April 1999 Executions
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10 murderers were executed in April, 1999.  They had killed at least 21 people.
17 killers were issued stays of execution.  They have murdered at least 37 people.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
April 2, 1999 Ohio William Dovalosky
Charles Dials, 18
Alva Campbell stayed

Alva Campbell was sentenced to death in the April 2, 1997 slaying of Charles Dials of the South Side. Campbell, 49 at the time, had escaped from a Franklin County deputy sheriff who was transporting him for a court appearance when he allegedly flagged down Dials as the 18-year-old prepared to leave a parking space at the Franklin County Courthouse. Dials was found dead hours later in a South Side parking lot. Campbell, who was arrested the same day after an intensive manhunt, was charged with aggravated murder, aggravated robbery, escape, felonious assault, attempted kidnapping and having a weapon as a convicted felon. The murder conviction was his second. Campbell also has an earlier conviction for shooting with intent to kill. At age 19, when Shaker Heights police caught up with Campbell in October 1967 after his 1st three armed robberies, he had about $500 in his pocket. In 1968, Campbell was convicted of shooting Trooper Charles Toth of the State Highway Patrol in the wake of the 1st three armed robberies. Toth, on routine patrol, flipped on his red-and-blue lights behind the vehicle in which Campbell and three cohorts were riding. As Toth approached the car, Campbell shot the trooper in the abdomen. Campbell was sent to the Ohio Penitentiary on June 17, 1968, on three counts of armed robbery, one count of larceny and one count of shooting with intent to kill. He was paroled Dec. 21, 1971. His next venture -- in April 1972, after his parole from prison -- netted $500 from a Cleveland bar. Four months after his parole -- on April 21, 1972 -- Campbell killed William Dovalosky, a Cleveland bartender who had recently returned home from a tour in Vietnam. Campbell was sentenced to life in prison for 1st-degree murder and 1st-degree murder in the perpetration of a robbery. He spent the next 20 years behind bars. In three armed robberies in Columbus in 1997, Campbell got away with $1,450, plus $50 in food stamps and a bottle of wine. Busing tables at minimum wage, Campbell could have earned his entire booty from the armed robberies in a matter of months. Campbell became a most-wanted criminal not because of the amount of money stolen but because of the amount of blood shed. 

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
April 5, 1999 Nevada Peggy Crawford, 37
Keith Christopher, 21
Alvaro Calambro executed

Alvaro Calambro pleaded guilty and was sentenced to death for the killing of 2 people at a U-Haul business in Reno. In late September, 1993, Duc Huynh, a Vietnamese immigrant, was fired from his job at U-Haul Rental in Reno, Nevada after a complaint filed by a fellow employee, Peggy Crawford, age 31. This was to prove a fatal action for Peggy. Three months later, Huynh teamed up with 21-year-old Alvaro Calambro, a Filipino-born brother of Huynh’s common-law wife, Lea. The two men planned the robbery of this same U-Haul store and the murder of Peggy and, as it would later turn out, a fellow clerk, 25-year-old Keith Christopher. Alvaro Calambro (who preferred to be called John), was born in the Philippine Republic, but from age ten had lived in Downey, California, and later in adolescence settled in Reno, Nevada. In December, 1993, Huynh and Calambro, both financially strained and unemployed, planned a robbery and murder to take place at the U-Haul store. No masks were to be used. As Hunyh was a former employee, he would be recognized by the clerks, but the clerks would not live to tell anyone. Calambro purchased oversized shoes to wear so that any footprints left would throw off the police. They would enter the store at closing time, to guarantee the presence of the entire day’s receipts (estimated by Huynh as being in the five figures) and the absence of any last-minute customers who might be potential witnesses. A home burglary in late December netted the two the needed guns for the robbery. On January 3, 1994, as the U-Haul store was closing for the evening, Huynh and Calambro slid in through the doors as the store was being locked up, with Huynh telling Keith Christopher that he had permission from the store’s manager to borrow one of their smaller trucks. To the disappointment of Calambro and Huynh, most of the day’s receipts had already been placed in a secured safe, and, when their guns forced the clerks to empty all cash drawers, only $2,435 was obtained. Huynh had started out being in charge of the robbery but, at this point, an impatient Calambro, who felt things were moving too slowly, took over. Grabbing some twine and masking tape at the U-Haul counter, while Huynh held the gun on the clerk, Calambro proceeded to bind the two clerks’ wrists and ankles together behind their backs in a hog-tied position with the twine, and then gagged both with tape. In later recorded confessions to police, Calambro stated that Huynh left him in charge of the helpless clerks while Huynh, with the money, went out to the parking lot for a smoke. Calambro later admitted that he was amused by Peggy’s beginning to pray while he bound her wrists and ankles together as he knew that she would soon be with God anyway. He also expressed amusement as she helplessly strained against her bonds and was unable to scream while she watched Keith being murdered, knowing that her turn would come next. Fantasizing that it would be fun to watch his victims’ brains run out of their skulls and to possibly eviscerate his victims, Calambro took a ballpeen hammer and began crushing in Keith’s skull as Peggy lay bound and gagged next to him. After receiving ten hits with the hammer on the skull, Keith was dead. Calambro then took a tire iron, also lying in the store, and used it to try to pry Keith’s skull apart. This eventually produced a wide enough fissure to allow Calambro to place his hands inside the skull, but, since Calambro was afraid that the sharp, bony edges of the skull might cut his fingers, he abandoned the dead Keith and turned his attention to Peggy. Three whacks on the skull with a hammer killed Peggy. This time Calambro was gratified to see brains and blood emerge from the skull. He then forced the tire iron through one of Peggy’s eye sockets and left the tire iron protruding from the socket as he exited the store to rejoin Huynh. A day later, the Reno police came looking for Huynh, who, as the prime suspect in the robbery/murder, was hiding in the ceiling of his mobile home. Calambro met the police at the door of the mobile home and successfully sent them on their way by telling them that Huynh had disappeared several days earlier. Calambro and Huynh then went on a twelve day crime spree through California, engaging in a series of burglaries and armed robberies that moved them in a southwesterly course through the Golden State until finally, on January, 16, 1994, with a female security guard as hostage, Huynh driving, and Calambro shooting through the car’s windshield, the Los Angeles police, accompanied by a SWAT team, first chased the pair down the Los Angeles freeway system and then cornered them in a building, forcing them to surrender. During the final siege by SWAT on the building, Calambro accidentally shot himself in the foot, later denying that this self-inflicted wound was in any way intentional. Extradited back to Nevada in March, 1994, Calambro was sent to a psychiatric facility for evaluation. In December, 1994, a psychiatrist found Calambro to be competent, an antisocial personality, not very bright, and a danger to the community. On June 19, 1996, both Duc Huynh and Alvaro Calambro were convicted and sentenced to be executed. Huynh hung himself at the Ely State Prison on December 19, 1996. A tragic side story of Huynh’s suicide is that Calambro’s sister, Lea (Huynh’s common-law wife), in a suicide pact with Huynh, attempted to kill both herself and their four-year-son, Binh. Lea survived, but little Binh did not. Lea, convicted of murdering Binh, is currently in prison in Southern Nevada, serving a sentence of a life without the possibility of parole. Although Calambro resisted appeals in his behalf, his mother tried to stop the execution, but after being found competent for execution by forensic psychiatrist Franklin Master, the mother's request to be allowed to represent Calambro's interests was denied. After an evening of speaking with family members for several hours on the telephone, taking communion, and having a last meal of steak, rice, corn, apple pie and Sprite, Calambro calmly walked to the execution chamber, was given a lethal injection, stated, “I regret it,” and died at 9:06 p.m. on Monday evening, April 5, 1999.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
April 6, 1999 Virginia Harris T. Stone, 50 Terry Williams stayed

Terry Williams was condemned to death for the Nov. 2, 1985, slaying and robbery of Harris T. Stone, 50. The robbery netted Williams, who was on parole at the time, $3. Stone was killed when he was struck in the chest with a garden tool. Williams was found guilty of capital murder Sept. 30, 1986, and sentenced to death Nov. 19, 1986. "Evidence that Williams presented a future danger to society was simply overwhelming. The murder of Mr. Stone was just one act in a crime spree that lasted most of Williams's life,'' an appeals court has said.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
April 7, 1999 Arizona James Thomas McGrew
Fernando Estrada-Babichi
Ramon Martinez-Villareal stayed

Ramon Martinez-Villareal, a Mexican citizen, was convicted in Arizona of killing James Thomas McGrew and Fernando Estrada-Babichi in 1982. Prosecutors said he shot the 2 to prove his manhood. In October 1982, Martinez-Villareal and another man stole rifles in Santa Cruz County. On their way back to Mexico, they came upon James T. McGrew, 57, and his employee, Fernando Estrada Babichi, 26, who were grading a road. Both workers were shot and McGrew's truck was stolen. Though who did the shooting never was clear, Martinez-Villareal was charged with 1st-degree murder because the killings happened while other felonies were being committed.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
April 8, 1999 Ohio Joy Stewart, 22 Dennis McGuire stayed

Joy StewartDennis McGuire was sentenced to die for the 1989 kidnapping, rape and murder of Joy Stewart of West Alexandria, Ohio. McGuire claimed his brother-in-law killed Joy after raping her. McGuire and Joy were seen together on the day of her murder and the DNA evidence, while not conclusive, strongly implicated McGuire as the murderer. Joy Stewart was last seen alive on February 11, 1989. That morning, she had breakfast with her neighbors between 9 and 10. She went there alone that morning because her husband, Kenny Stewart, a truck driver, worked that day from approximately 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. After breakfast, Joy went to visit Juanita Deaton, the mother of her friend Chris Deaton. Mrs. Deaton and her son lived next to each other in a duplex in West Alexandria. McGuire had been hired by Chris Deaton to clean the ice out of his gutters that day. According to Chris, McGuire started around 9 or 10 a.m., and finished around noon. Mrs. Deaton testified that Joy arrived at around 9:30 or 10:00, while McGuire was working. Mrs. Deaton saw Joy talking to two unidentified males in a dark-colored car before she left. As Joy was leaving, she told Mrs. Deaton that "she was going to catch a ride somewhere," although Mrs. Deaton did not actually see Joy leave in the car. Mrs. Deaton was unsure whether McGuire was one of the men in the car. A few minutes later, however, Mrs. Deaton asked whether McGuire had finished working on the gutters, and her son stated that McGuire had been paid and left. Jerry Richardson, McGuire’s brother-in-law, testified that McGuire later came over to his house that afternoon. While they were in Richardson’s garage, Joy came in and said she wanted some marijuana. Richardson further testified that McGuire offered to get her some, and the two left in McGuire’s car. The following day, February 12, two hikers found the body of Joy Stewart in some woods near Bantas Creek. The front of her shirt was saturated with blood. One deputy sheriff at the scene, Larry Swihart, also noted that there appeared to be a "blood wipe mark" on her right arm. The body was taken to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office, where an autopsy was performed. The autopsy revealed that Joy had been stabbed twice. One wound, located above the left collarbone, caused no significant injury. The critical wound was a four-and-a-half-inch-deep cut in the throat, which completely severed the carotid artery and jugular vein. The doctor determined that Joy was alive when she received the wound, and that such a wound could have been caused by a single-edged blade shorter than four and a half inches, due to "how soft and moveable the tissues are in the neck." The autopsy also revealed abrasions around the neck, impressed with the cloth pattern of Joy’s shirt. The coroner’s office also took vaginal, oral, and anal swabs. The coroner found an abundant amount of sperm on the anal swab, some sperm on the vaginal swab, and none on the oral swab. The coroner indicated that sperm could be detected in the vagina for days or sometimes weeks after ejaculation; however, sperm in the rectum could be detected for a lesser time "because the environment is fairly hostile for sperm, and a bowel movement usually will purge the rectum of any sperm." Investigator David Lindloff of the Preble County Prosecutor’s Office investigated the murder, but to no immediate avail. However, in December 1989, Lindloff was notified that McGuire wanted to talk to him about information concerning a murder in Preble County. McGuire was in jail at the time on an unrelated offense and told a corrections officer that he needed to talk to Investigator Lindloff and Deputy Swihart. Joseph Goodwin, the corrections officer McGuire initially talked to, took appellant to a private room to talk, where McGuire told him that he knew who had killed Joy Stewart. Mcguire stated that Jerry Richardson, McGuire’s brother-in-law, had killed Joy with a knife, and appellant could lead investigators to it. McGuire explained to officer Goodwin that Richardson had wanted to have sex with Joy, but she had refused. McGuire claimed that Richardson then pulled a knife on her, and forced her to have oral sex with him. McGuire then said Richardson anally sodomized her because he "couldn’t have regular sex with her because she was pregnant." He also said Richardson stabbed her "in the shoulder bone" and "cut her throat." Based on these details, Goodwin contacted Investigator Lindloff, who talked to McGuire on December 22, 1989. McGuire told Lindloff that Richardson committed the murder, that he stabbed Joy twice in the neck, and that "the first time it didn’t go in. He pulled the knife back out and stuck her again." Lindloff was interested, since the fact that Joy had been stabbed twice in the neck and anally sodomized had not been revealed to the public at that time. The appellant also described in detail the area where Joy’s body had been found. McGuire then led Lindloff and deputies to the murder weapon, on a local farm where he and Richardson had occasionally worked. McGuire led the officers to the hayloft and showed them where a knife was hidden behind a beam. A subsequent audiotaped interview by Deputy Swihart elicited further details from McGuire. McGuire claimed that Richardson choked Joy before stabbing her and wiped his bloody hands off on her, both of which actions were consistent with the state of Joy’s body at the crime scene. Again, Swihart felt that these details were significant, since they had never become a matter of public knowledge. Furthermore, McGuire stated that he was pretty sure that Richardson was driving his mother’s blue Ford Escort the day of the murder. However, Richardson’s mother later testified at trial that she had traded that car in 1988, a year before the murder, and Richardson did not have access to her car on the day of the murder, since she had driven it to work. While in prison on December 24, 1989, McGuire received a visit from his childhood friend Shawn Baird. At the time, McGuire told Baird that he knew about a murder that happened in Preble County in February. When Baird asked who did it, the appellant stated that he and Jerry Richardson had done it, and he was going to blame it all on Jerry. A fellow inmate at the Preble County Jail, Jack Stapleton, testified that he had overheard a conversation between McGuire and another inmate, in which McGuire claimed that he had seen his brother-in-law rape and murder Joy. However, at one point, McGuire apparently slipped and implicated himself when telling the story. While describing the murder, Stapleton testified that McGuire "had his hand like this describing [ sic ], telling the guy how she was killed. And he said I — he goes I mean he. Stabbed her like this. Hit a bone. It didn’t kill her. So he stabbed her again." McGuire was later transferred to Madison Correctional Institute. An inmate there, Willie Reeves, testified that McGuire told him that while he was cleaning gutters, Joy showed up asking whether McGuire had any marijuana. McGuire offered to share some with her, and they left in his car. At one point McGuire asked whether she wanted to have sex, and she refused. McGuire then told Reeves he did it anyway. He then explained that because she was so pregnant, it was difficult to engage in sex with her, so instead he anally sodomized her. Joy then became "hysterical," which made McGuire nervous. He ended up killing Joy for fear that he would go to jail for raping a pregnant woman. In June 1992, the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office sent the vaginal, anal, and oral swabs collected from Joy’s body, along with a cutting from her underpants, to Forensic Science Associates, a private laboratory, for DNA testing using the PCR technique. A forensic scientist there compared DNA extracted from the samples with blood samples taken from Dennis McGuire, Jerry Richardson, Joy Stewart, and Joy’s husband, Kenny Stewart. The scientist determined that McGuire could not be eliminated as a source of the sperm. Kenny Stewart and Richardson, however, could be eliminated, unless there were two sperm sources, e.g., multiple assailants. This was because the sperm analyzed contained a DQ Alpha type 3, 4, with a trace amount of DQ Alpha type 1.1, 2. McGuire’s DNA was the DQ Alpha type 3, 4, whereas Richardson, Stewart, and the victim’s DNA was the DQ Alpha type 1.1, 2. The forensic scientist testified that the trace amount of 1.1, 2 could have resulted either from Joy’s epithelial cells taken in the swab, or from a secondary sperm source. The sperm DNA analyzed had characteristics that appear in about one in one hundred nineteen males in the white population. On December 22, 1993, McGuire was indicted on one count of aggravated murder and one felony-murder specification for rape. McGuire was also indicted on two counts of rape (vaginal and anal) and one count of kidnapping. On December 8, 1994, the jury returned a guilty verdict on the aggravated murder and specification charge. McGuire was also convicted of anal rape and kidnapping. After a sentencing hearing, the jury recommended a sentence of death for the aggravated murder. The trial judge sentenced the appellant to death, and the court of appeals affirmed.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
April 8, 1999 Pennsylvania Alexander Gutman
Jerome Slobotkin
Antuan Bronshtein stayed

Antuan Bronshtein was sentenced to death on Aug. 10, 1994, for the 1991 execution-style shooting of Montgomery County jeweler Alexander Gutman, inside Gutman's jewelry store in the Valley Forge Shopping Center. Previously, Bronshtein had received a life sentence for the 1991 murder of Jerome Slobotkin, a Philadelphia jeweler. 

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
April 9, 1999 North Carolina Eric Jones
Susan Verle Pierce
Larry Williams stayed

Larry Darnell Williams is sentenced to die for the 6/2/79 robbery murders of Eric Jones, a gas station attendant and, later the same night, Susan Verle Pierce, a convenience store clerk. Both were killed with a shotgun.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
April 9, 1999 Kentucky Harold Southerland
Neal Maddox
Frank Tamme stayed

Frank Tamme, described by authorities as a marijuana farmer in Washington County, faces execution for the August 1983 murders of Harold Southerland and Jasper Neal Maddox, whom a witness said grew marijuana for Tamme in Washington County. Prosecutors said Tamme shot the 2 because of his affair with Southerland's wife.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
April 12, 1999 Arkansas Pamela Sue Carnuteson Barker
Peggy Lowe
James Raymond Balderson, 23
Anthony Taitt, 21
Bobbie Jean Robertson
Marion Pruett executed

In 1979, Marion Albert Pruett was released from a 23-year federal penitentiary sentence for bank robbery, apparently in exchange for his testimony against an underworld figure with whom he was serving time. Pruett was placed in the Federal Witness Protection Program in New Mexico, where he lived under an assumed identity as Charles "Sonny" Pearson with his wife, Pamela Sue Carnuteson, who was known as Michelle Lynn Pearson. In April of 1981, Pamela was found murdered, her body beaten with a ballpeen hammer and burned with gasoline. Before authorities could gather enough evidence against him, Pruett fled and embarked on a cross-country spree of armed robberies, abductions, and murder. Among Pruett's more brutal offenses were the murder of Peggy Lowe, a savings and loan officer whom he abducted during a robbery in Jackson, Mississippi, and later shot in the back of the head, and the murders of James R. Balderson and Anthony Taitt, two store clerks whom he shot during separate robberies on the same day in two Colorado cities. Anthony Taitt was working in Loveland, and Raymond Balderson was working in Fort Collins. Within a two hour span on the night of October 16, 1981, Pruett walked into each store and shot each of the young men in the head. On October 11, 1981, Pruett arrived in Fort Smith, Arkansas, and began scouting the city for a place to commit yet another robbery. He looked for a bank or a store, but since it was Sunday and most establishments were closed he decided to park his car in a secluded, wooded area known as Horseshoe Bend. There, he injected himself with cocaine and consumed whiskey for several hours. Sometime after midnight, Pruett drove to a nearby Convenience Corner grocery mart he had observed on his previous trip to town. Through the window, he could see that Bobbie Jean Robertson, the young woman who worked the 11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. shift, was alone. As Pruett recalled during his confession: "I pulled in and was going to get gas and I seen that there was a girl working there by herself and I said well hell, I think I'll just rob her and kill her so that's what I done." Pruett entered the store armed with a .38 caliber revolver and instructed Ms. Robertson to place the money from the cash register in a paper bag. He told her to get her pocketbook and then ordered her into his car. As he drove to the secluded area where he had earlier parked, Pruett assured Ms. Robertson that if she cooperated she would be released. When they reached Horseshoe Bend, he instructed Ms. Robertson to get out of the car. She began walking away, then turned and asked if she could have her purse. Still in the car, Pruett raised his revolver and fired. The first bullet struck Ms. Robertson on the upper left thigh, fracturing her femur. As Ms. Robertson struggled and tried to run away, she was struck by a bullet in the right shoulder and fell to the ground. Pruett pulled his car around, got out, and walked over to her. He bent down, pressed the muzzle of his revolver against the young woman's left temple, and fired the third and fatal shot. Pruett returned to his car and drove off with the pocketbook and approximately $165 from the store. The next day, police discovered Ms. Robertson's body in a thicket of weeds and small brush just a few feet from the dirt road where she had been murdered. Five days later, Pruett was stopped for speeding in Texas. The officer saw the holster containing Pruett's .38 caliber revolver protruding from beneath the front seat of Pruett's automobile and arrested him. Pruett was returned to Mississippi, where he was charged in state court with the murder of Peggy Lowe. While awaiting trial in Mississippi, Pruett was interviewed by Detective Larry Hammond of the Fort Smith Police Department, to whom he provided a detailed confession to the murder of Bobbie Jean Robertson. A Mississippi jury heard testimony from a teller in the bank who witnessed the robbery that led to Peggy Lowe's murder. She said, "A man came in and got all of our attention and said, hey, you know, this is a hold-up. He said if we set off an alarm, he would blow our damn brains out and he looked around and he wanted to know who the manager was and Miss Brown said that she was and he told her that he wanted $100,000 out of the vault. She said, we don't have that kind of money in the vault and he said, how much money do you have. She told him $10,000 and he said, get that. Then he looked around and he said, and I'm taking her as hostage and he pointed to me and he told me to get my keys to my car. At that point, a customer came in the other side of the building and went to the other teller for them to wait. That left Peggy Lowe and Pruett in the lobby. At that point, he had sent the branch manager to get the money and he made Mrs. Lowe move over to the desk and sit on the inside of the desk like she was waiting on him. He was sitting on the outside. Then someone come to the drive-in window and he motioned for me to go wait on the drive-in window. The branch manager had the money and about that time, he and Mrs. Lowe went to Mrs. Lowe's office and her phone rang and he let her answer her phone and he was making her get her keys to her car and it was her son on the phone wanting to come and have lunch with her. Then, he started walking like they were going out of the office and he had the gun behind Mrs. Lowe's back forcing her--not forcing her, making her go out of the office. Mrs. Lowe came around behind the counter--I left that out--Miss Lowe came around behind the counter and got the money from the branch manager and then put it in a sack that Pruett had given her and then they went out of the office." Following this testimony, the State called Sergeant O.T. McAlphin, a Jackson police officer, who testified that Pruett had confessed to shooting Ms. Lowe and had provided information that allowed police to recover her body. McAlphin also testified that Ms. Lowe had died from "a gunshot wound to the back of the head." Lastly, the State introduced documents proving that, as a result of the aforementioned events, Pruett had been convicted on federal charges of armed robbery and kidnapping, pursuant to his guilty plea. The jury convicted Pruett of Ms. Lowe's murder and he was sentenced to death. Pruett was then remanded to the custody of the United States and sent to Colorado to be tried for the murders of Raymond Balderson and Anthony Taitt. Pruett pled guilty to those crimes and received consecutive life sentences. Pruett was returned to Arkansas to face charges in Ms. Robertson's death. He was arraigned on a capital murder charge on June 12, 1982, in the circuit court of Sebastian County and pled not guilty. The public defender was appointed to assist Pruett, who asked to represent himself. After discussions with counsel, the court set trial for August 30, 1982. In late July, the defense filed a motion for a continuance, which the court denied. In early August, the defense filed a motion for change of venue. At a subsequent pre-trial hearing, the defense renewed its motion for continuance. The court again denied the motion, but informed the public defender that it would grant a continuance in all other cases set for trial in which he was involved. Three days later, the court granted the motion for change of venue and transferred the trial to Van Buren in Crawford County, which is adjacent to Sebastian County and in the same judicial district. On September 9, 1982, after a trial that featured Pruett himself delivering a closing argument in which he admitted to having killed Ms. Robertson, the jury found Pruett guilty of capital murder. At the conclusion of the penalty phase of the trial, the jury sentenced Pruett to death by electrocution. Pruett was then remanded to New Mexico to face charges for the murder of his wife. Pruett was then returned to Mississippi and placed in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Correction. Marion Pruett calls himself a "mad dog killer". From death row, he asked a Mississippi newspaper to pay him $20,000 to disclose the location of Peggy's engagement ring (his offer was refused) and offered to reveal the location of a Florida victim's body in exchange for a paid appearance on the Geraldo show. While serving time in Georgia for bank robbery, he testified against another inmate in the slaying of his cellmate and was released in 1979 and placed in the protection program, but Pruett later said he committed the prison murder.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
April 12, 1999 Arkansas Bethany White, 19 Robert Robbins stayed

At 19 years old, Robert A. Robbins was sentenced to death for the Nov. 4, 1997 murder of his former girlfriend Bethany White, 19, of Jonesboro. Police found White dead in her apartment kitchen, her head wrapped in duct tape. The jury heard Robbins' taped confession in a trial in which Robbins acted as his own attorney. In his opening statement, Robbins told the 6-man, 6-woman jury he would show them what happens when someone is rejected. "You'll see how horrible a person can become," he said during his 2-minute statement. In an unusual move, Robbins asked Circuit Judge David Burnett if he could act as his own attorney, claiming Craighead County Public Defender Val Price had a conflict of interest in the case. Price said before the trial began that he was concerned about the ethics of defending someone who wants to be executed. "It's an extremely odd situation," he said. "It's putting me in an awkward position. My obligation is to do what is in his best interest. "He wants to die," Price said. Robbins assisted in selecting his jury, asking potential jurors if they had objections to sentencing him to death if they found him guilty. Robbins cannot enter a guilty plea to capital murder and receive the death penalty, Price said. If he did plea guilty, he would receive life in prison without parole. Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Mike Walden played a recording of a Poinsett County 911 emergency notification call in which Robbins said he killed White. The tape, which lasted nearly an hour, riveted jurors as Robbins calmly described what happened. "I'd like to confess to a murder, please," Robbins said to the 911 dispatcher. Robbins, who was calling from a car telephone, asked Poinsett County Deputy Sheriff Kenny Pogue to make sure the conversation was being recorded and then talked with the sheriff for 45 minutes. He would not tell Pogue the victim's name or where she lived. "I'm not completely sure she's dead yet," he said. Robbins told Pogue that White had broken up with him and was dating another man. He said he picked her up after work and drove her to her north Jonesboro apartment. When she refused to let him in, he grabbed her neck and began choking her. Robbins said he was not sure she was dead and tried to break her neck. He then told Pogue he shoved a kitchen knife up White's nose. Later testimony by Jonesboro police also indicated Robbins attempted to stab her with a blunt replica sword. Robbins told Pogue he wrapped White's mouth and nose with duct tape to suffocate her. "I made sure I could see her eyes," he said. "She really was a beautiful girl. I killed her, dude," he said, laughing. Robbins changed subjects at times while talking with Pogue. He asked Pogue if he was married and commented on role-playing games popular with teen-agers. He also told Pogue he was afraid to pull over to the side of the road and sleep because it was "illegal." Robbins also said he wanted to pull in front of a tractor-trailer rig and kill himself. Robbins drove from Jonesboro to Conway, where he was arrested by Conway police the morning of Nov. 5 in the parking lot of the Ramada Inn. Three Conway police officers testified that Robbins confessed to the murder after he was apprehended. "He said he had been planning this for some time," said patrol officer Brandon Tyner. "He said he choked her until his hands turned blue. He said it was such a rush, he could hear his heart beating. He wanted to know if the death penalty could be speeded up in trial." Prosecuting Attorney Brent Davis said he, Walden and Price have looked over the case carefully to assure Robbins cannot later decide to appeal the verdict based on a claim of ineffective counsel.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
April 13, 1999 Texas Marietta Bryant, 29
Carol Ackland, 46,
David Gibbs stayed

David Gibbs was condemned for breaking into the apartment of Marietta Bryant, 29, of Conroe, and slitting her throat with a knife after raping her. Bryant's roommate, Carol Ackland, 46, was killed in the same fashion July 1, 1985, although Gibbs was not tried for that slaying. Gibbs was paroled in January 1984 from the Texas Department of Corrections on a robbery and theft conviction out of Johnson County and had lived and worked as a caretaker at the women's' apartment complex, the Montgomery Co. Mental Health-Mental Retardation Center. Authorities said Gibbs was listed as a tenant at the apartment complex, but was living with a friend near Cleveland, TX when the bodies were found. Gibbs was found with a radio belonging to one of the victims. Blood-stained clothing was also found. Gibbs admitted breaking into an apartment at the complex on July 1, 1985, the night the women are thought to have been killed. Autopsy reports indicated the women died of cuts to their throats five days to a week before their bodies were found. In Gibb's statement to authorities, he said he went to see Carol at her Conroe apartment about midnight on July 1. "I knocked on the door and Carol answered. She was mad and upset that I came over so late and had come over while Mary was there," he said. He said he and Carol fought, waking up Mary . "Mary wanted to know who I was and why I was there," he said in the statement. "I was mad and got a knife from somewhere in the apartment and made them go back into the bedroom. We sat on the beds; Carol and Mary on the one in the corner and me on the other one." Gibbs said he then made Mary go into the bathroom while he and Carol went into the kitchen to make coffee. "I told her to keep quiet," he said of his instructions to Mary. "I gave her magazines, I believe People magazines, which I think came off the dresser in the bedroom." He said he tried to hold and talk to Carol, "but she would not have any of it. "As Carol was fixing to have coffee, I told her to lay down on the kitchen floor. I forced her to have sex with me. While I was having sex with her, I cut her throat. I don't know why I did it. Gibbs said he left Carol lying face-down in the kitchen and approached Mary in the bathroom. "I went in and sat down on the bathroom sink staring at her and thinking to myself that if she hadn't been there, these things wouldn't have happened," he said in the statement. He raped Mary , he said, and slit her throat the same way he had Carol's. "After I finished having sex with Mary, I was behind her as she was laying there in the bathroom and I cut her from behind," Gibbs said in a statement read to jurors. "After she was cut, she flopped over on her side and sat up for the first time since I had come into the bathroom, she looked me straight in the eyes, seeming to know what was happening." He then tried to make the apartment look as though it had been burglarized, he told authorities. He said he took a radio from the apartment "where I would have something of Carol's." The radio was later found by police at a northeast Montgomery County home that Gibbs had briefly occupied. After the statement was read, jurors heard from state witness Cheryl Bryant , the victim's sister-in-law, who described Bryant as having the mental development of a 13- or 14-year-old child. In 1991, Gibbs pled guilty to voluntary manslaughter in a murder that authorities said was his "initiation hit" into a prison gang, the Aryan Brothood. He received a 20-year sentence in exchange for his plea in the August 1990 strangulation of Calvin Williams, a 30-year-old condemned killer from Houston. Williams was found tied to a prison fence with a jump rope. 

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
April 13, 1999 Texas David Ward, 43 Aaron Foust stayed

Jamal D. Brown, a 21-year-old sophomore at the University of Texas at Arlington, and Aaron Christopher Foust, 24, were arrested for the capital murder of David Ward, 43, a senior vice president at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth. Police said the two men robbed and strangled Ward in his east Fort Worth home May 18, 1997 and fled with his car, credit cards and electronic equipment. In a statement, Foust said he and Brown went to Ward's house to borrow money, but when Ward refused to provide any, and Foust saw a wallet on a dresser, he struggled with Ward, put him in a chokehold until he passed out and then tied him with stereo speaker wire so he would stop moving. Foust said Brown loaded Ward's BMW with the stereo parts, VCR's and wine and liquor bottles. Ward's body was found after he did not arrive in England for a planned visit with his family. Authorities found his bound body in the master bedroom of his home after family members became worried when he missed a flight to England, where he was to visit his parents. Cryptic letters and phrases that were believed to be personal messages to Ward had been spray-painted on the walls. The victim's stolen American Express card led to the suspects' arrests. They were found a few days later at Brown's Arlington apartment where Foust was temporarily living. 

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
April 13, 1999 Virginia Timothy Rigney, 30 Carl Chichester executed

Carl Chichester murdered Timothy Rigney, 30, a Little Caesars pizza shop manager on Aug. 16, 1991, in Manassas, Virginia. Rigby was shot in the chest when he failed to open the cash register promptly. Two armed, masked men entered the store at 10:30 p.m. and demanded cash. One man, the shorter of the 2, hopped the cashier's counter where Rigney was standing and took money from one of the 2 cash registers. The other masked man remained on the other side. Both pointed their semiautomatic guns at the Little Caesars employee and told him to open the second register. Rigney tried to open the drawer, but when he couldn't, witnesses say the man on the other side of the counter, the taller man, shot Rigney in the chest, killing the teen with a single bullet. The 2 masked men fled the restaurant on foot with $100 in cash. Months later, the gunman was identified as 28-year-old Carl Hamilton Chichester, a Washington, D.C., resident who had been staying at the Red Roof Inn in Manassas. In 1992, Chichester was charged with capital murder, and in 1993, convicted by a Prince William jury and sentenced to death.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
April 13, 1999 Pennsylvania Christopher Counterman, 6
James Counterman, 4
Scott Counterman, 10 wks
Dennis Counterman stayed

Dennis Counterman received 3 death sentences for burning his Allentown house down and killing his 3 sons (6 years old, 4 years old and 2 months old) who were trapped inside. Counterman's 3 sons -- Christopher, 6, James, 4, and Scott, 10 weeks -- died in the July 25, 1988, fire in their Chestnut Street row house. His wife, Janet, suffered burns over half of her body. 5 firefighters were injured. Minutes before the fire swept through their home, 2 of the boys entered Janet Counterman's bedroom and told her, "Daddy is downstairs starting a fire," according to court testimony. Janet Counterman and the boys went downstairs and saw Dennis Counterman in the dining room with a bucket and a lighter. They went back upstairs after he told them he would set them on fire if they didn't. Counterman started the fire with a flammable liquid that was first poured onto the dining room floor, then up the stairs to the second floor. Flames on the stairway prevented the boys from escaping. Their mother was unable to rescue them. Janet Counterman escaped onto the roof through a second-story window and was helped into a neighbor's home. Dennis Counterman was convicted in 1990, and the state Supreme Court upheld his conviction in October 1998. Stephens credited arson experts with convincing the jury of Counterman's guilt. He recalled Wednesday that Counterman, who has denied setting the fire, told him he went outside and saw a fire after smelling smoke, then jumped onto the roof with a hose when he couldn't get back in the house. Stephens believed that story until forensic evidence indicated that injuries Counterman sustained more likely came from starting a fire than trying to reenter his burning home through the second floor. "I don't think we ever got to" his motivation for starting the fire, Stephens added. "I think that there was anger there, and I think that anger turned on his wife and his family. And I think he was a very selfish person. He didn't like not having his way with things." The day before the fire, Counterman had smoked marijuana and played video games, according to trial testimony. Early the next day, he tried to have sex with his wife, but she rebuffed him because of his marijuana use. He slapped her and went downstairs. Stephens said the case was a tough one for him. "I have 3 children and they were the same age as those children at that time, so it was tough for me -- having to go to the autopsy of those three children who were burned beyond recognition," he said. Asked if he thought Counterman's sentence was just, he said: "It's not our job to say this guy deserves to die, this guy deserves to live. My job is to prosecute him to the fullest extent of the law. After that, it's up to the jury." UPDATE: In 2006, after winning a new trial, Dennis Counterman entered an Alford Plea of guilty to 3rd degree manslaughter in the deaths of his three children. He was sentenced to 18 years in prison and 5 years of probation. He had already served his sentence so he was immediately released to probation.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
April 14, 1999 North Carolina Wanda Phillips Hartman Arthur Boyd stayed

Arthur Martin Boyd, Jr. was sentenced to death for the stabbing death of his ex-girlfriend, Wanda Phillips Hartman in Mount Airy, North Carolina on August 7, 1982. Wanda had known Boyd for three years. They had lived together for a while and had been separated for several months at the time of the murder. Boyd confronted Wanda at a shopping mall parking lot where she was attending a church car wash. They talked for a few minutes but then Boyd pulled a knife that he had just bought at the mall and began stabbing Wanda as her mother tried to stop him. Wanda was stabbed 37 times and died a short time later at the hospital. Boyd calmly walked away and was arrested within minutes of the attack. Boyd had a criminal record dating back to age 14. His defense to the murder was that he was drunk.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
April 14, 1999 Missouri Garnett Ledford, 65
Betty Ledford, 63
Roy Ramsey executed

Roy Ramsey Jr. received the death penalty in connection with the Nov. 21, 1988, murders of Garnett and Betty Ledford of Grandview. Ramsey denied any involvement in the murders, blaming the shootings on his younger brother. Ramsey said he was selling drugs the day of the murders. But according to court records, on November 21, 1988 Roy Ramsey, accompanied by his brother Billy Ramsey and Billy's girlfriend Angela Ray, drove to the home of Mr. and Mrs. Garnett and Betty Ledford in Grandview, Missouri. The Ramseys knocked on the door and Garnett Ledford answered. Billy Ramsey reminded Garnett that they had previously been acquainted through the Ledfords' son-in-law who had served time in jail with Billy Ramsey. Garnett talked to the Ramseys for awhile whereupon Roy Ramsey pulled out a .22 caliber pistol and ordered everyone inside. Inside the Ledford home they confronted Betty Ledford. Roy Ramsey pointed the gun at her and demanded that she give them money, jewelry and other valuables. Mr. and Mrs. Ledford were ordered into their bedroom where Betty opened a safe. While Roy Ramsey stayed with the Ledfords, his brother went through the house and took guns and a video cassette recorder and placed them beside the front door. Roy Ramsey placed the items from the safe into a pillowcase. Billy Ramsey returned to the living room with the pillowcase and was preparing to leave when he heard a series of gunshots. The couple's son-in-law found their bodies the next day. Roy Ramsey later told his brother that he had to kill the Ledfords because they could identify Billy Ramsey and would be able to pick him out of a lineup. The three then drove back to the Ramsey family home. During the ride back home Billy Ramsey took money from Garnett's wallet and then threw the wallet out of the car. The wallet was later found that afternoon by two schoolgirls with Garnett Ledford's identification in it. Laboratory analysis later discovered Billy Ramsey's fingerprints on the wallet. At the Ramseys' home the Lefords' possessions were divided among Roy, Billy and their mother Effie Ramsey. The items taken were cash, jewelry, guns and silver coins amounting to about $7,500. Learning that his brother received a larger share of the loot Billy Ramsey took the murder weapon and pawned it. A few days later when Angela Ray learned that the Ledfords had been killed during the robbery, she became angry whereupon Roy Ramsey threatened to kill her if she told any one of the incident. Angela Ray then fled to Memphis, Tennessee. After connecting the Ramseys to the Ledford murder through the wallet, the police found Angela Ray and interviewed her. On November 26, 1988 Ray Ramsey was taken into custody and one of the silver coins stolen from the Ledfords was found in his possession. Ballistics examinations determined that the bullets retrieved from the bodies of the Ledfords matched shell casings found at the scene of the murder and had been fired from Ramsey's .22 caliber pistol.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
April 20, 1999 Virginia Floyd Jenkins, 72
Lee Hopewell Brinklow, 69
Arthur Jenkins executed

On October 12, 1991, Arthur Ray Jenkins, III and his younger brother, Kevin Frame, 16, went to the home of Jenkins' uncle, Floyd Jenkins. During the day, the pair had been drinking whiskey and beer. In the early evening, Jenkins engaged in a fight with another man outside a local restaurant. Jenkins's mother and grandmother drove Jenkins and Frame away from the restaurant and to the vicinity of the home where Jenkins was residing on Route 617 in Warren County. Jenkins had lived there for about one month following his release from prison on September 6, 1990. The home was owned by Elizabeth Morris, Jenkins's aunt. Lee Brinklow, age 69, and the uncle, Floyd Jenkins, age 72, also lived in the house. Near 10:00 p.m., Jenkins and Frame entered the home through the front door. Lee was sitting on a couch in the living room. Lee told Frame to leave the house because the aunt, who was not present, did not allow Frame inside. An argument ensued between Lee and Jenkins. Jenkins went to Lee's bedroom, obtained a .22 rifle capable of firing only one shot at a time, and returned to the living room. Jenkins loaded the rifle and shot Lee once in the face; the shot did not kill him. Jenkins walked to the "back bedroom" where the uncle was lying in bed listening to a radio. After Jenkins reloaded the rifle, he "stuck it" to the uncle's head. Floyd "grabbed it" and Jenkins said, "Let go before I kill you." The uncle "let go" and Jenkins "stuck the gun to his head" and shot him. The uncle began "gagging," and Jenkins returned to the living room. Jenkins asked Lee the location of Lee's hand gun, and Lee responded that the weapon was in Lee's pick-up truck parked outside the house. Ordering Frame to "watch" his uncle, Jenkins "took" Lee to the truck, where the hand gun could not be located. Jenkins escorted Lee back into the house where Jenkins went to the kitchen and procured two "butcher knives." Jenkins gave one to Frame and retained the other. Jenkins returned to the uncle's bedroom where he was still "gagging." By this time, Lee had been brought into the same bedroom where he laid on the floor. Jenkins shot the uncle again in the head and "went berserk." He began stabbing the uncle with the knife until his "guts came out." As Jenkins was picking up the "guts" and throwing them onto the uncle's body, Frame said, "Shoot him," referring to Lee. Lee pleaded with Jenkins not to kill him, stating that he "loved" Jenkins. Jenkins "stuck" the rifle to Lee's head and "pulled the trigger." Jenkins and Frame carried the victims' bodies out the front door of the house and laid them in the bed of Lee's truck. Jenkins and Frame returned to the house where they broke into the aunt's locked bedroom. The aunt had stored sums of money in various items in her bedroom; these items, with the money, were loaded into the truck. The evidence also showed that, at some point, Jenkins and Frame took the victims' wallets as well as other personal items. Jenkins drove the truck away from the house, intending to drive "to the police station." Frame persuaded Jenkins to turn in a different direction as they left the premises. A short distance from the residence, Jenkins lost control of the truck, which left the road and came to rest in a creek. Jenkins and Frame walked back to the home and attempted to clean the rooms, which were spattered with blood and contained body parts. The pair then left the premises, and Jenkins fled to the southwestern part of the State. The aunt returned to her home about 1:50 a.m. on October 13 to find it in disarray and her funds missing. A short time later, the truck containing the victims' bodies was found by the police. Jenkins was arrested about 11:30 p.m. on that day near Abingdon. Autopsies of the victims' bodies showed that Lee sustained four gunshot wounds to the head, two of which were fatal. The uncle sustained three gunshot wounds to the head, two being fatal. He also sustained seven stab wounds to the abdomen, which injured vital organs and which penetrated the body up to a depth of eight inches.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
April 20, 1999 Pennsylvania  Five of his children
8 other people
George Banks stayed

A former Camp Hill corrections officer, George Banks was sentenced to death for a bloody rampage on Sept. 25, 1982, that left 5 of his children and 8 other people dead. He received 12 death sentences.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
April 23, 1999 Pennsylvania  Miguel Basilio
Jose Ortiz, 21
Miguel Rios stayed

Miguel Rios was sentenced to death on April 2, 1996, for the shooting death of Miguel Basilio. On Sept. 19, 1992, Rios and his unidentified partner terrorized Basilio's wife, sister and four small children for more than two hours before shooting and killing Miguel in front of his family. This is the 2nd time Rios has been sentenced to death in Pennsylvania. Rios was sentenced to death on Oct. 5, 1994, for murdering 21-year-old Jose Ortiz. Gov. Ridge signed a warrant for Rios for that death sentence on Feb. 18, 1997. A stay of execution was issued by the state Supreme Court on March 4, 1997.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
April 23, 1999 Delaware Michelle Lawrie, 25
Tabatha Lawrie, 2
Fawn Lawrie, 4
Charles Humbertson, 3
David Lawrie executed

Dover resident David J. Lawrie, who murdered his wife and three young children during a drug-induced rage in 1992, is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection April 23 at the Delaware Correctional Center in Smyrna. Lawrie, 37, has been on Delaware's death row since July 1993. He was sentenced to death after a jury voted 9-3 that the aggravating circumstances of his crime far outweighed any mitigating factors. He was convicted following the Aug. 6, 1992, deaths of his estranged wife, 25-year-old Michelle Lawrie, two of the couple's children and a neighbor's child. Testimony and court documents revealed that Lawrie, who lived two blocks away, broke in the front door of his wife's home just south of the Dover city limits. He said he had spent a sleepless night, high on cocaine, and was angry at her because she had filed for divorce. The hour was early and Michelle Lawrie was home. So were two of the couple's children - 2-year-old Tabatha and Fawn, 4. Michelle also was babysitting two other children, Charles Humbertson, 3, and Charles' sister, Lisa, who was 7. A third Lawrie child, Marcus, 7, lived with David Lawrie. After kicking in the front door, Lawrie poured gasoline throughout the residence while Michelle and the children were still inside. He then broke into a bedroom where Michelle, their daughters, and the other 2 children were hiding, stabbed Michelle in the chest, and escaped through a window. Only Lisa Humbertson, then 8 years old, survived. She testified that Michelle handed her out the window to her estranged husband, but when Michelle tried to escape, he shoved her back inside. Her brother, Charles, and two of the Lawries' children, Fawn and 2-year-old Tabitha, died in the fire along with Michelle. Lisa was treated at the hospital for minor injuries and released. Lawrie left the fire scene and ran almost a mile to a stranger's house. Bloodied and dazed, he told the man he had just hurt his wife and kids and asked him to call police. He surrendered without incident. Autopsy reports from the state Medical Examiner's Office reported Michelle died of stab wounds to her chest and smoke inhalation. The three children also died of smoke inhalation. "In my 25 years of fire investigations, this was the worst I have ever investigated," said deputy fire marshal Robert J. Montgomery. "It is a case I will never forget." Lawrie was convicted of first-degree murder in the deaths of the children and second-degree murder for killing his wife.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
April 27, 1999 Pennsylvania Janice Williams, 22 Orlando Baez stayed

Orlando Baez was convicted in 1993 for torturing and stabbing a 22-year-old city woman to death. Baez was convicted of stabbing Janice "Sissy" Williams to death on Jan. 6, 1987. Williams' autopsy showed that she had been stabbed 86 times in the chest, back and torso; and 15 times in the face. She also had been raped and beaten, and would have been conscious while many of the wounds were inflicted, according to trial testimony. Her body was not discovered until Jan. 7, when a motorist stopped after finding Williams' two toddlers wandering outside their home. The children led the motorist to their dead mother. The murder went unsolved for 4 years until a witness came forward and told police he saw Baez stabbing Williams. Henry Gibson told police that Baez threatened to kill him if he talked. Initially, Baez told police he didn't know Gibson. Later Baez told police he did know Gibson, and that Gibson had killed Williams.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
April 28, 1999 Texas David John Ward, 43 Aaron Foust executed

Jamal D. Brown, a 21-year-old sophomore at the University of Texas at Arlington, and Aaron Christopher Foust, 24, were arrested for the capital murder of David Ward, 43, a senior vice president at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth. Police said the two men robbed and strangled Great Britain native David Ward in his east Fort Worth home on May 18, 1997 and fled with his car, credit cards and electronic equipment. In a statement, Foust said he and Brown went to Ward's house to borrow money, but when Ward refused to provide any, and Foust saw a wallet on a dresser, he struggled with Ward, put him in a chokehold until he passed out and then tied him with stereo speaker wire so he would stop moving and gagged him. Foust said Brown loaded Ward's BMW with the stereo parts, VCR's and wine and liquor bottles. Ward's body was found after he did not arrive in England for a planned month-long visit with his family. Authorities found his bound body in the master bedroom of his home after family members became worried when he missed a flight to England, where he was to visit his parents. Cryptic letters and phrases that were believed to be personal messages to Ward had been spray-painted on the walls. The victim's stolen American Express card led to the suspects' arrests. A restaurant manager told police about two men who had ordered beers and a meal. When he asked for ID, he noticed it did not match the name on the credit card. They were found a few hours later at Brown's Arlington apartment where Foust was temporarily living. Foust had been out of prison for only two days after serving a sentence for beating up a woman. According to a British newspaper, David Ward had left England in 1976 to work as a nurse in Texas. He was active in the fight against AIDS and was instrumental in establishing Healing Wings, a charity that raised millions of dollars for services to Dallas area AIDS patients. The execution took place less than a year after Foust arrived on death row. Shortly after being sentenced to death, Foust waived his appeals. While on death row, he told other inmates why he had murdered David Ward. He said: "It was his attitude. He had a real arrogant, snobby English kind of attitude. "Here's a guy who's got a good job and education. It takes a good deal of determination to put a man in a chokehold and choke the life out of him." Foust said: "Now I am ready to die. I don't want to spend the rest of my life without a woman. I'm guilty." David's brother Michael traveled from England to witness Foust's execution. Afterwards, Michael Ward, said, "There's very little you can say to someone like that who showed no remorse whatsoever. He's not alive anymore. He's paid for his actions. Aaron Foust can be put to death 10 times but it will not bring David back. Right up until the end my fear was he would say he wanted to appeal. It was all very clean, all very humane and I was actually disappointed by how quick it all was. I know a lot of people reading this article will be horrified at what I'm saying. He had a choice in all this. My brother didn't. It doesn't bother me that Foust's death was painless. The death penalty is not intended to be an instrument of torture. I didn't want to see any suffering. I just wanted to see justice done." Foust did not address the victim witness side of the execution chamber, instead saying to his two friends, "Adios, amigos. I'll see you on the other side."

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
April 28, 1999 Virginia Ruth Parham, 61
Sally Marie Fazio, 57
Eric Payne executed

Eric Christopher Payne, 26, killed Ruth Parham, 61, and Sally Fazio, 57, in June 1997, about five months after he finished serving a six-year prison term for possession of LSD. He also attacked Ridley Fleck and her 8-year-old son, Dean. Both suffered extensive head wounds, but survived. Payne used a hammer to commit all crimes during his six-day spree across Hanover County. On the evening of June 11, 1997, Payne saw Sally outside her residence in the City of Richmond, caring for her sick dog. When Fazio entered her house, Payne put a 22-ounce hammer in his pants, went to Fazio's front door, and asked to use the telephone. Sally permitted Payne to use a portable telephone outside her house, and, after feigning a telephone call, Payne returned the telephone. As he handed the telephone to Sally, Payne forced his way into the house and struck her in the head with the hammer, knocking her down. Sally briefly struggled with Payne and then attempted to flee down a hallway to her bedroom. As she fled, she threw a chair behind her, attempting to block Payne. Sally tried to close the bedroom door, but Payne forced his way into the room. Sally pleaded for her life and offered to write a check to Payne. Payne told Sally that, if she removed her clothes, he would not hurt her. Sally removed her clothes, and Payne raped her. During the attack, Payne repeatedly struck Sally with the hammer. Thereafter, Payne took money from Sally's pocketbook and ransacked her house looking for more money and guns. He then removed his bloodstained clothing and dressed in sweatpants and a T-shirt belonging to Sally. He left the bloodstained clothing in her house. As Payne was preparing to leave the house, he noticed that Sally was still breathing, so he hit her with the hammer several times in the head. Sally continued breathing, so Payne "hit her maybe ten, twelve times in the chest." Payne wrapped the hammer in a towel and subsequently threw the hammer out of his car window. Later that night, Payne disposed of the clothing he had taken from Sally's home in a dumpster at a public high school. The police recovered the hammer, and forensic evidence established that the hammer contained traces of blood consistent with Sally's blood type. Semen stains from a bedspread and clothing found at the crime scene were consistent with Payne's blood type and DNA profile. The medical examiner's autopsy revealed that Sally Fazio had died from blunt force trauma to the head, the result of multiple blows that had caused fractures, contusions, hemorrhaging, and edema. Sally also had sustained multiple bone fractures and contusions to her chest and a fractured right middle finger. In the penalty phase of the trial, the Commonwealth presented evidence of Payne's prior criminal history. This included the murder and attempted rape of Ruth Parham on June 5, 1997. The Commonwealth also presented evidence of an assault by Payne on Ridley Fleck and her eight-year-old son, Dean. This attack also occurred on June 11, 1997, shortly before Payne murdered Sally. Payne attacked the Flecks with a hammer, and he told the police that he attacked them because he wanted to incapacitate Ms. Fleck and take her elsewhere to rape her. Payne, however, was forced to leave the scene because Dean Fleck was screaming and fighting. The Flecks both suffered skull fractures in the attack. Hanover Circuit Judge Richard Taylor sentenced Eric Payne to death for the murder and attempted rape of Ruth Parham. At the end of a 3-day sentencing hearing, Taylor said that "when you have a mad dog in the pack, you get him out. The only question is whether you put him in another pen or take him down the river and put him in a gunnysack with a brick." Taylor said that under certain circumstances, Payne would do the same thing again. When Taylor asked Payne if he had anything to say before the sentence was formally pronounced, he stood and said, "no, sir." Minutes later, Jeff Fazio and Anthony Parham stood by themselves in the courthouse lobby and wept, each with an arm on the shoulder of the other. Parham is the son of the 61-year-old custodial worker whose body was found June 6, 1997 in a dental office in Richmond. Fazio is the son of Sally Marie Fazio; Payne raped, robbed and bludgeoned Fazio to death on June 11, 1997 in her home with the same hammer that he used to kill Parham. A Richmond Circuit Court jury recommended the death penalty in November 1997 for Payne in Sally Fazio's death. Payne, 25, pleaded guilty in December to capital murder in the death of Ruth Parham and placed the decision between death and life in prison without parole in Taylor's hands. Anthony Parham said that "I am pleased with the decision." His aunt, Ida Butts, added that "I'm glad this phase of it is over. Maybe we can pick up and go on and not having to keep going back" to the death of Ruth Parham. Fazio noted that his sister, Lisa Moseley, was not present because she recently gave birth to her first child; "it is a new lease of on life for them," he said. Earlier yesterday, Gerald Payne, who adopted the defendant when he was 8-years-old and surrendered custody of him when he was 14, testified that he spent about $70,000 in counseling for Payne, but "we never felt in those 6 years that we were able to penetrate Chris." He lied, stole and never really became part of the family, the elder Payne said. Despite that, Payne "had every opportunity for a good life" while he was in his home, Gerald Payne added. Although the witness stand is barely 10 feet from the defendant in the Hanover courtroom, the 2 men never made eye contact while the father was testifying. Earlier testimony had shown that Payne was orphaned at 4 months of age when his father shot and killed his mother, and then hanged himself the next day. Over the next 18 years, Payne was in 22 homes, shelters and institutions before spending 6 years at a correctional center on an LSD distribution charge. He married in July 1996 while in prison; he was released in January 1997, obtained a job with a dry-wall company and moved into an apartment with his wife in western Henrico County. But he also started abusing alcohol and crack cocaine and exposing himself to women. Psychologist Nelson Evans testified that the sexual attacks on the women were an abnormal extension of the exhibitionism and his seeking sexual gratification by touching strange women in crowds. The stress of trying to build a normal life despite his mental problems helped explain but did not excuse the attacks, Evans said. In urging Taylor to sentence Payne to death, Senior Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney William R. Coleman acknowledged that Payne had a miserable upbringing. He told Taylor: "We'd ask you to pity the child but punish the man." Defense attorney Patrick Bynum responded that there is no evidence of violence or aggressiveness at all" on Payne's part other than the 2 murders and the attack on the woman and her 8-year-old son just before Sally Fazio was killed. He had adapted well in prison and would not be a threat there, Bynum said. Taylor recalled that Payne had said he deserved to die and asked his attorneys to abandon any appeals when he was sentenced in Sally Fazio's death last month. Taylor said that "he is entitled to be relieved of his misery. I think probably it is the best thing for everybody." UPDATE: Eric Payne refused to file appeals outside of the mandatory review or to seek clemency before his execution. He was executed on April 28, 1999, after telling his wife he loved her.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
April 28, 1999 Missouri Susan Davis Ralph Davis executed

Ralph Davis, an insurance broker, murdered Susan Davis, his wife in 1986. Susan had been having an unhidden affair and Davis killed her as a result. The trial was the first in Missouri in which DNA fingerprinting was used. The body of the 35-year-old woman was never found. Mrs. Davis disappeared in 1986 after leaving her job at Westinghouse Electric Corp. in Columbia. 3 weeks earlier, she had filed assault charges against her husband. She claimed he was abusive and had once held a gun to her head. On the same day she vanished Davis bought a .12-gauge shotgun from a sporting goods store. Davis told police he didn't know what had become of his wife. He claimed she abused drugs and speculated that she had run away with another man, perhaps to Texas. Investigators lacked solid evidence until 1988, when they found the woman's car in Davis' storage locker near Jefferson City. Shotgun pellets had blasted through the driver's side window. Bone fragments, blood and human tissue were found inside. The investigators were looking for her 1986 Ford Escort since Davis had failed to keep up with payments. A medical examiner determined there was so much blood it could only have resulted from a fatal wound. DNA evidence showed that Mrs. Davis was the victim.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
April 29, 1999 Virginia Ruby Meeks Dodson, 70 Ronald Yeatts executed

In December 1990, Ronald Dale Yeatts was sentenced to death for the capital murder of Ruby Meeks Dodson, 70. Yeatts was 28 years old at the time of the crime. Ruby Dodson was stabbed to death on Sept. 23, 1989. That afternoon Yeatts and a friend, Charles Michael Vernon, drank beer and smoked marijuana and crack cocaine together. Yeatts asked Vernon if he knew anyone who had some money. Vernon knew Ruby, and he knew she kept money in her home. Vernon drove the two of them to her house. As they neared her home, Yeatts asked Vernon if he had a knife and Vernon handed him a pocket knife with a 3-inch blade. When they arrived at the house they opened the car's hood and the 2 men began looking at the motor. They told Ruby they were having trouble with their car. Yeatts asked for a glass of water. He then asked for a 2nd glass and as Ruby entered the house Yeatts went in after her. Vernon also went in and went straight for Ruby Dodson's bedroom, where he began looking for money. Yeatts then joined Vernon in the bedroom. Yeatts grabbed Ruby's purse before the 2 fled. When they got to the car, Vernon noticed that Yeatts still had the knife and had blood on his hand. Yeatts told Vernon he killed Ruby Dodson because she had seen his face. They opened the pocketbook and divided the money. Vernon's share came to $700. After his arrest, Yeatts gave police several statements implicating himself, and he also admitted to his sister-in-law that he had killed Ruby. He was found guilty of capital murder and robbery and sentenced to death for the murder and given 20 years for the robbery. Vernon received 2 life sentences for murder and robbery.

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
April 29, 1999 Pennsylvania Marsha Smith Daniel Gwynn stayed

Daniel Gwynn of Philadelphia received a death sentence on Nov. 6, 1995, for setting fire to a building in Philadelphia, killing Marsha Smith, who was trapped inside. 

Date of scheduled execution State Victim name Inmate name Status
April 30, 1999 Missouri William White Donald Joe Hall stayed

In Springfield Missouri, on 12/14/92, 45 year old Donald Joe Hall shot and killed William White during a robbery of William's store, Mary's Custom Jewelry. Hall's ex-wife provided testimony against him while he implicated her in the killing.


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