[Deathpenalty]death penalty news---DEL., CALIF., VER.
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Tue Jun 28 10:26:59 CDT 2005
Del. to seek death penalty in rampage----Slaying suspect to be tried 1st in
Delaware prosecutors will seek the death penalty for slaying suspect
Allison Lamont Norman, of Seaford, after he faces charges in Maryland for
crimes committed during a deadly April shooting spree.
A Sussex County grand jury on Monday indicted Norman, awaiting trial in a
Maryland jail, on a single charge of 1st-degree murder and 10 other
offenses in the April 7 2-state rampage that left 2 people dead and 4
A Laurel man, 24-year-old Jamell Weston, died in the outburst, during
which Norman allegedly sprayed gunfire along a route from Laurel to Delmar
and Salisbury, Md. Police have since said Norman apparently chose victims
"A determination has been made that it is a capital case," said Lori
Sitler, spokeswoman for Delaware Attorney General M. Jane Brady. "He will
not be brought back until Maryland has completed processing their state
Weston's family members could not be reached for comment late Monday.
Earlier this month, Maryland charged Norman, 22, with 108 crimes, including
1st-degree murder, in the shooting death of DaVondale M. "Pete" Peters,
28, of Salisbury.
Norman also was charged in Maryland with 28 counts of attempted 1st- and
2nd-degree murder and other offenses in the shootings, assaults and
carjackings in Maryland that left one woman partially paralyzed and some
Sam Vincent, Maryland deputy state's attorney for Wicomico County, said
Norman is scheduled for an Oct. 31 trial. The state has yet to declare
whether it will pursue a capital case.
"I don't feel like he should get the death penalty for it, but he should
pay for what he did," said victim Anthony White, 45, of Seaford.
Police said White was shot twice in a parking lot along U.S. 13 after
Norman fatally shot Weston and wounded another man, Marcus Cannon, 18, in
a nearby apartment complex.
In addition to 1st-degree murder, Delaware indicted Norman on 2 counts
of attempted 1st-degree murder, 3 counts of possessing a firearm during a
felony, 3 counts of wearing body armor in a felony, 1 count of theft and
1 count of possession of a deadly weapon by a person prohibited.
"I don't trust anybody anymore," said White, who has been unable to regain
full use of his left leg or work after suffering nerve damage from a
In Salisbury, Beatrice Peters, DaVondale Peters' widow, said Monday she
wanted assurance Norman would never walk free again. "I don't wish death
on anybody," Peters said. "I just feel that he does need to pay for what
he did. I don't want to ever see him set free again. My children have
fears that it's possible he may want to hurt them, and I don't want there
ever to be a day where they would ever come face to face with the person
who hurt my husband."
Norman, who has a criminal record dating to the age of 12, threatened
those in the courtroom shortly after his arrest.
Police said Norman stole a vehicle and fled south from Laurel after
shooting Weston, Cannon and White, firing randomly at cars and taking a
shot that pierced the wall of a home in Delmar, Md. The gunfire continued
into Salisbury, where he shot and wounded Marsha L. Henderson and killed
2 dogs before kidnapping and later shooting Peters, police said.
The rampage ended after Norman shot and gravely wounded another woman,
Carla D. Green, 33, police said, then broke into a home where he attacked
an elderly couple.
When Norman ran out of bullets, police said, he tried to hide, then
surrendered to police.
(source: The News Journal)
Juddge sends L.A. 'Onion Field' figure back to jail
A 74-year-old man who spent nearly 20 years in prison for one of the most
notorious murders in Los Angeles history was sent back to prison for 3
years on Monday after admitting to heroin possession.
Jimmy Lee Smith, 1 of 2 men convicted in the 1963 "Onion Field" murder
of a Los Angeles police officer, put up no defense to violating his
probation from a prior drug conviction and said he was resigned to going
back to prison.
"I'm 75 years old and I got high blood pressure," Smith, who actually
turns 75 in August, said during a brief hearing.
The gray-bearded, frail-looking Smith said that another prison term was
"just a fact of life I have to deal with."
3 years was the maximum sentence Smith could have faced for the probation
violation and his attorney, public defender Craig Osaki, argued that the
judge should consider a lighter term.
"Clearly these (drug) offenses are not the crimes of the century," Osaki
told Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Dennis Aichroth.
Aichroth shot back: "No, he's already committed that crime."
Smith and Gregory Powell abducted 2 Los Angeles policemen from a Hollywood
street in March 1963 and drove them to an onion field some 75 miles away.
Powell shot one of the officers, Ian Campbell, to death and fired at the
other, Karl Hettinger, as he fled into the darkness. Hettinger survived.
The case became the subject of a best-selling 1973 book, "The Onion
Field," by Joseph Wambaugh and later a film.
Powell and Smith were sentenced to death but were spared execution when
the California Supreme Court abolished the death penalty in 1972. Powell has
never been released but Smith was freed on parole in 1982 and has had
several scrapes with the law since.
Deputy District Attorney Carol Rash, who prosecuted the drug-possession case
against Smith, described him as a career criminal with a drug problem and a
rap sheet dating to the 1950s, including 18 convictions and 6 stints in
Woman's death sentence upheld by state Supreme Court
The state Supreme Court upheld the death sentence for a woman who
orchestrated the murders of her ex-husband and a hit man who expressed
remorse about his role in the killing.
The state's highest court on Monday rejected arguments by Mary Ellen
Samuels that numerous errors were made in the trial that led to her July
1994 conviction of 2 counts of 1st-degree murder, solicitation of
murder and conspiracy to commit murder. She was sentenced to death in
Robert Samuels was found dead on Dec. 8, 1988 from a gunshot wound to the
head. After his death, Mary Ellen Samuels bought a Porsche and property in
Cancun, Mexico, among other things, and was photographed while covered
only in money. The pose earned her the nickname "the Green Widow."
During her trial, prosecutors presented evidence showing she had collected
$240,000 in life insurance after her ex-husband's death. The prosecution
said Samuels had hired James Bernstein to kill her ex-husband and then
ordered his death when he expressed regret about the killing to a friend.
Bernstein was strangled on June 27, 1989 by 2 men who were later sentenced
to life in prison.
Samuels is 1 of 15 women on death row in California.
(source: Associated Press)
Penalty phase of death penalty trial starts today
The penalty phase of the Donald Fell trial starts today in Burlington.
Yesterday a judge, defense attorneys and prosecutors debated what evidence
can be presented to the jury who will decide if Fell should be executed.
The 25-year-old Fell of Pennsylvania has been convicted of kidnapping and
killing a Clarendon woman 5 years ago.
Now he is the 1st person to face the death penalty in Vermont in nearly
(source: Associated Press)
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