[Deathpenalty]death penalty news----TEXAS, USA, CONN., NEV., FLA.
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Mon Apr 4 11:26:13 CDT 2005
Inmates selling art in spite of state's 'murderabilia' law Vague part of
the statute may mean criminals are using notoriety for profit
The sketch traces the shapely backside of a nude female as she glances
over one shoulder.
It appeared on a Web site peddling art "from the hand" of Elmer Wayne
Henley, who is serving a life sentence for his involvement in a
sex-torture ring that killed 26 boys in the Houston area.
"I am wondering how one is able to paint such a graphic piece" and then
ship it from a maximum-security state prison, wrote Andy Kahan, the
Houston mayor's crime-victim advocate, in a recent letter to prison
He included a copy of a Web page operated by Henley's outside dealer along
with the names of 8 Texas death row inmates who also have hawked their art
from behind bars.
But Greg Gladden, the Texas president of the American Civil Liberties
Union, believes inmates should have a constitutional right to express
their creativity without government interference.
The issue remains far from settled after Kahan first raised concerns over
death row inmate James Allridge III selling his art to actress Susan
Sarandon and other celebrities. Allridge was executed Aug. 26.
The sale of inmate art has sparked a recent attorney general's opinion,
angered a state lawmaker chairing the urban affairs committee and forced a
review by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
A state criminal law, adopted in 2001, prohibits inmates from profiteering
from "murderabilia," as memorabilia sold by inmates is commonly called.
The law calls for the confiscation of any profits that are inflated
because of a criminal's notoriety. Items that have been posted for sale on
the Internet have included art and autographed letters, hair strands and
For months, Kahan has been waiting to see whether anyone will enforce the
law. One of the law's key problems is that it does not specifically name
the district attorney, attorney general or a Texas Department of
Corrections attorney as the enforcer. Also, because the law has been
adopted by only one other state, California, Kahan anticipates its
constitutionality will be challenged.
Kahan has traveled across the country lecturing about the law and garnered
national publicity in numerous venues, including People magazine and ABC's
Last month, after repeated inquiries from Kahan, the Texas Department of
Criminal Justice amended its prison rules on inmates operating
unauthorized businesses from their cells to mirror the law.
However, to date, no action has been taken against any inmates who have
posted art or other items for sale on the Internet, said prison spokesman
Kahan thinks government prosecutors are wary because of fuzzy issues such
as how to determine whether the art's value has been inflated.
Hoped for test case
Kahan had hoped Allridge would be the first test case before he was
executed 6 months ago for a robbery-murder spree in Fort Worth in 1985.
Allridge used colored pencils to draw photographlike pictures of animals
and flowers. His greeting cards sold for as much as $10 a box, and a large
print went for $465.
He had said his art allowed him to give back something to society: "I
don't ask for forgiveness or recognition from anyone for what I do. I do
it simply because it's the right thing."
Celebrities such as Sarandon, who won an Academy Award in 1996 for her
portrayal of a spiritual adviser to a death row inmate in Dead Man
Walking, had advocated commuting Allridge's sentence to life. Sarandon,
who became Allridge's pen pal, pointed to his art as a sign that he was
State Rep. Robert Talton, who wrote the murderabilia law, asked Texas
Attorney General Greg Abbott whether Allridge's art sales were in
violation of the law.
Abbott's opinion, issued Jan. 25, stated that a court would "likely"
conclude that Allridge had sold art and had a "measure of notoriety."
But the state would have to prove whether the value of the artwork was
increased by Allridge's notoriety, which is a question for a court and not
the attorney general, Abbott wrote. His opinion essentially left the issue
Under the murderabilia law, any increase in value can be confiscated and
set aside for crime victims.
"The value is zero except for the notoriety the criminal gets from his
crime and the Hollywood folks," said Talton, R-Pasadena. "It's like my
art. It's only worth something to me."
Kahan said the Alabama Web site selling Henley's art recently has posted a
disclaimer. It states Henley is not receiving any profit from the site.
The owner of the site could not be reached for comment, but Kahan scoffs
at the idea that Henley receives no financial compensation.
He notes the new prison rule bars a prisoner from selling items not only
to benefit himself but also a "3rd party on his behalf."
Henley artwork in shows
Henley paints with acrylics. Besides the woman shown on the Web site, he
has other works such as handprints in red paint listed for $50, a floral
bouquet for $125, a woman's face for $475 and a painted ostrich egg for
Before the adoption of the murderabilia law, former Hyde Park Gallery
owner Larry Crawford hosted two shows to display Henley's work in 1997 and
1998 in Montrose.
"I didn't know who the artist was when I first agreed to do the show. I
just liked his work," Crawford said. He said he was introduced to a "new
artist" by a 3rd party who wished to remain anonymous. This broker, who
obtained the artwork from Henley, did not reveal Henley's name until after
Crawford said he had scheduled the show.
Convicted of killing 6
When Crawford learned the identity of the artist, he said he did not back
down from doing the show. But he also had a vivid memory of Henley's
"I lived here when that (torture ring) was happening. I remember seeing
that old van drive around the neighborhood when I was barely 21," Crawford
Henley and a teenage companion used the van in 1972 and 1973 to lure boys
with promises of drugs to the Pasadena home of a 33-year-old power-company
technician, Dean Corll.
There, the victims - many of them runaways - were shackled, sexually
abused, tortured and killed, authorities said.
After confessing to participating in the torture ring, Henley and another
teenage partner led authorities to 26 bodies buried under a boat shed in
Houston and sand dunes on High Island. He was later convicted in the
killing of 6 of the boys and sentenced to 6 consecutive life terms at a
time when the death penalty was not an option in Texas.
"I would only agree to the shows if none of the money went to him
directly," Crawford recalled. After the gallery's cut, half the proceeds
went to charity and the other half to Henley's mother, Mary, who lived on
a fixed income.
However, Crawford acknowledged he did not know whether she later gave any
money to her son.
"Everything sold quickly in both shows," Crawford said. "I couldn't
believe the number of persons who said 'I collect art from mass
murderers.' There were attorneys, judges, lots of people you wouldn't
Buyer destroyed purchase
He said the highest price for any piece was $400 paid by a protester who
later shredded it and set it on fire. Victim rights groups also protested
In an interview with the Chronicle in 1998, Henley said he took up
painting after a pen pal wrote him about the growing market for "killer
art," drawings made by convicted murderers.
He said he resisted until other inmates adept in using an air brush gave
him some pointers.
"(Art) may be the only contribution that I can give society," he said.
Crawford, whose gallery closed last year, said he refused to sponsor any
other shows to sell Henley's art after 1998.
Talton, meanwhile, said he is tired of waiting for enforcement of the
"What are we waiting for? It seems like someone needs to file suit and
check it out," he said.
Allridge probe closed
State prison officials said the investigation into Allridge's art sales
was recently closed.
"The state was unable to determine whether the death row offender used his
notoriety to sell his art," said Doug Dretke, the director of the Texas'
prison system's institutional division.
While acknowledging such sales can be offensive to the public and crime
victims, Dretke said prosecuting the sales can be time-consuming and
"I would ask for your understanding that they may not be the highest
priority in the larger scheme of in-prison crime," Dretke wrote to Kahan.
(source: Houston Chronicle)
Above All Else, Life
Of the many great legacies of Pope John Paul II, the one I prize the most
is this: he was instrumental in helping the Catholic Church reach a
position of principled opposition to the death penalty - an opposition
that brooks no exceptions.
The effects of the pope's leadership will be felt for years to come, both
in the highest echelons of the Catholic hierarchy and among the Catholic
faithful in the pews. Whereas polls once showed that American Catholics
supported the death penalty about as much as other Americans, they now
show that support for the death penalty among Catholics has fallen below
50 %. Just last month, Catholic bishops in the United States inaugurated a
vigorous educational campaign to end the death penalty.
This is a moment I have been waiting for, hoping for and praying for more
than 2 decades, ever since I walked out of the killing chamber in
Louisiana after watching Patrick Sonnier electrocuted to death in 1984.
And it is the pope who made it possible.
In the early 1980's, I began looking for a way to have a direct dialogue
with the pope about the death penalty. During this time I had accompanied
3 people to execution and plunged headfirst into public debate. My efforts
to persuade Catholic bishops in the United States to include the death
penalty as an integral part of their pro-life campaign had been futile.
While the bishops had issued numerous statements that cited the moral
failure of the death penalty, they had failed to conduct energetic
educational campaigns to change the hearts and minds of the people in the
At last, in 1997, I finally got my chance to communicate directly with
Pope John Paul II. It happened through the case of a Virginia death row
inmate, Joseph O'Dell, whose spiritual adviser I had become and whose plea
for justice had attracted the pope's attention. Lori Urs, who was working
on the legal team trying to save Mr. O'Dell's life, visited Rome and
handed my letter to the pope on Jan. 22, 1997. A friend of mine in the
Vatican, present when my letter was delivered, assured me that John Paul
read every word of my letter.
And an impassioned letter it was, pouring into the pope's lap 14 years of
searing experiences of accompanying human beings into killing chambers and
watching them be put to death before my eyes. "Surely, Holy Father," I
wrote, "it is not the will of Christ for us to ever sanction governments
to torture and kill in such fashion, even those guilty of terrible crimes.
... I found myself saying to them: 'Look at me. Look at my face. I will be
the face of Christ for you.' In such an instance the gospel of Jesus is
very distilled: life, not death; mercy and compassion, not vengeance."
I spoke candidly about my disagreement with one part of the pope's 1995
encyclical, "Evangelium Vitae" ("Gospel of Life"), which, while urging
imprisonment instead of execution, allowed the use of the death penalty in
cases of "absolute necessity." Whenever governments kill criminals, I
pointed out in my letter, they always claim to act out of "necessity." I
urged him to close the loophole and make Catholic opposition to government
This was no small thing. The teaching of the Catholic Church upholding the
right of the state to execute criminals "in cases of extreme gravity" had
been in place for 1,600 years.
But that's precisely what the pope did: he removed from the Catholic
catechism the criterion "in cases of extreme gravity." The omission
changes everything, because Catholic teaching now says that no matter how
grave the crime, the death penalty is not to be imposed. This cuts the
moral ground out from under American politicians who advocate the death
penalty for the "worst of the worst criminals."
The quantum change in the catechism took place in September 1997, and in
1999 when the pope visited St. Louis, he uttered words of opposition to
the death penalty that could not have been more uncompromising:
"A sign of hope is the increasing recognition that the dignity of human
life must never be taken away, even in the case of someone who has done
For this statement, and for his leadership, I am forever grateful. Thank
you, Pope John Paul. Because of you, the Catholic Church can at last stand
alongside those human rights groups that oppose, unequivocally, government
(source: Op-Ed, Helen Prejean, a Catholic nun, is the author of "Dead Man
Walking" and, most recently, "The Death of Innocents."--New York Times)
His lessons on war, death penalty
One of Pope John Paul II's strongest legacies is that he consistently
spoke out for life.
While opposing abortion, he also called for an end to the death penalty,
which he called "cruel and unnecessary." And he called for an end to war,
saying, "No, never again war, which destroys the lives of innocent people
... and leaves behind a trail of resentment and hatred, making it all the
more difficult to find a just solution to the very problems which provoked
Many U.S. conservatives have not accepted his wisdom on war and the death
penalty. I hope they do so in the future.
David Atwood, Houston
(source: Letter to the Editor, Dallas Morning News)
Support a Moratorium on Federal Executions
Despite its own study showing racial and geographic disparities in the use
of the federal death penalty, the U.S. government continues to carry out
executions. In the past year, federal judges in New York and Vermont have
ruled the federal death penalty unconstitutional because of concerns
ranging from the likelihood of executing someone who is actually innocent
to the lack of due process safeguards in the 1994 Federal Death Penalty
Policymakers must no longer ignore reality: the system of capital
punishment in America is administered unfairly, arbitrarily and in a way
that risks executing those who are undeserving of death. We must have a
temporary freeze on executions until these problems are resolved.
Take Action! Urge your Senators to support the National Death Penalty Act
of 2003 (S. 132) to correct the flaws in the capital punishment system and
prevent any additional executions from taking place until these problems
Resolve Questions of Unfairness in the Death Penalty!
- The relationship between race and the death penalty is also very well
Recently released Justice Department data demonstrate that racial
disparities permeate every level of the federal death penalty system. 74 %
of those prosecuted for federal capital offenses are people of color. And
of 21 federal prisoners currently facing death sentences, 17 -- or 81 % --
are members of racial/ethnic minorities.
- Whether someone convicted of a capital crime will receive a death
sentence is highly dependent on the state in which that person was tried
U.S. Attorneys in 16 states, including Texas, have sought the death
penalty in at least 50 % of the cases submitted for consideration to the
Justice Department, but U.S. attorneys in 21 other states have either
never requested or never obtained authorization to seek the death penalty.
Of the inmates currently sitting on federal death row, almost 30 % were
prosecuted in a single state -- Texas.
- Before leaving office, former Attorney General Janet Reno ordered
additional studies to determine if bias plays a role in the federal
And during his confirmation hearings, Attorney General Ashcroft agreed to
continue the studies and said: "I fully agree that we should have a
thorough study of the system and that the death penalty should be imposed
only upon satisfaction of the full rigors of due process. Nor should race
play a role in determining whether someone is subject to capital
punishment." It is unconscionable to execute any federal prisoners when
the government itself admits to serious questions of racial bias.
Don't Exempt Teens From Death Penalty
I wish I could understand justice and the American way. It seems the U.S.
Supreme Court opened up a can of worms concerning the execution of
The court seems to think its OK for teenagers to commit violent crimes
that result in death, but not be old enough to pay for their actions.
Listen, if they're old enough to do the crime, then they are old enough to
receive the just punishment.
Do they honestly believe that Christopher Simmons, who at the age of 17
abducted a woman from her home and bound and gaggled her, then threw her
in a river, deserves not to be punished to the full extent of the law?
Or that Kevin Hughes, who raped and killed a 9-year-old girl when he was
16, does not deserve to meet his maker sooner than expected?
Or that Lee Malvo, who at the age of 17 was convicted of killing at least
2 people in the sniper slayings, does not deserve to be put out of his
Then justice must be blind. Christopher Simmons even bragged about his
crime. We must send the right message to all criminals, regardless of age.
If you do the crime, you will be punished accordingly.
Craig L. Terry--Gales Ferry
(source: Letter to the Editor, The Day)
Ruling spurs new death row actions
The following list of Nevada death row inmates, 1 from Reno and 5 from Las
Vegas, have filed briefs seeking a new penalty hearing based on the
Supreme Court ruling on the Robert McConnell case, which limits the way
prosecutors seek a death sentence.
Alfonso "Slinkey" Blake - He was found guilty in Las Vegas last year of
shooting and murdering Priscilla Van Dine, 22, and Sophear Choy, 19.
Edward Bennett - He was sentenced to death for killing a convenience store
clerk in Las Vegas in 1988 during a robbery that went bad.
Richard Canape - He was sentenced to death for a 1988 murder in Las Vegas.
James Chappell - He was sentenced to death for killing Deborah Panos in
1995 in Las Vegas. Panos, the mother of Chappells three children, was
stabbed repeatedly with a kitchen knife.
Randolph Moore - Moore and 5 others were convicted of killing Carl Gordon,
58, and his wife Colleen, 57, in their Las Vegas home in 1984. Moore and
Dale Flanagan were sentenced to death.
Tracy Petrocelli - He was sentenced to death in 1982 by a Washoe County
jury. He was convicted of 1st-degree murder in the shooting death of Reno
used car salesman James Wilson Sr.
In the days that have followed a recent Supreme Court ruling changing the
way prosecutors seek a death sentence, at least 6 Nevada death row inmates
have sought new penalty hearings and as many as 40 may have a shot at new
In its landmark ruling, the high court confirmed March 25 a previous
decision that prohibits prosecutors from using a felony to establish a
1st-degree murder conviction and then using the same felony as an
aggravator to achieve a death sentence.
The use of a felony aggravator fails to narrow the group of people who
would be eligible for the ultimate punishment, the court said.
Clark County Deputy District Attorney Steve Owens said Thursday that,
according to his calculations, about half of the states 75 death row
inmates were convicted and sentenced to death under the scenario the high
court ruled unconstitutional.
"I knew the number would be high," Owens said.
To date, 5 death row inmates from Las Vegas have already filed briefs in
district court seeking a new sentence based on the Supreme Courts ruling,
Owens said, adding, "I'm sure there'll be more down the road."
And Washoe County Deputy District Attorney Gary Hatlestad said Friday
that, so far, one death row inmate from Reno has sought a new sentence
based on the decision.
The question now, both Hatlestad and Owens said, is whether the courts
landmark ruling will be applied retroactively to those cases well along in
the appeals process.
"I won't be concerned until the court says its retroactive," Hatlestad
In its ruling, the court declined to address older cases and will consider
the question in the future as some on death row seek life without parole
"Before deciding retroactively, we prefer to await the appropriate
post-conviction case that presents and briefs the issue," the justices
The Supreme Court decision was the result of an appeal by Robert
McConnell, a Reno man sentenced to death by a Washoe County jury after
pleading guilty to killing his former girlfriends fianc in 2003.
The court upheld his conviction and death sentence, but granted his
lawyers request to end the practice of convicting someone of felony murder
and then using the felony as an aggravator to achieve a death sentence.
Felony murder is a killing that occurs while another crime is being
committed, such as a robbery, burglary or sexual assault. When charging
felony murder, the prosecutor does not have to prove premeditation to
secure a 1st-degree murder conviction.
In seeking a death sentence in such cases, prosecutors have had to prove
to a jury 1 of 14 aggravators, such as a police officer was killed, or the
slaying involved mutilation, or the murder occurred during a robbery,
burglary, kidnapping or other felony.
It was this last aggravator that the Nevada Supreme Court rejected.
The justices said in their December ruling that the U.S. Supreme Court
"has held that to be constitutional, a capital sentencing scheme must
genuinely narrow the class of persons eligible for the death penalty and
must reasonably justify the imposition of a more severe sentence -
compared to others found guilty of murder.'"
Therefore, charging a person with felony murder and then seeking a death
sentence using the felony as an aggravator "does not provide sufficient
narrowing to satisfy constitutional requirements," the state high court
New Cases Appealed
One capital case argued this week was a challenge by Tracy Petrocelli, who
was sentenced to death in 1982 by a Washoe County jury for the shooting
death of Reno used car salesman James Eldon Wilson Sr.
In his petition for post-conviction relief, Petrocellis lawyer, Richard
Cornell, argued that the McConnell decision makes Petrocellis death
The prosecutor handling Petrocellis case presented the jury with two
theories: he murdered Wilson with "malice aforethought, deliberation and
premeditation" and he killed him during a robbery.
The state also sought the death penalty based on 2 aggravators: the murder
was committed by someone who had previously been convicted of murder and
the killing was done while Petrocelli was attempting to commit a robbery.
The jury came back with a guilty verdict, but did not say which theory
they used to convict him, Cornell said in his petition.
Since no one knows whether the jurors thought he was guilty of
premeditated murder or felony murder, and since they agreed that both
aggravators had been proven, Petrocellis sentence should be thrown out
based on the McConnell ruling, Cornell said.
In order to avoid such ambiguity in the future, the Supreme Court also
said in the McConnell ruling that when prosecutors are presenting two
theories of how the murder occurred, they should give jurors a special
verdict form that allows them to identify which theory they believe.
"Without the return of such a form showing that the jury did not rely on
felony murder to find first-degree murder, the state cannot use
aggravators based on felonies which could support the felony murder," the
Hearings on the Petrocelli case are being held in Washoe District Court in
the coming months, Hatlestad said.
Another case in Las Vegas made a similar argument this week.
JoNell Thomas, a lawyer for death row inmate Randolph Moore, said in a
brief filed with the Clark County District Court that the McConnell
decision makes Moore ineligible for the death penalty.
Moore was convicted of felony murder for killing Carl Gordon, 58, and his
wife Colleen, 57, in their Las Vegas home in 1984. The jury approved
robbery and burglary as aggravators to make Moore eligible for death.
But Thomas said the McConnell decision must apply in this case.
"Mr. Moore respectfully submits that his sentence of death is
unconstitutional and must be vacated," Thomas wrote in her petition.
(source: Reno Gazette-Journal)
Florida killer close to death he sought
For years, Glenn Ocha has longed to die.
He once begged a police officer to shoot him. He tried to hang himself in
a holding cell. He confessed to murder, then asked detectives how long he
would have to wait for his execution.
Now, Ocha, 47, is about to get his wish.
On Tuesday, the convicted killer is scheduled to become the 1st person put
to death in modern times for a crime committed in Osceola County. No
appeals are pending.
Ocha, who prefers to be known as Raven Raven, pleaded guilty to killing
Carol Skjerva, 28, a stranger who gave him a ride to his Buenaventura
Lakes home from a nearby bar, Rosie's Pub, on Oct. 5, 1999.
Ocha told authorities he had sex with Skjerva, then strangled and hanged
her after she made a disparaging remark about his anatomy, court documents
show. He cleaned the kitchen and drank a beer while she died. Afterward,
he stuffed her body into an entertainment center in his garage.
Skjerva's friends and family said they miss the trusting young woman who
was engaged to be married and eager to have children. Skjerva had moved to
Florida to study to become a flight attendant. She was working at a
convenience store just before her death.
"We still think about her every single day," Skjerva's aunt, Brenda Scott,
49, of Spokane, Wash., said last week. "She was loved. She still is
Skjerva's former fiance, Brian Lewis of Osceola County, said he does not
plan to attend the execution despite a handwritten invitation by Ocha.
"I just put it in God's hands and let the universe take care of it," said
Lewis, 39, a single father of a 14-year-old boy Skjerva was helping raise.
"I forgave it a long time ago. There's nothing I can do to change it. I've
just moved on with my life."
Ocha - whose first name is spelled "Glen" in some criminal records - would
not consent to a death-row interview.
Throughout the legal process, he refused to let his attorneys present
evidence that might have saved him from lethal injection. He fired his
lawyers and implored two judges to order his execution without delay.
The tactic is not unusual, and courts have ruled it permissible, said Mark
Gruber, an appeals attorney whom Ocha dismissed. Judges have twice deemed
Ocha competent to proceed on his own.
"It's not unlike a terminally ill patient deciding to face the
inevitable," Gruber said.
Ocha's history includes childhood abuse by his mother, alcoholism and drug
abuse. He took Ecstasy and had been drinking the night of the murder,
court records show.
A 10th-grade dropout, Ocha displayed artistic talent - he was engraving
beer mugs at the pub the night of the slaying - but couldn't hold a job,
said one of his ex-wives, Bridgette McStoots, 39, of Kentucky. His
behavior alienated most of his family, including a 26-year-old son, who a
relative said does not acknowledge his father.
McStoots said she never saw Ocha's violent side. But she knew he had
served time for the 1984 attempted murder and robbery of a Kentucky motel
manager, Kiran Patel.
"I was mesmerized by him because he played guitar and he was artistic and
he was very sweet and romantic to me," said McStoots, who met Ocha when he
was shopping for art supplies at a Louisville store where she worked.
Gita Patel has another view of the man who shot her brother-in-law. Ocha
told McStoots he shot Kiran Patel because Patel stole some of his
belongings and because he didn't like "foreigners," McStoots said. But
Gita Patel says Ocha pumped a bullet into her brother-in-law's brain when
Patel tried to collect on an overdue room bill. He survived but had to
learn anew to walk, eat and recognize numbers and letters, she said.
"He's like a 12-year-old kid in a 43-year-old body," said Gita Patel, also
43, whose family now runs a different motel near Louisville. "If we tell
him things, he can do things. He helps with the laundry."
Ocha recognized his own explosive temper - and displayed it through
profane name-calling - in several letters to Circuit Judge Frank Kaney,
now a senior judge. Ocha warned that he would kill again if he did not
receive the death penalty.
"I knew I was gona kill a woman long before it happened," he wrote in an
undated letter to Kaney. "I had thought of it every since my last wife
(McStoots, whom he blamed for sending him back to prison on a probation
violation). I knew I couldn't get ahold of her, so someone who looked like
her to me was just as good."
In 1982, Orlando police arrested Ocha after a woman accused him of raping
her and telling her he wanted to get her pregnant before he killed
The case was dropped because the victim was not available to testify,
court records show.
Ocha will be the 60th person executed in Florida since the 1976
reinstatement of the state's death penalty. He is scheduled to die at 6
p.m. Tuesday. The last Central Florida killer executed was Linroy
Bottoson, 63, on Dec. 9, 2002.
(source: Orlando Sentinel)
Interview with suspect in Panama City Beach police killing
A Milwaukee man accused of killing a decorated Panama City Beach police
sergeant is sorry and scared. Robert Bailey does not remember firing three
rounds from a 9 mm handgun at Sgt. Kevin Kight, 34, on Easter Sunday night
when the officer tried to arrest him for driving with an invalid license.
But Bailey remembers waking up in a garbage bin at a motel miles away when
officers closed in the next day.
Bailey, 22, said he wants to take it back but knows he can't. He
apologized over and over in telephone interviews Sunday with The News
Herald of Panama City.
Bailey said he and 2 friends went on a drinking binge after they decided
to head to Panama City Beach to check out its reputation for spring break
"My head hurts so hard, I've been thinking so hard. I don't know how to
feel. Lost, basically. I'm done worrying. I know I'm dead," Bailey said.
He said he joined a gang and picked up a drug habit as a teenager,
swallowing six to seven hits of Ecstasy a night. He would go weeks without
sleep and fathered a child six years ago with an off-and-on girlfriend.
Bailey has not seen his son in months but called his ex-girlfriend from
the Bay County Jail. She told him to stay out of her life and hung up. He
is being held without bond on a first-degree murder charge.
Bailey said police have threatened his life, jail guards have spit in his
food, and officials have placed him in an isolation cell.
Panama City Beach police Maj. David Humphreys said he would be surprised
if any of the department's officers told Bailey he would be killed.
"I wouldn't be surprised if somebody told him they expected him to get the
death penalty," Humphreys said. "He's in jail. How is somebody going to
kill him? That just doesn't sound like something an officer would say."
(source: Associated Press)
More information about the DeathPenalty