheimer’s disease, and attacked her neighbor, Larry Haydon, who tried to save her. Miller attempted to rob Smith while she was in her home. Haydon was walking his dog and heard screams coming from Smith home and saw her struggling with Miller through a window. When Haydon tried to help Smith, Miller stabbed Haydon. Smith ran out the back door yelling, followed by Miller. He caught up to her, stabbed her multiple times and then fled.
  Prosecutor(s): Robin Wilkinson, Ken Lewis
  Defense lawyer(s): Gerod Hooper
  Sources: Orlando Sentinel 11/21/07 (2007 WLNR 23050638), 11/28/07 (2007 WLNR 23482049), 2/2/08 (2008 WLNR 2008591); dc.state.fl.us/ActiveInmates/detail.asp?Bookmark=1&From=list&SessionID=420682095

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Phillup Alan Partin – white, age 37
  Sentenced in Pasco County, Florida
  By: a judge upon jury recommendation
  Date of crime: July 31, 2002
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Partin murdered Joshan Ashbrook (age 16). He beat her, slashed her throat, broke her neck and dumped her in the woods. Partin picked up the teenager on the morning of July 31, 2002, as she hitchhiked along U.S. 19. They then went fishing and swimming before returning to the house where Partin was staying. The two remained in Partin’s room until that night. In addition to circumstantial evidence, the prosecution offered DNA evidence taken form a hair embedded in a cut on Ashbrook’s hand which belonged to Partin.
  Prosecutor(s): Mike Halkitis
  Defense lawyer(s): Bill Bennett, Bjorn Brunvand
  Sources: Tampa Tribune 3/19/08 (2008 WLNR 6132938), 12/3/08 (2008 WLNR 23401898); St. Petersburg Times 3/19/08 (2008 WLNR 5351785), 5/17/08 (2008 WLNR 9359267); dc.state.fl.us/ActiveInmates/detail.asp?Bookmark=1&From=list&SessionID=420682194

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Khalid Ali Pasha – black, age 58
  Sentenced in Hillsborough County, Florida
  By: a judge upon jury recommendation
  Date of crime: August 23, 2002
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Pasha beat and fatally stabbed his new wife, Robin Candy (age 43) and step-daughter, Ranesha Singleton (age 20). Pasha received a death sentence for each murder.
  Prosecutor(s): Jalal Harb
  Defense lawyer(s): Robert Fraser, Nick Sinardi
  Sources: St. Petersburg Times 11/1/07 (2007 WLNR 21552591), 5/31/08 (2008 WLNR 10323209); Tampa Tribune 11/3/07 (2007 WLNR 22262615), 5/31/08 (11175072); blogs.tampabay.com/breakingnews/2008/05/hillsborough-ma.html; www.sptimes.com/2007/10/31/Hillsborough/Double_murder_goes_to.shtml; www2.tbo.com/content/2008/may/30/man-sentenced-death-killing-wife-stepdaughter/; dc.state.fl.us/ActiveInmates/detail.asp?Bookmark=1&From=list&SessionID=420682308

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Tai Pham – Asian, age 32
  Sentenced in Seminole County, Florida
  By: a judge upon jury recommendation
  Date of crime: October 22, 2005
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Pham stabbed his wife, Phi Ai “Amy” Pham (age 32), to death for “the things she let her three girls get away with.” He was concerned the girls were becoming too American. Deltona, Amy Pham’s oldest daughter, testified that Pham showed up at Amy Pham’s apartment with two butcher knives. Pham grabbed Deltona by the hair, pulled her into her bedroom and tied her up. Then, Pham prayed and waited until her mother returned. When Amy Pham returned, about an hour later from a night out with her new boyfriend, Pham stabbed her at least six times. Amy Pham’s boyfriend, Christopher Higgins, was also attacked. Pham has been charged with physically abusing the girls twice, and twice he pleaded guilty and was placed on probation. Child-welfare workers took the children away from Tai and Amy Pham. Additionally, a judge ordered Pham to stay away from the girls. The night of the slayings, he showed up at the apartment anyway. Prosecutors asked for the death penalty, arguing the murder was premeditated and especially cruel. Pham was sentenced to death for the murder of Amy Pham.
  Prosecutor(s): Gino Feliciani
  Defense lawyers(s): James Figgatt, Tim Caudill
  Sources: Orlando Sentinel 3/8/08 (2008 WLNR 4619462), 5/23/08 (2008 WLNR 9786438), 11/15/08 (2008 WLNR 21843135); www.wftv.com/news/17983563/detail.html; dc.state.fl.us/ActiveInmates/detail.asp?Bookmark=1&From=list&SessionID=420682380

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Galante Romar Phillips – black, age 26
  Sentenced in Duval County, Florida
  By: a judge upon jury recommendation
  Date of crime: October 18, 2005
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Phillips fatally shot Christopher Aligada (age 40) when Aligada attempted to intervene during a robbery. Phillips was holding up Wilbert Sweet, a co-worker of Aligada’s. When Aligada attempted to come to his co-worker’s aid, Phillips shot and killed him.
  Prosecutor(s): Bernie de la Rionda
  Defense lawyer(s): Jerry Shea
  Sources: www.news4jax.com/news/15827788/detail.html; www.news4jax.com/news/17512439/detail.html; news.jacksonville.com/justin/2008/04/09/phillips-charged-with-murder/; www.jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/040908/met_266541175.shtml; dc.state.fl.us/ActiveInmates/detail.asp?Bookmark=1&From=list&SessionID=420682513

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James D. Turner – white, age 33
  Sentenced in St. Johns County, Florida
  By: a judge upon jury recommendation
  Date of crime: September 30, 2005
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Turner, who had escaped from a South Carolina prison, stabbed Renee Howard 15 times in a hotel room in front of her children. Turner also attacked her friend, Stacia Raybon, who locked herself in the bathroom to get away. Police said Turner was looking for a new car to steal and targeted Howard and Raybon. He followed Howard, her three children and Raybon as they left the swimming pool and went back to their room. Raybon testified that she saw Turner stab Howard several times before he turned toward her. Turner stabbed Rabyon in the elbow, breaking her elbow, before she locked herself in the bathroom. After the attacked, Turner was captured following a police chase during which he intentionally crashed Howard’s stolen truck into a deputy’s cruiser.
  Prosecutor(s): Angela Corey
  Defense lawyer(s):
  Sources: www.news4jax.com/news/14785599/detail.html; www.news4jax.com/news/14775586/detail.html#; www.news4jax.com/news/14719810/detail.html; www.news4jax.com/news/14707726/detail.html; dc.state.fl.us/ActiveInmates/detail.asp?Bookmark=9&From=list&SessionID=420682592

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Alan Lyndell Wade – white, age 19 (see also Tiffany Cole)
  Sentenced in Duval Count, Florida
  By: a judge upon jury recommendation
  Date of crime: July 8, 2005
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Wade, Tiffany Cole, Michael Jackson and Kent Nixon robbed, kidnapped and murdered James “Reggie” and Carol Sumners (both age 61). The couple was robbed of jewelry and cash, kidnapped at gunpoint and driven to Georgia in the trunk of their car. Their bodies were found in shallow graves in Georgia near the Florida state line. Prosecutors argued the couple had been buried alive. Wade was given two death sentences, one for each murder.
  Prosecutor(s): Jay Plotkin
  Defense lawyer(s):
  Sources: AP Alert 3/5/08 – GA 16:46:02; AP Alert 3/5/08 – GA 07:08:36; www.news4jax.com/news/15486320/detail.html; www.news4jax.com/news/15947503/detail.html#; dc.state.fl.us/ActiveInmates/detail.asp?Bookmark=1&From=list&SessionID=420682675

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Todd Zommer – white, age 34
  Sentenced in Osceola County, Florida
  By: a judge upon jury recommendation
  Date of crime: April 9, 2005
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Zommer beat and stabbed to death his next door neighbor L. Corinne Robinson (age 77) at her home. During a jailhouse interview, Zommer said that he killed Robinson because she saw him steal a boat and he feared she might report him. According to Zommer’s testimony and court documents, he beat Robinson with a wooden instrument until it broke into pieces, while taunting her for potentially reporting him to the police. He then found a hurricane lamp and used it to continue beating her. Zommer beat Robinson with the lamp until he believed she was unconsciousness. Next, Zommer said he used the cord of a computer mouse to try to strangle her and kicked her twice in the face. He testified he took a short break, got a drink from Robinson’s refrigerator and saw some kitchen knives. Pulling the victim’s head back by her hair, he slashed her throat. The defense argued that Zommer suffered from borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder and antisocial personality disorder.
  Prosecutor(s):
  Defense lawyer(s): Patricia Cashman
  Sources: Orlando 9 WFTV-FL 12/20/07 (2007 WLNR 25195440); Orlando Sentinel 12/20/07 (2007 WLNR 25094944); aroundosceola.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1089&Itemid=6; www.liveleak.com/view?i=2ee_1203754534; www.wftv.com/news/14892436/detail.html; www.clickorlando.com/news/14813847/detail.html; dc.state.fl.us/ActiveInmates/detail.asp?Bookmark=1&From=list&SessionID=420682769

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GEORGIA

Clayton Jerrod Ellington – black, age 29
  Sentenced in DeKalb County, Georgia
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: May 17, 2006
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Ellington bludgeoned to death his wife, Berna Ellington (age 31), and their twin sons, Christian and Cameron Ellington (ages 2), with a hammer. Ellington received three death sentences, one for each murder. Ellington called the police to the home claiming that he had found all three bodies. Later, he changed his story claiming his wife had killed the two boys and then he killed her.
  Prosecutor(s): Tunde Akinyele
  Defense lawyer(s): Darryl Queen
  Sources: Atlanta Journal and Constitution 10/22/08 (2008 WLNR 20104403), 10/23/08 (2008 WLNR 20175319); AP Alert 10/22/08 – GA 17:00:15; www.ajc.com/services/content/printedition/2008/10/19/ellington.html?cxntlid=inform_sr; www.ajc.com/metro/content/printedition/2008/10/14/ellington.html?cxntlid=inform_sr

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Jerry Jones, Jr. – white, age 31
  Sentenced in Gordon County, Georgia
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: January 7, 2004
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Jones shot Melissa Peeler’s parents Tommy Blaylock (age 59) and Nola Blaylock (age 61), strangled Peeler’s sister Georgia Mae Bailey (age 34) and strangled his 10 month old daughter Jerri Georgia Jones. Peeler is Jones’ ex-girlfriend. Jones admitted that he went to Bailey’s home, bound her arms behind her back with duct and questioned her about Peeler leaving him. After questioning, he cut her clothes off, taped her face with duct tape, strangled her, put a plastic bag over her head and put her in a closet. Then, Jones waited for Tommy Blaylock, who lived next door, to exit his home. Jones shot him in the yard behind his trailer and covered the body with a tarp. Next, Jones entered the Blaylock’s trailer and shot Nola Blaylock three times in the bedroom. Jones also pleaded guilty to killing his 10-month-old daughter, Jerri Georgia Jones, by hanging her with an electrical cord. After the murders, Jones fled across stateliness into Tennessee with three children, including two of his own daughters. When police had cornered Jones, he shot himself in the jaw. The children were unharmed. Jones pleaded guilty to all four murders. The defense argued that Jones suffered from untreated mental illness and childhood exposure to violence.
  Prosecutor(s): Joe Campbell
  Defense lawyer(s): Jack Martin, Michelle Drake
  Sources: Atlanta Journal and Constitution 4/22/08 (2008 WLNR 7455417), 5/2/08 (2008 WLNR 8170582), 5/3/08 (2008 WLNR 8253528); AP Alert 5/2/08 – GA 18:31:04; news.mywebpal.com/partners/680/public/news899199.html

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Lawrence Rice – black, age 54
  Sentenced in Cobb County, Georgia
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: April 17, 2003
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Rice beat to death Connie Mincher (age 47) and her son, Ethan Mincher (age 14), in their home. Rice was convicted of two counts each of murder and felony murder. Rice was also convicted of burglary. Rice worked for Trevor Mincher, Connie’s husband and Ethan’s father, in 1990, but left after four months due to salary disputes. He later asked for a recommendation from Trevor Mincher for a prospective employer. Rice found it difficult to get a new job and believed that Mincher had “blackballed” him. Supported by an excerpt from Rice’s own manifesto, the prosecution argued that the murders were a revenge killing for the job Rice lost.
  Prosecutor(s): Henry Thompson
  Defense lawyer(s): Angela Moore-Brown
  Sources: Atlanta Journal and Constitution 7/15/08 (2008 WLNR 13212212), 7/17/08 (2008 WLNR 13338750); www.wsbtv.com/news/2414482/detail.html; www.mdjonline.com/content/index/showcontentitem/area/1/section/21/item/112505.html; www.ajc.com/search/content/metro/cobb/stories/2008/07/14/rice_murder_trial.html

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Demetrius G. Willis – black, age 26
  Sentence in Fulton County, Georgia
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: June 28, 2004
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Willis murdered his ex-girlfriend, Talisa Hankins (age 24), her boyfriend, Jerry Williams, Sr. (age 31), and their 3-year-old-son inside her home. Wilkins entered the home and began firing. Hankins was shot while trying to jump from a window and Williams was shot three times in the head while sleeping on a couch. The couple’s son Jerry William, Jr. (age 3) was also shot in the head. Two of Willis’ other children were injured during the shooting but survived.
  Prosecutor(s): Paul Howard
  Defense lawyer(s):
  Sources: Atlanta Journal and Constitution 7/15/08 (2008 WLNR 13212206); www.wrdw.com/news/headlines/25456904.html

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ILLINOIS
David A. Damm – white, age 58
  Sentenced in Jo Daviess County, Illinois
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: October 27, 2006
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Damm hired Bruce Burt to kill Donnisha Hill (age 13) to end a sexual abuse investigation. The prosecution presented three death eligibility factors; any one of which would have made Damm death eligible: he acquired someone to commit murder in return for money or goods; he committed murder to prevent someone from testifying; or he killed the victim because she had already helped with the investigation. The jury found Damm guilty of first-degree murder, kidnapping and conspiracy. Damm was found death eligible because he paid for Hill’s murder.
  Prosecutor(s): Richard Schwind
  Defense lawyer(s): Mark Lyon, Stephen Richards
  Sources: Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier 10/15/08 (2008 WLNR 19629953), 10/16/08 (2008 WLNR 19698001); 10/17/08 (2008 WLNR 19802916); www.galenagazette.com/main.asp?SectionID=142&SubSectionID=344&ArticleID=12681&TM=35211.59

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Eric C. Hanson – white, age 28
  Sentenced in DuPage County, Illinois
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: September 28, 2005
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Hanson murdered his parents, his sister and her husband. On September 29, 2005, police discovered the bludgeoned bodies of Katherin Hanson-Tsao (age 31) and her husband Jimmy Tsao (age 34) in their home. Terrance Hanson (age 57) and his wife, Mary Hanson (age 55), were also found at the Tsao’s home. Hanson’s parents were shot once in the head, while they slept in their bed and then taken to Katherine Hanson-Tsao’s home. Prosecutors argued the murders stemmed from the family’s discovery that Hanson had defrauded his parents of more than $140,000.
  Prosecutor(s): Joseph Birkett, Nancy Wolfe, Robert Berlin
  Defense lawyer(s): Robert Miller
  Sources: Daily Herald 5/2/08 (2008 WLNR 18941789); Chicago Tribune 5/2/08 (2008 WLNR 8185108); www.dailyherald.com/story/?id=183428; chicagoist.com/2008/02/28/eric_hanson_sen.php

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Gary D. Pate – white, age 35
  Sentenced in White County, Illinois
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: May 15, 2006
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Pate fatally shot his estranged wife Kathleen Pate (age 41) and her daughter Amanda Jeffers (age 19). The victims were shot multiple times in their home.
  Prosecutor(s): Scott Webb
  Defense lawyer(s): Jerry Crisel, Matt Vaughn
  Sources: Evansville Courier & Press 3/16/08 (2008 WLNR 5308293); AP Alert 3/16/08 – IL 13:53:25; www.carmitimes.com/homepage/x617071413

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INDIANA
Daniel Ray Wilkes – white, age 37
  Sentenced in Clark County, Indiana
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: April 23, 2006
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Wilkes murdered Donna Lee Joy Claspell (age 38) and her daughters Avery Pike (age 13) and Sydne Claspell (age 8) in their home. Wilkes met and befriended Donna Claspell while they were in an in-patient drug rehabilitation facility in Evansville. After completing treatment, Wilkes moved in with Donna and her two daughters. Shortly thereafter, Wilkes began molesting Avery. While intoxicated and under the influence of drugs (tequila, xanax, methamphetamine) Wilkes murdered Donna in her bed, beating her with a hammer and wooden level. He also cut her throat with a knife. Wilkes also murdered Sydne in Donna’s bedroom, beating her with the hammer and level. Wilkes then went to Avery's bedroom and strangled her with a sports bra. He left her naked, face down in bed with her hands tied behind her back and one of her legs tied to the footboard of the bed. During confessions, Wilkes admitted to beating Donna Claspell and strangling Avery Pike but claimed he did not remember killing Sydne Claspell. The prosecution presented two aggravating factors: multiple murders and one victim was younger than age 12. The defense argued that Wilkes suffered a difficult childhood in an effort to avoid the death sentence. After the jury deadlocked 11-1 regarding the death sentence, the decision was left with the circuit judge. Indiana does not have a law that requires a judge to sentence defendants to life in prison without parole when a jury cannot reach a unanimous decision regarding the death penalty.
  Prosecutor(s): Stan Levco, Donita Farr
  Defense lawyer(s): Barbara Williams, Kurt Schnepper
  Sources: Evansville Courier & Press 12/2/07 (2007 WLNR 24557550), 12/15/07 (2007 WLNR 25175432), 1/26/08 (1707264); www.14wfie.com/global/story.asp?s=4822339&ClientType=Printable; www.clarkprosecutor.org/html/death/row/wilkesd.htm

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KANSAS

Scott Cheever – white, age 25
  Sentenced in Greenwood County, Kansas
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: January 19, 2005
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Cheever fatally shot Sheriff Matt Samuels (age 42) as the sheriff was trying to serve him with warrants.
  Prosecutor(s): Barry Disney, Lanny Welch, David Lind; Ross McIlvain
  Defense lawyer(s): Ron Evans, Tim Frieden
  Sources: Wichita Eagle 11/2/07 (2007 WLNR 21627194), 1/24/08 (2008 WLNR 1315412); www.kansas.com/cheever/; www.kake.com/home/headlines/14044827.html; www.emporiagazette.com/news/2006/oct/26/state_try_scott_cheever_murder/; www.emporiagazette.com/news/2007/nov/02/jury_recommends_death_scott_cheever/

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Gary Kleypas – white, age 41 (resentence upon appellate reversal)
  Sentenced in Wyandotte County, Kansas
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: 1996
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Kleypas murdered Carrie Williams (age 20). Williams was sexually assaulted, severely beaten and stabbed seven times through the heart. The prosecution presented three aggravating circumstances: Kleypas killed Williams to avoid prosecution, knowing that she could identify him; Kleypas has been convicted of murder before, in Missouri; Williams was killed in an especially heinous, atrocious and cruel manner. The defense argued that Kleypas suffered from mental illness while incarcerated and was not treated for it. Kleypas was originally sentenced in 1997. He was the first person to receive the death sentence after Kansas reinstated the death penalty in 1994. However, in 2004, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled the death penalty unconstitutional. But, in 2006, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the death penalty, setting up Kleypas’ this resentencing, in which he was again sentenced to death.
  Prosecutor(s): Veronica Dersch
  Defense lawyer(s): Tom Frieden
  Sources: Kansas City Star 9/9/08 (2008 WLNR 17051305), 9/16/08 (2008 WLNR 17542483)

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LOUISIANA

Anthony Bell – black, age 25
  Sentenced in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: May 21, 2006
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Bell murdered his wife, Erica Bell (age 24), and four in-laws: Bell’s grandparents Gloria (age 72) and Leonard Howard (age 78); Bell’s second cousin Darlene Selvage (age 47); Bell’s great-aunt Doloris McGrew (age 68). Bell shot his four in-laws, in the back of the head, during church service. He also shot and injured his mother-in-law Claudia Brown. Then, Bell kidnapped his wife and shot her, in the back of the head, in a car in a nearby apartment parking lot. During the penalty phase Bell represented himself but later asked for reappointment of counsel.
  Prosecutor(s): Mark Dumaine, Aaron Brooks
  Defense lawyer(s): Margaret Lagattuta, Greg Rome
  Sources: Baton Rouge Advocate 4/18/08 (2008 WLNR 7284821), 5/6/08 (2008 WLNR 8467154), 9/12/08 (2008 WLNR 17365867); AP Alert 4/18/08 – LA 03:21:09; www.ebrda.org/pdfs/MR1208.pdf; www.wafb.com/Global/story.asp?S=8184770

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Sanchez Brumfield – black, age 21
  Sentenced in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: September 8, 2006
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Brumfield and Tracy Young fatally shot Aaron Arnold (age 21) and wounded Dionne Grayson (age 28) during an attempted robbery. The victims were shot on the night of September 8, 2006, in the parking lot behind a restaurant while Arnold was helping Grayson put gas in her car. The jury found that Brumfield ordered Young to shoot the victims during the botched robbery attempt.
  Prosecutor(s): Aaron Brooks
  Defense lawyer(s): Bruce Craft, Fred Kroenke
  Sources: Baton Rouge Advocate 5/29/08 (2008 WLNR 10148469), 5/30/08 (2008 WLNR 10265233), 12/3/08 (2008 WLNR 23244518); www.wafb.com/global/story.asp?s=8395867

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Michael Garcia – Latino, age 27
  Sentenced in West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: February 8, 2006
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Garcia, his brother, Daniel Garcia, and James Nelson II robbed, kidnapped and murdered Matthew Millican (age 32), a homeless man, and beat and repeated raped his companion, Megan Teresi, a homeless woman. The three men abducted Millican and Teresi who were sleeping outdoors behind a hotel and took them into nearby woods. Garcia robbed Millican and led him to the bank of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway where he stabbed Millican to death and dumped him into the waterway. Teresi was beaten, sexually assaulted and repeated raped by all three men over several hours. Garcia was sentenced to death for the first-degree murder of Millican. The jurors noted the aggravating circumstances of armed robbery and aggravated kidnapping on their verdict form.
  Prosecutor(s): Tony Clayton
  Defense lawyer(s): Jerry, D’Aquila, Tommy Thompson
  Sources: Baton Rouge Advocate 6/8/08 (2008 WLNR 10828217), 7/9/08 (2008 WLNR 12871516); www.2theadvocate.com/news/19624309.html?showAll=y&c=y; www.wilx.com/news/headlines/19633714.html

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MISSOURI

Richard D. Davis – white, age 41
  Sentenced in Jackson County, Missouri
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: May 14, 2006
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Davis, a repeat sex offender, and his girlfriend Dena D. Riley (age 39) kidnapped, raped, sexually tortured and murdered Marsha Spicer (age 41). Davis provided much of the prosecution’s evidence when he videotaped himself and Davis raping and suffocating Spicer. The defense argued that Davis was a physical abuse and sex abuse victim as a child. The jury sentenced Davis to death for the first degree murder of Spicer.
  Prosecutor(s): Ted Hunt
  Defense lawyer(s): Tom Jacquinot
  Sources: Kansas City Star 8/2/08 (2008 WLNR 14394203), 8/6/08 (2008 WLNR 14628559), 10/11/08 (2008 WLNR 19371390); St. Louis Post-Dispatch 10/11/08 (2008 WLNR 19404909); www.kmbc.com/news/9292456/detail.html

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Carmen L. Deck – white, age 31 (resentence after appellate reversal)
  Sentenced in Jefferson County, Missouri
  By: a judge upon jury recommendation
  Date of crime: July 8, 1996
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: In 1998, a jury convicted and sentenced Deck to death, for first degree murder in the 1996 shooting of James Long, (age 69) and his wife, Zelma Long (age 67) during a robbery at their home. Deck and his sister, Tonia Cummings, robbed the Longs before ordering the two to lie down on their bed; shooting each in the head twice. That same year, Deck’s attorney appealed, arguing that a jury instruction had been omitted in the trial and the death sentence was overturned. Then, in 2003, a second jury recommended the death sentence and the judge approved. During the new penalty phase, Deck was required to wear arm and leg restraints and a belly chain in plain view of the jury. On appeal, the Missouri Supreme Court ordered a new penalty phase after the U.S. Supreme Court said, in May 2005, that jurors could have been prejudiced by seeing the defendants in shackles. The U.S. Supreme Court said the restraints were unconstitutional because the lower court had not shown that Deck needed restraints. In this third resentening Deck again received a death sentence.
  Prosecutor(s):
  Defense lawyer(s):
  Sources: Kansas City Star 8/31/05 (2005 WLNR 13657126); St. Louis Post-Dispatch 11/7/08 (2008 WLNR 21330853), 9/21/08 (2008 WLNR 17951408); learfield.typepad.com/deathrow/inmate_deck.html; websolutions.learfield.com/deathrow/gestalt/go.cfm?objectid=09A41528-0119-46FA-923DD0AF0C9DB99F

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Kevin Johnson – black, age 19
  Sentenced in St. Louis County, Missouri
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: July 5, 2005
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Johnson fatally shot Kirkwood police officer Sgt. William McEntee (age 43). The prosecution argued since Johnson had already shot McEntee and that shooting him again while he was disabled was an act of deliberation. McEntee was in his police car talking to three juveniles when Johnson walked up to the police car, fired several shots into it, and walked away. After being shot, McEntee still managed to get his car in gear and drive about 200 feet before he crashed. With help from neighbors, McEntee was able to get out of the car. He was on his hands and knees when Johnson walked up and shot him in the back of the head. In all, McEntee was shot seven times. The defense argued that Johnson was distraught over the death of his bother - who had died earlier that day from congenital heart failure - and unable to reflect coolly or act deliberately that night.
  Prosecutor(s): Robert P. McCulloch
  Defense lawyer(s): Karen Kraft, Robert Steele
  Sources: St. Louis Post-Dispatch 2/1/08 (2008 WLNR 1957258), 2/2/08 (2008 WLNR 1998844); Daily Record (St. Louis, MO/St. Louis Countian) 2/4/08 (2008 WLNR 2225490); websolutions.learfield.com/deathrow/gestalt/go.cfm?objectid=94C4BDD8-F355-5C88-D2EC744DD5C2A951; learfield.typepad.com/deathrow/inmate_kjohnson.html

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Leonard S. Taylor – black, age 39
  Sentenced in St. Louis County, Missouri
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: November 22. 2004
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Taylor fatally shot his girlfriend Angela Rowe (age 28) and her three children: Alexus Conley (age 10), AcQreya Conley (age 5) and Tyrese Conley (age 5). The defense argued that Taylor had left town before the murders occurred. Angela Rowe had been shot four times. DNA evidence, witnesses and phone records indicated he murdered the family before boarding a plane for California on November 26, 2004. Alexus Conley was shot twice in the back of the head and AcQreya Conley was shot twice in the temple. Tyrese Conley was shot once in the back of the head. Taylor received a death sentence for each murder.
  Prosecutor(s): Alan Key, J.D. Lasater
  Defense lawyer(s): Karen Kraft, Bob Wolfrum
  Sources: St. Louis Post-Dispatch 2/21/08 (2008 WLNR 3402417), 2/26/08 (2008 WLNR 3730976), 4/18/08 (2008 WLNR 7288248); websolutions.learfield.com/deathrow/gestalt/go.cfm?objectid=94C4EEAA-90C0-9C73-D26EDD579B6E0FA6; www.majorcasesquad.org/releaseb.asp?ID=592; learfield.typepad.com/deathrow/inmate_leotaylor.html

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NEVADA

Scott Dozier – white, age 32
  Sentenced in Clark County, Nevada
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: April 18, 2002
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Dozier robbed and murdered Jeremiah Miller (age 22) and then hacked up his body. Miller had come to Las Vegas, with $12,000, in search of pills to make methamphetamine. Dozier was to help him find a connection to purchase the pills. The defense argued that an unidentified drug dealer who loaned Miller the $12,000 was the more likely killer. During the penalty phase, a defense psychologist told jurors that Dozier had been sexually abused as a child by a teenage neighbor and suffered from an anti-social personality disorder with narcissistic traits. In 2005, Dozier was convicted in Arizona of 2d murder in a case where authorities said his victim was dismembered and buried in the desert.
  Prosecutor(s): Sam Bateman, Giancarlo Pesci
  Defense lawyer(s): Clark Partick, Alzora Jackson
  Sources: Las Vegas Review-Journal 9/22/07 (2007 WLNR 18698698), 9/26/07 (2007 WLNR 18929171); AP Alert 10/4/07 – CA 16:06:38; www.lvrj.com/news/10228221.html

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Tamir Hamilton – black, age 28
  Sentenced in Washoe County, Nevada
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: September 14, 2006
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Hamilton raped and murder Holly Quick (age 16). She was found dead, in her bed, by her mother. Quick had been being raped, stabbed 40 times and her throat was slashed. The defense argued that Hamilton suffered from mental illness. A defense psychologist testified that Hamilton was experiencing a psychotic episode the night of Quick’s death. A state psychiatrist called that assertion extremely unlikely. In 2007, Hamilton was sentenced to life in prison for a separate rape and beating of a 20 year woman which occurred two weeks before Quick was killed.
  Prosecutor(s): Luke Prengaman
  Defense lawyer(s): Richard Davies
  Sources: AP Alert 3/25/08 – NV 13:34:05; AP Alert 3/29/08 – CA 22:36:00; AP Alert 5/14/08 – CA 15:36:18; dailysparkstribune.com/pages/full_story/push?article-Hamilton+formally+sentenced+to+death+in+Quick+m; dailysparkstribune.com/pages/full_story/push?article-Hamilton+sentenced+to+death%20&id=55251-Hamilt; www.doc.nv.gov/notis/detail.php?offender_id=69589; www.ktvn.com/Global/story.asp?s=8085277; www.krnv.com/Global/story.asp?S=8066565

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Eugene Nunnery – black, age 26
  Sentenced in Clark County, Nevada
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: September 22, 2006
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Nunnery shot Saul Nunez Saustegui (age 29) execution style during a robbery. He is facing murder charges in two more cases. Nunnery, George Brass, Brandon Bland and Carleton Folwer went on a month long crime spree targeting Hispanics and others in murders, home invasions and robberies. Nunnery is accused of killing two Hispanic men during robberies and shooting a third man in a drug deal. He told the jury he felt no remorse for what he had done and that he would do it again.
  Prosecutor(s): David Stanton
  Defense lawyer(s): Patricia Palm, Ivette Maningo
  Sources: Las Vegas Review-Journal 4/4/08 (2008 WLNR 6487487), 5/20/08 (2008 WLNR 9560717); www.reviewjournal.com/lvrj_home/2006/Sep-30-Sat-2006/news/9966341.html

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James Ray Walker – black, age 46
  Sentenced in Clark County, Nevada
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: August 23, 2003
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Walker fatally stabbed Christine Anziano (age 33) during a robbery. As Anziano left the store where she had been shopping, Walker stabbed her five times and ran off with her purse. The jury foreman said Walker’s violent criminal history was the main factor that led to the death sentence. Walker spent 22 years in prison for shooting a tourist in 1978 and the day after he killed Anziano, he slit a man’s throat and robbed him. The man survived and testified at the murder trial.
  Prosecutor(s): Chris Owens, William Kephart
  Defense lawyer(s): Alzora Jackson, Scott Bindrup
  Sources: Las Vegas Review-Journal (2007 WLNR 1370865), 2/3/07 (2007 WLNR 2176986); www.reviewjournal.com/lvrj_home/2007/Jan-25-Thu-2007/news/12179702.html

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NEW HAMPSHIRE

Michael Addison – black, age 26
  Sentenced in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: October 16, 2006
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Addison fatally shot Manchester police officer Michael Briggs (age 35). The prosecution argued the shooting was in cold-blood and premeditated. The defense admitted that Addison killed Briggs. However, they sought a life sentence by arguing that Addison acted recklessly and suffered from an abusive childhood and possible brain damage from his mother’s heavy drinking while she was pregnant. This is New Hampshire’s first death sentence in 79 years. The last time a New Hampshire court imposed a death sentence was in 1959, but the two condemned men were spared by a 1972 U.S. Supreme Court ruling.
  Prosecutor(s): Kelly Ayotte, Will Delker
  Defense lawyer(s): Richard Guerriero, David Rothstein
  Sources: AP DataStream 12/22/08 – 20:19:25; Concord Monitor 12/23/08 (2008 WLNR 24590485), 1/17/09 (2009 WLNR 1051453); wbztv.com/local/michael.addison.death.2.890235.html; www.wmur.com/news/18000895/detail.html; www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2008-12-18-death-penalty_N.htm

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NORTH CAROLINA

James Ray Little III – black, age 19
  Sentenced in Forsyth County, North Carolina
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: October 5, 2006
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Little robbed and fatally shot Bira Gueye (age 47). On the night of October 4 and early the next morning, Little wandered the streets looking for people to rob to buy marijuana. He robbed and pistol-whipped two men, then used one of their cell phones to call a cab. He reconsidered robbing the first cab after he recognized the driver. Gueye’s cab was then dispatched to pick up Little, who robbed Gueye and shot him in the back twice. During the penalty phase, the prosecution presented three factors which it argued merited the death penalty. Factor one, the prosecution presented Little’s past conviction of larceny from a person as evidence of a past violent felony. The two other factors: the murder was committed for financial gain - Little took at least $20 from Gueye and the crime was part of a pattern of violent crime that night. The defense presented Little’s IQ of 79, psychologist testimony that Little acts impulsively and evidence of a troubled upbringing among others factors. The jury found all the defendant’s 21 mitigating factors, but also found all three of the State’s aggravating factors, and determined that the aggravating factors outweighed the mitigating factors and returned a verdict of death.
  Prosecutor(s): Jim O’Neill, Jennifer Martin
  Defense lawyer(s): Clark Fischer, Chris Beechler
  Sources: Winston-Salem Journal 11/21/08 (2008 WLNR 22286845); www.digtriad.com/news/local/article.aspx?storyid=114529&catid=57; www2.journalnow.com/content/2008/nov/22/little-given-death-in-killing-of-cab-driver/

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OHIO

Bennie Adams – black, age 28
  Sentenced in Mahoning County, Ohio
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: December 29, 1985
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Adams strangled Gina Tenney (age 19). Jones was released from prison in 2004 after serving 18 years for the rape, robbery and kidnapping of a school principal. The prosecution alleged Adams raped, robbed and kidnapped Tenney and burglarized her apartment in conjunction with the murder. Although the statute of limitation had run on these non-murder charges, these were used as factors in support of the death penalty. The defense focused on the fact that, after his 2004 release, Adams got a job, took care of his mother, bought a house for his daughter, his grandchildren and himself, and led a law-abiding life. Bennie also served as an education aide and took college courses while in prison. The jury convicted Adams using DNA evidence, from a rape kit, which had been preserved for 22 years.
  Prosecutor(s): Dawn Cantalamessa, Martin P. Desmond
  Defense lawyer(s): Lou DeFabio, Anthony Meranto
  Sources: Cleveland Plain Dealer 10/23/08 (2008 WLNR 20301736); AP Alert 1/6/09 – OH 22:24:59: www.tribtoday.com/page/content.detail/id/512709.html; www.vindy.com/news/2008/oct/28/jurors-ready-to-deliberate-bennie-adams8217/; www.vindy.com/news/2008/oct/31/adams8217-execution-date-set-for-murder-of-ysu/; www4.vindy.com/content/local_regional/297243887319599.php; www4.vindy.com/content/local_regional/291464232798871.php

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Phillip L. Jones – black, age 37
  Sentenced in Summit County, Ohio
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: April 23, 2007
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Jones beat, raped and strangled Susan Marie Christian-Yates (age 33). Jones had previously spent time in prison for attempted rape of a 16 year old girl. The defense argued that Yates and Jones were having rough sex and Jones got carried away but did not intend to kill her.
  Prosecutor(s): Brian LoPrinzi, Becky Doherty
  Defense lawyer(s):
  Sources: Cleveland Plain Dealer 12/19/07 (2008 WLNR 25070635), 1/31/08 (2008 WLNR 1910238; Akron Beacon Journal 1/31/08 (2008 WLNR 1917027); AP Alert 1/6/09 – OH 22:24:59; blog.cleveland.com/metro/2007/12/akron_man_faces_death_for_brut.html; www.co.summit.oh.us/prosecutor/Newsletters/2008%20Criminal/February%202008.pdf

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Calvin Neyland, Jr. – black, age 43
  Sentenced in Wood County, Ohio
  By: a judge
  Date of crime: August 8, 2007
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Neyland murdered Douglas Smith (age 44) and Thomas Lazar (age 58). Neyland shot Smith and Lazar to death at Liberty Transporting where Neyland had been employed as a truck driver. Smith planned to fire Neyland that day and Lazar, a re-tired Pennsylvania state trooper who worked as corporate safety director for Liberty, had come to assist Smith with what Smith feared would be a troublesome encounter. The defense, which attempted to have Neyland found incompetent to stand trail, maintained that he is mentally ill. Judge Robert Pollex concluded that the mitigating factors – lack of a significant criminal record, a relatively successful work history, and his diagnosed personality disorder – were not enough to outweigh the aggravating circumstances of the crime.
  Prosecutor(s): Gwen Howe-Gebers
  Defense lawyer(s): Adrian Cimerman, J. Scott Hicks
  Sources: The Blade 11/7/08 (2008 WLNR 21297756); Pittsburgh Tribune Review 11/08/08 (2008 WLNR 21383220); abclocal.go.com/wtvg/story?section=news/local&id=6492230; www.wtol.com/Global/story.asp?S=9268595; www.landlinemag.com/todays_news/Daily/2008/Nov08/110308/110608-04.htm; www.sent-trib.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2945&Itemid=81

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OKLAHOMA

James Allen Coddington – white, age 25 (resentence after appellate reversal)
  Sentenced in Oklahoma County, Oklahoma
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: March 5, 1997
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Coddington beat Albert Troy Hale (age 73) to death. Coddington tried to borrow $50 from Hale but Hale refused. When Hale tried to push Coddington out of his home, Coddington grabbed a claw hammer and bludgeoned Hale to death. He also took $525 from Hale’s pocket. Prosecutors argued Coddington was a violent felon who committed a heinous crime to avoid arrest. They also argued he was a continuing threat to society. Coddington was sentenced to death in 2003 but, in 2005, an appeals court overturned the sentence. In this resentencing he again received a death sentence.
  Prosecutor(s): Sandra Elliot, Suzanne Lister
  Defense lawyer(s): Cathy Hammarsten, Faustine Curry
  Sources: AP Alert 6/17/08 – OK 05:17:20; The Daily Oklahoman 7/3/08 (2008 WLNR 12467099); AP Alert 7/3/08 – OK 04:48:37; www.oscn.net/applications/oscn/DeliverDocument.asp?CiteID=448039; newsok.com/for-convicted-killer-another-death-sentence/article/3258377

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Clarence Goode, Jr. – black, age 28 <
  Sentenced in Tulsa County, Oklahoma
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: August 2005
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Goode, Ronald Thompson and Kenneth Johnson fatally shot Tara Burchett-Thompson (age 25), her daughter, Kayla Burchett (age 10), and her husband, Mitch Thompson (age 28). Thompson was also Ronald Thompson’s cousin. The bodies were found on August 26, 2005 in their home. Prosecutors argued Goode was the orchestrator. Goode received three death sentences.
  Prosecutor(s):
  Defense lawyer(s):
  Sources: AP Alert 12/13/07 – OK 14:43:23; Tulsa World 1/8/08 (2008 WLNR 470127); AP Alert 1/8/08 – OK 15:19:08

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Franklin Cecil Green – white, age 60
  Sentenced in Garvin County, Oklahoma
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: April 10, 2007
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Green fatally shot his wife, Gloria Hunter (age 60). He was worried that Hunter was going to report him to his federal probation officer. Hunter was opening her barbershop when Green forced her out the back with a gun. When Hunter tried to run, Green shot at her twice causing her to fall between two vehicles. Green went to Hunter, kneeled down and fired four shots at her head. Green then walked away and surrendered, himself and the gun, when approached by a police officer. Green was on federal probation for kidnapping when he shot Hunter.
  Prosecutor(s): Susan Caswell
  Defense lawyer(s): Craig Corgan, Lynn Birch
  Sources: Oklahoman 10/29/08 (2008 WLNR 20693174); The Daily Oklahoman 10/29/08 (2008 WNR 20596941); AP Alert 10/29/08 – OK 05:10:46; www.kxii.com/home/headlines/6960892.html; downloads.newsok.com/documents/chargefrankgreen.pdf; www.paulsvalleydailydemocrat.com/homepage/local_story_276115345.html?keyword=leadpicturestory

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Wendell Arden Grissom – white, age 36
  Sentenced in Garfield County, Oklahoma
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: November 3, 2005
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Grissom fatally shot Amber Matthews (age 23) during an attempted robbery. Grissom and Jessie Floyd Johns forced their way into the home of Matthews’ friend Lauren Drue Kopf and began shooting. Kopf struggled with Grissom and was shot three times. Grissom then shot Matthews twice in the head - once while she was holding Kopf’s daughter and again as she lay on the floor. After being shot, Kopf managed to escape and alert authorities. The jury found Grissom’s acts met three aggravating circumstances: Grissom knowingly created a great risk of death to more than one person, the murder was committed by a person while serving a sentence of imprisonment on conviction of a felony, and Grissom would be a continuing threat to society.
  Prosecutor(s): Mike Fields
  Defense lawyer(s): J.W. Coyle
  Sources: Oklahoman 9/15/06 (2008 WLNR 16159224); AP Alert 3/5/08 – OK 17:25:05; AP Alert 3/7/08 – AR 14:53:11; AP Alert 6/18/08 – AR 14:25:53; www.enidnews.com/localnews/local_story_067011012.html; www.enidnews.com/localnews/local_story_058004853.html

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Marlon Deon Harmon – black, age 23
  Sentenced in Oklahoma County, Oklahoma
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: August 23, 2004
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Harmon murdered Kamal Choudhury (age 55). While robbing Choudhury’s convenience store, Harmon shot Choudhury three times. He walked around the counter to fire the last two shots. Choudhury died the next day.
  Prosecutor(s): Scott Rowland
  Defense lawyer(s): Cathy Hammarsten
  Sources: Oklahoman 5/30/08 (2008 WLNR 10395199); The Daily Oklahoman 7/3/08 (2008 WLNR 12467099)

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Victor Cornell Miller – black, age 36 (resentence after appellate reversal)
  Sentenced in Tulsa County, Oklahoma
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: August 31, 1999
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Miller and George John Hanson carjacked Mary Agnes Bowles (age 77) and drove her to a secluded area where Jerald Thurman (age 44), a trucking company owner, happened to be picking up a load of dirt. Prosecutors argued that Miller shot Thurman and Hanson shot Bowles. The jury found Miller guilty of murdering Bowles and Thurman under two legal theories: that there was a deliberate intent to kill, and a felony murder allegation that Bowles and Thurman were shot to death while Miller and Hanson were robbing Bowles of her car. Prosecutors presented four aggravating circumstances supporting a death sentence: Miller created a great risk of death to more than one person, is a continuing threat to society, has a previous violent felony conviction, and murdered to avoid or prevent an arrest or prosecution. Jurors decided that all four circumstances existed for both murders. Miller was given death sentences for both murders. In 2002, Miller was convicted of both murders and given a death sentence for only the Thurman killing. He received a no-parole life sentence for Bowles’ murder. In 2004, the state Court of Criminal Appeals overturned those convictions and sentences and granted new trials. In this retrial he again received a death sentence.
  Prosecutor(s): Bill Musseman
  Defense lawyer(s): Pete Silva
  Sources: Tulsa World 11/18/08 (2008 WLNR 21990018), 12/9/08 (2008 WLNR 23686083); www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=14&articleid=20081209_14_A5_Ajudge89787; www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?articleID=20081117_298_Akil844602

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Alfred Brian Mitchell – black, age 18 (resentence after appellate reversal)
  Sentenced in Oklahoma County, Oklahoma
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: January 7, 1991
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Mitchell murdered Elaine Maries Scott (age 21). Scott was working at a recreation center when Mitchell stabbed her with a mathematical compass and beat her with a golf club and coat rack. Mitchell was sentenced in 1992 but that sentenced was reversed by a federal appeals court, in part because of false and misleading testimony given by a former Oklahoma City forensic chemist. Mitchell was resentenced by another jury, but the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals overturned that sentence in May 2006. In this resentencing he again received a death sentence.
  Prosecutor(s):
  Defense lawyer(s):
  Sources: Tulsa World 1/17/08 (2008 WLNR 1039309); www.murdervictims.com/Voices/Elaine_Scott_news.htm; speakout.com/activism/apstories/10069-1.html; www.patrickcrusade.org/former_oklahoma_city_forensic_ch.htm; abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=92649&page=1

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James Lawrence Mitchell III – black, age 25 (resentence after appellate reversal)
  Sentenced in Oklahoma County, Oklahoma
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: August 2000
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Mitchell murdered Charita Rashawn Frerene (age 3) by beating her to death. The defense argued the child’s mother was to blame. In 2005, Mitchell’s 2003 death sentence was overturned when the appeals court ruled inadmissible evidence that had been used against him. Mitchell had the chance to avoid the death penalty in a plea agreement with Oklahoma County prosecutors, but he refused. After Mitchell declined the deal, the jury again sentenced him to death.
  Prosecutor(s): Gayland Geiger
  Defense lawyer(s): Jason Spanich
  Sources: Oklahoman 6/3/08 (2008 WLNR 10538008); newsok.com/crime-and-court-briefs/article/3249965

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Gilbert Ray Postelle – white, age 19
  Sentenced in Oklahoma County, Oklahoma
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: May 30, 2005
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Postelle, his father, Earl Bradford Postelle, and his brother, David Bradford Postelle, fatally shot James Swindel, Jr., Amy Wright, Terry Smith and James Alderson because they blamed Swindel for the 2004 motorcycle wreck that left the Postelle’s father with brain damage. Prosecutor’s argued the decedents were herded out of a mobile home and then someone fired all 30 shots from an AK-47 magazine at the group. Another six shots were fired into Swindle’s head with a rifle.
  Prosecutor(s): David Prater, Diane Box
  Defense lawyer(s): Jim Hughes; David Autry
  Sources: The Daily Oklahoman 8/30/08 (2008 WLNR 16411528); AP Alert 10/3/08 – OK 05:31:45; www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?articleID=20080508_12_OKLAH46213; newsok.com/article/3213699/1204951031; newsok.com/article/3215629/1205380366; www.koco.com/news/17443349/detail.html; www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?articleID=20080307_1__OKLAH40100

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Phillip Anthony Summers – black, age 18
  Sentenced in Tulsa County, Oklahoma
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: February 23, 2004
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Summers murdered Shelly and Ples Vann, Jr. They were each shot three times in their home. Prosecutor’s argued the killings were linked to gang rivalry. Shelly and Ples Vann were the parents of Lawrence Tennyson who is believed to have murdered one of Summers’ brothers. During the penalty phase, the prosecution offered three aggravating circumstances: Summers had a previous felony conviction - shooting with an intent to kill - that involved the threat of violence; Summers created a great risk of death to more than one person; Summers constitutes a continuing threat to society. In an effort to mitigate punishment, the defense lawyers pointed to evidence that Summers came from a family environment of crime, drug abuse and violence. Jurors found all three aggravating circumstances applied to both homicides. Summers received a death sentence for each murder.
  Prosecutor(s): Tim Harris, Steve Kunzweiler
  Defense lawyer(s): Robert Stubblefield, Mark Matheson
  Sources: Tulsa World 1/13/08 (2008 WLNR 752328), 2/6/08 (2008 WLNR 2342877); AP Alert 3/26/08 – OK 03:55:44; www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?articleID=20080205_1_A12_hHeha26302

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Kevin Ray Underwood – white, age 26
  Sentenced in McClain County, Oklahoma
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: April 12, 2006
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Underwood murdered and mutilated the body of Jamie Rose Bolin (age 10). Underwood lured the girl into his apartment, beat her over the head with a cutting board, suffocated her, sexually assaulted her and then tried to cut off her head with a decorative dagger. Underwood told authorities that he was fueled by sexual fantasies that involved torturing, raping, killing and eating his victim. No evidence was presented that he cannibalized the girl’s body. Her body was found hidden in a plastic tub in Underwood’s apartment on April 14, 2006. The defense argued that Underwood suffered from mental illness that could be treated with medication.
  Prosecutor(s): Greg Mashburn
  Defense lawyer(s):
  Sources: Oklahoman 3/9/08 (2008 WLNR 4765239), 4/4/08 (2008 WLNR 6493536); Tulsa World 4/4/08 (2008 WLNR 6423951); www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,346350,00.html

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PENNSYLVANIA

Jeffrey R. Martin – white, age 49
  Sentenced in Greene County, Pennsylvania
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: June 13, 2006
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Martin raped and strangled Gabrielle Bechen (age 12). During a confession to authorities, Martin said that he killed Bechen. He told authorities he panicked and strangled Bechen after she threatened to tell her parents he had molested her, an allegation he later claimed was false. After confessing, Martin showed state police investigators where he buried Bechen’s body, helmet and shoes in individual sites on the farm where he worked. The defense argued that Martin was coerced into confessing by state police.
  Prosecutor(s): Linda Chambers, Marjorie Fox
  Defense lawyer(s): Harry Cancelmi
  Sources: Pittsburgh Tribune Review 5/8/08 (2008 WLNR 863799); Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 5/10/08 (2008 WLNR 8826368); AP Alert 5/10/08 – PA 04:30:38; AP Alert 9/17/08 – PA 16:44:40; www.thepittsburghchannel.com/news/16190025/detail.html

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Freeman May – white, age 25 (resentence after appellate reversal)
  Sentenced in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: September 4, 1982
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: May stabbed Kathy Lynn Fair (age 22) to death. Fair disappeared September 4, 1982; six years later her skeletal remains were discovered. May’s 1991 and 1995 death sentences were overturned by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. The most recent reversal was because the jury had never had a chance to hear about May’s childhood and the impact it may have had on him. During this third sentencing phase, the prosecution presented May’s conviction in a separate case as evidence of a significant history of felony convictions involving the use or threat of violence. In that case, May was convicted for repeatedly stabbing two young women, raping one, and leaving them for dead in December of 1982. The defense argued that May’s chaotic family life and glue-sniffing habit led to mental and emotion disorders.
  Prosecutor(s): David Arnold
  Defense lawyer(s): John Kelsey
  Sources: Lebanon Daily News 10/16/08 (2008 WLNR 23417411); Lancaster New Era 10/16/08 (2008 WLNR 19882862)

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Dennis Reed – black, age 29
  Sentenced in Lawrence County, Pennsylvania
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: December 16, 2001
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Reed murdered his girlfriend Wendy Miller (age 28). Angered by Miller securing a second restraining order, Reed entered Miller’s apartment, punched her in the face and then forced her and her three children (then ages 5, 6, and 8) to leave with him in her vehicle. Miller and Reed exited the vehicle together near a housing complex where Reed shot Miller in the back of the head with a shotgun. Reed returned to the car and for the next week, forced the three children to live with him in the vehicle. During the penalty phase, the prosecution presented two aggravating factors: Reed violated a restraining order the night he shot Miller and Reed committed seven felonies including kidnapping and unlawful possession of a firearm, in the course of the murder. The defense argued that Reed was under the influence of a mental or emotional disturbance when he killed Miller and kidnapped her children.
  Prosecutor(s): Tom Minett, John Bongivengo
  Defense lawyer(s): Randall Hetrick
  Sources: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 1/26/08 (2008 WLNR 1536233), 2/2/08 (2008 WLNR 2005411); www.ncnewsonline.com/breakingnews/local_story_032214800.html

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Cletus C. Rivera – black, age 24
  Sentenced in Berks County, Pennsylvania
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: August 6, 2006
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Rivera fatally shot Reading police officer Scott A. Wertz (age 40). During the trial phase, the defense argued that Rivera did not realize Wertz was an officer because he was not in a uniform. They also argued that Rivera killed the officer in self defense. During the penalty phase, the defense argued Rivera should not be given death because he was only 24 years old and had a dysfunctional childhood.
  Prosecutor(s): Jonelle H. Eshbach
  Defense lawyer(s): Richard P. Reynolds, Jay M. Nigrini
  Sources: Reading Eagle 8/13/08 (2008 WLNR 15190423), 8/13/08 (2008 WLNR 15135868), 8/14/08 (2008 WLNR 15279111), 8/14/08 (2008 WLNR 15279105); readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=101773

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Alfonzo Sanchez – Latino, age 24
  Sentenced in Bucks County, Pennsylvania
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: October 16, 2007
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Sanchez, Steve Miranda, and Alexander Martinez murdered Lisa Marie Diaz (age 27) and Mendez Thomas, Jr. (age 22). Diaz was babysitting for her sister, Jessica Carmona (age 23), when she let the three men into the home believing they were there to purchase marijuana. The three men entered the home and waited for Diaz and Carmona to return. When Diaz and Carmona arrived, Sanchez and Thomas got into a shoving match after exchanging drugs for money. Sanchez then pulled a gun from his waistband and shot Thomas in the head. Then, Sanchez followed Diaz down a hallway and shot her multiple times. He then turned the gun on Carmona, who was shielding the baby, and shot her in the leg.
  Prosecutor(s): Gary Gambardella
  Defense lawyer(s): Jack McMahon
  Sources: blogs.phillyburbs.com; blogs.phillyburbs.com/news/intelligencer/co-defendant-on-stand-in-double-m; www1.phillyburbs.com/pb-dyn/news/111-02092008-1485165.html; www1.phillyburbs.com/pb-dyn/news/111-10232008-1609673.html

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Patrick Jason Stollar – white, age 24
  Sentenced in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: June 4, 2003
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Stollar murdered Jean Heck (age 78). Heck had hired Stollard to perform yard work. Stollar stomped, strangled and stabbed Heck after he landscaped her yard. He broke into her home with the intent to kill and rob her, according to a confession he gave to investigators. During the trial, Stollar represented himself arguing that he was mentally ill at the time of the murder. Prior to being dismissed, Stollar’s defense counsel repeatedly pleaded with him to plead guilty to first-degree murder to avoid the death sentence. During the penalty phase, actual defense counsel argued Heck lacked a criminal history and suffered from a psychological condition.
  Prosecutor(s): Mark V. Tranquilli
  Defense lawyer(s): James DePasquale (for penalty phase only), Robert Foreman (standby counsel)
  Sources: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 2/23/08 (2008 WLNR 3581051), 3/25/08 (2008 WLNR 5691173); Pittsburgh Tribune Review 3/24/08 (WLNR 5646181); www.thepittsburghchannel.com/news/15370389/detail.html

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SOUTH CAROLINA

Stephen Corey Bryant – white, age 23
  Sentenced in Sumter County, South Carolina
  By: a judge
  Date of crime: October 11, 2004
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Bryant pleaded guilty to fatally shooting three men and wounding a fourth over a weeklong period in 2004. The prosecutor sought the death sentence for the October 11, 2004 murder and armed robbery of Willard Tietjen, Jr. (age 62). The first victim, Christopher Burgess (age 35), was found dead on a muddy road. Three days later, Bryant went to the store with friend Clifton Gainey (age 36) before shooting him and stealing the steaks they just bought. Two days later, Bryant fatally shot Tietjen nine times in the head, hands and body. The defense argued that Bryant was sexually abused as a child and drugs and damaged his brain.
  Prosecutor(s): Kelly Jackson
  Defense lawyer(s): Jack Howle
  Sources: Columbia State 8/20/08 (2008 WLNR 15654187); AP Alert 9/11/08 – SC 19:18:54; www.wistv.com/Global/story.asp?S=2413259; abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/wireStory?id=5777519; www.postandcourier.com/news/2008/sep/11/man_who_killed_may_get_death54148/

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Kenneth Henry Justus – white, age 38
  Sentenced in Dorchester County, South Carolina
  By: a judge
  Date of crime: July 2005
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Justus, serving two life sentences for separate murders, pleaded guilty to fatally stabbing fellow inmate Justin Bregenzer (age 22), in 2005, at the Lieber prison. Justus went into Brezenzer’s cell and stabbed him 11-12 times with a makeshift knife.
  Prosecutor(s): David Pascoe
  Defense lawyer(s):
  Sources: AP Alert 12/12/08 – NC 13:03:09; AP Alert 12/24/08 – NC 00:37:49; www.postandcourier.com/news/2008/dec/17/inmate_again_asks_death_penalty65264/; www.upstatetoday.com/news/2008/dec/25/one-time-oconee-man-gets-death-penalty/

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Andres Antonio Torres – Latino, age 26
  Sentenced in Spartanburg County, South Carolina
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: May 11, 2007
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Torres beat Charles Ray Emery (age 61) and Ann Emery (age 59) to death, with a hammer, while they slept inside their home. Torres also sexually assaulted Ann Emery and tried to set their house of fire by dousing it with gasoline and leaving the oven on. Then, Torres stole some of the Emery’s belongings and their van before crashing it, later that morning, in Union County.
  Prosecutor(s): Trey Gowdy, Barry Barnette, Cindy Crick
  Defense lawyer(s): Kathy Hodges, Clay Allen, John Reckenbeil
  Sources: Columbia State 6/14/07 (2008 WLNR 11059533); www.goupstate.com/article/20081023/NEWS/810230248?Title=Jury-sentences-Torres-to-death-for-double-murder; www.goupstate.com/article/20081018/NEWS/810180354?Title=State-links-defendant-to-couple-s-home-van; www.wistv.com/Global/story.asp?S=6508650; www.goupstate.com/article/20081024/NEWS/810240338?Title=Torres-sentenced-to-death-for-2007-double-murder

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Louis Michael Winkler – white, age 45
  Sentenced in Horry County, South Carolina
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: March 6, 2006
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Winkler broke into Rebekah Grainger’s (age 50) apartment and fatally shot her in the head. Grainger was Winkler’s estranged wife. At the time Grainger was shot, Winker was out on bond from rape and assault charges involving Grainger. The prosecution argued Winkler was killed because was an essential witness in a pending criminal matter related to Winkler. The defense argued Winkler was diagnosed with borderline paranoid disorder.
  Prosecutor(s): Greg Hembree
  Defense lawyer(s): Paul Rathbun, Ralph Wilson
  Sources: www.wistv.com/Global/story.asp?S=4663905; www.wistv.com/Global/story.asp?S=4769996; AP Alert 2/7/08 – SC 01:37:05; Myrtle Beach Sun News 2/8/08 (2008 WLNR 2422632), 2/10/08 (2008 WLNR 2008 2563748); Columbia State 2/10/08 (2008 WLNR 2560288)

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TENNESSEE

Richard L. Odom – white, age 29 (resentence after appellate reversal)
  Sentenced in Shelby County, Tennessee
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: May 10, 1991
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Odom raped and stabbed to death Mina Ethel Johnson (age 77) in a parking garage in Memphis, TN. While working as a trusty in the Simpson County, Mississippi jail, Odom walked off and hitchhiked to Memphis. He was serving a life sentence in Mississippi for the 1978 murder of Becky Roberts (age 40). Odom was convicted of Johnson’s murder and sentenced to death by three different juries. The first jury sentenced Odom to death in 1992 and the second jury sentenced Odom to death in 1999. The first two death sentences were overturned, on appeal, by the Tennessee Supreme Court. The first death sentence was overturned in 1996 because the crime did not meet the legal definition of heinous, atrocious and cruel. The second death sentence was overturned in 2004 because the court found the state prosecutor should not have been allowed to give the jury graphic, violent details of a prior murder. In this latest resentencing he again received a death sentence.
  Prosecutor(s): Amy Weirich
  Defense lawyer(s):
  Sources: Memphis Commercial Appeal 1/15/08 (2008 WLNR 823216); AP Alert 1/16/08 – MiS 13:13:30; www.commercialappeal.com/news/2008/Jan/15/judge-orders-death-sentence-to-run-consecutive/; m.commercialappeal.com/news/2007/Dec/08/3rd-death-sentence-possible/

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TEXAS

Billie Wayne Coble – white, age 40 (resentence after appellate reversal)
  Sentenced to death in McLennan County, Texas
  By: a jury
  Date of Crime: August 29, 1989
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Coble, looking for his estranged wife Karen, went to her parents’ home where he shot Robert Vicha (age 64) in the kitchen. Coble then went to the home of his brother-in-law, Waco police officer Bobby Vicha, and shot Bobby after a struggle. Zelda Vicha, Karen’s mother, was shot after she arrived home later that evening. After the shootings, Coble kidnapped his estranged wife and led police on a high speed chase before crashing into a parked car. Coble was granted a stay of execution by the 5th U.S. Circuit of Appeals in 2006. In 2007, the same court overturned the death sentence and awarded Coble a new penalty trial after finding the jury was not allowed to give proper weight to mitigating factors that could have changed their answer to the future dangerousness issue. In the retrial, he again received a death sentence.
  Prosecutor(s):
  Defense lawyer(s): Richard Ellis
  Sources: AP Alert 9/5/08 – TX 01:02:22; Houston Chronicle 9/5/08 (2008 WLNR 16865383); www.tcdcaa.com/node/610; www.wacotrib.com; www.waco-texas.com; http://www.tdcj.state.tx.us/statistics/deathrow/drowlist/coble.jpg

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James Garrett Freeman – white, age 26
  Sentenced to death in Wharton County, Texas
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: March 17, 2007
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: After a police chase, Freeman fired at least 38 shots from two guns at officers killing Texas Parks and Wildlife Department game warden Justin Hurst (age 34). Prosecutors alleged Freeman intended to commit a massacre when he began shooting. They also argued he posed a future threat because of his actions and temper. The defense argued Freeman was suicidal, suggesting that he tried to provoke officers into killing him. The defense also argued that Freeman was an unemployed welder who had no history of violent crimes, but only alcohol-related and traffic violations before the shootout. They also offered Freeman’s model behavior as a prisoner, since his arrest, as evidence that he would not pose a threat to other inmates or prison officials.
  Prosecutor(s): Josh McCown, Kelly Siegler
  Defense lawyer(s): Lee Cox, Stanley Schneider
  Sources: Houston Chronicle 10/21/08 (2008 WLNR 20050048), 11/07/08 (2008 WLNR 21328851), 11/07/08 (2008 WLNR 21331776); http://www.tdcj.state.tx.us/stat/freemanjames.htm

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Melissa Elizabeth Lucio – Latina, age 38
  Sentenced to death in Cameron County, Texas
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: February 17, 2007
  Prosecutor’s case/defense response: Lucio beat her two year old daughter to death.
  Prosecutor(s): Alfredo Padilla, Maria De Ford
  Defense lawyer(s): Peter Gilman, Adolfo Cordova
  Sources: Valley Morning Star 7/11/08 (2008 WLNR 13014197); Brownsville Herald 10/25/08 (2008 WLNR 20385902); www.courts.state.tx.us; www.tdcj.state.us/stat/luciomelissa.htm

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Randall Wayne Mays – white, age 47
  Sentenced to death in Henderson County, Texas
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: May 17, 2007
  Prosecutor’s case/defense response: Mays shot and killed Henderson County Sheriff’s Deputy Tony Price Ogburn (age 61) and Investigator Paul Steven Habelt (age 63) and wounded Deputy Kevin Harris during a shootout after barricading himself inside his home. Mays surrendered to officers after being shot.
  Prosecutor(s): Donna Bennett, Wesley Mau
  Defense lawyer(s): Bobby Mims, Steven Green
  Sources: US State News 5/13/08 (2008 WLNR 9054961); www.tylerpaper.com; www.tdcj.state.tx.us/stat/maysrandal.htm

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Hector Rolando Medina – Latino, age 28
  Sentenced to death in Dallas County, Texas
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: March 4, 2007
  Prosecutor’s case/defense response: Medina fatally shot his two children, ages 3 and 8 months, before trying to take his own life. Prosecutor argued that Medina shot his children and himself for revenge against his girlfriend - the mother of his children. The defense argued that Medina’s mind-set, at the time of the crime, was influenced by his girlfriend’s four-month affair with one of their roommates.
  Prosecutor(s): Pat Kirlin, Felicia Oliphant
  Defense lawyer(s): Donna Winfield
  Sources: The Dallas Morning News 9/10/08 (2008 WLNR 17178593), 10/28/08 (2008 WLNR 20551574), 12/17/08 (2008 WLNR 24160767); www.dallasnews.com; www.tdcj.state.tx.us

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LeJames Norman – black, age 19
  Sentenced to death in Victoria County, Texas
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: August 24, 2005
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Norman and Ker’sean Ramey attempted to rob a house they believed contained cocaine and money. During the attempted robbery, Samuel Roberts (age 24), Tiffani Peacock (age 18) and Celso Lopez (age 38) were shot to death.
  Prosecutor(s): Bobby Bell, Pam Guenther
  Defense lawyer(s): Allen Tanner
  Sources: AP Alert 2/11/09 – TX 19:36:26; www.victoriaadvocate.com, www.tdcj.state.tx.us/stat/normanlejames.htm

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John Henry Ramirez – Latino, age 20
  Sentenced to death in Nueces County, Texas
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: July 19, 2004
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Ramirez robbed and murdered Pablo Castro (age 45) with Angela Rodriguez and Christina Chavez. During the robbery, Ramirez stabbed Castro 29 times.
  Prosecutor(s): Mark Skurka
  Defense lawyer(s): Ed Garza
  Sources: AP Alert 12/9/08 – TX 17:20:14, www.tdcj.state.tx.us/stat/ramirezjohn.htm, www.kiiitv.com/news/local/35338284.html

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David Santiago Renteria – white, age 31 (resentence after appellate reversal)
  Sentenced to death in El Paso County, Texas
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: November 18, 2001
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Renteria, a convicted sex offender, abducted Alexandra Flores (age 5) from an El Paso Wal-Mart and strangled her to death in 2001. Her naked and partially burned body was found the next day. Renteria was convicted in 2003 and sentenced to death. In 2006, a Texas appeals court overturned Renteria’s death sentence. The court did so believing prosecutors presented misleading evidence which gave the jury the impression that Renteria was not remorseful. In 2008, an El Paso jury resentenced Renteria to death.
  Prosecutor(s):
  Defense lawyer(s):
  Sources: AP Alert 10/4/06 – TX 23:37:38; AP Alert 5/7/08 – AR 21:51:51; www.tdcj.state.tx.us/stat/renteriadavid.htm

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Rosendo Rodriguez III – Latino, age 25
  Sentenced to death in Randall County, Texas
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: September 13, 2005
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Rodriguez raped and murdered Summer Baldwin (age 29). Then, he stuffed her body into a briefcase and tossed it into a landfill. Baldwin was 10 weeks pregnant at the time. Rodriguez was convicted of two counts of capital murder: one for Baldwin and one for her unborn child. During the sentencing phase, the jury heard from five women who testified that Rodriguez had raped them. They also heard testimony from Joe Bill Rogers - the father of Joanna Roger (age 16) who Rodriguez is suspected of killing and has confessed to killing. She disappeared in 2004 and her remains were found in 2006 in the same landfill where Baldwin’s body was discovered; Rogers had also been stuffed into a briefcase. The defense focused on Rodriguez’s difficult childhood and argued that he may have adopted his father’s misogynistic disposition.
  Prosecutor(s): Matt Powell, Tray Payne
  Defense lawyer(s): Rick Wardroup, Fred Stangl
  Sources: AP Alert 4/1/08 – TX 23:28:23; www.tdcj.state.tx.us/stat/rodriguezrosendo.htm; www.lubbockonline.com/stories/040208/loc_264158870.shtml; www.lubbockonline.com/stories/040108/loc_263851684.shtml; www.kcbd.com/Global/story.asp?S=8104113

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Wesley Lynn Ruiz – Latino, age 27
  Sentenced to death in Dallas County, Texas
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: March 27, 2007
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Ruiz fatally shot Dallas police officer Senior Corporal Mark Nix (age 33) after leading police on a vehicle chase. The defense argued Ruiz shot Nix in self defense.
  Prosecutor(s): Andy Beach
  Defense lawyer(s): Paul Brauchle, Karo Johnson
  Sources: Dallas Morning News 7/12/2008 (2008 WLNR 13087528); www.dallasnews.com; www.tdcj.state.tx.us/stat/ruizwesley.htm

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Robert Sparks – black, age 33
  Sentenced to death in Dallas County, Texas
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: September 15, 2007
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Sparks murdered his wife and two stepsons as they slept by stabbing them to death. First, he stabbed his wife Chare Agnew (age 30) while she slept. Then, he took his stepsons, Harold Sublet (age 9) and Raeqwon Agnew (age 10), from their bunk beds one at a time, carried them to the kitchen and stabbed them multiple times. After the murders, he woke his stepdaughters (ages 12 and 14 at the time), bound their feet and hands and raped them. He left them in a closet. Sparks called 911 and confessed to the crimes. The defense did not call witnesses during the guilt/innocence phase of the trial as Sparks admitted to the murders and the rapes. During the punishment phase, the defense focused on why Sparks committed the crimes in an effort to avoid a death sentence. The defense argued that Sparks was not legally insane, but mentally ill – psychologists testified that Sparks suffered from schizoaffective disorder, paranoid delusions and anti-social disorder.
  Prosecutor(s): Damita Sangermano, Andy Beach, Harris Heath, Craig Watkins
  Defense lawyer(s): Paul Johnson
  Sources: Dallas Morning News 12/5/08 (2008 WLNR 23425748), 12/11/08 (2008 WLNR 23779859), 12/12/08 (2008 WLNR 23877142), 12/18/08 (2008 WLNR 23928214); www.tdcj.state.tx.us/stat/sparksrobert.htm

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Paul David Storey – black, age 22
  Sentenced to death in Tarrant County, Texas
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: October 16, 2006
  Prosecutor’s case/defense response: Storey fatally shot Jonas Cherry (age 28) while robbing a Hurst Putt-Putt Golf and Games. Storey and accomplice(s) entered the Putt-Putt and took Cherry into an office. After removing the surveillance tapes, the robbers ordered Cherry to open the safe and fill a bag with cash. Then, Cherry was shot multiple times in the head and legs.
  Prosecutor(s): Christy Jack, Robert Foran
  Defense lawyer(s): Larry Moore, William Ray
  Sources: Fort Worth Star-Telegram 9/13/08 (2008 WLNR 17381840); Dallas Morning News 9/11/08 (2008 WLNR 17258440), 9/13/08 (2008 WLNR 17425578); www.tdcj.state.tx.us/stat/storeypaul.htm; www.star-telegram.com/804/story/928835.html

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Manuel Velez – Latino, age 40
  Sentenced to death in Cameron County, Texas
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: October 31, 2005
  Prosecutor’s case/defense response: Velez caused the death of his girlfriend’s infant son (age 1) by striking him on the head.
  Prosecutor(s): Luis Saenz
  Defense lawyer(s): Hector Villarreal, Rene Flores
  Sources: Brownsville Herald 10/25/08 (2008 WLNR 20385902); www.tdcj.state.tx.us/stat/velezmanuel.htm; www.tdcaa.com/node/3473

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Christopher Chubasco Wilkins – white, age 37
  Sentenced to death in Tarrant County, Texas
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: October 26, 2005, October 27, 2005
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Wilkins fatally shot Mike Silva (age 33) and Willie Freeman (age 40) and also admitted to killing Gilbert Vallejo (age 47) a day earlier out of revenge over a drug deal. In the penalty phase, the prosecution presented evidence of several other episodes of violence, and Wilkins’ white supremacists affiliation. Wilkins told the jurors that he didn’t care what the sentence would be.
  Prosecutor(s): Kevin Rousseau, Tiffany Burks
  Defense lawyer(s): Wes Ball, J. Warren St. John
  Sources: Fort Worth Star-Telegram 3/6/08 (2008 WLNR 4430644), 3/11/08 (2008 WLNR 4751497); Dallas Morning News 3/12/08 (2008 WLNR 4848588); www.courts.state.tx.us/oca/pdf/jchgs/Tarrant031208Jgmt.pdf; www.tdcj.state.tx.us/stat/wilkinschristopher.htm

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VIRGINIA

William Morva– white, age 24
  Sentenced to death in Washington County, Virginia
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: August 20, 2006, August 21, 2006
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Morva fatally shot hospital guard Derrick McFarland (age 32) and Montgomery Sheriff’s Deputy Corporal Eric Sutphin (age 40) during a jail escape. Morva, an inmate at Montgomery County jail, was taken to Montgomery Regional Hospital for treatment of minor injuries. He beat a deputy sheriff unconscious, took his pistol and used it to shoot the unarmed McFarland in the face. The next day, Morva shot Sutphin in the back of the head as Sutphin took part in a manhunt for Morva in Blacksburg. Ultimately, Morva was convicted of three counts of capital murder: one for killing McFarland, one for killing Sutphin and one for committing two murders in less than three years, a capital offense in Virginia. The jury recommended death on all three counts.
  Prosecutor(s): Bradley W. Finch
  Defense lawyer(s): Tony Anderson, Tom Blaylock
  Sources: Richmond Times Dispatch 3/14/08 (2008 WLNR 5320370); Roanoke Times 6/24/08 (2008 WLNR 11903332)

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Alfredo R. Prieto – Latino, age 22
  Sentenced to death in Fairfax County, Virginia
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: December 6, 1988
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Prieto murdered Warren H. Fulton III (age 22) and Rachael A. Raver (age 22) in 1988. Prieto shot Fulton and then shot Raver and raped her while she died. The murders went unsolved until DNA from the crime scene provided the evidence necessary for a conviction. The defense argued Prieto was mentally retarded and thus ineligible for a death sentence. Prieto is already on death row in California for an unrelated rape and murder but he was extradited to Virginia.
  Prosecutor(s): Robert F. Horan, Jr., Raymond F. Morrogh
  Defense lawyer(s): Peter Greenspun, Jonathan Shapiro
  Source: AP Alert 7/6/07 – VA 21:13:21; AP Alert 3/3/08 – Crime 20:36:34; Daily Press 5/24/08 (2008 WLNR 9929611); www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/05/23/AR2008052301457.html; www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/19/AR2005121901831.html

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FEDERAL

Joseph Edward Duncan III – white, age 42
  Sentenced to death in the District of Idaho
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: May 16, 2005
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Duncan kidnapped Dylan Groene (age 9) and his sister Shasta Groene (age 8) and held them for several weeks. He tortured and sexually abused both children while moving from campsite to campsite, in Idaho. Duncan shot Dylan to death but Shasta was rescued. In order to take the young children, he watched their home and killed their brother, Slade Groene (age 13), their mother, Brenda Groene and her fiancé, Mark McKenzie, by tying them up and bludgeoning them with hammer. Duncan received three death sentences: one for the kidnapping, sexual exploitation and murder of Dylan, respectively. California officials are in the process of extraditing Duncan to California to face another possible death penalty for the 1997 kidnapping and murder of Anthony Martinez (age 10).
  Prosecutor(s): Tom Moss
  Defense lawyer(s): Tom Monaghan, Mark Larranaga, Judy Clarke
  Sources: The Spokesman – Review 11/4/08 (2008 WLNR 21300888); AP DataStream 11/4/08 04:08:40; The Spokesman – Review 11/18/08 (2008 WLNR 22249540); The Spokesman – Review 11/20/08 (2008 WLNR 22249823); www.kimatv.com/news/local/14025387.html

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Thomas Morocco Hager – black, age 20
  Sentenced in the Eastern District of Virginia
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: November 29, 1993
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Hager and two accomplices gagged and bound Barbara E. White (age 19) and then stabbed her to death in her bathtub. Hager wanted White dead because she had learned the location of a safe house where Hager, a drug dealer, was staying. Hager and his accomplices tried to electrocute and drown White before stabbing her 82 times with kitchen knives; returning to the kitchen for more knives when they broke or bent.
  Prosecutor(s): James L. Trump, Steven D. Mellin
  Defense lawyer(s): Joseph J. McCarthy, John Kiyonaga
  Sources: Richmond Times Dispatch 10/25/07 (2007 WLNR 21335046), 11/2/07 (2007 WLNR 21871770); US Federal News 11/1/07 (2007 WLNR 23649053); www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/30/AR2006053001424.html; www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/15/AR2007101501084.html

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Lisa Montgomery – white, age 36
  Sentenced in the District of Kansas
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: December 16, 2004
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Montgomery kidnapped and killed pregnant Bobbie Jo Stinnett (age 23). Montgomery strangled Stinnett with a rope and then removed her unborn child with a kitchen knife. Then, Montgomery kidnapped the child and claimed it as her own. The defense argued Montgomery suffered from severe post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and pseudocyesis which left her incapable of understanding that what she had done was wrong.
  Prosecutor(s): Matt Whitworth
  Defense lawyer(s): Frederick Duchardt, Jr.
  Sources: St. Joseph New-Press 4/5/08 (2008 WLNR 8522655); Kansas City Star 4/5/08 (2008 WLNR 6393574); AP Alert 4/5/08 – OK 01:30:00

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Rejon Taylor – black, age 19
  Sentenced in the Eastern District of Tennessee
  By: a jury
  Date of crime: August 6, 2003
  Prosecution’s case/defense response: Taylor, Sir Jack Matthews and Joey Marshall kidnapped and murdered Guy Luck (age 51). Taylor had committed a number of burglaries and identity thefts in the neighborhood where Luck lived. Prosecutors argued Taylor knew Luck was a witness in one of those cases and wanted to kill him. Taylor and his accomplices abducted Luck from his driveway as he exited his home. Taylor drove Luck’s van while Matthews held Luck at gunpoint and Marshall followed in a car as they drove from Atlanta to Tennessee. When Luck tried to over power his abductors, Taylor fired several shots, one of which fatally wounded Luck.
  Prosecutor(s): Steve Neff, Chris Poole
  Defense lawyer(s): Bill Ortwein, Leslie Cory, Howard Clements
  Sources: Chattanooga Times 10/24/08 (2008 WLNR 20289133); The Augusta Chronicle 12/4/08 (2008 WLNR 25164393); Chattanooga Times 12/13/08 (2008 WLNR 23925925); www.wdef.com/news/rejon_taylor_found_guilty_on_four_federal_counts/09/2008; www.wdef.com/news/breaking_news_chattanooga_jury_sentences_rejon_taylor_to_death/10/2008; www.wrcbtv.com/Global/story.asp?s=8972926; www.wrcbtv.com/Global/story.asp?s=9121892; northgeorgia.timesfreepress.com/news/2009/apr/18/rejon-taylor-denied-new-trial/

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