James Lewis DeRosa – Oklahoma Execution – June 18, 2013 -EXECUTED 6:07 pm

https://i0.wp.com/i1203.photobucket.com/albums/bb388/cncp66/cncp66-1/off_lookup-16.jpgConvicted and sentenced to death in the murders of Curtis and Gloria Plummer. DeRosa and co-defendant then robbed them, stabbed them, and cut their throats, leaving them dead on the floor. DeRosa and Castleberry then stole approximately $73 and left in the Plummers’ 1998 Chevrolet pickup truck. The Plummers knew DeRosa, because he had previously worked for them on their ranch. He and Castleberry were apparently allowed into the home, which had a security system, on the pretense of looking for a further work opportunity.

DeRosa has been on death row since December 10, 2001.

Two-time killer executed at OSP

By Rachel Petersen, The McAlester News-Capital

McALESTER — A two-time convicted killer, and death row inmate at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary, was executed via lethal injection Tuesday evening in the prison’s death chamber.

James Lewis DeRosa, 36, was convicted Oct. 19, 2001, of two counts of first-degree murder and was subsequently sentenced to death.

DeRosa did not make any last requests prior to his execution, this includes a last meal request. At around noon Tuesday, he was offered a meal, one that was being served to the entire inmate population, and he denied accepting the food, according to Terry Crenshaw, OSP warden’s assistant.

DeRosa’a execution began at 6:01 p.m. When the blinds between the execution chamber and the witness room were raised, DeRosa did not turn his head. He stared up at the ceiling. OSP Warden Anita Trammell asked him if he had any last words and DeRosa said, “No Ma’am.”

Trammell then said, “Let the execution begin.”

DeRosa blinked a number of times before he began to breath heavily. He had one last long exhale and his eyelids stopped blinking. The color began to drain from his face and he was pronounced dead by an attending physician at 6:07 p.m.

Members of the victim’s family spoke after DeRosa’s execution was complete. “This is not about DeRosa,” said Janet Tolbert, whose parents were murdered by DeRosa. “This is about Curtis and Gloria Plummer.” Tolbert said her family is glad that justice has finally been served. She said her parents suffered a “horrendous” death. “Nothing compared to that light death” DeRosa just had, she said.

Tolbert and her daughter, Dana Gilliam, both wore white t-shirts with pictures of the Plummers printed on the front.

Witnessing DeRosa’s execution were five members of the media, 13 members of the victim’s family, two of DeRosa’s attorneys, three law enforcement representatives, Oklahoma Department of Corrections Director Justin Jones and DOC Deputy Director Laura Pitman.

Earlier this month, the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board voted 3-2 against granting DeRosa clemency earlier this month.

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt filed a request March 25 with the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals to set DeRosa’s execution date after the U.S. Supreme Court denied the inmate’s final appeal.

In October 2000, Curtis Plummer, 73, and Gloria Plummer, 70, both of Poteau, were found dead in their home with multiple stab wounds and with their throats cut. About one year later, in October 2001, DeRosa was found guilty by a jury of his peers for the LeFlore County first-degree murders of the Plummers. He was subsequently sentenced to death.

According to Pruitt, DeRosa was briefly employed by the Plummers and told several friends on multiple occasions he thought the elderly couple would be an easy target to rob. DeRosa’s 21-year-old friend, Eric Castleberry, now 33, and also known as John E. Castleberry, agreed to help with the robbery. Castleberry’s 18-year-old friend, Scotty White, now 30, agreed to drive.

Pruitt said DeRosa and Castleberry were welcomed into the Plummer’s home, which at the time was equipped with a security system. Once in the home, Pruitt said, DeRosa and Castleberry brandished knives and, while the couple begged and struggled for their lives, DeRosa stabbed the Plummers multiple times and slit their throats, the AG’s office reported.

“DeRosa and Castleberry left the scene with $73 and the couple’s pickup truck,” Pruitt said. “The truck was ditched in a nearby lake.”

In exchange for a life sentence without the possibility of parole,Castleberry testified at DeRosa’s trial. Castleberry is serving his two life sentences at OSP in McAlester.

White was charged with accessory to first-degree murder after the fact and received two 25-year sentences, to be served concurrently, and the last seven years to be served as probation. He is serving time at the Lawton Correctional Facility and has since been convicted of escaping from the Department of Corrections. He is scheduled to be released on Nov. 10, 2026, and has a parole hearing set in August of 2015.

DeRosa was received into the Oklahoma Department of Corrections on Dec. 10, 2001. He had been housed in Oklahoma’s death row at OSP in McAlester.


MISSISSIPPI – Gary Carl Simmons – Execution june 20 – Last Hours EXECUTED 6:16 p.m

Last Statement

“I’ve been blessed to be loved by some good people, by some amazing people. I thank them for their support. Let’s get it on so these people can go home. That’s it,” Simmons said as he lay strapped on a gurney in the execution chamber moments before the procedure was carried out.

Once the drugs began flowing, Simmons took a few deep breaths and yawned before going motionless.


June 20, 2012 Execution of Gary Carl Simmons 7:00 p.m. News Briefing

Parchman, Miss. – The Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) today conducted the mandated execution of state inmate Gary Carl Simmons. Inmate Simmons was pronounced dead at 6:16 p.m. at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman.
MDOC Commissioner Christopher Epps said during a press conference following the execution that the evening signified the close of the Gary Carl Simmons case. Simmons was sentenced to death in 1997 for the crime of capital murder of Jeffery Wolfe in Jackson County, Miss.
“For the third time this month, the cause of justice has been championed. The State of Mississippi – Department of Corrections has carried out the mandated execution of death row inmate Gary Carl Simmons,” said MDOC Commissioner Chris Epps. “Through the course of nearly 16 years, death row inmate Gary Carl Simmons was afforded his day in court and in the finality, his conviction was upheld.”
“I ask that you join me in prayer for the family of Jeffery Wolfe. The entire MDOC family hopes you may now embark on the process of healing. Our prayers and thoughts are with you as you continue life’s journey,” said Epps.
Epps concluded his comments by commending Deputy Commissioner of Institutions Emmitt Sparkman, Parchman Penitentiary Superintendent Earnest Lee, Mississippi State Penitentiary security staff and the entire staff of the Mississippi Department of Corrections for their professionalism during the process.

June 20, 2012 Scheduled Execution of Gary Carl Simmons 4:45 p.m. News Briefing
Parchman, Miss. – The Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) today briefed members of the news media of death row Inmate Gary Carl Simmons’ activities from 2:00 p.m. to approximately 4:45 p.m., including telephone calls and visits.
Inmate Simmons’ Collect Telephone Calls
Today, Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Update to Inmate Simmons’ Visits
Family visitors, Belinda Simmons Bowen (sister) and Anthony Bowen (brother-in-law) arrived at Unit 17 at 1:30 pm and left at 3:00 p.m.
Attorney Harvey Barton visited with inmate Simmons from 3:00 p.m. until 3:22 p.m.
His spiritual advisor, David Lowery, visited with inmate Simmons from 3:22 p.m. until 4:00pm.
Activities of Inmate Simmons:
Inmate Simmons has eaten at least half of his last meal. He has sampled everything except one bag of chips and is still eating.
Inmate Simmons does want to take a shower.
He does not want a sedative.
Inmate Simmons remains under observation. Officers have observed Inmate Simmons as being slightly more upbeat since visiting with his spiritual advisor.

June 20, 2012 Scheduled Execution of Gary Carl Simmons 2:00 p.m. News Briefing
Parchman, Miss. – The Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) will hold three news briefings today related to events surrounding the Wednesday, June 20, 2012 scheduled execution of death row Inmate Gary Carl Simmons, MDOC #R1943. The following is an  update on Inmate Simmons’ recent visits and telephone calls, activities, last meal to be served, and the official list of execution witnesses.
Approved visitation list:
 Belinda Simmons Bowen (sister)
 Anthony Bowen (brother-in-law)
 Harvey Barton (attorney)
 Scott Johnson (attorney)
 David Lowery (spiritual advisor)
 Father Tim Murphy (MDOC Chaplain)

Visits with Inmate Gary Carl Simmons
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Harvey Barton (attorney)
Visits today, thus far:

Activities of Simmons
Inmate Simmons was transferred from Unit 29 to Unit 17 on Monday at 6:00 p.m.
This morning, at Unit 17, for breakfast at 5:36 a.m. inmate Simmons was offered 1
serving of scrambled eggs, 1 slice of ham, 1 serving of Frosty Flakes cereal, 1 biscuit,
4 packs of sugar, 2 boxes of milk and 1 cup of coffee. He ate the serving of eggs, and
drank 2 boxes of milk and the coffee.
Inmate Simmons was offered lunch today at 10:54 a.m., which included 1 meatloaf
patty, 4 ounces of rice, 4 ounces of salad with dressing, 2 pieces of cornbread, 3
ounces of gravy, and 1 cup of punch. He ate all of the salad with dressing, half of the
meatloaf patty and drank half of the punch.
Inmate Simmons has access to a telephone to place unlimited collect calls to persons
on his approved telephone list. He will have access today, June 20th until 5:00 p.m.
Approved Telephone List
 Cheryl Bullied (friend)
 Lori Lucus (ex-wife)
 Robert Taylor (uncle)
 Glen Swartzfager (attorney)
 Kathleen Blackmon (sister)
Inmate Simmons’ Collect Telephone Calls
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
One phone call to Glen Swartzfager (attorney)
Today, June 20, 2012
Two phone calls to Kathleen Blackmon (sister)
According to the MDOC correctional officers that are posted outside his cell, Inmate Simmons is observed to be in a somber mood and is not talkative.
Simmons’ Remains
Inmate Simmons has requested that his body be released to Belinda Bowen (sister) via Legacy Funeral Services, Denver, Colorado.
Last Meal
Inmate Simmons requested the following as his last meal: one Pizza Hut medium super supreme deep dish (thin crust if available) pizza, double portion: tomato sauce, mushrooms, onions, jalapeño pepper slices and pepperoni. Regular portion: 3 cheeses, olives, bell peppers, tomato, garlic and Italian sausage. Ten (8oz) packs of parmesan cheese, ten (8oz)
packs of Ranch dressing, One (16oz) family size bag of Doritos nacho cheese chips, 8oz jalapeño nacho cheese, 4oz sliced jalapeño peppers, 2 large strawberry milkshakes, two (20oz) cherry Cokes, one super-sized order McDonald’s French fries (extra ketchup and mayonnaise) and two pints strawberry ice cream (any brand)

Execution Witnesses
Spiritual Advisor(s) for the condemned Inmate Simmons requested his spiritual advisors,
David Lowery and Father Tim Murphy, witness the execution.
Attorney(s) for the condemned Harvey Barton and Scott Johnson.
Member(s) of the condemned’s family Inmate Simmons’ family member, Belinda Simmons
Bowen (sister), will witness the execution.
Member(s) of the victims’ family Paskiel Wolfe (father of Jeffery Wolfe) and Linda
Wolfe (step-mother of Jeffery Wolfe) will witness the execution.
Sheriffs Sheriff James Haywood, Sunflower County
Sheriff Mike Byrd, Jackson County

Members of the Media

Margaret Baker
Sun Herald
Biloxi, MS
Brittany Davis
Indianola, MS
Holbrook “Bert” Mohr
Associated Press
Jackson, MS
Doug Walker Wineki
Biloxi, MS

MISSISSIPPI – GARY CARL SIMMONS, JR.- Execution – June 20, 2012 6:00 p.m EXECUTED 6:16 p.m

Last Statement

“I’ve been blessed to be loved by some good people, by some amazing people. I thank them for their support. Let’s get it on so these people can go home. That’s it,” Simmons said as he lay strapped on a gurney in the execution chamber moments before the procedure was carried out.

Gary Carl Simmons Jr.

Source : Mississippi Court NO. 97-DP-01550-SCT

In the early morning hours of August 11, 1996, Jeffery Wolfe and Charlene Brooke Leaser drove from Houston, Texas, to Jackson County, Mississippi. They had only known each other a few weeks. Wolfe asked Leaser to accompany him on a trip to the Gulf Coast to “pick up some money” from some friends that were in his debt. Leaser later learned that the debt accrued some weeks earlier from a transaction involving drugs. While on the Gulf Coast, Wolfe also planned to buy new wheel rims and tires for his vehicleand then return through New Orleans with Leaser for a short vacation. Wolfe left Houston with twelve hundred dollars in his wallet. Leaser had approximately two hundred dollars in her purse.
Upon their arrival on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, they checked into the King’s Inn Hotel. Wolfe and Leaser fell asleep. Wolfe awoke early and left Leaser at the Hotel to meet Sonny Milano, Timothy Milano’s brother, who worked at a local tire store. Apparently, they met a few weeks earlier while Wolfe was on the Coast conducting his illicit business deal. Later that afternoon, Wolfe and Sonny returned to the hotel room to pick up Leaser for dinner. Sonny Milano left to get his girlfriend and the four met in Wolfe and Leaser’s room at the hotel. They all took Wolfe’s white Honda Civic to Shoney’s where they dined together

Sonny Milano testified that during dinner, Wolfe asked if Sonny planned to go to Simmons’ house that evening. Sonny Milano, over loud protests from his girlfriend, decided to go to Simmons’ house, arriving there late that evening after dropping her off. When he arrived, Simmons and Sonny’s brother, Milano, were the only two at the house. Simmons asked Sonny if he had seen Wolfe and Sonny told him that they ate dinner together. Simmons asked Sonny to get in touch with Wolfe. Sonny contacted Wolfe at his hotel room and told Wolfe that he was at Simmons’s house. Wolfe was pleasantly surprised to hear that Sonny was there, since Sonny’s girlfriend was opposed to his going. Wolfe told Sonny that he would be there in a minute.

Sonny conveyed this information to Simmons, who less than one minute later, approached Sonny as he talked to Milano and asked him to leave the house. Sonny testified that he did not find this unusual because “that’s just Gary.” Sonny left without explanation, with Wolfe on his way.
After dinner, as the couples parted ways, Wolfe and Leaser returned to their hotel where they relaxed before leaving to meet Wolfe’s debtors. They drove out to Simmons’s house but found no one home. After leaving the house to pick up cigarettes and a beverage, Wolfe and Leaser returned to the hotel. To pass the time, the two then went to Wal-Mart, and again tried to meet Simmons at his house. Still, no one was home. By this time it was nearly 10 in the evening, August 12, 1996. Again, they returned to the hotel. Near midnight, Wolfe received a phone call while Leaser stood outside smoking a cigarette. Wolfe hung up the phone, gathered Leaser, and left the hotel headed toward Simmons’s house.

Upon arriving at the house, they found Simmons sitting on the front porch. The three began talking, and Simmons offered them some marijuana. Leaser and Simmons smoked a marijuana cigarette, but Wolfe refrained. Milano drove up as they finished the marijuana. Simmons was related to the Milanos by marriage; Simmons married their sister, Lori, but that marriage ended in divorce. Simmons offered his guests a beer, and all four adjourned to the kitchen and living room area. Simmons walked into the kitchen to get a beer while Leaser sat down at a table in the living room to roll another marijuana cigarette.

Leaser heard Wolfe and Milano chatting in the doorway separating the kitchen and living room. Wolfe mentioned the money he was owed. Apparently, Simmons and Milano owed Wolfe between twelve and twenty thousand dollars. They did not have the money, nor did they have the drugs. Simmons returned from the kitchen while Wolfe and Milano discussed this predicament. Leaser testified that she heard gunshots and saw Wolfe fall to the ground. Immediately there after, Simmons grabbed Leaser and ordered her not to look in the direction of Wolfe’s body. Leaser noticed Milano standing directly behind Wolfe holding what was later identified as State’s exhibit 29, a .22 caliber rifle.

Simmons took her to a back bedroom of the house and forced her to lie face down on the floor. He placed himself on top of her and began questioning her, asking whether she or Wolfe were law enforcement officers, whether Wolfe had any drugs with him, and who knew they were in Mississippi. She became understandably hysterical and simply responded that she did not know anything, as she and Wolfe had only become acquainted a few weeks ago. After Simmons finished questioning Leaser, he tied her hands behind her back, bound them to her feet with some rope, and locked her in a metal box with dimensions similar to a large footlocker near his bedroom, telling her he was “on a time frame” that he could not “mess up.”

Leaser managed to untie her hands and feet and began kicking the top of the box unsuccessfully trying to get out. Leaser continued kicking the top of the box until Simmons returned. He removed her from the box, stripped her nude, tied her up again and returned her to the box. Again, Leaser managed to free herself from the knotted ropes, but remained unable to get the top off of the metal box holding her. After some length of time had passed, Simmons returned to the box and took Leaser out. Simmons was undressed. He again forced her to lie face down on the floor of the bedroom. Leaser was in the middle of her menstrual cycle, so Simmons forced her to remove her tampon. He then raped her, telling her that her life depended on how well she performed sexually. Leaser testified that she thought he was holding a pistol to the back of her head during the assault.
Afterward, Simmons asked Milano if he would like to rape her as well; Milano declined. Simmons then took Leaser to the bathroom, allowed her to clean up with an athletic sock; and yet again, tied her up and locked her in the box.

While Leaser was secured in the box, Simmons and Milano went about their plan to dispose of Wolfe’s body. Simmons, by trade, was a butcher in a meat market. Simmons’s co-worker, Charles Jenkins, testified that during the preceding workweek, Simmons sharpened all of his knives and took them home from work for the weekend. Jenkins testified that this was rather unusual because everyone normally leaves their knives at work. Apparently, the only time that Jenkins could remember anyone taking their knives home was before leaving on an extended vacation or quitting the job. Simmons took those knives and began dismembering Wolfe in the bathtub. After gutting him and severing his head and limbs, Simmons, with Milano’s help, began distributing Wolfe’s remains into the bayou that ran behind Simmons’s property using a boat Simmons borrowed from neighbor Donald Taylor only hours before. Alligators were known to inhabit the area. The bayou had a running current that eventually, through tributaries, fed into the Gulf of Mexico.

Leaser, still locked in the box, again untied herself. Simmons returned to the box smoking marijuana and offered some to Leaser. She accepted. After sharing the marijuana cigarette, Simmons locked Leaser in the box with a blanket, where she fell asleep. She awoke to the sound of the telephone ringing. When no one answered it, Leaser reasoned that the house was empty. She mustered all of her energy and began banging on the top of the box. The lid popped off and Leaser managed to get out of the house. On her wayout of the door, she grabbed a bag with some of her clothes and belongings in it. She then partially dressed herself. Leaser ran to a neighbor’s house and convinced the neighbor to call the police. Upon their arrival, Leaser recounted the events of the previous twenty-four hours.

Many different law enforcement agencies were involved in investigating the scene of the crime. Leaser told police officers that Wolfe was inside, had been shot, and that she had been raped. Once the police arrived, they began to secure the area and investigate Leaser’s claims. Moss Point police officers Lee Merrill and Richard Cushman entered the house with Leaser to determine if a crime had, in fact, beencommitted and if so, whether other victims were still in the house. Once the police officers saw blood and other evidence of violent crimes, they left the house and secured a search warrant.

After obtaining a search warrant, the police called the Mississippi Crime Lab, and they entered the house to gather evidence. From inside the house, they collected portions of fingernails from a wastebasketa used condom, and two used tampons, among other things. The local police department also recovered a Marlin model # 60 .22 caliber rifle, eight empty .22 caliber shell casings, and Wolfe and Leaser’s personal items originally left in their hotel room.

Near the rear of the property, a small “jon boat” was spotted near the water. Officers Magee and Graff investigated and requested that Officer Cushman join them. Near the boat they found four five gallon white buckets, one green plastic barrel, a one gallon bottle of Clorox bleach, a brush, a knife, and a bushhook. The brush and bushhook appeared to be covered in blood. An aluminum boat paddle was covered in bloody finger prints. In the boat, the officers discovered a piece of flesh. The local coroner called Dr. Paul McGarry to help with the investigation. Outside the house, but still on or very near Simmons’s property, Dr. McGarry found the rest of Wolfe’s body. Dr. McGarry testified that he and a group of police officers floated approximately two hundred yards down the bayou over which they found various parts of the skin, muscle, chest, abdominal walls, penis and testicles, lungs, heart, intestines, liver, as well as fingers and toes from a young human white male.

Dr. McGarry testified that the body parts had been cut sharply and with precision into block like sections of tissue. Most of the bones had been separated. Of the flesh he found and examined, several pieces had bullet holes in them. One portion of the chest had five bullet holes in it while another portion revealed one bullet hole. Some of the internal organs, the heart and lungs specifically, also had bullet holes in them. The left lung had a bullet lodged in it. Dr. McGarry testified that these gunshot wounds were the cause of death.
A further search of the area revealed Wolfe’s severed head, upper chest portion, and pelvic area sans reproductive organs. Over two days of searching, they found, on the first day, eighty-five pounds of human remains the largest of which was seventeen inches in diameter. The following day, they collected forty-one pounds of similar pieces, with the largest piece measuring nineteen inches. Some pieces found later were large enough to have identifiable tatoos. All of the flesh was identified as belonging to Wolfe.
Simmons left his house after dismembering and disposing of Wolfe. He drove to Mobile, Alabama, where he made a videotape for his ex-wife and children. Throughout the video recording, Simmons spoke to his family in the most general terms about what he had done, although he never specifically admitted committing any crimes. Simmons mailed the video cassette to his wife and drove back to the Coast. Upon arriving at his house, Simmons noticed that Leaser had escaped. He immediately left again and went to see his friend Dennis Guess.
Guess testified that while they were conversing, Simmons volunteered that he had just “whacked a drug dealer,…deboned him, cut him up in little pieces, and put him in the bayou.” Simmons told Guess that he used a butcher knife and bolt cutters to accomplish the task. Simmons also told Guess that he had a girl in a box and planned to “train her” and “keep her around as a sex toy,” but confessed that she had escaped. The conversation then turned to what realistic options Simmons had left. Simmons, after further discourse with Guess on this subject, decided against fleeing the jurisdiction or committing suicide. He eventually decided to turn himself in to the authorities.

ARIZONA – Samuel Villegas Lopez – Execution June 27, 2012 – 10:00 a.m

June 27, 2012 Source : http://tucsoncitizen.com

The U.S. Supreme Court late Thursday denied death-row inmate Samuel Lopez’s final appeal, clearing the way for his execution at 10 a.m. today in Florence.

Lopez’s attorney, assistant federal public defender Kelley Henry, said there will be no other efforts to block his execution. Lopez, 49, was convicted in 1987 of raping and murdering Estefana Holmes in her Phoenix apartment. On Friday, the Arizona Supreme Court also denied a stay, and Arizona’s Board of Executive Clemency denied a commutation bid.

His execution will be the first in which witnesses will watch, via closed-circuit TV, the insertion of the catheters that deliver the fatal drug pentobarbital. Attorneys for inmates in prior executions condemned the practice of inserting catheters into the prisoners’ groins. Officials said the executioners had found it difficult to find suitable veins in the arms and legs.

In earlier executions, witnesses only saw the prisoner after the catheters had been inserted.

June 26, 2012 Source : http://www.azcentral.com

A death-row inmate set to be executed in Arizona on Wednesday has lost his last appeal, clearing the way for the lethal injection to proceed.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday turned down a request from Samuel Villegas Lopez to delay his execution to consider arguments that his trial attorneys were incompetent.

June 6, 2012 Source : http://www.azcentral.com

ll executions carried out in Arizona are witnessed by members of the public and the media. But the witnesses only see the condemned prisoner as he says his last words and lapses into unconsciousness.

During the next execution, scheduled for June 27, the witnesses also will be able to watch as executioners insert the intravenous catheters that deliver the deadly drug into the prisoner’s veins.

Just last week, a federal judge in Phoenix denied requests by defense attorneys and the media to witness those preparations. A federal judge in Idaho denied a similar request from the media Tuesday.

But in a letter Wednesday to death-row prisoner Samuel Lopez, who faces execution June 27, Arizona Corrections Director Charles Ryan said that witnesses to the execution –– who generally include five members of the media — will be allowed to watch his catheter insertion via closed-circuit television.

The location of the catheters has been an ongoing court issue in the past several executions. The Department of Corrections frequently claims that its medical staff for executions are unable to find suitable veins in the arms or legs of the condemned prisoners, prompting them to surgically insert a line into prisoners’ groin areas.

During a March execution, a condemned man asked to speak to his attorney before the execution as the medical staff repeatedly stuck him without finding a vein, eventually putting the line into the femoral vein in his groin. He was not allowed to speak to the attorney and instead communicated with him by code during his last words.

Ryan has previously refused to allow anyone to view the process.

In May, judges at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals questioned why Arizona media had not expressed its First Amendment right to witness the procedure.

A 2009 decision by the 9th Circuit ruled that the public has a right to witness all aspects of an execution. Only California and Ohio have allowed it until now.

Nonetheless, the Arizona Department of Corrections fought the motion to allow attorneys into the room to see the catheters inserted. The First Amendment Coalition of Arizona also asked to witness, but a U.S. District Court judge in Phoenix denied their motions.

The attorneys filed an appeal in the 9th Circuit on Wednesday morning asking that a prisoner’s attorneys be allowed to watch the procedure in order to gather evidence, regardless of whether he or she is invited as a witness by the prisoner.

But also Wednesday, Lopez received a note from Ryan informing him that the executioners will be using a single drug, pentobarbital, to carry out his execution, and that he could make a final statement to the witnesses. However, he was told that his microphone would be cut off if he made offensive statements.

A Department of Corrections spokesman said the note to Lopez speaks for itself.

In the last paragraph, Ryan told Lopez that the closed-circuit monitors in the execution chamber will be turned on as the IVs are inserted before the execution, and that there will be a live microphone in the room so that the witnesses can hear what is said during the procedure.

“Over the past two years, ADC stopped illegally importing the execution drugs, switched to a one-drug protocol and now is making the execution process more transparent. These are steps in the right direction,” said Assistant Federal Public Defender Dale Baich, who will witness Lopez’s execution as his guest. “ADC now recognizes that the entire execution process can be transparent and, at the same time, the anonymity of the medical personnel who carry out the executions can be protected.”

MISSISSIPPI – Michael Brawner – Execution – June 12 2012 6.00 p.m EXECUTED 6:18 P.M.

FACTS from Mississippi Court  NO. 2004-DR-00913-SCT

The following facts were taken from this Court’s opinion on direct appeal. In December 1997, Brawner married Barbara Craft, and in March 1998, their daughter, Paige, was born. Brawner and Barbara divorced in March 2001, she was awarded custody of Paige, and they lived with Barbara’s parents, Carl and Jane Craft, at their home in Tate County. Brawner also lived with the Crafts off and on during his marriage to Barbara.
3. At the time of the murders, Brawner was living with his girlfriend June Fillyaw, in an apartment in Southaven. According to Brawner, they were having financial difficulties, and on top of that, he had also been told by Barbara that she did not want him around Paige. He testified that pressure on him was building because nothing was going right.
4. On the day before the murders, Brawner left his apartment in Southaven at 3:00 a.m. and headed toward the Crafts’ house, about an hour away. He testified that he thought he might be able to borrow money from Carl, although in a prior statement he said he had planned to rob Carl. While waiting on the Craft’s front steps from approximately 4:00 a.m. until 7:00 a.m., he took a 7-mm Ruger rifle out of Carl’s truck and emptied the bullets from it, because “he didn’t want to get shot.” A dog started barking, and Brawner hid until Carl went back inside, then ran away, thinking Carl might be getting a gun. He then drove back to his apartment.
5. Around noon the following day, April 25, 2001, Brawner again drove to the Crafts’ house, and knocked on the door, but no one was home. He then put on rubber gloves that he had purchased earlier that day, “took the slats out of the back door,” entered the house, and took a .22 rifle. He then went to Carl’s workplace and asked him if it would be OK to go out to the house to wait for Barbara and Paige so that he could see his daughter, to which Carl agreed.
6. Since Barbara and Paige did not return, Brawner decided to leave, and as he was doing so, Barbara, Paige, and Jane pulled into the drive. After a brief conversation with Jane and Barbara, Brawner became agitated and went to the truck and brought back the rifle that he had taken from the Crafts’ house earlier that day. Just as he told Barbara that she was not going to take Paige away from him, he saw Jane walking toward the bedroom and shot her with the rifle. He said he then shot Barbara as she was coming toward him, and went to where Jane had fallen and “put her out of her misery.” After this, he shot Barbara again and took Paige, who had witnessed the murders, to her bedroom and told her to watch TV. After Brawner determined that Paige would be able to identify him, and in his words, he “was just bent on killing,” he went back into the bedroom and shot his daughter twice, killing her. He then waited in the house until Carl came home from work, and when Carl walked through the door, Brawner shot and killed him.
7. Brawner stole approximately $300 from Carl’s wallet, Jane’s wedding ring, and foodstamps out of Barbara’s purse. He took Windex from the kitchen and attempted to wipe away any fingerprints he may have left. Brawner then returned to his apartment in Southaven, where he gave the stolen wedding ring to Fillyaw, asked her to marry him, and told her that he bought the ring at a pawn shop.

IDAHO – UPDATE – Richard Leavitt – Execution June 12 – 10:00 a.m EXECUTED

Richard Leavitt

Richard Leavitt, 53, was pronounced dead at 10:25 a.m. at the Idaho Maximum Security Institution.

He offered no final statement, and the only time he spoke was to decline to have his head covered. 

JUNE 12 8.00 a.m 

BOISE — Idaho Dept. of Corrections Director Brent Reinke spoke to members of the media in a short briefing prior to convicted murderer Richard Leavitt’s Tuesday execution.

Reinke addressing those gathered outside the Idaho Maximum Security Institution just after 8 a.m.

Idaho’s top prison official began by emphasizing the serious nature of the execution, saying prison staff “take no joy in this duty.”

Reinke went on to explain that preparations for the State’s second execution in the last seven months have seen few changes since the execution of Paul Ezra Rhoades in November 2011.

The prison chief also took several questions from reporters.

Reinke described Leavitt’s current mood as “resolved,” and said the convicted murderer had been meeting with family members throughout Monday night.

Reinke said Leavitt did not meet with a spiritual adviser.

Reinke also explained that Leavitt had been offered, and had subsequently taken several sedatives in preparation for his 10 a.m. execution.

Leavitt is also actively meeting with his attorney, and will continue to do so until the final minutes of his life, according to Reinke.


6 a.m. — Demonstration areas open

9:35 a.m. — Witnesses enter viewing rooms

10 a.m. — Warden reads death warrant to Leavitt and witnesses

10:03 a.m. — Warden asks Leavitt if he wishes to make final statement

10:10 a.m. — Lethal injection begins

10:35 a.m. — Warden declares execution complete

– Source: Idaho Department of Correction

June 11, 2012 Source : http://www.therepublic.com

BOISEIdaho — Convicted killer Richard Leavitt was calm and spending what was expected to be his last full day alive meeting with his team of lawyers and a handful of approved visitors at his cell on Idaho’s death row, prison officials said Monday.

Leavitt, 53, is scheduled to be put to death Tuesday morning by lethal injection at Idaho Maximum Security Institution, south of Boise. He was convicted in 1985 for the brutal stabbing death of Danette Elg, a 31-year-old woman from Blackfoot.

Leavitt, along with members of his family, insists he didn’t commit the crime. But barring any last-minute reprieve from federal judges, Leavitt will be just the second Idaho inmate put to death in 17 years.

He was calm as he met with visitors and lawyers, state prisons spokesman Jeff Ray said.

Leavitt declined to disclose the identity of his approved visitors. Ray said Leavitt will have baked chicken, french fries and milk for his last meal.

Tuesday’s execution will be different in two ways from the execution last November of Paul Ezra Rhoades.

The state’s execution team will administer a single, lethal dose of pentobarbital, a drug used as a surgical sedative. Last fall, Rhoades was given a lethal injection of three chemicals.

If the execution goes forward, it will mark the first time state and media witnesses will view Idaho’s lethal injection process in its entirety. Last fall, witnesses were barred from seeing the execution team escort Rhoades into the chamber, strap him to a gurney and insert the IV catheters into his arms.

Prison officials had blocked that portion of the execution to protect the identity of the execution team members. But more than a dozen news organizations sued the state, alleging that the Idaho Department of Correction policy limiting access to an execution from start to finish violated the First Amendment and the public’s right to know.

The news groups, led by The Associated Press, sought to expand access to bring Idaho policies in line with a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled on a 2002 case that the public has a right to view executions in their entirety. The portion of the execution process blocked by Idaho prison officials has been subject to legal challenges by death row inmates nationwide, claiming the insertion of the catheters can be botched in a way that causes pain, other medical complications and raises questions about the dignity of the process.

On Friday, a three-judge panel from the San Francisco-based court sided with the news groups and ordered IDOC to modify its policy.

The same federal appeals court on Monday rejected two requests by Leavitt’s team of lawyers to rehear appeals in his case.

Late Monday, they U.S. Supreme Court rejected a motion Leavitt filed Sunday seeking a stay of the execution.

June 10, 2012 Source : http://www.kivitv.com

36 Hours before his scheduled execution, Richard Leavitt maintains his innocence 

For more than a quarter century Richard Leavitt has called Death Row home.

Leavitt is scheduled to die by lethal injection Tuesday morning for the brutal July 1984 murder of 31-year-old Danette Elg of Blackfoot.

A jury convicted Leavitt of stabbing Elg 15 times and cutting out her sexual organs.

Leavitt never confessed to the murder. And, he tells Today’s 6 News and FOX 9 News at 9:00, he is innocent.

“They [the State of Idaho] are killing an innocent man,” Leavitt said.

Police linked Leavitt to Elg’s murder after finding the condemned killer’s blood on her underwear. However, Leavitt claims he had a nose bleed and used Elg’s clothing to wipe the blood.

“It was dark,” Leavitt said. “I didn’t know what I was grabbing if it was panties or a T-Shirt or a blanket…”

Leavitt claims Thelma Wilkins, who he says was Danette’s lover, killed her.

Police and prosecutors argue Leavitt led them to Danette’s body. But, Leavitt says he was one of several people at Elg’s home when Blackfoot Police discovered her mutilated body.

“We were all there when they broke into the house, not just me,Leavitt said. “There were probably five or six or seven of us there. They called me back two or three hours later and asked if I could identify Danette. I wlaked into the house holding my breath, seen what I seen and said all I can say is that it looks like her hair.”

Over the decades, the Death Row inmate passed two polygraph tests.

But, every appeal at every level failed.

Leavitt’s execution is scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday in Boise.

His attorneys are drafting one final appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court which will be reviewed Monday.

June 8, 2012 Source : http://www.nwcn.com

Final preps underway for Leavitt execution

BOISE — On Tuesday, Richard Leavitt will be executed for the 1984 murder of Danette Elg in Blackfoot. The Idaho Department of Correction is making the final preparations for his death by lethal injection.

The maximum security prison is now in Incident Command Mode, which means heightened alert and heightened security. It will stay that way until after the execution.

Leavitt is in a cell in F Block, the same building that holds the execution chamber where he is scheduled to be put to death on Tuesday. He’s being monitored 24 hours a day by two officers.

“For an individual who’s looking at, what we’re looking at on Tuesday, he’s anxious but in fairly good spirits,” said Brent Reinke, the Director of the Department of Correction.

He says Leavitt has had regular visits from his attorney, but has not requested a spiritual advisor.

“Other than that, he’s been waiting and watching, and watching legal procedures, legal actions like we all have been,” said Reinke.

Leavitt is expected to have visitors through the night on Monday, his execution is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. Tuesday.

Reinke says he’s expecting members of the victim’s family and Leavitt’s family to be there, but can’t yet say who or how many might be witnesses to the execution. A handful of law enforcement and government officials and some media will be allowed to witness the execution.

Leavitt will be allowed to make a statement, then given a single lethal injection.

“As we move forward, it will be the one drug of pentobarbital,” said Reinke.

This new protocol is a departure from the three injections of three different chemicals used in the past. The other chemicals became harder to obtain, and according to one lawyer representing death row inmates, the one injection reduces the risk of excruciating pain for the prisoner.

Reinke is also expecting protesters.

“This is a very polarizing event. So we’ll be having both pros and cons,” said Reinke. “We have lots, areas set aside for individuals who want to come out and express their freedom of speech.”

But Reinke says no matter how you feel about this man or the process, his department has a job to do on Tuesday.

“We want to make sure that this is carried out with as much professionalism, dignity, and respect as we possibly can,” said Reinke.

After the execution, Leavitt’s body will be handed over to the Ada County coroner.

Reinke also says the escort and medical teams have been training for this day for months, and their mental well being is one of his biggest priorities.

June 7, 2012 Source : AP

News organizations appeal Idaho execution case

BOISE, Idaho  — A legal challenge seeking full viewing access to Idaho executions will go before a federal appeals court Thursday, with The Associated Press and 16 other news organizations saying the process is unconstitutionally restrictive.

The lawsuit comes as lethal injections have drawn greater scrutiny, from whether the drugs are effective to whether the execution personnel are properly trained.

The news organizations filed a federal lawsuit last month seeking to strike the portion of Idaho’s regulations that prevent witnesses — including reporters acting as representatives of the public — from viewing executions until after catheters have been inserted into the veins of death row inmates.

The news organizations also asked a judge to prevent next week’s execution of Richard Leavitt from moving forward without the changes, but a federal judge denied that request Tuesday.

In his decision, U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge said that while the news organizations had presented a strong case in arguing that the execution limits run afoul of freedom of the press provisions, the timing of the claim fell too close to Leavitt’s execution date and could cause a delay.

Lodge didn’t rule on the merits of the lawsuit, only denying the request for a preliminary injunction. The news organizations now are want the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse Lodge’s decision. The hearing is set for Thursday morning in Pasadena, Calif.

The hearing comes five days ahead of Leavitt’s scheduled execution. He was convicted of murder in the 1984 killing of Blackfoot resident Danette Elg.

In a brief filed in support their appeal, the news organizations argue the reasons given by the Idaho Department of Correction for closing a portion of the execution process do not pass constitutional muster.

The news organizations also took issue with Lodge’s finding that the lethal injection protocol could be altered in the future without harm to the parties involved.

Chuck Brown, an attorney for the news organizations, argued this represented a “profound event.”

“The lower court is essentially finding that a First Amendment right can be violated today as long as it is possible for First Amendment rights to be reasserted at some date in the future. Such a finding flies in the face of what our constitutional rights are all about,” Brown said in court documents.

Additionally, the news organizations targeted Lodge’s finding that their claim was filed too late and if granted could force a delay in Leavitt’s execution. The public has an interest in viewing the whole execution process, Lodge said, but it also has an interest in seeing the judgment enforced without disruption.

“Perhaps the department would need to reschedule the execution of Mr. Leavitt for a later date,” Brown said.

He added, “perhaps the department could simply draw open the curtains on the preparatory stage and proceed as scheduled with only minor adjustments.”

The news organizations have cited a 9th Circuit ruling in a 2002 California case that found every aspect of an execution should be open to witnesses, from the moment the condemned enters the death chamber to the final heartbeat. The ruling established what was expected of the nine Western states within the court’s jurisdiction.

The news organizations filed their case after talks were unsuccessful with prison officials, who took the position that the 2002 ruling was based on facts unique to California, Brown said, citing letters from Idaho correction director Brent Reinke.

Deputy Attorney General Michael S. Gilmore, on behalf of state officials, has asked the 9th Circuit to affirm Lodge’s ruling.

Gilmore said in court documents that the lower court reviewed the case “under applicable procedural and substantive law. It engaged in a reasoned, record-based analysis that weighed competing factors for and against a preliminary injunction in a measured, articulate manner.”

June 4, 2012  Source : http://www.kivitv.com

The attorney for death row inmate Richard Leavitt argued for a stay of execution today before the state supreme court.

Attorney David Nevin says the courts have changed procedures in the past year in ways that affect this case, and there are still significant issues that need to be heard before Leavitt’s scheduled execution in just over a week. The state says it’s just a stalling tactic. Attorney David Nevin says Leavitt should get a stay because of significant blood evidence that wasn’t heard during the first trial.

He says that issue is important enough the state should hear it before allowing next Tuesday’s execution.
Nevin says evidence existed to counter the prosecution’s key argument that blood from Leavitt and Danette Elg were mixed indicating they were spilled at the same time.

“It was the last argument by the prosecution who said it was conclusive proof of leavett’s guilt. Well the defense was in posession of a report by an expert that said they weren’t mixed,” says Nevin.

Nevin says the report was witheld for tactical reasons because the expert witness might also have provided other evidence harmful to Leavitt’s case. The prosecution says all this is just a stalling tactic to allow all sorts of last minute appeals.

“This rule, if we interpret it the way counsel would like us to would allow for third party top come along minutes before an execution, file a motion to cause a review and then we have to start over,” says assistant Attorney General LaMont Anderson.

Decisions from the court can sometimes take weeks, but in this case will likely be expedited because of the execution timeline.
Leavitt was convicted of murder in 1984 and his case has been going through the appeals process for the past 28 years.

The 9th circuit court will hear an appeal this thursday on whether Leavitt’s original counsel was ineffective.

June 1, 2012 Source : http://www.spokesman.com

The Idaho Supreme Court has set oral arguments for Monday at 3 p.m. on a series of last-minute issues raised by condemned murderer Richard Leavitt, who is scheduled to be executed June 12. Late yesterday, the high court dismissed a major filing by Leavitt’s attorneys, a petition to vacate the death warrant and conduct a new hearing. The remaining issues, including a notice of appeal first filed May 21 in Bingham County, will be argued on Monday.

The Supreme Court has posted a link here on its website to all the last-minute filings in the capital murder case, which also include federal court filings; you can read its Thursday order here. Leavitt’s death warrant was issued May 17 for the July 1984 murder and mutilation of Danette Elg in Blackfoot; his final appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court was rejected on May 14. Idaho completed its first execution in 17 years in November, putting triple murderer Paul Ezra Rhoades to death by lethal injection.

May 25, 2012 Source : http://www.kboi2.com

BOISE, Idaho  — The attorney representing a death row inmate scheduled to die in two weeks says he has passed a polygraph test that proves he’s innocent.

Richard Albert Leavitt was convicted of the 1984 stabbing murder of Blackfoot resident Danette Elg. Proseuctors said he stabbed her repeatedly and then cut out her sexual organs. He is scheduled to be put to death by lethal injection on June 12.

But Leavitt has long maintained his innocence in the case, and now his attorney, David Nevin, is asking the federal court to accept a polygraph test as proof of that claim. Polygraph tests are typically not admissible as evidence in court.

Nevin is also asking for the court to allow DNA testing on some evidence from the crime scene. The judge has previously turned down the request, saying he doubted the “proposed testing would bring favorable results.”

But Nevin contends that it’s not possible to know what, if anything, the DNA testing will reveal until it’s completed. If the blood of a third person were found at the scene, that would be exculpatory, Nevin said.

“The state is rushing headlong into executing an innocent man. Surely it is not too much to ask that important evidence in the case be tested at no expense and no risk to the state,” Nevin wrote to the court.

He also said a renowned polygraph expert, Boise State University psychology professor Charles Honts, examined Leavitt and found him to be truthful when he denied involvement in Elg’s murder.

Honts asked Leavitt three questions, according to court documents: “Did you stab Danette Elg?“, “Did you remove Danette Elg’s internal genitals?” and “Were you present when Danette Elg was stabbed?”

Leavitt answered “no” to all three, according to the filing. Honts also found that Leavitt’s breathing, heart rate and other physiological signals were consistent with those expected when someone is telling the truth. Honts concluded that Leavitt’s answers had a high statistical possibility of being truthful.

“Mr. Leavitt’s passing the polygraph examination provides eloquent confirmation that he is not Danette Elg’s killer, and that he is, on the contrary, innocent,” wrote Nevin.

Leavitt was arrested after authorities discovered Elg’s body in her blood-spattered bedroom four days after her June 18, 1984 murder. Just a day or two before her death, Elg called 911 and reported a prowler had tried to enter her home. When police arrived they found signs of attempted entry but nothing else, and Elg told them she suspected Leavitt was the culprit.

Prosecutors also say that during the four days between Elg’s murder and the discovery of her body, Leavitt was exceedingly interested in her whereabouts, finally getting permission to enter the home with police who discovered the body.

Additionally, Leavitt’s blood was found in the bedroom. He later claimed that he’d gotten a nosebleed while in the room several days before Elg’s death.

And prosecutors claimed that one of the strangest elements of the murder — that Elg’s internal sexual organs were removed in a way that would be difficult to accomplish without some knowledge of anatomy — were explained when Leavitt’s ex-wife testified that during a hunting trip she had once found Leavitt removing the female sexual organs of a deer and playing with them.

IDAHO – Idaho Opts For 1 Drug Only In Execution Policy

May 18, source : AP 

BOISE, Idaho — Idaho’s corrections chief says the agency is switching to a one-drug lethal injection for future executions of death row inmates.
Idaho Department of Corrections Director Brent Reinke said Friday execution teams will administer a single, lethal dose of the surgical sedative pentobarbital.
That’s a change from the execution carried out by the agency last fall, when the condemned inmate was injected with three-drug mixture, which included pentobarbital.
Reinke says the change was driven by difficulties in obtaining the other two chemicals used to kill Paul Ezra Rhoades in November.
The decision makes Idaho the latest death penalty state to switch to using only pentobarbital in its lethal injection.
Reinke says the one-drug protocol will be used in the June 12 execution of convicted murderer Richard Leavitt.


Upcoming – Executions – June 2012

Update : June 20, 2012

Dates are subject to change due to stays and appeals


Henry Curtis Jackson

Mississippi EXECUTED 6:13 P.M

Bobby Hines

06/06/2012 Abdul Awkal Ohio Reprieve 2 weeks
12/06/2012 Jan Michael Brawner Mississippi  Executed  6:18 P.M.
12.06.12  Richard Leavitt Idaho Executed  10:25 A.M
20.06.12 Gary Carl Simmons Mississippi  Executed   6:16 p.m
27/6/2012 Samuel Villegas Lopez Arizona  

IDAHO – Out of appeals; death row inmate learns of execution date-Richard Leavitt

May 17, 2012 Source : http://www.ktvb.com

BOISE — On Thursday at around 4:00 p.m., Idaho death row inmate Richard Leavitt was served his official death warrant. He is set to be executed by lethal injection, June 12th. 

In just seven months, Idaho will have two executions. 

53-year-old, Richard Leavitt has been behind bars since 1985 for the murder of an eastern Idaho woman.  Leavitt was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder and mutilation of 31-year-old Danette Elg of Blackfoot. 

A 7th District Court judge signed the death warrant early Thursday; Leavitt was moved to an isolation cell at the Idaho Maximum Security Institution, which is policy.

Years of appeals followed the murder conviction. Attorneys claimed Leavitt suffered a brain injury which made him unstable at the time of the murder.

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear his final appeal. The Idaho Attorney General’s office says Leavitt came to the end of his road of appeals.

“It takes a long time for justice to be done in a capital case,” said LaMont Anderson with the Idaho Attorney General’s office. “But at the same time we can’t be too speedy because we do want to make sure that it is justice that is done and that we are doing the right thing in these cases.”

In July of 1984, Elg was found stabbed 15 times and her body was sexually mutilated. Police said the two were acquainted and even days before her murder, Elg reported Leavitt was prowling around her Blackfoot home.

Upon her disappearance, Leavitt expressed concern to police, so much concern; police records indicated he was allowed to enter Elg’s home with police where her body was found.

14 people are now on Idaho’s death row, including Leavitt.

Paul Rhoades was put to death in November of last year, for the 1987 murders of two women. Until that execution, Idaho had not carried out the death penalty since 1994.

TEXAS – Bobby Lee Hines – Execution – june 6 2012 – DELAYED

Bobby Lee Hines Photo: TDCJ / HC

HOUSTON — A Texas death row inmate facing execution in three weeks for the slaying of a Dallas woman at her apartment more than 20 years ago has lost an appeal at the U.S. Supreme Court.

The justices, without comment, refused Monday to review the case of 39-year-old Bobby Lee Hines.

Hines is set for lethal injection June 6 for the 1991 murder of 26-year-old Michelle Wendy Haupt. She was found stabbed repeatedly with an ice pick and strangled.

Hines was 19 at the time of the slaying and was on probation for a burglary conviction. He was staying with the apartment complex maintenance man who lived next door to the victim and had access to all the keys in the development.


Update may 21, 2012  source : http://www.chron.com

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) — The execution of a man early next month for the slaying of a Dallas woman at her apartment more than 20 years ago has been delayed.

Dallas County prosecutors asked a judge to withdraw the June 6 execution date for 39-year-old Bobby Lee Hines because results of additional DNA testing in his case won’t be available by then. District Court Judge Don Adams in Dallas approved the request Friday.

Hines was convicted of the 1991 murder of 26-year-oldMichelle Wendy Haupt. She was stabbed with an ice pick and strangled.

Hines was 19 at the time and on probation for a burglary conviction. He was staying with the apartment complex maintenance man who lived next door to the victim and had access to all the keys in the development.

Docket Entries

on May 14, 2012

Petition DENIED. (orders list)

on April 18, 2012

Reply of petitioner Bobby Lee Hines filed. (Distributed)

on April 12, 2012

Brief of respondent Rick Thaler, Director, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Correctional Institutions Division in opposition filed.

on March 12, 2012

Petition for a writ of certiorari and motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis filed. (Response due April 13, 2012)


Bobby Lee Hines, Petitioner, represented byLydia M.V. Brandt

Rick Thaler, Director, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Correctional Institutions Division, Respondent, represented by Tomee M. Heining


Facts of the  crime ( from Texas Attorney General)

On October 19, 1991, Mary Ann Linch went to the apartment of her friend Michelle Wendy Haupt in Carrollton, Texas, to spend the weekend. Linch brought with her a Marlboro cigarette carton in which only four packs remained. She had purchased the cigarettes at Brookshires’ in Corsicana and the carton contained a stamp showing “Brookshires’ Store” on the side. Linch left the carton at Haupt’s apartment when they left that evening to go to a nightclub. Linch had intended to return to Haupt’s, but instead spent the night with another friend.

Linch testified that when they went to the club, Haupt was wearing a gold sand-dollar charm necklace which she always wore. During the evening, Haupt became ill and another friend drove her back to her apartment. When he left, he testified that Haupt locked the door behind him.

Meanwhile, at Haupt’s apartment complex, Hines appeared uninvited at a party. When the hostess asked him who he was, he identified himself as the brother of the apartment manager. He told another guest that he was part of the maintenance crew at the complex. He pulled out a ring of keys and stated that he could get into any apartment that he wanted to at any time.

At about 6 a.m. on October 20, 1991, Haupt’s next-door neighbor heard a woman screaming. He could not determine the source of the screams, but his wife called the police. Two police officers were dispatched to the scene, but the screaming had ended before they arrived. After inspecting the premises, the officers could not determine where the screams had come from and they eventually left.

Two other residents in the apartment directly below Haupt’s also heard screaming loud enough to awaken them. One of the residents testified that he also heard other loud noises that sounded “like a bowling ball being dropped on Haupt’s floor.” He heard this noise at least 20 times. The screaming lasted for approximately 15 minutes.

The resident of an adjacent downstairs apartment also heard the screaming. Just before noon that morning, she and the other residents discussed what they had heard and became concerned for Haupt. Eventually, the apartment leasing manager was persuaded to check Haupt’s apartment. After knocking and receiving no answer, the manager opened the door and saw Haupt lying on the floor just inside the door. A stereo cord was tightly wrapped around her neck, her face was black, and she appeared to be dead.

Haupt was found dressed in only a robe and lying face up on the floor. There were puncture wounds to her chest area. The robe was stained with blood, but it had no holes to correspond with the puncture wounds to Haupt’s body, indicating the robe was placed on her body after the wounds were inflicted. Further, the belt to the robe was tied tighter than a person would normally tie it against her own body.

An object appearing to be an ice pick was found on the nearby couch. Hines’ palmprint was found inside Haupt’s apartment in what appeared to be blood, and his thumbprint was found on the inside of the front door. 

Later that same day, Hines was found to be in possession of Haupt’s gold sand-dollar charm. He had blood on some of his clothing and some other objects from Haupt’s apartment, including the Brookshires’ cigarette carton, were found under the couch where he had been sleeping. When Hines was arrested, he had a scratch under his right eye, scratches to the left side of his neck, and a scratch on his cheek. DNA testing conducted on a bloodstain found on Hines’ underwear indicated that the blood was consistent with Haupt’s blood. 

The Dallas County Chief Medical Examiner testified that the cause of Haupt’s death was strangulation and puncture wounds. Haupt had abrasions to her neck and jaw, contusions on her neck, and a fractured hyoid bone. She had about 18 puncture wounds. She had rectal tears with hemorrhaging. Barnard testified that the puncture wounds could have been made by the object found on the couch in Haupt’s apartment.


On October 21, 1991, Hines was indicted on charges of capital murder for intentionally and knowingly causing the death of Michelle Wendy Haupt by strangulation and stabbing, during the course of committing burglary of Haupt’s habitation, on October 20, 1991. Hines was convicted and sentenced to death on March 19, 1992. Hines’ motion for a new trial was denied on April 6, 1992. The Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed Hines’ conviction and sentence on direct appeal on May 10, 1995. Hines’ petition for writ of habeas corpus in the state court was denied on February 24, 1999.

His federal petition for writ of habeas corpus in the federal court was denied on January 22, 2002. The district court also denied Hines a certificate of appealability (COA) on March 5, 2002. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals likewise denied COA on December 31, 2002, and the U.S. Supreme Court denied Hines’ petition for writ of certiorari on October 6, 2003.


Hines was arrested for car theft in 1984 at the age of twelve for which he received a year of juvenile probation. His probation was revoked and he was confined for three months in the Texas Youth Commission (TYC).

In 1986 he received ten-years of juvenile probation for burglary of a building, which was revoked in 1990. He was then confined in TYC for nine months.

In February 1986, Hines was placed on juvenile probation for getting into a school fight, and was committed to TYC for assault; He was confined 6 months and placed on probation, which he violated in 1987. His probation was revoked and he was confined for 6 months in TYC.

In January 1989, Hines was committed to TYC for attacking an elderly lady and burglarizing a church.

In June 1990, Hines received a 10-year prison sentence for a count each of burglary of a habitation and burglary of a building. Hines was placed on shock probation for 83 days, then released on 10-years probation.



June 22, 2003

No one deserves to die!

My name is Bobby Lee Hines, I am on Texas death row, I have been here for almost 12 years now and I first came here at the age of 19 years old. I am now into the last stage of my appeals.

I would like to take the time to say a few words, if you are willing to listen.

I often wonder if the people in the free world really understand that there’s two types of society? You have the free world society and the prison society.

When I was sentenced to death, it was because a jury was randomly picked out from the free world society and then given the power to make such a life and death decision! These people on the jury had no degree’s in psychology.  None that I remember were even a doctor of any kind!

The jury deciding I was or could be a threat to society is why I was sentenced to death, NOT because I was found guilty of a crime. There are two special issue questions the jury had to answer in the punishment phase that clearly show that! Here they are just as they were when given to the jury in my trail.

Special issue 1:  Do you find from the evidence that there is a “probability” beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant Bobby Lee Hines would commit criminal acts of violence that constitute a continuing threat to society? jury answered YES

Special issue 2:  Taking into consideration all of the evidence, including the circumstances of the offense, the defendant’s character and background, and the personal moral culpability of the defendant, is there a sufficient mitigating circumstance or circumstances to warrant that a sentence of life imprisonment rather than a death sentence be imposed? jury answered NO

Would you for a moment reread this again and notice that the state is asking the jury to take a “guess” at the answers, because again they have “no” type of degrees  and just thought (guessed) that I might be a threat to society. Now in special issue 2, last sentence asking, if life imprisonment should be imposed, nowhere do they explain that there are two types of society. They weren’t given a way to make a clear decision but only a way to make only a guess!The jury had even asked the judge how much time would I have to do in prison on a life sentence if given one! And the judge said: “you don’t have to worry about that, that is no concern to you all!”

Now how could any jury be able to make such a drastic decision when they were denied information that they had asked for? This should have been the biggest part in deciding if one should live or die! Not only that, but the state allowed witnesses to lie in my trail on the stand in front of the jury. In short, I was charged with aggravated robbery at age 14, I had a trail and was acquitted-(not found guilty)of that charge. In my capital trail, then age 19, witness got up on the stand and stated that I was convicted of that aggravated robbery charge at age 14.  Me being only 19 years old at the time of my trail, I didn’t know anything about the law.  Ask yourself, “how much do you really know about the laws of the court system?” Even more so when you’re just looking back to a younger age of 19.  My lawyers didn’t object, and my appeal lawyers said that due to that , I waved my issue on appeal for it! This was no fault of my own, but the fault of the trail lawyers. The point here is, if the jury would have known that I was not guilty of that aggravated robbery charge at age 14, they may have or could have had a different opinion in the matter of deciding whether I was not a threat to society, or at least the prison society, and may have given me a life sentence rather than a death sentence.

I truly am not a threat to either the free world-or the prison society.

After all appeals are up, there is only one way to receive a life sentence. This is through what they call a clemency hearing. There has only been one clemency given since 1976 until now June 22, 2003.  In this time there has been some 315 executions, about 265 of them have been executed since I’ve been on death row.

The people deciding whether to recommend clemency to the governor don’t look at the facts that they should be looking at. If they would look and see that the trial court in my case used just 8 years of my past for the jury to decide that I would or could be a threat to society.  If they would look at my prison record over the past 11 years that I have been locked up on death row, they would clearly see that I’m not a threat to any society. Plus if they would take an over all count of cases that are in the “prison society” that have life sentences or 40,50 to 60 year sentences or more, looking into their prison records etc….then look at mine, they again would see that I would not in any way pose any type of threat to a prison society, and that I could in fact live in the prison society with a life sentence!

To prove my point to the fact, I spent some 8 plus years on a death row work program. Now the program was closed down due to an escape. Note that I had nothing to do with it.  But 8 plus years I lived being able to move around freely everyday, all day! Sixty (60) death row inmates on one wing with the cell doors opening up everyday, every hour on the hour, with only one “unarmed guard” working inside the wing, never feeling threatened,  and no one ever hurt guards.  I worked with and around 12 inch scissors, all types of shears and many different types of tools, working, living and functioning just as any other inmate would in any prison society. Again, I’m no threat to any society. I can and would live in the prison society with a life sentence if given the chance.

No one deserves to be strapped down to that gurney  to die!

I want to thank you for taking the time to listen to me and what I’ve written. Any help or just input that you may have, please feel free to write to me at the address listed below! I’ll write more again soon!

Bobby Lee Hines

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