Texas: Tracy Beatty wins stay of execution

(TYLER MORNING TELEGRAPH) – A Smith County man who killed his 62-year-old mother, buried her in the backyard and used her credit cards and drained her bank accounts was set to be executed Thursday, but received a stay of execution Tuesday afternoon.
Tracy Beatty, 54, was convicted of kiling his mother Carolyn Ruth Clark in December 2003.
Evidence showed Beatty drained his mother’s bank accounts, stole her car and used the money to buy drugs after he buried her body in the back yard.
“He had been to the penitentiary and was out at one point in time, then he brutally assaulted her, his parole was revoked, and he was sent back to the penitentiary,” Smith County Sheriff’s Major Mike Lusk said at the time. “We have some indication that was part of his motive.”
On Tuesday the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals granted the stay.
There was no indication as to why the court granted the stay.
Source: CBS19TV, August 11, 2015



NOVEMBER 8, 2012

Just hours before his scheduled execution Thursday, death-row inmate Hubert Lester Michael Jr. was granted a stay of execution.

His attorneys filed two last-minute appeals with the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals, one of which resulted in the stay.

York County District Attorney Tom Kearney expressed disappointment with the ruling, saying the time to execute Michael is “long overdue.”

“This case has been up and down the legal ladder for 20 years,” he said. “There needs to be some finality, in the interests of justice. It’s about time the decision of this community is carried forth.”

Michael is represented by the Federal Community Defender Office in Philadelphia. His attorneys have declined interviews, but released a statement

Trista Eng

Thursday afternoon from Helen Marino, chief of the office’s capital habeas unit:

“On behalf of Hubert Michael, we are extremely pleased that the federal Court of Appeals has granted (him) a stay of execution. Mr. Michael has suffered from debilitating mental conditions throughout his life. Mr. Michael has compelling legal claims in his case which have never been reviewed by any court. The Court of Appeals recognized that there are complicated issues involved in this case that should be carefully considered.”

Last stop: Kearney has said the Third Circuit Court of Appeals was Michael’s last chance to avoid being put to death for the 1993 kidnapping and murder of 16-year-old Trista Eng of the Dillsburg area.

The Third Circuit granted the stay based on Michael’s appeal of Wednesday’s ruling by U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III.

Jones declined to stay the execution, writing:

“This court is disinclined to exercise its reservoir of discretion simply because the petitioner has now changed his mind. … The case law simply doesn’t support such a result.

“Indeed, to grant the relief requested by the petitioner would make the case a monumental example of the seeminly endless and oft-criticized federal habeas practice. Over 19 years after the heinous murder the petitioner has admitted committing, it is time to draw this affair to a close.”

The Third Circuit issued the stay because it wants to know why Jones granted Michael a “certificate of appealability” when he refused to grant Michael a stay and refused to reopen Michael’s habeas corpus appeal proceedings, according to Kearney.

The Third Circuit also noted parties should be prepared to litigate all their issues at one time.

No clemency: Shortly after 3 p.m. Wednesday, the state Board of Pardons unanimously denied Michael’s request for clemency.

Kearney said the time has come to execute Michael.

“If a sentence is to mean anything, then it must be carried out.” he said. “If it’s the will of the community, we need to follow through, or else it’s meaningless.”

13 years: Michael, 56, formerly of Lemoyne, had been scheduled to die by lethal injection at 7 p.m. Thursday.

He would have been the first murderer put to death in Pennsylvania in 13 years, and the fourth inmate executed since 1972, when the state reinstituted the death penalty.

It’s the third death warrant Pennsylvania governors have signed for Michael. The first two were in 1996 and 2004. Both times, his execution was stayed pending further appeal.

For years, Michael maintained he wanted to die, but he changed his mind in 2004, just days before his scheduled execution.

Attorneys with the Federal Community Defenders Organization in Philadelphia have argued he was not mentally competent when he pleaded guilty to first-degree murder on Oct. 11, 1994, and didn’t challenge his death sentence.

Mental-health issues: Court filings indicate Michael suffered from mental-health issues while he was held in Graterford state prison, but that those issues improved when he was transferred to Greene state prison.

Now that his mental health has improved, Michael is fighting his death sentence.

Second denial: On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Yvette Kane also refused to grant Michael a stay of execution.

She is presiding over Chester v. Beard, a lawsuit filed six years ago on behalf of a number of Pennsylvania’s death-row inmates. It claims the state’s method in obtaining the drugs used for lethal injection is unconstitutional.

While Chester v. Beard remains active, Kane made a specific ruling in Michael’s case, denying his request for a stay.

Michael’s attorneys appealed both rulings to the Third Circuit, which denied a stay of execution for Michael in the Chester v. Beard class-action lawsuit.

The background: Michael told his former defense attorney, chief public defender Bruce Blocher, he went to the Franklin Township home of Eng and her mother to answer an advertisement about a chair for sale.

He told Blocher that when Eng answered the door in a Hardee’s uniform, he made the decision to force her to have sex with him. While there, he stole some electrical cords from the house, the attorney previously testified.

Michael stopped to offer Eng a ride as she was walking along Route 15 to her job at the Dillsburg Hardee’s on July 12, 1993. She accepted, and Michael kidnapped her.

At some point during the ride, Michael stopped the car and used the electrical cords to tie up Eng, then drove her to state game lands in Warrington Township, according to Blocher.

Raped: He raped her, put a bag over her head and shot her three times, Blocher has said, then hid her body in a wooded area.

Blocher revealed details of Michael’s confession to him when called to the stand during a 1997 appeals hearing in the case.

Michael fled the state 10 days after killing Eng. At the time, he was free on bail for a Lancaster County rape charge.

Captured: He was captured July 27, 1993, in Utah, at which point police found the murder weapon in the car he was using, officials said.

He was charged with Eng’s homicide in late August 1993, after her body was found by his family members after Michael confessed the murder to his brother.

In November 1993, Michael escaped from Lancaster County Prison but was captured in New Orleans in March 1994, according to the Department of Corrections.

He was later sentenced to 10 to 20 years for the Lancaster County rape, according to court records.

TEXAS – Green gets stay 2 days before execution EXECUTED 10:45 p.m

October 9, 2012

Two days before his scheduled execution, a Montgomery man on Texas’ Death Row for the 2000 abduction, rape and strangulation murder of a 12-year-old Dobbin girl received a stay because he wasn’t given due process to prove he is mentally incompetent for execution, a federal judge ruled Monday.

Judge Nancy Atlas, in the Southern District of Texas, ruled that Jonathan Marcus Green, 44, who was convicted in 2002 for the murder of Christina LeAnn Neal, did not receive a fair opportunity to demonstrate that he is incompetent, “and thus the State of Texas denied him due process.”

But the Texas Attorney General’s Office plans to file a motion today asking the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to vacate the stay.

Green is schizophrenic and “is not malingering,” said his appellate attorney, James Rytting.

“He is mentally ill … and he’s only gotten worse after being stuck in administrative segregation,” Rytting said.

In her written opinion, Atlas notes that 221st state District Court Judge Lisa Michalk, who denied Green a stay two days before he was to be executed on June 30, 2010, applied incorrect legal standards by seeking to determine if there was a change in Green’s mental capacity since his imprisonment in 2002.

“The correct question was whether Green was presently competent, regardless of his comparative mental capacity between 2002 and 2010,” Atlas wrote.

Green understood that he was convicted of killing Christina and was to be executed for that crime, the basis for Michalk’s finding that he understood why he was being executed, Atlas wrote.

But Green believed he was to be executed as a result of “spiritual warfare” between demons and God, Atlas found, and Michalk prevented Green from presenting relevant evidence, denied Green due process.

Pardons Board takes death row inmate Terrance Williams’ case ‘under advisement’ STAY

September 27, 2012

The state Pardons Board won’t immediately rule on a condemned Philadelphia man’s clemency bid, just six days before his scheduled execution.

The pardons board heard new arguments today but will take the case “under advisement,” after earlier rejecting the clemency bid.

The fate of 46-year-old Terrance Williams now moves back to a Philadelphia judge weighing new evidence in the 1984 murder case. Judge M. Teresa Sarmina has pledged to rule Friday on a motion to stay the execution.

Williams is on death row for killing two men as a teenager. His lawyers say both men had been sexually abusing him and that prosecutors hid that information from jurors in the second trial, who sentenced Williams to death.

Williams is scheduled to be executed Wednesday.

LOUISIANA – Todd Wessinger – Execution May 9 – Stayed

april 25 source :


A federal judge in Baton Rouge has granted a temporary stay of execution for a man convicted in the 1995 slaying of two workers at a now-closed restaurant.
The Advocate reports Todd Wessinger was scheduled to be executed May 9 but U.S. District Judge James Brady granted the stay while he reviews arguments presented Wednesday by his attorneys, who asked for a permanent stay of the death penalty order.
Brady did not say when he would rule on the request.
Wessinger, a former dishwasher at a now-closed Calendar’s restaurant, was found guilty and sentenced to die by lethal injection for fatally shooting 27-year-old Stephanie Guzzardo and 46-year-old David Breakwell on Nov. 19, 1995

Utah – Michael Anthony Archuleta – execution april 5, 2012 (Stay likely)

   Michael Anthony Archuleta

Archuleta’s case

On October 25, 1988, Lance Conway Wood, newly released from the Utah State Prison, moved into the Cedar City two-bedroom apartment of his girlfriend, B. Stapely, and her roommate, P. Jones. Soon after, Michael Anthony Archuleta, also just released from prison, moved into the same apartment to be with his girlfriend, P. Jones. Wood and Archuleta had known each other in prison.

On November 21, 1988, Wood and Archuleta purchased soft drinks at a local convenience store. After adding whiskey to their drinks, the two men engaged in a conversation with Gordon Church, who was seated in his car in a nearby parking lot. Church drove Wood and Archuleta up and down Main Street and then up Cedar Canyon. After returning to Cedar City, Church left Wood and Archuleta at their apartment complex. Wood and Archuleta walked to the apartment of Anthony Sich, who lived above the apartment rented to Stapely and Jones. Wood told Sich that he was going into the mountains and asked if he could borrow a pair of gloves. Sich sent Wood to retrieve the gloves from his car, and while Wood was outside, Church returned and invited him and Archuleta to go for another drive.

Church drove Wood and Archuleta back to Cedar Canyon and pulled off the road. Wood and Archuleta exited the car first and began to walk down a path. Archuleta told Wood that he wanted to rob Church, and Wood acquiesced. Church overtook the two men, and the three continued walking up the trail. As the men started back down the trail toward the car, Archuleta grabbed Church and put a knife to his neck. Although Wood attempted to stop Archuleta by grabbing his arm, Archuleta made a surface cut on Church’s neck. Church broke free and ran, but Archuleta chased after and tackled him, again putting the knife to his neck and threatening to kill him. Archuleta cut Church’s throat again so that the two cuts formed an “X” on the front ofChurch’s neck. 

Archuleta bent Church forward over the hood of the car and, with the knife still at Church’s throat, had anal intercourse with him. At Church’s request, Archuleta used a condom. Archuleta then turned to Wood, who was standing by the trunk of the car, and asked if he “wanted any.” Wood declined. Archuleta went to the trunk of the car and opened it. He told Wood that he was looking for something with which he could bind Church. Wood removed a spare tire and a fan from the trunk, while Archuleta retrieved tire chains and battery cables. Wood remained at the rear of the car, while Archuleta returned to the front, where he wrapped the tire chains around Church. Archuleta also fastened the battery cable clamps to Church’s genitals. Wood maintained before and at trial that he removed the clamps from Church as soon as he realized what Archuleta had done.

Archuleta led Church to the rear of the car and forced him into the trunk. Wood and Archuleta replaced the spare tire and fan and drove to a truck stop near Cedar City where they purchased gas. They continued north on Interstate 15 until they reached the Dog Valley exit. They parked along a deserted dirt road where Archuleta told Wood, “You know we have to kill him.”

Archuleta removed Church from the trunk and attempted to kill him by breaking his neck. When that failed, Church suffered several blows to the head with a tire iron and a jack. The tire iron was then shoved and kicked so far into Church’s rectum that it pierced his liver. A state medical examiner testified that Church was killed by injuries to the head and skull due to a blunt force and internal injuries caused by the tire iron inserted into Church’s rectum.

Wood told police that he waited inside the car while Archuleta killed Church. Evidence adduced at trial, however, showed that Wood’s pants and jacket were splattered with blood in a cast-off pattern indicating that during the beating, Wood was within two or three feet of Church, and that Wood was facing Church when the blows were struck. A blood spot appeared on the back of Archuleta’s jacket, and Wood’s shoes bore a transfer or contact blood stain caused by contact with a bloody object. Investigators found strands of human hair consistent with Church’s hair wrapped around Wood’s shoelaces. The injuries to Church’s lower jaw were consistent with being kicked by someone wearing Wood’s shoes. Three paired lesions on Church’s back were caused by a dull-tipped instrument such as some red-handled side cutters found in the pocket of Wood’s jeans.

After Church died, Wood and Archuleta dragged his body to some nearby trees, where they covered it with branches. They swept their path with branches on the way back to the car to conceal any footprints. With Wood at the wheel, the pair again drove north on I-15. They abandoned Church’s car in Salt Lake City.

Wood called his friend C. Worsfold and asked if he and Archuleta could come to her apartment for a few minutes. When the men arrived at the apartment, Worsfold immediately noticed that Archuleta’s pants were caked with blood. Wood explained that they had been rabbit hunting the night before, their car had broken down, and they had hitchhiked to Salt Lake. The two men then went to a thrift store, where Archuleta bought some clean pants and repeated the rabbit hunting story to the store clerk.

Archuleta discarded his bloody jeans in a drainage ditch near the 45th South on-ramp to I-15 in Salt Lake County. He and Wood then went into a nearby Denny’s restaurant, where Wood left the gloves he had borrowed from Sich. After eating, the two hitchhiked as far as the Draper exit, where Archuleta pulled out Church’s wallet, scattered its contents, and handed the wallet to Wood. They next hitchhiked to Salem, where they visited Archuleta’s father. From there, they hitchhiked to Cedar City, arriving at about 11:30 p.m.

Wood immediately went upstairs to Sich’s apartment and told him about the murder. When Sich advised him to contact the police, Wood responded, “Maybe I could get some kind of federal protection.” Sich and Wood walked to a local convenience store, where Wood called B. Stapely, who was in Phoenix, and told her that Archuleta had killed someone. Stapely contacted John Graff, Wood’s parole officer, and told him to call Wood at the store. Graff called Wood and arranged to meet him at the convenience store. Just before Graff’s arrival with the police, Wood discarded Church’s wallet.

Wood and Sich accompanied Graff and a police officer to the corrections department office, where Wood recounted the events of the previous night.

The police arrested Archuleta for the murder and, after several interviews with Wood, also charged Wood with murder in the first degree, aggravated sexual assault, object rape, forcible sexual abuse, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated assault, and possession of a stolen vehicle.

feb,22, 2012,  source :

A death row inmate is asking a Utah judge for a stay of an April 5 execution by firing squad while he pursues a review of his state conviction and sentence in the federal courts.

Attorneys for Michael Anthony Archuleta filed a notice of his intention to file a habeas corpus petition on Feb. 10 in Salt Lake City’s U.S. District Court. Such requests consider whether a person’s conviction and sentence are constitutional.

Court papers say Archuleta, 49, is entitled to a stay while federal courts review the case.

Archuleta has not previously appealed his 1989 capital conviction in the federal system. Five state court appeals have been rejected, however — the last in November.A state judge signed a death warrant on Feb. 8 for Archuleta’s execution. A federal judge has not yet set a date for a hearing. The case had been filed under seal until last week.Assistant Attorney General Tom Brunker on Tuesday told The Associated Press the state does not oppose a stay of Archuleta’s execution.

Court papers filed to date by Archuleta’s attorneys do not indicate what arguments they will mount in asking the federal court to consider the case.

feb 9 2012,  source :

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) – A judge has signed the execution warrant for Utah man on death row. Michael Archuleta was convicted for the brutal torture and murder of a homosexual man in 1989.

Archuleta was convicted and sentenced to death in 1989.

On Wednesday, Fourth Circuit Judge Donald Eyre ruled that Archuleta’s appeals to the U.S. and Utah supreme courts had been denied and that no state action prevented Archuleta’s execution.

The judge set Archuleta’s execution for April 5, 2012.

Archuleta had the option of choosing the manner of his execution. and picked a firing squad.

Court documents show that Archuleta and an accomplice kidnapped 28-year-old Gordon Ray Church, a Southern Utah University theater student who had confessed to being gay in 1988.

Court documents show that Archuleta and his accomplice put Church in a car trunk and drove to a remote Millard County area, where they attached jumper cables to Church’s testicles and shocked him with a car battery before raping him with a tire iron, beating him and burying him in a shallow grave.

Archuleta’s accomplice was given life sentence for his role in the murder.

news video :

Supreme court of Utah

June 26, 1998

November 7, 2008 

November 22, 2011