[Deathpenalty]death penalty news-----TEXAS, WASH.
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Sat Sep 4 00:32:57 CDT 2004
Slain boy's mother, grandmother urge life sentence if man convicted
In Plainview, Johnny Rivera Jr., 25, learned Thursday morning that he will
not face the death penalty when he goes to trial on capital murder charges
for the death of his girlfriend's 2-year-old son.
At the request of victim Robert Perez's mother, Blanca Posadas, and his
grandmother, Frances Morales, Hale-Swisher District Attorney Terry
McEachern will pursue a life sentence if a jury convicts Rivera for the
boy's Sept. 8 death. Judge Robert Kinkaid of the 64th Judicial District
Court presided at the pretrial hearing.
"Any time the death penalty is taken off the table it's a relief," said
defense attorney Jack Stoffregen of Lubbock.
According to Plainview police, Posadas left Robert alone with Rivera at
their home at 700 W. 17th St. for about 30 minutes on Sept. 6 while she
drove her brother to work. When she returned, the boy was in bed and the
mother assumed he was napping. Later, when Posadas tried to wake him,
Robert was unresponsive.
He was taken to Covenant Hospital in Plainview for head injuries and
airlifted to Covenant Children's Hospital in Lubbock, where he eventually
Rivera reportedly told police that he had placed Robert in a highchair and
then went out to work in the yard. He said the boy must have fallen from
the highchair, said Capt. Michael T. Carroll, Plainview detective.
Police arrested Rivera within 2 hours of Robert's death and he has
remained in Hale County Jail on $200,000 bond.
Rivera's trial is tentatively set to begin on Oct. 18.
(source: Lubbock Avalanche-Journal)
Oldest cold case cracked ---- CRIME: Charging papers say Walla Walla
inmate admits 1968 slaying.
A man who once sat on death row for killing 2 women was charged Thursday
with a 3rd murder, more than 3 decades after a pregnant 16-year-old's
husband came home to find her body riddled with stab wounds.
The 1968 slaying of Sandra Bowman is the oldest "cold case" ever solved in
Washington state, said Dan Donohoe, spokesman for the King County
In charging papers, a Seattle police detective who recently questioned
John Dwight Canaday said the Walla Walla state prisoner sighed, held up
his hands and declared, "Yes, I killed her," when told he had left DNA at
Earlier this year, a forensic scientist at the state crime lab matched
Canaday's DNA to sperm found on Bowman's body. His genetic profile was in
the state's DNA database because of 2 1969 murder convictions.
According to court documents, Bowman was stabbed at least 57 times on Dec.
17, 1968. When her husband came home from work, he found her bloodied body
face down on their bed, her hands tied behind her back.
Bowman, entering her second trimester, was wearing a green maternity
dress. An autopsy showed the stab wounds punctured her lungs, diaphragm,
spleen, stomach, heart and liver.
Canaday, 59, is already serving 2 life sentences.
He was 24 and working as a pipeman's helper for the city water department
when Bowman was killed.
In a June interview, Canaday told detectives Gregg Mixsell and Mike
Ciesynski that he "randomly knocked on her door" and "attacked her ... I
stabbed her," Mixsell wrote in charging papers.
Canaday blamed the attack on a bitter divorce, "a lot of anger at myself
and immaturity," Mixsell wrote.
The Prosecutor's Office contends Bowman's slaying would qualify as
aggravated murder under current state law, saying it was clear Bowman was
pregnant and that the numerous stab wounds constituted deliberate cruelty.
But because the aggravated murder statute did not exist at the time she
was killed, prosecutors charged Canaday with 1st-degree murder, which
carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. He's scheduled to be
arraigned Sept. 8.
In court documents, Bradshaw said killing Bowman "evidently emboldened"
Canaday to attack other women, killing 2 of them.
(source: Associated Press)
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