Month: September 2015
Prosecutors Say Shannon Miles Shot Texas Deputy 15 Times
August 31, 2015 (nyt)
HOUSTON — The man charged with killing a sheriff’s deputy at a suburban gas station Friday emptied his 15-round handgun into the back and the back of the head of the deputy, as witnesses watched in horror and surveillance cameras captured the shooting, prosecutors said Monday.
The man, Shannon Jaruay Miles, 30, walked into a courtroom crowded with sheriff’s deputies and police officers for his first court appearance here Monday morning. Mr. Miles said nothing as the Harris County district attorney, Devon Anderson, described to a judge what the authorities have called an unprovoked attack. The deputy, Darren H. Goforth, 47, had pulled into a Chevron gas station about 8:30 p.m. Friday when Mr. Miles approached him from behind and opened fire, the authorities said.
After the hearing, Ms. Anderson said Mr. Miles was cooperating with investigators but said they were still trying to establish a motive, even though prosecutors do not have to prove one under Texas law. Law enforcement officials have said it appeared Deputy Goforth was targeted because he was wearing a uniform.
After a weekend of denouncing a “dangerous national rhetoric” aimed at the police, officials have been hesitant to comment further and to explain how it might have influenced Mr. Miles. The Harris County sheriff, Ron Hickman, said Saturday, referring to the “Black Lives Matter” slogan, “Well, cops’ lives matter, too.”
Asked Monday whether anti-police sentiment had anything to do with the case, Ms. Anderson replied: “I have no idea whether it does or not. But you know what — I want to accentuate the positive here.” She spoke of a Saturday vigil and a Sunday prayer walk that drew over 1,000 people to the gas station each day.
“This crime is not going to divide us,” Ms. Anderson said. “This crime is going to unite us. People of all races were out there. That’s what’s important here.”
Mr. Miles, who graduated in 2003 from a high school near the gas station, Cypress Falls, and played on the football team there, did not have to enter a plea at the probable-cause hearing. His arraignment was set for Oct. 5.
Anthony Osso, one of Mr. Miles’s court-appointed lawyers, said: “I just ask people to keep an open mind. It’s really easy to pass judgment and rush to judgment on it.”
In 2012, Mr. Miles was arrested in Austin on allegations of assaulting and seriously injuring a man at the Salvation Army shelter where he had been staying, the authorities said. He was accused of punching and kicking the man in a dispute over which television program to watch, and he was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, officials said.
Mr. Miles was sent to a state mental hospital after an evaluation found him mentally incompetent to stand trial, said Joe Frederick, the Travis County assistant district attorney in the case. After a six-month stay, Mr. Miles was found competent to face prosecution, but the case was dismissed in 2013 when officials were unable to find the victim.
Ms. Anderson said investigators had found 15 .40-caliber Aguila shell casings near Deputy Goforth’s body. A witness said he had pulled up to the gas station with his children, and he heard gunshots, Ms. Anderson said. The witness saw a black man with a bald head standing over the deputy and shooting, and he saw the man flee in a red Ford truck with an extended cab.
The gas station’s surveillance camera video showed the truck had a trailer hitch on the back and a white cooler in the bed. A search for the vehicle led investigators to Mr. Miles’s home.
In Mr. Miles’s garage, investigators found a .40-caliber Smith & Wesson pistol, Aguila cartridges and a white cooler, Ms. Anderson said. Tests on the pistol showed it matched the gun that fired the shell casings left at the scene, she said.
In the Execution Business, Missouri Is Surging
Largest Dutch pension fund exits Mylan over death penalty concerns
Missouri executes Roderick Nunley 9:09 p.m
BONNE TERRE, Mo. (AP) – Missouri executed Tuesday evening Roderick Nunley for the kidnapping, rape and fatal stabbing of 15-year-old Ann Harrison in 1989.
Nunley was pronounced dead at 9:09 p.m., according to the Missouri Department of Corrections.
A man who spent nearly 25 years on Missouri’s death row has been executed for the kidnapping, rape and stabbing death of a 15-year-old Kansas City girl.
Fifty-year-old Roderick Nunley died by injection Tuesday night. Of 20 executions nationally in 2015, 10 have been in Texas and six in Missouri.
Ann Harrison was waiting for a school bus on her driveway, 20 yards from her front door, on March 22, 1989. Nunley and Michael Taylor drove by in a stolen car and abducted her. They took her to the home of Nunley’s mother where she was raped, sodomized and then fatally stabbed.
The girl’s body was found in the trunk of the abandoned car three days later.
Both men were sentenced to death in 1991. Taylor was executed last year.
The U.S. Supreme Court says it won’t stop the scheduled execution of a man convicted in the 1989 kidnapping, rape and stabbing death of a 15-year-old girl in Kansas City.
The justices issued orders Tuesday evening denying a stay of execution for 50-year-old Roderick Nunley. He’s set to be executed at 6 p.m. Tuesday for the death of Ann Harrison.
Investigators say the girl was randomly targeted as she waited outside her home for the school bus. She was taken to a home, raped and fatally stabbed.
Nunley’s attorney had three appeals pending before the Supreme Court. One questioned the constitutionality of the death penalty Another argued Nunley should’ve been sentenced by a jury, not a judge.
A third took issue with Missouri’s process of secretly acquiring its execution drug.
Missouri prison officials are preparing to execute a man convicted of killing a 15-year-old girl more than two decades ago in Kansas City.
Fifty-year-old Roderick Nunley is scheduled to be executed at 6 p.m. Tuesday for the kidnapping, rape and stabbing death of Ann Harrison. Investigators say the girl was randomly targeted while waiting in her driveway for the school bus on the morning of March 22, 1989.
Nunley’s co-defendant, Michael Taylor, also was convicted of first-degree murder. He was executed last year.
Nunley’s attorney has three appeals pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. One questions the constitutionality of the death penalty, while another argues that Nunley should’ve been sentenced by a jury, not a judge. An appeal filed Monday takes issues with Missouri’s process of secretly acquiring its execution drug.
Gov. Jay Nixon is also weighing a clemency petition.
Susan Sarandon Reads Richard Glossip’s Statement (via Sister Helen Prejean) on The Dr. Phil Show
Actress Susan Sarandon read this message from Richard Glossip on The Dr. Phil Show on Monday, August 31, 2015:
Mr. Van Treese’s death was a horrible thing, and something no family should have to go through. But I did not murder him. And yet that’s what the State of Oklahoma is going to do to me. I have to ask: How does murdering another innocent man make things better? I also have a family who should not have to suffer through that; they should not have to see their father, their brother, their uncle killed. That is not justice.
I have been fighting for my innocence for 18 years. I now understand how important my fight is, not just for myself but for everyone facing the death penalty for something they didn’t do. I’m not doing this for myself alone. I hope and pray that my eventual exoneration will help others, and that this country will finally realize just how broken our system is, and how easy it is to make mistakes. Let me be clear, I do not want to be a martyr — I want to live — but if the worst happens, I want my death not to be in vain. If my execution ensured no other innocent man was sent to the death chamber, I am prepared to die for that cause.
I have never been in trouble with the law in my life. I have worked hard. Paid my taxes. I was a good citizen and always tried to help others. Now I have gone from doing everything right to fighting for my life. I’m asking everyone to stand up and let their voices be heard. Go torichardeglossip.com and join this fight. Call Governor Fallin. We have to stand together to make a difference.
God bless you all, please know that I’m praying for you all.
DOCUMENTARY : Autopsy Serial Killers Crime and Violence Full Documentary
Susan Sarandon Fights To Save Death Row Inmate’s Life Days Before Execution
Just days before a death row inmate’s scheduled execution, Susan Sarandon makes an impassioned plea on Monday’s episode of Dr. Phil to save the life of Richard Glossip, who has been on Oklahoma’s death row for 17 years.
“I’m heartbroken for the state of our judicial system as much as I’m heartbroken for this man,” says the Academy Award®-winning actress. “Because of the color of your skin or how much money you have, you can’t get a decent shake. It shouldn’t be that way. This is America — we’re better than that.”
Glossip, 51, who is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection on Wednesday, September 16, was convicted in 1998 of first-degree murder of his boss, Barry Van Treese. Glossip maintains his innocence despite being convicted and sentenced to death by two juries.
Glossip’s Life Has Been Spared Before
When Dr. Phil asks Sarandon how she will feel if Glossip is not granted a stay of execution, Sarandon responds: “I’ll feel ashamed and sad for us all. Not just for him. I mean, it’s hard to even put an animal down, but to put a man down? It’s just not the way we should be living our lives. It’s just wrong.”
If Glossip is executed as planned, he’ll leave behind four children and two grandchildren.
Sarandon is joined on the show by Sister Helen Prejean, Glossip’s spiritual adviser and the author of Dead Man Walking, whose character was played by Sarandon in the 1995 film. Prejean and Sarandon are appealing to Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin to grant a stay of execution based on what they call the mishandling of Glossip’s case and poor legal representation.
Prejean tells Dr. Phil about one of her conversations with Glossip earlier this year: “He goes, ‘Sister Helen, I hope you don’t mind … but I want to ask you to be with me if I’m executed.’ And I will not just walk with that man, and be his spiritual adviser and hold his hand while he dies. His dying is wrong. The totally inadequate defense and no forensic evidence — and on that Richard Glossip is sitting on death row.”
Dr. Phil responds: “Well, we know in the American legal system, there are different standards of proof … To deprive someone of their liberty in America, to deprive someone of their life in America, is and should be the highest standard you can possibly imagine. Where 12 people go in a room and there is nothing that reasonable people could disagree about. There’s no possible way they could say there’s an alternative explanation that could even be considered. And in this case, the two of you, just in the few minutes that I’m talking to you here, have presented half a dozen alternative explanations, motives, for why [the man who claimed that Glossip hired him to commit the murder] would say what he’s doing. The absence of proof that would at least be a shred of doubt. Is that not violating the moral code of beyond a reasonable doubt for taking a man’s liberty and life? Is that not?”
Prejean answers, “Of course, I wish you had been Richard’s lawyer.”
Tune in to this episode of Dr. Phil on Monday, August 31 to see why Sarandon is moved to tears by Glossip’s exclusive statement from death row about his impending execution
Missouri: Court denies motions from man set to be executed Tuesday