[Deathpenalty]death penalty news----N.MEX., IND., ALA., KAN.
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Mon Feb 14 13:41:34 CST 2005
Former death row inmate to share his story
Ron Keine, a man who spent nearly 2 years on New Mexico's death row for a
murder he didn't commit, says he thought he would die there.
Keine was one of four members of the Vagos motorcycle gang who were
wrongly accused of the Feb. 8, 1974 murder of University of New Mexico
student William Velten.
The memory of being imprisoned in a 6-by-9 cell 24 hours a day for almost
2 years used to provoke searing pain and anger, Keine said.
"For years, people would call for interviews. I refused to talk about it,"
he said. "It wasn't the best time of my life. I wanted to get on, and it's
hard to do with this thing dragging you down."
Keine is to join four others involved in the case Monday afternoon for a
free public forum at UNM.
The body of the 26-year-old student was found in the Manzano foothills.
Bullets had been fired into his head through his mouth and his chest was
slashed with a knife.
Keine and his companions were on a motorcycle trip from California to
Michigan when they were arrested. They were convicted largely based on the
testimony of a motel maid who claimed to be an eyewitness. The testimony
was later determined to be perjured.
The men were released when Kerry Rodney confessed. He initially alleged it
was a drug deal gone bad, but later told authorities he was drinking and
taking drugs and had lashed out when Velten made a homosexual advance at
Now, at 57, Keine is the only 1 of the 4 wrongfully convicted who is still
After a struggle to get back on his feet, Keine married, had children and
got involved in business. He also became chairman of the local Republican
Party in his Michigan hometown.
Keine said he speaks about the case once a month at churches, universities
and law classes.
(source: Associated Press)
Triple-Slaying Suspect Says He Deserves Death Penalty----29-Year-Old Says
Sister Should Go Free
A man accused of killing his mother and 2 of his grandparents in a plot to
steal the couple's money told reporters Monday morning that he deserves
the death penalty.
Kenneth Allen, 29, made the comments on his way to an initial hearing in
the case. He and his sister, Kari Allen, 18, face murder and other charges
in connection with the deaths.
Authorities say Kenneth Allen confessed to killing the three. When RTV6's
Jack Rinehart on Monday asked Allen whether he thinks he will get the
death penalty, Allen said, "I believe I deserve it and need it."
Allen also said his sister should be freed.
"I take full responsibility for everything," he said.
Prosecutors allege that Kenneth Allen fatally stabbed his mother, Sharon
Allen, 53, at her Noblesville apartment Dec. 30 because she refused to
participate in his plan to rob and kill the grandparents.
Prosecutors said that on Jan. 3, he smothered his grandmother, Betty
Bradley, 75, and fatally bludgeoned his grandfather, Leander Bradley, 91.
He then buried his relatives' remains in concrete at the Bradleys'
east-side Indianapolis home, prosecutors said.
Authorities said that Kari Allen served as a lookout during the killings.
The siblings were arrested Feb. 8 after a traffic stop in Missouri. They
were extradited to Indiana on Friday.
Investigators removed remains from the Bradleys' home on Feb. 9.
During initial hearings Monday, a judge entered not-guilty pleas for the
siblings. They face three counts each of murder and conspiracy to commit
murder and two counts each of robbery.
The judge set a tentative April 25 trial date for both defendants, and
agreed that court-appointed attorneys will represent both suspects.
(source: The IndyChannel.com)
Hearing in death penalty trial delayed
A hearing on several motions in the death penalty case against a man
police say went on a multistate crime spree that ended with the deaths of
4 people in North Carolina and South Carolina has been delayed.
Qunicy Allen, 24, couldn't attend Monday morning's hearing because he was
still in the hospital after seeking medical help for a cut on his chin
Saturday, defense attorney Robert Lominack said.
His attorneys said they would either find out when Allen would be able to
come to court or see if he wanted them to argue the motions without him.
One of the motions included a request from the defense to keep cameras out
of the courtroom during Allen's trial.
Allen has already been sentenced to life in prison in North Carolina for
killing a clerk and a customer at a convenience store in Dobson, N.C. in
A month earlier, South Carolina authorities said he killed 44-year-old
Dale Evonne Hall with a shotgun and used the same weapon to kill a
co-worker after an argument.
(source: Associated Press)
2 bills addressing the execution of mentally retarded or mentally disabled
defendants were put on hold Monday morning after senators questioned
whether the measures were needed.
The Senate Judiciary Committee decided to wait before taking action on the
items. The bills attempt to define mental retardation for the purposes of
determining if a defendant would be eligible for the death penalty.
Senators said testimony from prosecutors suggests that the state's
existing laws would disqualify a defendant with mental disabilities from
ever being tried for capital murder.
The Kansas death penalty law was struck down in December by the Kansas
Supreme Court, though an appeal of that decision is planned.
(source: Associated Press)
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