[Deathpenalty]death penalty news----TEXAS, OHIO
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Wed Jul 7 14:55:18 CDT 2004
TEXAS----female gets execution date
Woman gets execution date for killing husband, children
A Houston woman condemned for killing her estranged husband and 2 children
more than 17 years ago received a Dec. 1 execution date Wednesday.
Frances Elaine Newton, 39, is the longest-serving of the nine women who
are among 453 convicted killers on death row in Texas. She would be the
3rd woman put to death in the state since Texas resumed carrying out
capital punishment in 1982. During that time, 321 men have been executed
Newton said nothing during her brief appearance before state District
Court Judge Jim Wallace.
Newton was convicted in 1987 of fatally shooting her husband, Adrian, 23,
and her two children - 7-year-old son Alton and 21-month-old daughter
Farrah - to collect life insurance benefits.
Adrian Newton, who had separated from his wife about a month earlier, died
of a .25-caliber gunshot wound to the head. The children were each shot in
the chest. Their bodies were found April 7, 1987, in their northwest
Houston apartment after police were called to check out a possible
Authorities found no forced entry and no signs of a struggle.
Less than a month earlier, Newton bought a $50,000 life insurance policy
on her husband, one on herself and a third on her daughter.
Evidence in the circumstantial case showed the murder weapon, a pistol,
had been taken from the home of Newton's boyfriend. Newton's cousin
testified she saw Newton hide a bag containing the gun in a burned-out
home right after the slayings.
Newton denied committing the slayings and blamed them on a drug dealer
known only as "Charlie," who she said did the killings because her husband
had failed to pay a drug debt.
10 women have been executed nationally since 1984 when Velma Barfield was
put to death in North Carolina.
In Texas, Karla Faye Tucker received lethal injection in 1998 for a pickax
attack in Houston that left 2 people dead. 2 years later, Betty Lou Beets
was executed for fatally shooting her 5th husband and burying his body
under a wishing well flower garden in the yard outside her trailer home
near Gun Barrel City in East Texas' Henderson County.
(source: Associated Press)
Death Penalty-Fitzpatrick -- Justices uphold courthouse confession, death
sentence in triple slaying
The Ohio Supreme Court today upheld the conviction and death sentence for
a man who blurted out in court that he was guilty of killing his
girlfriend, her daughter and a neighbor.
The justices ruled 7-to-0 that 36-year-old Stanley Fitzpatrick voluntarily
pleaded guilty and gave up his right to a jury trial 2 years ago after the
Hamilton County judge asked him at length if he understood the
Fitzpatrick was sentenced to death by a three-judge panel for stabbing and
beating 12-year-old Shenay Hayes and her mother, Doreatha Hayes, at their
apartment in Lincoln Heights near Cincinnati, then luring over the
neighbor and killing him 2 days later.
Fitzpatrick hit Elton Rose on the head with the blunt edge of a hatchet
after telling him to call 9-1-1.
(source: Fox 19 News)
Justices uphold courthouse confession, death sentence intriple slaying
A man who stopped his trial and blurted out in court that he killed his
girlfriend, her daughter and a neighbor understood what he was doing by
giving up the right to a jury trial, the Ohio Supreme Court said Wednesday
while upholding the man's death sentence.
The justices ruled 7-0 that Stanley Fitzpatrick, 36, failed to show that
his decision to give up the jury trial and plead guilty was involuntary or
not "knowing and intelligent." The high court said the Hamilton County
Common Pleas judge who accepted the signed forms questioned Fitzpatrick
about the rights he was surrendering, even though the constitution doesn't
"Fitzpatrick initiated that decision, insisted upon it against advice of
counsel and held to it through a lengthy (question-and-answer session),"
Justice Maureen O'Connor wrote in the decision.
Fitzpatrick admitted he stabbed 12-year-old Shenay Hayes on June 7, 2001,
when she caught him smoking crack in their home in Lincoln Heights, 8
miles northeast of Cincinnati. He then beat her and wrapped her in a
blanket to stop the noises she was making. That evening he beat her
mother, Doreatha Hayes, 42, to death with a hatchet and hammer.
Two days later, he asked his 64-year-old neighbor, Elton Rose, to come
over, told him to call 911, then beat him with the blunt edge of the
A jury had been seated but was out of the room when Fitzpatrick said he
was guilty and wanted to stop the 2002 trial.
"I told them (my attorneys) what I wanted to happen, and that save you
some tax money or whatever, you know," he told the judge.
The jury was dismissed, and a 3-judge panel accepted Fitzpatrick's guilty
plea and sentenced him to death.
The Supreme Court also reviewed the death sentence and found that
Fitzpatrick's drug-induced paranoia and hallucinations during the killings
did not outweigh the aggravating circumstances of killing a child and
killing someone as part of committing 3 murders.
(source: Associated Press)
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