[Deathpenalty]death penalty news----MO., OKLA.
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Thu Mar 10 17:22:20 CST 2005
Death penalty sought in KC serial killer case
Jackson County prosecutors today filed court papers to seek the death
penalty against a Kansas City man charged with strangling 3 girls and 9
The action against Lorenzo J. Gilyard, accused of being the state's most
prolific serial killer, sets the stage for a groundbreaking trial. It
means prosecutors will ask jurors to convict a man and recommend execution
based solely on DNA evidence.
That is the 1st such case in Missouri and Kansas and possibly the 1st of
its kind nationwide, said Jackson County Prosecutor Mike Sanders.
The victims were killed between 1977 and 1993. Gilyard, 54, was charged
last year after DNA found on their bodies matched that from blood
collected from him in a past investigation.
Sanders announced the death penalty action at a courthouse press
conference with about 20 family members of victims standing behind him.
Some family members wore badges with a red ribbon, a gold heart and a
picture of a lost loved one.
Dawn Knox, daughter of Catherine Barry, said she was a teenager when her
mother was murdered in 1986. Her family supports the prosecutor's
decision, she said. "We are all looking forward to trial; we're finally
going to get closure."
Gilyard had pleaded not guilty. Defense lawyer Burt Haigh said, "We are
disappointed in Mr. Sander's decision (to seek death) but we will continue
to fight to protect Mr. Gilyard's rights."
The case will now be assigned to 1 of 3 public defender death penalty
Sanders said he decided to seek death Wednesday after a 10-month review of
the case by committees within his office.
He said the office is likely to seek death in other DNA evidence cases. He
called the Gilyard case "an indication of what is to come" as DNA leads to
His office will soon make a decision on seeking the death penalty against
Terry Blair, a Kansas City man charged with 8 counts of 1st-degree murder
for a series of killings along the Prospect Avenue corridor.
(source: Kansas City Star)
OKLAHOMA----re: possible federal death penalty
Death Penalty Decision Fought In Trooper Case
The attorney representing a Sequoyah County man currently serving a
30-year prison sentence for the shooting death of an Oklahoma Highway
Patrol (OHP) trooper filed motions Monday to contest the federal
government's decision to seek the death penalty against his client.
The motions allege that Kenneth Eugene Barrett should not face the federal
death penalty in the September 1999 shooting death of OHP Trooper David
"Rocky" Eales, who was killed during a drug raid on Barrett's property
just off Dwight Mission Road northwest of Sallisaw.
Barrett's attorney, John Echols of Tulsa, who represented Barrett during
his two state trials, wrote Monday that his client should not face a
federal trial after being acquitted of 1st-degree murder and convicted of
a lesser count in state court.
Federal prosecutors have until March 15 to respond to the defense motions.
U.S. Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales authorized the U.S. attorney for
the Eastern District of Oklahoma to seek the death penalty against Barrett
The death penalty filings allege that Barrett intentionally killed Eales
and will be a danger in the future.
Federal prosecutors were given permission to seek the death penalty under
special dual sovereignty rules for capital punishment cases that already
have been tried in other court systems.
Barrett, 43, went through two state trials, the 1st of which deadlocked at
11 to 1 for a first-degree murder conviction.
In Barrett's second trial last year, Barrett was convicted in Sequoyah
County District Court of 1st-degree manslaughter in Eales' death and
assault for the wounding of fellow Trooper John Hamilton. Barrett is
serving a 20-year prison sentence for the manslaughter charge and a
10-year sentence for the assault charge, to run consecutively. State
prosecutors had tried to get a 1st-degree murder conviction and death
penalty during that trial.
(source: Sequoyah County Times)
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