July 2011 Executions
Home Up Info & Resources Death Penalty Issues Death Penalty Links Articles of Interest News & Polls Death Penalty Paper Books & Tapes Legislation Table of Contents Search the Site Discussion

 

Back
Up
Next

Four killers were executed in July 2011. They had murdered at least 7 people.
Two killers were given a stay in July 2011. They have murdered at least 3 people.
 
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
July 7, 2011 Texas Adria Sauceda, 16 Humberto Leal, Jr. executed 
The tragic final hours of sixteen-year-old Adrea Sauceda's life started at an outdoor party in San Antonio, Texas. A witness observed Adria, apparently intoxicated and partially undressed, in the middle of a circle of men who were taking turns "on top of her." Another witness testified that an unidentified male invited him to have intercourse with Adria. The same witness testified that he later observed another man carrying a disoriented Adria to a truck, where he "had his way with her." Twenty-three-year-old Humberto Leal was also at the party. At some point the intoxicated but conscious victim was placed in Leal's car. Leal and Adria left together in Leal's car. About thirty minutes later, Leal's brother arrived at the party in a car which came to a screeching halt. Leal's brother was very excited or hysterical. Leal's brother started yelling to the people left at the party, "What the hell happened!" Leal's brother was yelling that Leal came home with blood on him saying he had killed a girl. Two of the trial witnesses were present when Leal's brother made these statements. Shortly thereafter Leal's brother left in a rush. Several of the party members went looking for Adria in the same area where the party was. They found her nude body lying face-up on a dirt road. They noticed Adria's head had been bashed in and it was bleeding. Her head was flinching or jerking. These party members called the police. When the police arrived, they saw the nude victim lying on her back. There was a 30 to 40 pound asphalt rock roughly twice the size of Adria's skull lying partially on Adria's left arm. Blood was underneath this rock. A smaller rock with blood on it was located near Adria's right thigh. There was a gaping hole from the corner of Adria's right eye extending to the center of her head from which blood was oozing. Adria's head was splattered with blood. There was a bloody and broken stick approximately 14 to 16 inches long with a screw at the end of it protruding from Adria's vagina. Another 4 to 5 inch piece of the stick was lying to the left side of Adria's skull. The police made a videotape of the crime scene portions of which were admitted into evidence. Later that day, the police questioned Leal. Leal gave two voluntary statements. In Leal's first statement he said he was with Adria in his car when she began hitting him and the steering wheel causing him to hit a curb. Leal attempted to calm her down but Adria leaped from Leal's car and ran away. Leal claimed he sat in his car and waited about ten or fifteen minutes to see if Adria would return and when she did not he went home. After giving this statement, Leal was informed that his brother had also given a statement. Leal then gave another statement. In this statement, Leal claimed he followed Adria when she got out of his car and ran away. Leal claimed Adria attacked him. Leal pushed her and she fell to the ground. When she did not get up Leal attempted to wake her but could not. He then looked at her nose and saw bubbles. Leal stated he got scared, went home, prayed on the side of his mom's bed and told family members what had happened, claiming it was just an accident. After giving this statement an officer gave Leal a ride home. The police searched Leal's house. The police seized a blouse which contained several blood stains, hair and fibers. This blouse was later identified as belonging to Adria. The police also seized Leal's clothing from the night before. Leal was arrested later that afternoon at his home. Leal's car was also impounded. The police conducted Luminol tests of the passenger door to determine whether any blood was evident. Blood stains were discovered on the passenger door and seat. Detectives testified that the blood stains were streaked in a downward motion, indicating that the blood had been wiped off. There was insufficient residue to conduct a blood typing of the stains on the vehicle. Other DNA evidence was found on the underwear Leal was wearing that night. That evidence consisted of blood as well as bodily fluid. The DNA test did not preclude Adria's blood type from the evidence tested. Dr. DiMaio, the medical examiner who performed the autopsy, testified about Adria's injuries and cause of death. DiMaio testified that even though Adria was intoxicated when she received her injuries, she would have been aware of what was happening to her. In addition to Adria's massive head injuries, DiMaio testified about injuries Adria received to her chest and shoulder which were consistent with having been inflicted by the stick found in Adria's vagina. DiMaio also testified about the defensive wounds Adria received to her hands trying to protect herself from some object. DiMaio also testified Adria was alive when the stick was placed in her vagina. Adria's neck also contained injuries consistent with manual strangulation. DiMaio testified Adria received some of her injuries while standing up. Adria received her head injuries while lying flat. The injuries to Adria's head were due to blows from the front. These injuries were inconsistent with a fall. Adria's head injuries were consistent with Adria lying on the ground with somebody standing over her striking her. DiMaio testified the large rock could have delivered the injuries to Adria's head. Based on the injuries to Adria's head, DiMaio testified Adria would had to have been struck with the rock two or three times. DiMaio testified Adria died from blunt force trauma injuries to the head. DiMaio could not say for certain that the rock caused the injuries. He testified Adria was beaten about the face with a blunt object or more than one object which could have been the rock or something else. On cross-examination, DiMaio testified that one blow from the rock could have caused Adria's death. DiMaio also testified about bite marks he found on Adria's left cheek, the right side of her neck and the left side of her chest. Another witness compared the bite marks on Adria's chest and neck with dental impressions of Leal's teeth. They matched. The State's indictment charged that Leal killed Sauceda while in the course of and attempting either to kidnap her or to commit aggravated sexual assault. Leal was convicted and, after a separate punishment phase, sentenced to death.  
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
July 12, 2011 Arkansas Stacy Errickson  Marcel Williams stayed 
On November 20, 1994, Stacy Errickson, the victim, on her way to work, stopped at the Jacksonville Shellstop for gas. The time was approximately 6:45 a.m. Marcel Wayne Williams approached Errickson's vehicle, drew a firearm, and forced her to move from the driver's seat to the passenger's side. Williams then drove Stacy's car away from the convenience store. Williams then took Stacy to several automated teller machines and coerced her to attempt withdrawals. A total of eighteen transactions yielded the sum of $350. The last transaction occurred at 7:37 a.m. These transactions were recorded by security cameras at several banking facilities. Stacy Errickson did not make it to work that day, nor did she pick up her child from the babysitter at the end of the day. Police arrested Williams on an outstanding warrant on November 29, 1994, and questioned him based on physical evidence linking him to two other assaults on women. During the course of an intensive interrogation lasting some thirteen hours, Williams admitted having abducted Stacy from the convenience store and robbing her through ATM withdrawals. However, he denied any sexual assault and assured the officers that to the best of his knowledge Stacy was alive. Williams attempted to implicate others as accomplices asserting that they were the ones responsible for physically harming her. Based upon information Williams supplied, the police recovered a sheet matching Williams description as one he used in connection with the abduction and also recovered a gold ring which Williams identified. On December 5, 1994, police discovered Stacy Errickson's body buried in a shallow grave. Other evidence brought out at trial indicated that two women identified Williams as a man they had seen on the morning of November 20, 1994, at the Shellstop. They also testified that after they left the station he followed them in a car and attempted to stop them until they sought refuge at the Air Force base. Williams subsequently returned to the Shellstop and abducted Stacy Errickson. On April 5, 1995, the Pulaski County prosecutor by felony information charged Williams with capital murder, kidnapping, rape, and aggravated robbery. The information asserted that Williams had four prior felony convictions. The Pulaski County Circuit Court tried Williams on these charges beginning on January 6, 1997. Williams was convicted on all counts. During the sentencing phase of the trial the prosecutor introduced evidence in support of three aggravating circumstances, and Williams offered one mitigating circumstance. The jury found that all three alleged aggravating circumstances existed beyond a reasonable doubt and that Williams's mitigating circumstance was also established. In balancing these findings the jury recommended a sentence of death, which the trial court accepted.  
 
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
July 19, 2011 Ohio Lewis Ray
Ruth Ray 
Kenneth Smith stayed 
On May 12, 1995, sometime around 11:00 p.m., Kenneth W. Smith and his brother, Randy Smith, brutally murdered Lewis Ray and Ruth Ray in their Hamilton, Ohio home. Lewis was severely beaten, his skull was fractured, and his throat was slit, severing his windpipe and carotid arteries. Ruth died from manual strangulation. Their home was ransacked, and money and jewelry were taken. The following morning, David L. Lester, Ruth's son, discovered the bodies of his mother and stepfather and called the police. In the Rays' home, police observed signs of a struggle, blood on the kitchen floor, and bloody footprints throughout the house. Police found a damaged white ceramic coffee pot covered with blood stains in the trash can and a green army camouflage hat on the floor. A knife had recently been removed from a butcher block set. Police found Lewis lying on the kitchen floor and Ruth lying in the doorway between the hall and bedroom. The Rays' bedroom had been ransacked, and the contents of dressers were strewn about the floor. Earlier in the evening of May 12, 1995, Smith and Randy had gone to the Crystal Lounge, with a friend, Russell C. Baker. At approximately 10:20 p.m., Smith borrowed Baker's car allegedly to pick up his wife, Brenda Smith, and some friends. By midnight, Smith had not returned Russell's car. At about that time, Brenda and Lillian Canafax, Randy's live-in girlfriend, arrived at the Crystal Lounge also looking for the Smith brothers. About forty-five minutes later, Russell and the two women decided to go to Chasteens Bar. Smith eventually showed up at Chasteens Bar at approximately 1:30 a.m. When Russell questioned Smith about the car, Smith claimed that he was late because he had been in a fight at a gas station. Smith showed Russell a bump on his head. At the time, Russell also noticed that Smith had changed his clothes. At approximately 2:00 a.m., Smith left Chasteens Bar in his Monte Carlo automobile with Brenda, Randy, Lillian, and Russell. Smith drove to his house, handed his car keys to Randy, and instructed Randy to take a stuffed pillowcase from a nearby blue automobile and put it into the trunk of the Monte Carlo. Russell accused the Smith brothers of being "out thieving with my car." Smith replied, "Russell, I wouldn't do that." The group then drove to Buckeye Street, where Russell's brother, James, was staying. Russell soon went home and to bed. In the early hours of May 13, 1995, Smith admitted to his friend, James Baker, that he had killed Lewis Ray and that his brother, Randy, had strangled Ruth Ray. James testified that on May 12, 1995, he was staying at his mother's apartment, when Smith and Randy arrived at approximately 1:30 a.m. in Russell's automobile. The Smiths had been to the apartment earlier in the evening before going to the Crystal Lounge. Smith told James that he had been in a fight, and James noticed that Smith had cleaned up and changed clothes. Smith was wearing a sweater and boots instead of tennis shoes. He was not wearing a hat. James further testified that Smith left the apartment again at 1:35 a.m. to go to Chasteens Bar. When Smith returned to James's mother's apartment at approximately 2:45 a.m., he began to tell James about the murders. James testified that Smith told him that he had taken a hammer and "struck Louie Ray between his eye[s]," and that during this time, Smith had winked at his brother, Randy, who followed Ruth into a bedroom and strangled her. Smith also told James that they took gold and jewelry in a pillowcase from the Rays' home. James testified that when he asked Smith why he killed the Rays, Smith replied that they had killed them to prevent the Rays from identifying them. James testified that Smith "was talking how he sliced Lewis Ray's throat from ear to ear and just laughing about it." Smith also told James that after he killed Lewis, he "kicked Ruth's brain in" to make sure she was dead. James testified that Smith brought a pillowcase stuffed with jewelry inside the apartment, but James asked him to take it back to the car. Later that morning, James was driving around with Smith and Brenda. They stopped to buy cigarettes and marijuana. Smith mentioned to James that he was concerned because he lost his green army camouflage hat in the struggle with Lewis. Eventually they drove to Russell's home. There, out of Smith's presence, James told Russell what Smith had admitted. Smith then suggested to James that he hide the remaining jewelry. This prompted Russell to contact the police. Police later recovered the jewelry in the attic of a garage. In addition to the testimony of James Baker, Lillian Canafax testified that she was outside Chasteens Bar arguing with Randy when he showed her a gun. She testified that she saw the same gun in her bedroom the following morning. Several days later, after she found the gun and money under the bed, she authorized police to search the apartment. Lillian also turned over to police three money orders she had purchased for Randy the day after these crimes occurred. Another witness testified that around 11:15 or 11:30 p.m., he saw Randy standing outside a pizza parlor about a block from the Rays' residence. The witness testified that Randy had a hammer in his hand as he ducked behind the building. Russell testified that a hammer was missing from his car after he had loaned his car to Smith. That afternoon, the police detained Smith for questioning. At the time, police observed cuts and scratches on Smith's face, and a long cut and bruises near his right collarbone. Police also searched Brenda's purse and discovered a cellophane bag containing rings, two $100 bills, and a quantity of nonsequentially numbered food stamps. Police knew that Lewis sold similar jewelry and suspected that he may have dealt in food stamps as currency. At the police station, Smith waived his Miranda rights and admitted that he and Randy had killed Lewis and Ruth. Smith said that while at the Crystal Bar, he and Randy had talked about going to rob the Rays, and decided that they would have to kill the Rays because they did not want the Rays to be able to identify them. Smith told police that after arriving at the Rays' house, he and Lewis began to argue about money that Smith supposedly owed Lewis. Smith further admitted that he picked up an object from the kitchen counter and struck Lewis, eventually overpowering him. Smith claimed that Lewis said, "I'm going to kill you, Kenny," so Smith grabbed a knife and cut Lewis's throat. He then rolled Lewis on his side and took his wallet. Smith said he walked to the bedroom and saw Ruth's body on the floor. Randy had choked her to death. The two men ransacked the bedroom and left in Russell's automobile. Police apprehended Randy Smith. They found $344 in bloodstained currency on him. Randy initially denied any knowledge of the murders. Police allowed Randy to speak with his brother, who said, "They got us brother, everybody is telling on us, tell the truth, that's what I did." Randy then explained to the police his involvement in the crimes. Later, after again being advised of his Miranda rights, Smith gave the police a written confession. In his statement, Smith said that while playing pool at the Crystal Lounge, he talked with Randy about robbing Lewis. He borrowed Russell's car and drove to a pool hall about half a block from the Ray home. Smith stated that he and his brother walked to the Rays' house. Lewis invited the Smiths into his home. Smith and Lewis began to argue about $2,500 that Smith owed Lewis. The men began to fight in the kitchen and Smith grabbed something from the counter and struck Lewis's head. They continued to wrestle on the floor. Smith knew he was going to have to kill Lewis to keep him from telling anyone what happened. Smith then grabbed a knife and "sliced Louie across the throat." In his written confession, Smith further admitted that he took Lewis's wallet, then walked into the bedroom. Ruth was lying on the floor in the doorway, and Smith had to step over her body. Smith said he asked Randy what had happened, and Randy said he had choked Ruth. Smith further admitted that he then ransacked the bedroom, taking rings, watches, and necklaces, and placed the items in a plastic bag and left. According to his signed confession, Smith went home after the murders to shower and change clothes. He and Randy divided the money found in Lewis's wallet. Smith's share was around $625. Smith then put his bloody clothes, the knife, and Lewis's wallet into a green trash bag that Randy later threw into the river. The two men then drove to Chasteens Bar. In his confession, Smith explained that after leaving Chasteens Bar, he drove to the apartment where James Baker was staying and began to go through the jewelry that the Smith and Randy had taken from the Rays' house. Smith picked out some items he wanted to keep. The following morning he placed some rings into a plastic bag and gave them to Brenda, who put them into her purse. Smith put the remainder of the jewelry into the trunk of his Monte Carlo. He and James then put the jewelry into the attic of James's grandmother's garage. During police questioning, Smith also admitted that the wristwatch he was wearing had belonged to Lewis. At trial, Smith testified that he and Randy went to the Rays, intending only to steal saws and drills from the yard. They parked the car away from the house, but as they walked into the yard, Lewis opened the gate and saw them. Lewis invited them into the house, and the men began to argue about money that Smith allegedly owed Lewis. Smith testified that within ten minutes, "everything got real violent." Lewis "jumped up," told Smith he "was going to shoot" him, and hit Smith "upside the head with something." Smith testified that he grabbed something from near the stove and struck Lewis. Smith testified that Lewis tried to push him down the basement steps. Smith then grabbed a knife and cut Lewis as he approached. Smith bent down, turned Lewis on his side, and grabbed his wallet. Smith further testified that Randy told him that he had choked Ruth. The brothers then ransacked the bedroom, taking jewelry. Smith denied that he intended to kill the Rays. Smith claimed that Lewis was his best friend, and he "wouldn't cold blooded kill him for nothing." Smith testified that he was very upset about the Rays because they were "like family" to him. He admitted that he told James about killing Lewis, but testified that he wasn't laughing or joking, but instead, he was "in tears." Kenneth Smith was charged in two counts with the aggravated felony-murder of Lewis Ray and Ruth Ray. Each murder charge contained three death specifications: the offense was committed to escape detection, apprehension, trial, or punishment for other offenses; the offense was part of a course of conduct involving the purposeful killing of two or more persons; and the offense was committed during the course of an aggravated robbery. He was also charged with two counts of aggravated robbery that included the allegation of a prior felony conviction for attempted burglary. The jury convicted Smith as charged and recommended the death penalty on the aggravated murder counts. The trial court sentenced Smith to death.  
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
July 20, 2011 Texas Vasudev Patel, 49 
Waqar Hasan, 46
Mark Stroman executed 
In the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Mark Anthony Stroman, a member of the Aryan Brotherhood, murdered two individuals he believed to be of Middle Eastern descent. Prosecutors say that just days after the attacks on New York, Washington and Pennsylvania, Stroman began carefully plotting revenge. At the time, he was free on bail for previous crimes. On September 15, 2001, Stroman shot Waqar Hasan in the head while the man was grilling hamburgers in his convenience store. The 46-year-old Pakistani native had moved to the Dallas area that year to start a new life with his family.  Six days after murdering Waqar Hasan, Rais Bhuiyan, a Bangladeshi man, was seriously wounded. Stroman shot Bhuiyan in the face while he was working at the counter at a gas station. Rais survived his wounds but was left blind in one eye and severely disfigured. Patel's murder, planned in advance, was captured in graphic detail by the gas station's surveillance camera. On October 4, Stroman attempted to rob the Mesquite, Texas, gas station operated by Patel. Surveillance tapes showed the suspect waving a .44-caliber chrome-plated pistol at the clerk and demanding, "Open the register or I'll kill you." The 49-year-old Patel, a Hindu, tried to reach for his gun hidden under the counter, but Stroman shot the man in the chest. He left without taking any cash and was arrested the next day. Patel's murder was the last in a series of shootings and it was for that crime that Stroman was prosecuted, convicted and sentenced to death. During the sentencing phase, he made an obscene hand gesture to Hasan's relatives.  Stroman testified at trial that the United States government "hadn't done their job so he was going to do it for them."  Stroman was convicted and sentenced to death. He has never shown remorse for the murders, and he even composed poetry in prison expressing his pride in his crimes. "I cannot tell you that I am an innocent man. I am not asking you to feel sorry for me, and I won't hide the truth," Stroman told CNN in a recent interview. "I am a human being and made a terrible mistake out of love, grief and anger, and believe me, I am paying for it every single minute of the day."
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
July 21, 2011 Georgia Kathryn DeYoung
Gary DeYoung
Sarah DeYoung, 14
Andrew DeYoung executed 
During the months preceding the crime, DeYoung told his accomplice David Michael Hagerty that he wanted to start a business and hoped to find investors to finance the project. He later confided in Hagerty that he had been unsuccessful in finding financial backing, but that he had another solution. He estimated his parents' estate to be worth $480,000, and, as Hagerty testified, "he felt that the only means to acquire the money was take his family's life." Subsequently, DeYoung told Hagerty that "the murders were going to have to take place," and the two met to discuss preparations. DeYoung formulated the plan to murder his parents and two siblings by slashing their throats, and then setting fire to the house. Several days before the planned event, DeYoung drove Hagerty to the DeYoung family's church in Dunwoody. There they buried two containers -- a footlocker and another box -- which contained what DeYoung described to Hagerty as evidence which would incriminate him. In preparation for the murders, DeYoung and Hagerty purchased clothing and supplies, including an eleven-inch filet knife and two gasoline containers. According to the plan, DeYoung and Hagerty traveled on foot to the DeYoung home at 2:00 a.m. on the designated day. On the way, they retrieved boots, gloves and knives from a duffle bag which DeYoung had left in the woods earlier that evening. Both men were armed with knives. They approached the DeYoung home from the rear of the property where they retrieved two containers of gasoline they had left there earlier. When they reached the house, DeYoung took a handgun from his duffle bag and tucked it into his waistband. After he cut the telephone wires, he and Hagerty entered the house. DeYoung went upstairs where his parents and sister were asleep. He instructed Hagerty to go to a downstairs bedroom where his 16-year-old brother Nathan was asleep, and to cut his throat with the filet knife. DeYoung stabbed his mother repeatedly while she was sleeping in her bedroom upstairs; her screams awakened his father. As he struggled with his father, DeYoung's sister Sarah came to the doorway of their parents' bedroom. DeYoung slashed his father to death, and then stabbed and killed Sarah in the hallway. Hagerty heard a commotion upstairs, and changed his mind about killing Nathan. Nathan testified that he heard stomping and banging noises coming from upstairs, and he heard his sister cry out and call his name. Upon finding that the phone was dead, Nathan escaped through his bedroom window and ran to a neighbor's house for assistance. Instead of setting fire to the house as they had planned, DeYoung and Hagerty searched the area for Nathan. Nathan returned with a neighbor who was armed with a gun. The neighbor noticed movement in the driveway, and observed a figure clad in black. As the neighbor was about to shoot at the man, he observed that it was Andrew DeYoung, and he called out, "Andy, what did you do?" The neighbor testified that he had no doubt the man he saw was the defendant. Nathan did not see the suspect's face, but he testified that his "movements and his body size resembled Andy, my brother." DeYoung and Hagerty fled from the house in separate directions. Both had discarded their clothing, boots, and weapons along the way. They eventually met up later that morning at Hagerty's home, where they concocted an alibi. Hagerty observed that DeYoung had injuries to his neck and forehead. DeYoung drove back to his home at 10:30 a.m., seven hours after the murders. He told police that he had spent most of the night at Hagerty's home, and he denied any involvement in the crimes. Authorities noted that he was calm and showed no grief over the deaths of his family members. There were scratches and abrasions present on his face, neck, hands and right arm. Hagerty was interviewed by police and gave several statements in which he admitted his participation in the crimes. He also led authorities to the clothing worn by him during the killings, and to the footlocker and box which had been concealed on the church property. These contained DeYoung's shoulder holster and ammunition pouch and a hand-drawn map depicting the route to the DeYoung home. An arrow on the map pointed to a cul-de-sac where the house was located and was accompanied by the words "Just Do It." Hagerty also led police to a gun that fit the holster recovered in the footlocker, and a Glock Model 81 military survival knife, which he identified as similar to the knife DeYoung used on the night of the crime. The victims' wounds were consistent with that knife. DeYoung and Hagerty were arrested on the same day, and charged with the three murders. DeYoung was convicted of the malice murders of his parents, Kathryn and Gary DeYoung, and his 14-year-old sister Sarah. The jury recommended the death penalty, finding that as to each of the three counts of the indictment, the offense of murder was committed while the offender was engaged in the commission of another capital felony, to wit: murder; the offender committed the offense of murder for the purpose of receiving money or any other thing of monetary value; the offense of murder was outrageously or wantonly vile, horrible, or inhuman in that it involved depravity of mind of the defendant and aggravated battery of the victims prior to their deaths. The trial court sentenced DeYoung to death.
Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
July 29, 2011 Delaware Elizabeth Girardi Robert Jackson III executed 
On April 3, 1992, because they needed money to buy marijuana, Robert W. Jackson III's friend, Anthony Lachette, suggested that they rob a home in Hockessin, Delaware owned by Elizabeth Girardi. Lachette had been friends with the Girardi children and was familiar with the home. Jackson and Lachette broke into the home through a porch door, grabbed items such as jewelry, rare coins, a camera and some compact discs and placed them into paper bags. As they were leaving the home, Elizabeth Girardi came upon them in her driveway. Lachette dropped his loot and fled, but Jackson remained, retrieved an axe from a shed and killed Girardi. The police investigation led to Jackson and Lachette after Jackson's roommate, James Burton, sold a bracelet taken during the burglary to a pawnbroker who then contacted the police. Lachette and Burton denied any involvement in Girardi's murder but told police that Jackson had bragged about killing Girardi. Other evidence placed Jackson at the crime scene. The police matched Jackson's sneaker tread to two footprints at the crime scene, found a camera, some coins and other items from the burglary in Jackson's apartment and found two carpet fibers at the entry of Girardi's home that matched fibers from Jackson's car. The police arrested Jackson and Corrections placed him in Gander Hill prison. While there, he befriended another inmate, Andre Johnson, who was in Gander Hill in default of bail after an arrest on July 2, 1992 for burglary, theft and weapons charges. During their developing acquaintance, Jackson sought Johnson's assistance in a plan to murder Button in order to prevent Burton from testifying against him. Johnson posted bail on August 27, 1992. Jackson later mailed him a photograph of Burton, a letter and a map showing where Burton lived. On September 25, 1992, Johnson went to prosecutors and revealed Jackson's plan, giving them the photograph of Burton, the letter and the map to Burton's house. The police found Jackson's fingerprints on the letter and the map. Johnson testified for the prosecution at Jackson's trial about the plan to murder Burton. Johnson stated that he had been given immunity for his involvement in the murder plan but stated that he had no agreement with the prosecutors for leniency on the burglary, theft and weapons charges. Later, Johnson moved to dismiss the burglary, theft and weapons charges on the theory that he had been granted immunity on those charges, as well, for his cooperation in Jackson's case. On March 11, 1994, Superior Court held a hearing to determine whether the State promised Johnson immunity for the burglary, theft and weapons charges in exchange for his testimony against Jackson. Timothy Barron, the lead prosecutor in Jackson's case, testified that after Johnson contacted him, he invited Johnson to his office that day, then called in Robert O'Neill, the other prosecutor assigned to Jackson's case, Lt. Dennis Godek, commander of the detective division of the New Castle County police and Scott McLaren, the chief investigator in Jackson's case. When Johnson arrived, Barron interviewed him alone for a few minutes to assess Johnson's allegations. Barron stated that he told Johnson at that time that the prosecutors could not offer him leniency on the burglary, theft and weapons charges in exchange for his testimony against Jackson and that Johnson stated that he understood this. Johnson, on the other hand, testified that during this initial conversation alone with Barron, Barron offered him leniency for his cooperation but told Johnson not to tell anyone. Barron next called O'Neill, Godek and McLaren into his office where Johnson provided more details regarding his conversations with Jackson about the plan to murder Burton. Barron testified that during that interview, McLaren asked Johnson what he expected in exchange for his cooperation. Johnson replied that he did not want anything, but that he was not willing to participate in a plan to murder a witness. Barron testified that although Johnson did not explicitly state that he expected leniency, Barron suspected that Johnson had a subjective expectation of leniency. Barron also testified that although he offered Johnson no leniency, Barron was prepared to obtain "some kind of thank you treatment by the State." n3 In fact, in 1993, Barron convinced senior prosecutors to authorize a plea offer to Johnson for a recommended sentence of twenty-five years imprisonment instead of the potential life sentence that Johnson could have received as an habitual offender after conviction for the burglary, theft and weapons charges.
 
 

Page visited   Hit Counter times since 1/1/11

Page last updated 12/06/12


Copyright 2014  
Site created and maintained by Charlene Hall - info@prodeathpenalty.com