[Deathpenalty]death penalty news------ARKANSAS
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Mon Oct 24 23:38:32 CDT 2005
ARKANSAS----federal death penalty to be sought
DEATH PENALTY SOUGHT IN SLAYING
Federal prosecutors said Friday they would seek the death penalty for one
of 3 men charged in a 2003 homicide at Pine Bluff.
Vertis Clay, also known as "Sinister Wayz", of Little Rock, was accused of
the shooting death of Darryl Johnson, 38, whose body was found in a house
in the 5400 block of Carbon Street on July 23, 2003, after relatives
reported they had not seen him in several days.
In a notice filed in federal court, Assistant U.S. Attorney Joe Volpe said
the circumstances of the slaying warranted the death penalty if Clay is
In September 2004, a grand jury at Little Rock said Clay and Darryl
Walker, also of Little Rock, killed Johnson during the course of a drug
The indictment said Clay, Walker and Calvin Stovall, also known as Kid,
conspired to distribute more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana between
June 2002 and January 2004.
A part of that conspiracy involved a "burglary, robbery and the execution
of co-conspirator Darryl Johnson to steal illegal drugs and money believed
to be in Johnsons possession," the indictment said.
The grand jury said Stovall hired Clay to break into Johnsons house and
kill him and Clay hired Walker to help him.
Clay and Walker went to Pine Bluff on July 18 and "conducted a stakeout of
Johnson and his residence", then returned to Pine Bluff July 19 and broke
in while Johnson was not at home, the indictment charged.
Clay and Walker waited until Johnson returned to the house on July 20 and
Clay used a 40-caliber handgun to "execute Darryl Johnson," then after his
death, "robbed him of his personal possessions," the indictment said. A
superseding indictment filed with the court Friday said Walker
participated in the slaying, and that it involved "torture and serious
The nature of the torture was not specified in the court filing.
Clay, Walker and Stovall are scheduled for trial Feb. 13 at Little Rock
with U.S. District Judge Bill Wilson Jr. presiding.
(source: Pine Bluff Commercial)
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