Death Sentence Reporter

This information is compiled by Professor David McCord, Drake University Law School

Organized by State

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ALABAMA

James Largin- White, age 35

Sentenced in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama

By: a judge upon jury recommendation (11-1)

Date of crime: March 2007

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Largin shot to death his parents Jimmy (age 68) and Peggy Largin (age 56). Largin robbed his parentsí home after the murder and used the money to purchase drugs that fueled a 24-hour binge. The presentencing report, which was read at Larginís sentencing hearing, stated that he showed no remorse for his actions. The defense argued that Largin could provide a benefit to society in prison helping others to better their lives.

Sources: AP Alert 10/02/09 - AL 16:42:21


Calvin McMillan - Black, age 20

Sentenced in Elmore County, Alabama

By: a judge against jury recommendation (4-8)

Date of crime: August 29, 2007

Prosecutionís case/defense response: McMillan shot to death James Martin (age 23) during a carjacking. Martin was shot four times, the final bullet hitting him while laying on the asphalt after being pulled from the car. The jury voted in favor of life imprisonment, but the judge overrode that decision. The defense put evidence of abuse suffered by McMillan throughout his youth.

Sources: Montgomery Advertiser (AL) 06/25/09 (2009 WLNR 12120670), 07/01/09 (WLNR 12533818), 08/08/09 (2009 WLNR 15359542), 08/10/09 (2009 WLNR 15466211).


Steven Petric - White, age 28

Sentenced in Jefferson County, Alabama

By: a judge upon jury recommendation (10-2)

Date of crime: March 9, 1990

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Petric raped and slit the throat of Toni Lim (age 23). The prosecution argued that this was part of a pattern of raping women at knifepoint. Police were able to connect Lim to the case 16 years later by connecting his DNA to the case. The defense argued that the DNA only proved the two had sex, and not that Petric murdered her. The defense also pointed to another suspect that was convicted of a similar crime that occurred two months after Lim. There was another sample of DNA found at the scene, but the defense was unable to run that sample through the national database.

Sources: Birmingham News (AL) 08/05/09 (2009 WLNR 15186972), 08/13/09 (2009 WLNR 15856819), 08/14/09 (2009 WLNR 15919037), 08/15/09 (2009 WLNR 16090542).


Christie Michelle Scott - White, age 29

Sentenced in Franklin County, Alabama

By: a judge against jury recommendation (5-7)

Date of crime: August 16, 2008

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Scott set fire to her home killing her son, Mason (age 6), who was inside. She had purchased a substantial life insurance policy for her son less than twelve hours before the fire was started. The jury recommended a sentence of life in prison without parole, but the judge overrode that decision. The defense claimed Scott was innocent.

Sources: Press-Register (AL) 07/11/09 (2009 WLNR 13822835); AP Alert 06/08/09 - AL 14:09:01; 08/05/09 - AL 16:47:24.


Kevin Towles - Black, age 28

Sentenced in Etowah County, Alabama

By: a judge upon jury recommendation

Date of crime: December 2-3, 2006

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Towles beat to death Geontee ďGeeĒ Glass (age 5) the son of his girlfriend. Geontee Glass was originally reported kidnapped by his mother, but was found the next day in the trunk of a vehicle at Towlesí home. At trial Glassí older sister testified that Towles took Glass from the home while angry. When her brother returned he was not moving. The defense argued that Towles had been falsely accused and point to Glassí mother had filed a false report saying Glass had been kidnapped. The report for the kidnapping came a full day after the time that the coroner says the boy died.

Sources: AP Alert 12/12/06 - AL 15:02:51, 12/21/09 - AL 18:19:36; Sun Herald (Biloxi, MS) 12/22/09 (2009 WLNR 25689764).


ARIZONA

Benjamin Cota - Latino, age 42

Sentenced in Maricopa County, Arizona

By: a judge upon jury recommendation

Date of crime: December 30, 2003 Ė January 6, 2004

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Cota bludgeoned to death Victor Martinez (age 73) and decapitated Martinezís wife Guadalupe Zavala (age 40). He had been working as a contractor on their home, and stored the bodies in the wall. Cota claimed to be innocent. The defense suggested that his decision to stay in the home for a week after the murders was proof that he did not feel a need to flee.

Sources: Arizona Republic 07/10/09 (2009 WLNR 15658539); AP Alert 08/16/09 - AZ 18:23:59.

Shawn Grell - White, age 24 (resentencing after Ring v. Arizona)

Sentenced in Maricopa County, Arizona

By: a judge upon jury recommendation

Date of crime: December 2, 1999

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Grell was previously sentenced by a judge, but a change in law required that he be sentenced by a jury. Grell burned to death his daughter, Kristen Salem (age 2). Evidence at the scene showed she had ran in circles while aflame. The defense argued that Grell suffered from a cognitive disorder that prevented him from being able to control his impulses. The defense also argued that Grell was mentally retarded.

Sources: Tribune (AZ) 04/17/09 (2009 WLNR 7209264), 07/22/09 (2009 WLNR 13976892); Arizona Republic 07/28/09 (2009 WLNR 15650499).


Rodney Hardy - White, age 42

Sentenced in Maricopa County, Arizona

By: a judge upon jury recommendation

Date of crime: August 28, 2005

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Hardy shot to death his common-law wife, Tiffany Lien (age 21), and her friend, Don Stanciel (age 32). Hardy found them together and murdered them in a jealous rage. The defense presented evidence of Hardyís childhood which included evidence of abuse at the hands of his heroin-addicted mother.

Sources: Arizona Republic 08/21/09 (2009 WLNR 16331172), AP Alert 08/21/09 - AZ 13:31:06.


Scott Lehr - White, age 32 (resentencing after Ring v. Arizona)

Sentenced in Maricopa County, Arizona

By: a judge upon jury recommendation

Date of crime: November 8, 1991 (Margaret Christorf); February 7, 1992 (Michelle Morales)

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Lehr was previously sentenced by a judge, but a change in law requires that he be sentenced by a jury. Lehr, nicknamed the ďBaby Seat RapistĒ because his surviving victims mentioned that he had a baby seat in the back of his car, choked and beat to death Margaret Christorf (mid-30s) and Michelle Morales (age 19). Ms. Christorf and Ms. Morales are two of ten victims that Lehr was tried on. Seven of the listed victims survived the attack. The case was retried because the trial court refused to allow certain cross examination of the DNA experts and refused to allow the defense to provide evidence related to the DNA testing techniques.

Sources: AP Alert 04/17/09 - AZ 08:07:41, 04/17/09 - AZ 14:43:35; azcentral .com (http://www.azcentral.com/specials/special32/articles/0616lehr-ON.html?&wired); State v. Lehr 38 P.3d 1172 (Ariz., 2002).


Jahmari Manuel - Black, age 33

Sentenced in Maricopa County, Arizona

By: a judge upon jury recommendation

Date of crime: March 31, 2004

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Manuel shot to death Darrell Willeford during a robbery. The surveillance footage of the robbery shows Manuel firing as he entered the shop.

Sources: AP Alert 09/24/09 - AZ 23:58:26, 09/25/09 - AZ 14:30:51.


Brad Nelson - White, age 36 Sentenced in Mohave County, Arizona

By: a judge upon jury recommendation

Date of crime: June 2006

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Nelson bludgeoned to death his niece, Amber Leann Graff (age 14) after sexually assaulting her. Police were able to find a tee-shirt of Nelsonís with Graffís blood on it, and police found blood on a sleeping bag that Nelson had returned to a department store. Nelson refused to submit to a mental health evaluation prior to the trial.

Sources: AP Alert 11/16/06 - AZ 03:30:15; Pro Death Penalty Resource Community 12/02/2009 (http://off2dr.com/smf/index.php?topic=7722.0).


Scott Nordstrom - White, age 28 (resentencing after Ring v. Arizona)

Sentenced in Pima County, Arizona

By: a judge upon jury recommendation

Date of crime: 1996

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Nordstrom was previously sentenced by a judge, but a change in law required that he be sentenced by a jury. Nordstrom shot to death Thomas Hardman (age 28), and Carol Lynn Noel (age 50), during two separate robberies. Nordstrom was present at four other murders in the string of robberies that resulted in these charges. Nordstrom declined an offer to speak at his sentencing. The defense claimed that Nordstrom was not the gunman for any of the murders, and that his brother is to blame.

Sources: Arizona Daily Star 08/28/09 (2009 WLNR 16881501), 09/29/09 (2009 WLNR 19454267).


Isiah Patterson - Black, age 64 Sentenced in Maricopa County, Arizona

By: a judge upon jury recommendation

Date of crime: March 2006

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Patterson stabbed to death his girlfriend, Consquelo Barker (age 32). Witnesses saw Patterson chasing Barker down the street. Police were called to the scene of a fight, but when they arrived Barker had already been stabbed ten times. Sources: AP Alert 12/05/09 - AZ 00:10:22, 12/05/09 - AZ 08:30:21.


Pete Van Winkle - White, age 26

Sentenced in Maricopa County, Arizona

By: a judge upon jury recommendation

Date of crime: May 2008

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Van Winkle beat and choked to death Robert Cotton (age 28). Cotton and Van Winkle were both inmates at the Fourth Avenue Jail. The murder was picked up by a surveillance camera and a jailer watched as Van Winkle tried to throw Cottonís body over a railing. The prosecution argued that Van Winkle, a member of the Aryan Brotherhood prison gang, was trying to take out an informant. The defense argued that the killing was in self-defense.

Sources: The Arizona Republic 11/13/09 (2009 WLNR 22908562), 11/18/09 (2009 WLNR 23524443).


James Wallace - White, age 34 (resentencing)

Sentenced in Pima County, Arizona

By: a judge upon jury recommendation

Date of crime: February 1, 1984

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Wallace beat to death Susan Insalaco (age 36), and Susanís children: Anna Monzon (age 16), and Gabriel Monzon (age 12). Wallace was living with Insalaco at the time, but Insalaco told him to move out. On the day he was to leave he waited for each member of the family to come home and beat them to death. Anna Monzon was the first to come home, Wallace beat her with a small wooden bat until the bat broke. Gabriel Monzon came home next, Wallace beat her to death with an 18-inch pipe wrench. Wallace used the same wrench on Insalaco. Wallace pleaded guilty the next morning. The defense argued that the abuse suffered during Wallaceís childhood, as well as his substance abuse, were mitigating factors. The Arizona Supreme Court overturned Wallaceís last conviction because the prosecutors on the case should not have argued Wallace acted with ďgratuitous violenceĒ because he used a bat and wrench instead of a gun.

Sources: Arizona Daily Star 11/04/09 (2009 WLNR 22235699), 11/10/09 (2009 WLNR 23045950), 11/22/09 (2009 WLNR 24891385).


ARKANSAS

Jason McGehee - White, age 21 (resentencing after appellate review)

Sentenced in Baxter County, Arkansas

By: a judge upon jury recommendation

Date of crime: 1996

Prosecutionís case/defense response: McGehee, Chris Epps, and Benjamin McFarland, tortured and strangled to death John Thomas Melbourne Jr. (age 15). The police believe that the men killed Melbourne because they believed he had told the police about their check theft and forgery scheme. The case was held in Baxter County, and not Boone County, because of a change in venue. The original sentence was thrown out when a U.S. District Court Judge said that more evidence of McGeheeís childhood should have been allowed at the sentencing phase.

Sources: AP Alert 1/8/08 - AR 14:19:00, 12/17/09 - AR 10:38:53; Baxter Bulletin (Mountain Home, AR) 1/9/08 (2008 WLNR 27335196), 1/10/08 (2008 WLNR 27335211).


CALIFORNIA

Jason Aquirre - Latino, age 27

Sentenced in Orange County, California

By: a judge upon jury recommendation

Date of crime: Aug 12, 2003

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Aquirre shot to death Minh Cong Tran (age 13) after believing Tran to be a member of a rival gang. Aquirre came up to where the gang had pinned the car with Aquirre in it and began firing. His bullets struck two others, but Tran was shot in the heart, liver, and shoulder. Tran died from blood loss. The jury found the special circumstances of killing for the benefit of a gang.

Sources: Orange County Register (CA) 04/30/09 (2009 WLNR 8237115), 05/23/09 (2009 WLNR 9864341), 06/16/09 (2009 WLNR 11541960), 08/15/09 (2009 WLNR 15940155).


Fernando Belmontes - Latino, age 21 (resentencing after appellate review)

Sentenced in San Joaquin County, California

By: a judge upon jury recommendation

Date of crime: 1981

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Belmontes beat to death Steacy McConnell (age 19) with a dumbbell bar. Belmontes committed the murder in order to steal McConnellís stereo, which he sold to get money for beer and drugs. This appeal was on the basis that Belmontesí attorneys did not provide a sufficient level of counsel when they failed to put on evidence of Belmontesí childhood. The case went to the U.S. Supreme Court which upheld the sentence.

Sources: Los Angeles Times 6/17/10 (2010 WLNR 12274984), 11/17/09 (2009 WLNR 23126273); The Record (Stockton, CA) 11/17/09 (2009 WLNR 23171253).


Michael Burgener - White, age 30 (resentencing after appellate review)

Sentenced in Riverside County, California

By: a judge upon jury recommendation

Date of crime: October 31, 1980

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Burgener shot to death William Arias during a robbery. Burgenerís sentence has brought a lot of attention to the way the death penalty is administered in California. The victimís family has referred to the death penalty as an ďempty promise.Ē Burgener has been on death row for 28 years and has not exhausted his appeals. Burgenerís sentence was first reversed in 1986 because the defense had failed to present mitigating evidence during the penalty phase. Burgener was then sentenced to death in 1988, but the trial judge modified the verdict to life imprisonment. The appellate court reversed, and directed the trial court to reconsider. A different judge had taken the bench at the trial court when the appellate court reversed. The new judge was found to have not used his independent judgment and the appellate courts reversed again. This was the fourth published ruling on this case.

Sources: Recorder (San Francisco, CA) 5/8/09 (2009 WLNR 22680226); Los Angeles Times 05/18/09 (2009 WLNR 9434114); UPI Top Stories 5/18/09 - 00:00:00.


Anthony Dent - Black, age 29

Sentenced in Los Angeles County, California

By: a judge upon jury recommendation

Date of crime: 2002

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Dent shot to death Vincent Williams (age 49) for not paying Dentís gang for the crack house that Williams was running. The jurors found two special circumstances in Dentís case: gang murder, and lying in wait. The jury also found that Dent had two previous convictions for murder.

Sources: AP Alert 09/10/09 - CA 21:49:38; US Federal News 09/11/09 (2009 WLNR 17817068).


Kai Harris - Black, age 27

Sentenced in Los Angeles County, California

By: a judge upon jury recommendation

Date of crime: April 2004

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Harris and Donte McDaniel entered a South Los Angeles housing project and shot two people to death over a drug dispute. They attempted to murder three other witnesses but were not successful.

Sources: AP Alert 11/20/09 - CA 20:53:54; Los Angeles Times 11/21/09 (2009 WLNR 23498077).


Billy Joe Johnson - White, age 39

Sentenced in Orange County, California

By: a judge upon jury recommendation

Date of crime: March 8, 2002

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Johnson shot to death Scott Miller after luring him into an alley. Johnson murdered Miller in retaliation for appearing on Fox News where he had revealed information about their gang. Though Millerís face was blurred his gang was able to recognize him by his tattoos. Johnson did not fight the death penalty he believed he would have a larger cell, no cellmate, more recreation time, and more visits with his family if placed on death row. Johnson believed that he would be executed in the future, but believed exhausting his appeals would allow him to outlive his mother so that she would not be made to suffer any more than she already has.

Sources: The Orange County Register (CA) 11/26/09 (2009 WLNR 23976230); AP DataStream 4/26/10 05:43:42.


Steven Anthony Jones - Black, age 37

Sentenced in Los Angeles County, California

By: a judge upon jury recommendation

Date of crime: 2004

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Jones killed Neil Robert Hacker (age 23) during a robbery. Two weeks later Jones tortured Sharon Ann Willis (age 47) in a motel room before killing her with a pick hammer. Jones also was charged in twelve other crimes including violent crimes commited while being held in prison.

Sources: US Federal News 08/15/09 (2009 WLNR 15888769).


Ricky Rene Madison - Black, age 46

Sentenced in Los Angeles County, California

By: a judge upon jury recommendation

Date of crime: 2006

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Madison was found to be responsible in the stabbing death of his girlfriend, Ashley Shy. Though jurors did not find that Madison personally wielded the knife he was deemed responsible. Madison was one of two individuals in Shyís home at the time of the murder. The two are believed to have been working together. Shy had been stabbed 172 times; the jurors found the special circumstance of murder involving the infliction of torture.

Sources: AP Alert 07/17/09 - CA 22:14:57.


Miguel Magallon - Latino, age 21

Sentenced in Los Angeles County, California

By: a judge upon jury recommendation

Date of crime: August 10, 2004

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Magallon shot to death Michael Sparkes, an off-duty Los Angeles County police captain. Magallon attempted to rob Sparkes, but Sparkes was armed and opened fire on his assailants. Magallon apologized during the penalty phase of his trial and stated that he did not intend to kill Sparkes. Jurors found the special circumstances of murder during an attempted robbery and murder during a drive-by shooting.

Sources: Long Beach Press-Telegram (CA) 08/04/09 (2009 WLNR 15039163).


Carlos Martinez - Latino, age 27

Sentenced in Orange County, California

By: a judge upon jury recommendation

Date of crime: December 29, 2004

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Martinez posed as a potential homebuyer and stabbed to death the owners Nicolas Casas (age 83), and Emilia Casas (age 73) with steak knives. Martinez then ransacked the Casasí home. The murders went unsolved for many years until police were able to find a match from DNA taken off a Pepsi can at the scene.

Sources: Orange County Register 06/17/09 (2009 WLNR 11601649), 07/01/09 (2009 WLNR 12580086), 07/02/09 (2009 WLNR 12691688), 08/22/09 (2009 WLNR 16429959); AP Alert 08/22/09 - CA 01:08:47.


Santiago Martinez Jr. - Latino, age 22

Sentenced in Los Angeles County, California

By: a judge upon jury recommendation

Date of crime: August 29, 2007

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Martinez stabbed and slashed his girlfriend Myra Orozco (age 24) close to thirty times before pushing her out of a car and running her over twice. Martinez was angered after Orozco refused to move the body of his other girlfriend Christina Wilkerson (age 28) that he had murdered two weeks before by stabbing her 20 times in the neck and face before shooting her in the face with a .22 rifle. Martinez had already been sentenced to life in prison for the Wilkerson murder before the trial for Orozcoís murder began. The jury found the special circumstances of multiple murders allowing for the possibility of death.

Sources: Press-Telegram (CA) 11/24/09 (2009 WLNR 23712371); Guelph Mercury 11/24/09 (2009 WLNR 23755819); Los Angeles Times 11/25/09 (2009 WLNR 23749742).


Jean Rices - Black, age 24

Sentenced in San Diego County, California

By: a judge upon jury recommendation

Date of crime: March 1, 2006

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Rices shot to death Heather Mattia (age 22) and Firas Eiso (age 23) during a liquor-store robbery. Mattia and Eiso were each shot in the back of the head. During sentencing Rices said that he was innocent and that he was just being punished for all the murders he got away with.

Sources: San Diego Union-Tribune, 06/09/09 (2009 WLNR 11166729) 06/25/09 (2009 WLNR 12309973), 08/22/09 (2009 WLNR 16485594).


Edward Wycoff - White, age 38

Sentenced in Contra Costa County, California

By: a judge upon jury recommendation

Date of crime: January 31, 2006

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Wycoff killed his sister (Julie Rogers, age 47) and brother-in-law (Paul Rogers, age 48) with a knife and wheelbarrow handle. Wycoff, who represented himself, argued that he had the right to kill his victims because they were trying to destroy him by excluding him from holiday celebrations, and by cheating him out of his inheritance. Wycoff told jokes throughout the trial, and brought with him a ďGet out of jail freeĒ card to his sentencing. Wycoff fought to represent himself instead of the public defenders. He believed that the public defenders were conspiring to make him look like a ďcrazy idiot.Ē No mental illness defense was used at the trial.

Sources: San Francisco Chronicle (CA) 11/6/09 (2009 WLNR 22214097), 12/9/09 (2009 WLNR 24791693); Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, CA) 12/9/09 (2009 WLNR 25441418).


Tony Yonko - White, age 40

Sentenced in Riverside County, California

By: a judge upon jury recommendation

Date of crime: October 22, 2002

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Yonko bludgeoned to death Paul Ngo (age 42) during a burglary. The defense argued that Yonko was mentally retarded, and put the issue up to the jury. Part of the IQ tests used in California require information about adaptation to social situations and if issues were seen before age eighteen. Yonko never attended school and the defense had a difficult time with providing evidence from that time frame.

Sources: Desert Sun (CA) 12/11/08 (2008 WLNR 27403021), 12/25/08 (2008 WLNR 27403570).


FLORIDA

Raymond Curtis Bright ó Black, age 54

Sentenced in Duval County, Florida

By: A judge after an 8-4 jury recommendation of death

Date of crime: 2/08

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Bright bludgeoned two victims to death with a hammer in his homeóRandall Brown (age 16) and Derrick King III (age 20). The prosecution contended that the victims were beaten to death as they were sleeping after having done drugs with Bright. The defense contended that the victims had awoken Bright waving a gun, and he had responded in self-defense based on his training as a Marine (he had served 10 years and was honorably discharged).

Sources: Florida Times Union (Jacksonville) 8/26/09 (2009 WLNR 16648374), 9/2/09 (2009 WLNR 17195037), 11/19/09 (2009 WLNR 23392337).


Matthew Caylor - White, age 33

Sentenced in Bay County, Florida

By: a judge upon jury recommendation (8-4)

Date of crime: July 8, 2008

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Caylor raped and strangled Melinda Hinson (age 13). Her body was found under a Caylorís bed at the hotel where he was staying. Caylor admitted to strangling Hinson with his hands and a phone cord. The state put forth three aggravators to ensure the possibility of the death penalty: Caylor was a convicted felon at the time of the killing; the killing occurred while committing the offense of aggravated child abuse; and the killing was especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel.

Sources: The News Herald (Panama City, FL) 7/31/08 (2008 WLNR 14259968), 12/11/09 (2009 WLNR 25085636), 10/17/09 (2009 WLNR 20560487).


Frederick Cummings-El - Black, age 33 (resentencing after appellate review)

Sentenced in Gadsden County, Florida

By: a judge upon jury recommendation (8-4)
 
Date of crime: September 16, 1991

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Cummings-El stalked and stabbed to death his ex-girlfriend, Kathy Good. Good had taken out a restraining order against Cummings-El after numerous threats of violence and an assault at a neighborís house. Goodís eight-year-old son witnessed the murder and believed he saw Cummings-El punching his mother. Goodís nephew, from another room, ran up in time to see Cummings-El escaping. Good was conscious for a while after the stabbing, but drown as her lungs filled with blood. Cummings-El was given a new sentencing hearing following a successful claim of ineffective assistance of counsel.

Sources: Commision on Capital Cases (http://www.floridacapitalcases.state.fl.us/inmate-details.cfm?id=84); Cummings-El v. State 863 So. 2d 246 (Fla., 2003).


Andrew Gosciminski - White, age 49 (resentencing after appellate review)

Sentenced in St. Lucie County, Florida

By: a judge upon jury recommendation (9-3)

Date of crime: September 24, 2002

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Gosciminski beat and stabbed to death Joan Loughman (age 55). Gosciminski met Loughman at the assisted-living home where he worked and Loughmanís father lived. Gosciminski murdered her in order to steal her jewelry. At his first trial evidence was admitted that should have been excluded. Gosciminski maintains his innocence.

Sources: Vero Beach Press Journal (FL) 10/10/09 (2009 WLNR 20216731); St. Lucie News Tribune (Fort Pierce, FL) 11/7/09 (2009 WLNR 22454154).Palm Beach Post (FL) 11/7/09 (2009 WLNR 22480679).


Donte Hall - Black, age 21

Sentenced in Lake County, Florida

By: a judge upon jury recommendation (8-4)

Date of crime: September 9, 2006

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Donte Hall, along with his identical twin brother Dante Hall, robbed and shot to death Anthony Bernard Blunt (age 35) and Kison Evans (age 32). The Hall brothers broke into a house party with Blunt and Evans in attendance. The brothers shot out the lights and then shot four people in the house, killing two.

Sources: Orlando Sentinel (FL) 04/23/09 (2009 WLNR 7607257), 12/11/09 (2009 WLNR 25073980), 03/27/10 (2010 WLNR 6469173).


Justin Heyne - White, age 25

Sentenced in Brevard County, Florida

By: a judge upon jury recommendation (8-4 Sarah Buckoski; 10-2 Ivory)

Date of crime: March 30, 2006

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Heyne shot to death Sarah Buckoski (age 24), her boyfriend Benjamin Hamilton (age 26), and Sarahís daughter Ivory (age 5). Prosecutors argued that Heyne murdered the three over a $300 debt.

Sources: Florida Today (Melbourne, FL) 12/18/09 (2009 WLNR 25490555), 05/13/10 (2010 WLNR 10017077); Orlando Sentinel 386 12/18/09 (2009 WLNR 25496306).


Michael King - White, age 37

Sentenced in Sarasota County, Florida

By: a judge upon jury recommendation (12-0)

Date of crime: January 17, 2008

Prosecutionís case/defense response: King kidnapped, raped, and then shot to death Denise Lee (age 21). King kidnapped Lee from her porch where she was cutting her childís hair. During the kidnapping Lee managed to make a call to 911 from Kingís phone. The tape includes her begging King for her life, and asking to see her family again. He then took her to his home, and raped her repeatedly. While driving Lee out to an undeveloped part of town to murder her, Lee was seen by other motorists who called in to 911 to report a woman in distress, but that information was not given to the authorities that were trying to find her. The defense presented evidence of Kingís low IQ, a brain injury from a sledding accident as a child, and his depression from a recent break-up.

Sources: Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL) 09/05/09 (2009 WLNR 17571718), 12/04/09 (2009 WLNR 24548904), 12/05/09 (2009 WLNR 24712857).


Genghis Kocaker ó White, age 40

Sentenced in Pinellas-Pasco County, Florida

By: A judge after an 11-1 jury recommendation of death

Date of crime: 8/31/04

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Kocaker robbed cabdriver Eric Stanton for drug money, stabbed him, slashed his throat, bound him with a seatbelt, put him in the trunk, and set the cab on fire. Despite his wounds Stanton managed to get from the trunk into the passenger compartment, but died from the wounds and smoke inhalation. Kocaker had a prior manslaughter conviction, and eight robbery convictions, and had gotten out of prison only a couple of months before this murder. In mitigation the defense presented multiple factors: brain abnormality, multiple personality disorder, lifelong absence of Kocakerís father, childhood sexual abuse, that he was HIV-positive, a history of substance abuse, that he was under the influence at the time of the murder, and that he had people who loved him.

Sources: St. Petersburg Times 6/14/08 (2008 WLNR 11248936), 12/19/09 (2009 WLNR 25675559).


William Kopsho - White, age 46 (resentencing after appellate review)

Sentenced in Marion County, Florida

By: a judge upon jury recommendation

Date of crime: 2000

Prosecutionís case/defense response: (See also 2nd quarter 2005) Kopsho kidnapped his estranged wife, Lynne (age 21), as she was leaving work, and shot her three times. He had a prior sexual battery and false imprisonment convictions for crimes against another woman. The defense claimed Kopsho acted out of emotional duress after learning of Lynneís infidelity. The original conviction was tossed out due to a technical error during jury selection.

Sources: Orlando Sentinel 10/28/00 (2000 WLNR 8580773), 05/25/07 (2007 WLNR 9825840); AP Alert 05/22/09 - FL 20:44:49; ocala.com 07/08/09 (http://www.ocala.com/article/20090708/ARTICLES/907081009).


Eric Patrick - White, age 42

Sentenced in Broward County, Florida

By: a judge upon jury recommendation (7-5)

Date of crime: September 2005

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Patrick hog-tied, beat, and strangled Steven Schumacher (age 72). Patrick also robbed Schumacher during the murder. Patrick admitted to the crime and claimed that it was in response to when Schumacher ďmade a passĒ at him.

Sources: Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) 10/10/09 (2009 WLNR 20015543), 10/10/09 (2009 WLNR 20015476); Miami Herald (FL) 10/11/09 (2009 WLNR 20040436).


Robert Peterson - White, age 41

Sentenced in Duval County, Florida

By: a judge upon jury recommendation (7-5)

Date of crime: August 29, 2007

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Peterson fatally shot his stepfather, Roy Andrews (age 64) after beating him. Andrews had been financially supporting Peterson for a number of years but told his son he would no longer help. Peterson lured his stepfather into a cemetery, beat him, and then shot him. Peterson maintains that he is innocent.

Sources: The Florida Times-Union 12/11/09 (2009 WLNR 25051542); Pro Death Penalty Resource Community 09/09/09 (http://off2dr.com/smf/index.php?topic=7224.0).


GEORGIA

Cleveland Clark - Black, age 43

Sentenced in Fulton County, Georgia

By: a judge upon jury recommendation

Date of crime: April 2000

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Clark was hired by Chiman Rai to murder his daughter-in-law, Sparkle Rai. Clark strangled and then stabbed her. Chiman Rai hired Clark for ten-thousand dollar because he did not want a black daughter-in-law. The defense argued that others involved in hiring Clark gave him up to get a deal with the prosecutor and save their own lives.

Sources: Atlanta Journal-Constitution 06/27/08 (2008 WLNR 12097917), 10/12/08 (2008 WLNR 19441349), 08/04/09 (2009 WLNR 15017206).


David Edenfield - White, age 58

Sentenced in Glynn County, Georgia (by a Jeff Davis County jury)

By: a judge upon jury recommendation

Date of crime: March 8-15, 2004

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Edenfield sodomized and choked to death Christopher Michael Barrios Jr. (age 6). Edenfield was a convicted child molester. Police found the body of Barrios in a trash bag at a park near the trailer park he was taken.

Sources: AP DataStream 10/7/09 - 01:47:10; The Florida Times-Union 10/11/09 (2009 WLNR 20071226), 01/29/10 (2010 WLNR 1953793), 03/21/10 (2010 WLNR 5911450), 08/04/10 (2010 WLNR 15461810).


James Allyson Lee - White, age 19 (resentencing after appellate review)

Sentenced in Charlton County, Georgia

By: a judge upon jury recommendation

Date of crime: May 26, 1994

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Lee shot his fatherís live in girlfriend, Sharon Chancey, in the face. Lee had gone to his fatherís home in order to steal his fatherís vehicle. When his father was not home he killed Chancey and took a vechicle. Lee was given another sentencing after an appellate court determined that his counsel at trial had not presented enough evidence of his childhood. Evidence included substantial physical abuse.

Sources: The Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville) 03/15/09 (2009 WLNR 4941916); AP Alert 09/09/09 - GA 22:44:54; Fulton County Daily Report 11/13/09 (2009 WLNR 22775633).


ILLINOIS

Brian Dugan - White, age 27

Sentenced in DuPage County, Illinois

By: a judge upon jury recommendation

Date of crime: February 25, 1983

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Dugan abducted, raped, and beat to death Jeanine Nicarico (age 10). Two others were already convicted with Nicaricoís murder before being cleared of the crime by DNA evidence. The initial investigator had quit in protest after the other two individuals were arrested. Dugan eventually admitted to the crime.

Sources: Chicago Sun Times (IL) 12/17/09 (2009 WLNR 25392832); Chicago Tribune 02/25/10 (2010 WLNR 3945269); Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL) 05/25/10 (2010 WLNR 10878562).


LOUISIANA

Terrance Carter - Black, age 27

Sentenced in Red River Parish, Louisiana

By: a judge upon jury recommendation (12-0)

Date of crime: July 2006

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Carter tied the son of his ex-girlfriend Corinthian Houston (age 5) to a chair in an abandoned home and lit him on fire. Carter directed his attorneys to not put on any case during the penalty phase.

Sources: AP Alert 09/26/08 - LA 21:45:57, 10/07/09 - LA 12:12:20; The Times (Shreveport, LA) 09/27/08 (2008 WLNR 27448496), 03/14/09 (2009 WLNR 23005537).


Felton Dorsey ó Black, age 32

Sentenced in Caddo Parrish, Louisiana

By: A jury

Date of crime: 4/1/06

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Dorsey and an accomplice (who later testified against him) were burgling and robbing an elderly woman in her home when the womanís sonó51 year-old retired firefighter Joe Prockóstopped by for a visit. Dorsey and his accomplice tied Prock up, beat him with a handgun, and set him and the house on fire. Even though Prockís mother was tied up with a blanket over her head, she survived. No information about the defense approach to the case was available.

Sources: New Orleans Times-Picayune 5/10/11 (2011 WLNR 9249454).


Lee Roy Odenbaugh - White, age 41

Sentenced in Ouachita Parish, Louisiana (moved from Morehouse Parish)

By: a judge upon jury recommendation

Date of crime: December 2006

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Odenbaugh shot to death his wife, Sondra Porter-Odenbaugh (age 39), and her mother, Jessie Porter (age 58). The defense argued that Odenbaugh was no longer a risk to others, and that these murders were only the result of mixing prescription drugs and crack cocaine. On the automatic appeal the defense argued that the prosecution withheld information of mental illness in Odenbaugh, but the appellate courts did not find the arguments persuasive.

Sources: News-Star (LA) 11/07/08 (2008 WLNR 27262120); AP Alert 08/14/09 - LA 21:34:20.


MISSISSIPPI

Bobby Batiste Jr. - Black, age 28

Sentenced in Oktibbeha County, Mississippi

By: a judge upon jury recommendation

Date of crime: March 2008

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Batiste beat to death his roommate Andreas Galanis (age 28). Galanis had told a friend that his bank account was missing $3,000 to $5,000 right before being found dead. Batiste later admitted to taking the money. When the police arrived to look for Galanis they found his body with blood all over the room.

Sources: Sun Herald (MS) 03/10/09 (2008 WLNR 4689796), 03/11/08 (2008 WLNR 4738888); Clarion-Ledger (MS) 03/10/08 (2008 WLNR 26595536), 10/26/09 (2009 WLNR 21329282).


Jason Keller - White, age 28

Sentenced in Harrison County, Mississippi

By: a judge upon jury recommendation

Date of crime: June 21, 2007

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Keller shot to death Hat Nguyen (age 41) during a robbery of her store. Keller claimed that he intended to rob Nguyen and to shoot at her, but that he did not intend to hit her with any of the bullets. Keller was already in prison at the time of the trial for a different robbery. The defense argued that Keller had shown himself to be a good inmate, and that he could no longer hurt anyone.

Sources: Sun Herald (Biloxi, MS) 10/08/09 (2009 WLNR 19799288), 10/09/09 (2009 WLNR 19908491).


MISSOURI

Gregory Bowman - White, age 26

Sentenced in St. Louis County, Missouri

By: a judge upon jury recommendation

Date of crime: June 5, 1977

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Bowman slit the throat of Velda Joy Rumfelt (age 16). The crime had gone unsolved for 30 years until DNA from semen found on Rumfelt was matched to Bowman. Bowmanís DNA was on file after being found guilty of the murder of two girls in Illinois. Bowmanís convictions were overturned in Illinois, and prosecutors decided not to retry after the death penalty was handed down in Missouri.

Sources: St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MO) 11/12/09 (2009 WLNR 22663670), 12/12/09 (2009 WLNR 25120873); Evansville Courier 12/12/09 (2009 WLNR 26444269); UPI NewsTrack 12/13/09 - 02:00:53; Belleville News Democrat (IL) 12/18/09 (2009 WLNR 25472952).


NEVADA

Thomas Richardson - White, age 38

Sentenced in Clark County, Nevada

By: a judge upon jury recommendation

Date of crime: September 7, 2005

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Richardson beat to death Estelle Feldman (age 91), and her grandson Steven Folker (age 43) with a claw hammer. Richardson beat them during a robbery. Richardson spoke at his own sentencing and apologized for his actions. The defense argued that the testimony that was used to convict Richardson was not sufficiently corroborated by physical evidence and that he should not have been found guilty.

Sources: AP Alert 09/02/09 - CA 17:28:12; Las Vegas Review-Journal (NV) 09/02/09 (2009 WLNR 17191311), 09/03/09 (2009 WLNR 17268121).


OHIO

Von Clark Davis - Black, age 36 (resentencing)

Sentenced in Butler County, Ohio

By: a three-judge panel

Date of crime: December 12, 1983

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Davis shot to death his ex-girlfriend Suzette Bulter (age 24). This is the third sentencing for Davis after numerous appeals. Davis argued that he was innocent at his first trial, and that a drug dealer named ďSilky CarrĒ had murdered Bulter. The state brought forward witnesses who had unwittingly purchased the murder weapon and ammunition for Davis. Kopsho had been previously convicted of murdering his first wife, and had only been on parole for three years before murdering Bulter.

Sources: Dayton Daily News (OH) 02/23/09 (2009 WLNR 3721517); Cincinnati Enquirer (OH) 08/22/09 (2009 WLNR 16403972), 09/10/09 (2009 WLNR 17743856).


OKLAHOMA

Ronson Kyle Bush - White, age 31

Sentenced in Grady County, Oklahoma

By: a judge upon jury recommendation

Date of crime: December 23, 2008

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Bush shot William Harrington (age 35). Bush admitted to shooting his friend, but denied that he meant to do it. Prosecutors showed that Harrington had been shot many times, crawled away, and was shot again multiple times. The defense argued that Bushís head injuries, bipolar disorder, drug addiction, and alcohol addiction were mitigating factors. Bush killed Harrington while on parole.

Sources: The Express-Star (Chickasha, OK) 10/26/09 (2009 WLNR 21290627), 10/28/09 (2009 WLNR 21464427), 10/29/09 (2009 WLNR 21619413), 10/30/09 (2009 WLNR 21727968), 11/02/09 (2009 WLNR 21882080); Oklahoman 10/30/09(2009 WLNR 21856153).


Raymond Eugene Johnson - Black, age 33

Sentenced in Tulsa County, Oklahoma

By: a judge upon jury recommendation

Date of crime: June 2007

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Johnson beat to death Brooke Whitaker (age 24) with a hammer, and then set fire to Whitakerís home with Kya Whitaker (age 7 months) still inside. During sentencing the prosecution offered evidence of four different aggravating circumstances: previous felony convictions, knowingly created great risk of death to more than one person, continued threat to society, and especially heinous atrocious or cruel. The previous felony conviction included five previous convictions against Johnson among them a first-degree manslaughter charge. The defense argued that Johnson intended to kill Brooke Whitaker, but not Kya Whitaker. During sentencing the defense argued that Johnson could be a benefit to society behind bars as part of the prison ministry.

Sources: Tulsa World (OK) 10/10/07 (2007 WLNR 19945218), 06/27/09 (2009 WLNR 12350970), 07/29/09 (2009 WLNR 14695826).


PENNSYLVANIA

Harve Lamar Johnson - Black, age 26

Sentenced in York County, Pennsylvania

By: a judge upon jury recommendation

Date of crime: April 6, 2008

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Johnson beat to death Darisabel Baez (age 2). Johnson became enraged when Johnsonís diaper leaked on to the ground after he spanked her. The autopsy was unable to determine which one of Baezís 150 fresh injuries was the fatal blow, but several were considered to have had the potential to be individually fatal.

Sources: York Daily Record (PA) 05/05/10 (2010 WLNR 9299187), 05/28/10 (2010 WLNR 11000956); York Dispatch (PA) 05/05/10 (2010 WLNR 9303186).


Joseph Kindler - White, age 24 (resentencing after appellate review)

Sentenced in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania

By: a judge upon jury recommendation

Date of crime: July 25, 1982

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Kindler beat David Bernstein (age 22) with a baseball bat and drowned him in a nearby river. Bernstein was scheduled to provide testimony against Kindler the next day about a robbery. Kindler had escaped the detention center he was held in while awaiting trial in 1984. He was recaptured in Quebec, but escaped once again while awaiting extradition. Kindler was captured again in 1988 after being featured on ďAmericaís Most Wanted.Ē Kindler required a second sentencing because the trial judge deemed certain post-verdict claims to be waived after Kindler escaped. The U.S. Supreme Court said that the state court needed to consider the issues with the jury instructions.

Sources: Philadelphia Daily News (PA) 09/27/03 (2003 WLNR 14634863), 12/09/09 (2009 WLNR 24797316); AP Alert 05/18/09 - PA 14:14:33; AP DataStream 12/08/09 - 15:53:37; Morning Call (Allentown, PA) 02/12/94 (1994 WLNR 1964427); Legal Intelligencer 10/13/94 (1994 WLNR 5421805).


John ďJordanĒ Lewis - Black, age 21

Sentenced in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania

By: a judge upon jury recommendation

Date of crime: October 31, 2007

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Lewis shot to death Chuck Cassidy, a veteran police officer, during a doughnut-store robbery. Lewis vowed to take responsibility for the killing. Lewis had been captured a few days after the murder while staying at a Miami homeless shelter. Sources: News Journal (Wilmington, DE) 11/25/09 (2009 WLNR 24007325).


Gaylord Spell - Black, age 44

Sentenced in Lawrence County, Pennsylvania

By: a judge upon jury recommendation

Date of crime: March 1, 2007

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Spell beat to death Sueann Brest (age 40) with a blunt object. The prosecution tied Spell to the murder through DNA evidence collected on Brestís body. The finding of DNA evidence was used to show that Spell knew Brest despite claiming he did not during interrogation. The state argued the aggravating circumstance of torture based on the extensive injuries Brest suffered.

Sources: AP Alert 04/26/07 - PA 10:30:15; New Castle News (PA) 05/04/09 (2009 WLNR 8474681); Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 04/21/07 (2007 WLNR 7552302).


Ronald Lee Weiss - White, age 19 (resentencing after appellate review)

Sentenced in Indiana County, Pennsylvania

By: a judge upon jury recommendation

Date of crime: October 23, 1978

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Weiss crushed the skull of Barbara Bruzda (age 16) with an unknown tool in order to prevent her from telling the police about the large marijuana plants on his familyís farm. Weiss was convicted in 1985, but a judge dismissed the case because the state relied on testimony of Weissí wife. Being the spouse of the suspect meant that, under state law, she was to be found incompetent to take the witness stand against her husband. A change in the state law in 1997 allowed Weissí wife to testify against him. The Defender Association claimed that Weiss was denied a fair trial because of conflicts in interest for the defense attorneys, because counsel did not investigate a diminished capacity defense, the judge failed to excuse a biased juror, the trial should have been held in a different venue. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned the conviction because the trial courtís decision lacked substance. Weiss was again found guilty.

Sources: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA) 07/11/97 (1997 WLNR 2909770), Pittsburgh Tribune Review 07/13/03 (2003 WLNR 13954126).


SOUTH CAROLINA

Stephen Stanko ó White, age 38 (already under of 2006 death sentence in South Carolina for a different murder)

Sentenced in Horry County, South Carolina

By: A jury

Date of crime: 4/8/05

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Stanko burgled the home of 74-year-old Henry Turner, robbed him, and shot him twice in the headóone shot was fired from the back through a pillow. In a separate trial in 2006 Stanko had been sentenced to death for a murder he committed earlier that same day of his live-in-girlfriend after he had sexually assaulted her daughter. The defense in the present case attempted to establish that Stanko was insane at the time he killed Turner, and also presented evidence that he acted as a peacemaker in prison.

Sources: Myrtle Beach Sun News 11/18/09 (2009 WLNR 23247067), 11/19/09 (2009 WLNR 23285706), 11/20/09 (2009 WLNR 23456606)


TENNESSEE

Lemaricus Davidson - Black, age 26

Sentenced in Knox County, Tennessee

By: a judge upon jury recommendation

Date of crime: January 2007

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Davidson led a group of four that raped and murdered Channon Christian (age 21) and her boyfriend Christopher Newsom (age 23). The group kidnapped Christian and Newsom. Newsom was shot to death. Christian suffocated after being choked and shut in a garbage can. The defense provided information about Davidsonís childhood which included being raised by a drug-using prostitute mother, and sexual abuse from a teenage boy.

Sources: AP Alert 10/30/09 - KY 20:53:12; UPI Top Stories 10/31/09 - 00:00:00; The Knoxville News-Sentinel (TN) 10/31/09 (2009 WLNR 21871008), 07/30/10 (2010 WLNR 15159677); Memphis Commercial Appeal (TN) 10/31/09 (2009 WLNR 21880851); AP Alert 06/11/10 - TN 19:35:28.


Corinio Pruitt - Black, age 24

Sentenced in Shelby County, Tennessee

By: a judge upon jury recommendation

Date of crime: August 2, 2005

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Pruitt beat to death Lawrence Guidroz (age 79) during a carjacking. Pruitt had been spotted in the stolen car, but escaped once police caught up with the vehicle.

Sources: Memphis Commercial Appeal (TN) 08/05/05 (2005 WLNR 12405363), 03/01/08 (2008 WLNR 4230781), 03/02/08 (2008 WLNR 4230957).


TEXAS

Brent Ray Brewer - White, age 19 (resentencing after appellate review)

Sentenced in Randall County, Texas

By: a judge upon jury recommendation

Date of crime: 1990

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Brewer had stabbed a man during a robbery. At trial Brewer sought to introduce evidence of mental illness and the judge instructed the jury to only consider two special issues: whether Brewerís conduct was deliberate, and if there was a reasonable expectation that his conduct would result in the victimís death. The 5th Circuit held that the jury had a right to hear this evidence and consider it in determining if Brewer deserved death.

Sources: Dallas Morning News 06/28/07 (2007 WLNR 12242392); AP Alert 06/17/08 - WA 07:10:54; National Law Journal 04/30/07 (4/30/07 NLJ 20); Brewer v. Quarterman (442 F.3d 273).


James Broadnax - Black, age 19

Sentenced in Dallas County, Texas

By: a judge upon jury recommendation

Date of crime: June 2008

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Broadnax shot to death Stephen Swan (age 26) and Matthew Butler (age 28). Broadnax confessed to the crime. At sentencing the defense admitted that the crime was monstrous, but claimed that Broadnax suffered a horrible childhood and was only bragging when he requested the death penalty. Broadnax laughed during the testimony of the mother of one of his victims.

Sources: Dallas Morning News (TX) 08/21/09 (2009 WLNR 16353756), 08/22/09 (2009 WLNR 16413226), 08/25/09 (2009 WLNR 16569935).


Paul Devoe - White, age 44

Sentenced in Travis County, Texas

By: a judge upon jury recommendation

Date of crime: August 2007 (Faulkner and Hensley)

Prosecutionís case/defense response: This case involved the murders of Haylie Faulkner (age 15), and Danielle Hensley (age 17) in Texas. They were part of a murder spree that began with two victims in Pennsylvania and five more in Texas. Pennsylvania decided not to seek extradition from Texas because Devoe was more likely to face the death penalty in Texas. Devoe claims that he doesnít remember the attacks, but is haunted by their screams.

Sources: UPI Top Stories 12/19/07 - 00:00:00; Springfield News-Leader (MO) 10/03/09 (2009 WLNR 24387874); Public Opinion (Chambersburg, PA) 05/21/10 (2010 WLNR 10523401).


Fabian Hernandez - Latino, age 31

Sentenced in El Paso County, Texas

By: a judge upon jury recommendation

Date of crime: November 3, 2006

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Hernandez shot to death his ex-wife, Renee Urbina Hernandez (age 28), and her friend, Arthur Lee Fonseca (age 24). Hernandez became jealous when his ex-wife showed romantic interest in Fonseca. He shot both of them in the head outside her parentsí home.

Sources: El Paso Times (TX) 11/26/09 (2009 WLNR 23883348), 12/27/09 (2009 WLNR 25964903), 12/27/09 (2009 WLNR 25965354).


Jerry Martin - White, age 37

Sentenced in Leon County, Texas

By: a judge upon jury recommendation

Date of crime: September 24, 2007

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Martin shot to death Correctional Officer Susan Canfield. Martin and a fellow inmate took the gun from another officer during an escape attempt. They got into a firefight with Canfield that resulted in her death. The defense brought up evidence of Martinís childhood and mental illness. The state pointed out the danger in keeping him in prison for life.

Sources: The Huntsville Item (TX) 12/01/09 (2009 WLNR 24226218), 12/03/09 (2009 WLNR 24388304), 12/08/09 (2009 WLNR 24763413).


Demontrell Miller - Black, age 21

Sentenced in Smith County, Texas

By: a judge upon jury recommendation

Date of crime: June 01, 2008

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Miller beat to death Kelynn Pinson (age 2). Miller claimed that he found Pinson in the pool and was unable to revive her, but the autopsy showed that the child died of blunt force trauma. Police later found bloody clothes in the house. The defense argued that the death was an accident.

Sources: KSLA News 12 06/03/08 (http://www.ksla.com/Global/story.asp?S=8420004); KYTX 19 11/05/2009 (http://www.cbs19.tv/Global/story.asp?S=11441815), 11/17/09 (http://www.cbs19.tv/global/story.asp?s=11524682); KLTV 7 11/16/09 (http://www.kltv.com/Global/story.asp?S=11516248).


Mark Allen Robertson - White, age 21 (resentencing after appellate review)

Sentenced in Dallas County, Texas

By: a judge upon jury recommendation

Date of crime: 1989

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Robertsonís was granted a new punishment hearing for the 1989 robbery and murder of Edna Brau (age 81) because a federal appeals court found the jury instructions to be confusing. The instructions were related to mitigating factors including Robertsonís childhood. At the new hearing the state portrayed Robertson as a cold-blooded sociopath and the defense claimed that he was a changed man.

Sources: Dallas Morning News (TX) 06/23/09 (2009 WLNR 11998683), 07/02/09 (2009 WLNR 12648302), 07/03/09 (2009 WLNR 12727177).


VIRGINIA

Joshua Wayne Andrew - White, age 19

Sentenced in Prince William County, Virginia

By: a judge upon jury recommendation

Date of crime: January 2, 2002

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Andrew shot to death Romanno Head (age 22) and Robert Morrison (age 22) during a robbery of their apartment. Andrew broke into the apartment and ordered the three men inside to kneel in the bathtub. He then shot all three in the back of the head, one of them survived. Andrewís original sentence was overturned on double jeopardy grounds.

Sources: Richmond Times Dispatch (VA) 07/26/07 (2007 WLNR 14987400), 08/06/07 (2007 WLNR 15312406), 09/17/10 (2010 WLNR 18470148); AP Alert 08/04/07 - DC Daybook 04:39:39; AP Alert 09/16/10 - VA 18:09:20.


FEDERAL

David Runyon - White, age 36

Sentenced in Eastern District, Virginia

By: a judge upon jury recommendation

Date of crime: August 29, 2007

Prosecutionís case/defense response: Runyon was hired to murder Cory Allen Voss (age 30) by Vossí wife. Runyon jumped into the truck of Voss at a spot arranged by Vossí wife. Runyon shot Voss in the chest five times.

Sources: Daily Press (Newport News, VA) 08/27/09 (2009 WLNR 16776287), 08/28/09 (2009 WLNR 16870851), 12/05/09 (2009 WLNR 24583875); Virginia Pilot and Ledger-Star (Norfolk, VA) 08/28/09 (2009 WLNR 16805438); Dominion Post in Morgantown (WV) 08/29/09 (2009 WLNR 16880016); Sunday Gazette-Mail (Charleston, WV) 12/06/09 (2009 WLNR 24682290).