death penalty news----TEXAS, N. DAK., FLA., OHIO, VA., TENN.
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Fri Sep 30 19:00:09 CDT 2005
Court denies death penalty appeal
In a 9-page order detailing Clinton Lee "Clint" Young III's violent
criminal record and November 2001 carjacking spree that left 2 men dead,
the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has rejected all 34 points of his
appeal for a new trial. Young, now 22, was convicted of capital murder in
April 2002 and sentenced to death by District Judge John Hyde, who said
the defendant will be returned to Midland by the end of this year for a
writ of habeaus corpus hearing on various appeals -- another step in his
legal trek toward lethal injection.
In finding Young would still be dangerous if released, the Austin court
said he shot both victims -- Doyle Douglas, 41, of Ore City and Samuel
Petrey, 52, of Eastland, who was "compliant and helpful" when Young and
accomplice David Lee Page stole his pickup.
Page pleaded guilty to aggravated kidnapping and is serving 30 years in
the institutional division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
"Appellant drove to a (Midland County) pump jack site, where he told Page
they needed 'to get rid of all the evidence,'" Justice Cheryl Johnson
wrote. "Page testified Petrey was leaning against his truck, smoking a
cigarette, when appellant walked up to him and said, 'Sorry, Sam, you know
too much. You got to die.'
"Appellant then shot Petrey twice. Some blood splashed on the bumper of
Petrey's truck, so appellant ordered Page to clean it off."
Johnson said Darnell McCoy and Mark Ray had traveled with Young, Page and
Douglas from Ore City, their Northeast Texas hometown, to Longview to buy
marijuana Nov. 23, 2001, when Young shot Douglas in the head with a
.22-caliber semi-automatic pistol he had stolen in a sporting goods store
burglary the previous night in Diana.
The opinion said Young and a woman accomplice had robbed a Dairy Queen
Sept. 8, 2001, and he'd previously been sentenced as a juvenile to the
Texas Youth Commission's Waco Home for Youth for stealing a car and
kidnapping 2 children, 8 and 12, who were rescued when he was arrested in
Young beat and sexually assaulted his roommate at the Waco unit because
the roommate broke Young's necklace when they were wrestling, the court
revealed. "Dr. Helen Short, a psychiatrist, testified the appellant had
nine instances of violence in the 100 days he lived at the home," the
ruling said. "She testified he was diagnosed with attention deficit
disorder, a conduct disorder and a disorder of written expression. She
considered him 'very dangerous.'"
Young told Midland County Sheriff's Office investigators he was trying to
reach Midland to see his girlfriend.
Hyde said a new attorney has just been named for the defendant -- former
district attorney Ori White of Fort Stockton -- or the defendant would
have been brought here from the Polunsky Unit in Livingston in October.
White replaced Gary Taylor of Austin.
Young was represented at his trial by Midland attorneys Paul Williams and
Ian Cantacuzene and procecuted by District Attorney Al Schorre and his 1st
assistant, Teresa Clingman.
The court denied Young's appeal that a juror who was doubtful she could
assess the death penalty shouldn't have been stricken from the jury,
ruling Hyde and the prosecutors acted correctly because she met the
definition of "a vacillating juror."
Young, 19 when he was convicted, was the youngest condemned man in Texas
when he arrived on death row. But he has lost that designation since
younger killers have arrived, TDCJ spokeswoman Michelle Lyons-Burnett of
Huntsville said Thursday.
The agency's death row for men has 401 inmates, she said.
(source: Midland Reporter-Telegram)
Sherman man indicted on capital murder charge
Grayson County grand jurors indicted Patrick Earl Mosley, 20, of Sherman
Wednesday on a capital murder charge in the death of 21-month-old Abriana
Dehorney on July 5.
An indictment is a formal charge and is not an indication of guilt.
"This is one of the worst cases I have seen and we will be ready to try it
the first part of next year," Grayson County District Attorney Joe Brown
said after the indictment.
Previous reports on the case show that Abriana was found dead inside her
Highgrove Street apartment. Police were called to that location by a man
who said the child was bleeding from the head and unresponsive. Ambulance
crews rushed her to the hospital, but efforts to save her life were
Abriana's mother, Cora Dehorney, told police she left the child in
Mosley's care while she went to work.
Brown said his office is still waiting on lab work from the Dallas County
Medical Examiner's Office before making a decision about seeking the death
penalty in the case.
Mosley is represented by R.J. Hagood and Bobbie Peterson. Neither could be
reached for comment Wednesday afternoon.
(source: Herald Democrat)
NORTH DAKOTA----re: federal death penalty case
Judge in Sjodin case hears death penalty debate
The federal death penalty is arbitrary and racially biased and it should
not be used against Alfonso Rodriguez Jr., if he is convicted in the death
of North Dakota college student Dru Sjodin, a defense attorney argued
Richard Ney, Rodriguez's attorney, said 75 percent of the defendants in
federal death penalty cases are minorities. Defendants face the death
penalty on "government whims'' that are as random as lightning strikes, he
U.S. Attorney Drew Wrigley said federal prosecutors weigh each case
separately and follow strict protocols in seeking the death penalty. He
said the reasons for seeking the death penalty if Rodriguez is convicted
are based on facts in the case and not on his Hispanic background.
Rodriguez, 52, a convicted sex offender, has pleaded not guilty to a
charge of kidnapping resulting in the death of Sjodin, 22, of Pequot
Sjodin disappeared in November 2003 from a mall in Grand Forks and
searchers found her body the following April in a ravine near Rodriguez's
home in Crookston, Minn.
The attorneys argued Friday during a 3-hour hearing before U.S. District
Judge Ralph Erickson, who said he would rule later. The hearing is one in
a series on motions filed before Rodriguez's trial, which is now set for
The Justice Department decided against seeking executions against some
defendants convicted of the most heinous crimes, including Unabomber
Theodore Kaczynski and Atlanta Olympics bomber Eric Rudolph, Ney said.
"Why isn't everyone entitled to the same mercy? Why should it apply to
Eric Rudolph and not Alfonso Rodriguez?'' he asked.
(source: Associated Press)
Prison overseer faces scrutiny----The corrections secretary denies
discussing a state contract bid during a dinner in New York.
Over dinner in midtown Manhattan, Florida Corrections Secretary James
Crosby met in July with two executives of a company seeking a
multimillion-dollar contract with his agency.
Crosby paid his own tab and said no state business was discussed. State
bidding rules prohibit vendors and agency staffers from discussing pending
contracts, except through official channels.
The company, G4S Justice Services, later won a three-year contract to
monitor sex offenders in half the state, including Pinellas and
Hillsborough. It won because it submitted the lowest price.
But the dinner meeting raises new questions about Crosby and a prison
system already under investigation for allegations ranging from illegal
steroid use to mishandling of recyling grants.
In recent weeks, a close ally of Crosby's, former regional prison director
Allen "A.C." Clark, has quit, and the agency is under intense scrutiny for
how it spends tax dollars.
More bad news surfaced Thursday.
--Under criticism from legislators, prison officials reversed course and
decided not to hire four companies to expand privatization of health care
at South Florida prisons.
Instead, prison officials will redo the bids and hire one company to
provide medical, dental, mental health and pharmacy services, a deal worth
more than $100-million.
Because of complex bid regulations, hiring four companies invited a legal
challenge, opponents said.
--A high-ranking prison health care official, John Burke, quit his
$95,000-a-year job amid questions about his past ties to a company that
has a prison contract to package medicine for inmates.
In his resignation letter, Burke cited "continued turmoil" over his past
work for TYA Pharmaceuticals of Tallahassee and another company, MHM
Services of Vienna, Va.
Both companies were expected to seek parts of the inmate health care
"I have done nothing improper, unethical or illegal during my tenure now
or before," Burke wrote Wednesday.
Burke listed his past ties to TYA and MHM on a financial disclosure form
filed with the state Commission on Ethics, but prison officials say he
never disclosed it to them.
The latest developments have increased the focus on the 53-year-old
Crosby, a gregarious former prison warden who skillfully parlayed his
prison experience and political connections to a job running one of the
nation's biggest penal systems.
He was a volunteer in President Bush's 2000 campaign and Jeb Bush's 2002
re-election before the governor named him to run the Corrections
Department in 2003.
Crosby got the job despite having been the warden of Florida State Prison
in 1999 when inmate Frank Valdes died in his death row cell after a severe
beating. Correctional officers who were implicated in Valdes' death were
found not guilty at trial. Crosby is now a defendant in a wrongful-death
civil suit brought by Valdes' estate.
The corrections secretary's dinner in New York was in the last week of
July at a nationwide convention of probation and parole officials.
Crosby said he was aware of rules prohibiting contact with bidders while a
bid award is pending. But he said he followed the rule by refusing to
discuss the G4S bid that was then pending before his agency.
"You can't live in a vacuum and say you're never going to talk to
anybody," Crosby said. "Right up front, I said, "Don't jeopardize your
contract, folks.' ... Mainly they wanted to get to know me."
G4S sales director Leo Carson, who was at the dinner with the company's
top executive, Fiona Walters, said it was the kind of casual get-together
that occurs frequently at all professional conferences.
"It was very impromptu, very informal and very much in a conference
atmosphere," Carson said. "The first thing out of our mouths was, "We want
to avoid this topic, for the obvious reason. Agreed? Agreed."'
Carson said it would have been rude to snub Crosby, and that the dinner
was "115 percent above board." He said Crosby paid his own tab.
Crosby previously acknowledged having gone to concerts and sporting events
with Don Yaeger, a Tallahassee lobbyist for vendors seeking contracts in
the prisons. But as with the New York dinner, Crosby said he always paid
his own way.
(source: St. Petersburg Times)
Board recommends denial of clemency in drug territory slayings
The Ohio Parole Board on Friday recommended that Gov. Bob Taft deny
clemency to a man who shot to death 3 alleged rivals and their visitor in
his Youngstown drug territory 14 years ago.
"The aggravating circumstance of a wanton, calculated, horrific,
cold-blooded, execution-style killing of four defenseless young men
greatly outweighs any proffer of mitigation," the board's unanimous report
said in the case of Willie Williams Jr.
At a clemency hearing on Monday, the men's relatives detailed how their
deaths still hurt their families. A prosecutor said Williams deserved no
mercy for shooting the men in the head, and defense attorneys said their
client told them not to argue for it.
Williams, 48, is the first inmate to face death for such a large one-day
mass murder since Ohio resumed executions in 1999. He is scheduled to die
by lethal injection on Oct. 25. He has no remaining appeals.
Williams killed Alfonda Madison, William Dent and Eric Howard because he
wanted to regain control of drug trafficking at the housing project, court
records show. A 4th man with no involvement in drugs, Theodore Wynn Jr., a
recently discharged Air Force sergeant, was killed because he stopped by
Madison's house when Williams was there on Sept. 1, 1991.
He was arrested but escaped from jail the next month. 3 months later, he
broke into a juvenile jail and held a guard and a receptionist hostage in
an unsuccessful attempt to kill the 3 accomplices because of statements
they had made to police.
4 days is the shortest time within the seven-day time limit the board has
reached a decision, prisons spokeswoman Andrea Dean said.
Taft can either accept the recommendation or change Williams' sentence to
life in prison without parole. Taft's legal staff will review the report,
spokesman Mark Rickel said.
The state has put 17 inmates to death since resuming executions in 1999,
including Herman Dale Ashworth on Tuesday. He also did not seek clemency.
(source: Associated Press)
Deaf mute found incompetent to face capital murder charge
A deaf, mute, illiterate Salvadoran on Thursday was found incompetent to
stand trial on a capital murder charge in the slaying of a teenage girl.
James City County Circuit Court Judge Samuel Powell ordered that Oswaldo
Martinez be sent to a state mental hospital for language training after
expert witnesses for the prosecution and defense testified that he has
practically no communication skills.
Martinez now is being held at Central State Hospital near Petersburg, and
Powell said he could not legally specify where the 33-year-old defendant
will be sent.
However, defense attorneys said they will ask that he go to Western State
Hospital in Staunton, where he could receive training in sign language.
Martinez, an illegal immigrant, was indicted in May on charges of raping
and killing Brittany Binger, who was 16.
Psychologist Carolyn Corbett was part of a team from Gallaudet University
that spent 6 hours with Martinez to evaluate him for the defense.
Gallaudet is a Washington, D.C., school for the hearing-impaired, and
Corbett said Martinez spoke only 4 words and used gestures that sometimes
were difficult to understand.
He could not read, she said, and while he could print his first name
slowly, he could not recognize his last name.
Commonwealth's Attorney Mike McGinty noted that Martinez has received a
hearing aid since he was evaluated by the Gallaudet team, and asked
Corbett whether she would be surprised that he now can say certain words
in Spanish and can count to 30.
"That is still a very low level of language skill," she said, adding that
by age 3 or 4 children begin to talk in sentences.
Corbett said Martinez is not ready for trial because he cannot communicate
with his attorneys and doesn't even fully understand why he's in court. He
should be able to understand what witnesses are saying about him, she
"Like me right now," she said. "He doesn't understand what I'm saying.
He's not even looking at me."
Martinez, wearing a navy blue T-shirt over a gray sweatshirt, looked down
at the defense table for most of the proceeding.
The witnesses testified that if Martinez can learn to communicate, it's
more likely he'll be able to do so through sign language than speech. He
receives speech therapy where he is hospitalized now.
Dr. Barbara Haskins, a psychiatrist who works with deaf patients at
Western State Hospital, said Martinez should be immersed in the hospital's
program so he would have to use sign language to communicate.
But Haskins, a witness for the prosecution, said before he goes to trial
she would want him to understand more about court procedures.
He has been to trial for hearings and gone back to the hospital. She said
she would want him to understand that after a trial he could go to prison
and possibly be put to death.
Martinez was arrested in February after police learned that DNA from the
semen on Binger's body matched DNA swabbed from Martinez's cheek.
Authorities believe the attack happened Jan. 2.
Martinez's DNA was found under the teenager's fingernails, apparently from
fending off an attack, police have said.
James City County Police Maj. Stan Stout said evidence shows Brittany was
grabbed from behind, and the assailant covered her mouth with one hand
while cutting off her air supply with the other. The assailant then
sexually assaulted her and walked off with some of her valuables, Stout
Under state law, capital murder defendants who are judged incompetent to
stand trial remain institutionalized undergoing treatment for their
condition. If it appears competency can't be restored soon, hearings
continue every 6 months to assess the defendant's competency level and
whether the treatment they're receiving is adequate.
Powell ordered a hearing to review Martinez's status April 5.
(source: Associated Press)
Daughter Charged with Mom's Murder
Police believe 18-year-old Noura Jackson is a cold blooded killer. She is
in custody for 1st degree murder of her mother. Lt. Joe Scott with MPD
says, "This is a single domestic violence type situation that occurred in
that home and there are no other parties under investigation at this
On June 5 of this year, Noura Jackson called 911 to report that she'd
found her mother, Jennifer Jackson, stabbed to death in their home. MPD
doesn't know the motive. What they do know is neighbors are not at risk.
Lt Scott says, "We want to reassure the residents that this is an in house
situation that did not involve strangers."
But the neighbors we talked to never felt it was a stranger. Beverly
Landrigan explains, "We felt that it was someone close to her, but it was
all very strange the way it happened." She says it is a hard leap to make
to believe any child could kill their parent. She says, "Everyone felt
they knew, but no one would dare say because it was unrealistic that such
a thing could happen."
Landrigan explains Noura had a troubled past... saying, "The little girl
was kind of hard to hold anyway. She had been put out of three different
schools and never did graduate -- which is a shame because she is only
18." Only 18 and facing the rest of her life behind bars... or the death
(source: WREG News)
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