[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----PENN., IND., KAN., OHIO
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Fri Jan 12 17:14:51 UTC 2007
Judge to decide on death penalty before trial
A Fayette County judge said he will decide before the February trial term
if criminal homicide suspect James VanDivner could face the death penalty
if he is convicted of 1st-degree murder.
Judge Gerald R. Solomon told lawyers for both sides on Thursday that the
trial will begin on Feb. 5, when next month's criminal trial term starts.
VanDivner, 57, of Grindstone is charged in the shooting death of Mary
Cable, his ex-girlfriend, on July 5, 2004, at her Grindstone home.
VanDivner also is charged with wounding Cable's son, Billy, and aiming the
gun at others.
Hearings challenging VanDivner's mental competency started in November,
when defense attorney Dianne Zerega presented testimony from a
psychologist and psychiatrist who testified that VanDivner is mildly
If Solomon determines VanDivner is mentally retarded, he can preclude
District Attorney Nancy D. Vernon from seeking a death sentence. The U.S.
Supreme Court ruled in a 2002 Virginia case that putting a mentally
retarded person to death constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.
The defense experts testified that VanDivner could not perform basic tasks
such as reading and writing. A prosecution expert countered that VanDivner
"exaggerated" his inability to do those things and was not mentally
On Thursday, Zerega called VanDivner's older sister, Mildred Patton, as a
witness. Patton testified that she attended special education classes with
her brother, and said he could not read, write or do math.
"He colored and played games," she said of his time in school.
Patton testified she "tried to help" her brother with his schoolwork, but
was not able to. She said other students "bullied him and made fun of him"
because he had a tough time in school. Patton testified both she and her
brother went to school regularly, in contrast to earlier testimony that
VanDivner missed a lot of classes during his one year in the Frazier
Patton also testified that her brother never lived alone and depended on
women he was with to manage his money.
Adam C. Sedlock Jr., a license psychologist, has testified that VanDivner
has a full-scale IQ from 61 to 71. The cutoff for mental retardation is
70. Other testimony indicated that VanDivner has had several head
injuries, and abused alcohol.
(source: The Herald Standard)
Triple-slaying suspect could face death penalty
A Marion Superior Court judge on Thursday rejected a triple-slaying
suspect's motion to remove the death penalty from consideration in his
Kenneth Lee Allen, 31, is accused of killing his mother and grandparents,
then pouring concrete over their bodies in a home on Indianapolis'
Eastside. He was arrested in February 2005 along with his teenage sister,
Kari, who also was charged but has been cooperating with prosecutors.
Attorneys had presented arguments on the death-penalty issue to Judge
Tanya Walton Pratt last year. Kenneth Allen's trial is scheduled for
(source: Indianapolis Star)
New Trial Set for Death Row Inmate ---- 2nd Trial for Death Row Inmate
A groundbreaking capitol murder case is back in the limelight after a man
sentenced to death learns he will face a new trial. This week, the state
started the process to try to put Michael Marsh back on death row once and
It's a case that could have determined whether Kansas' worst criminals
would live or die. Ten years ago, Marsh was accused and convicted of
killing Mary Ann Pusch and her baby. He was sentenced to death. On
Thursday, Marsh was back in a Sedgwick County courtroom to start the
process all over again.
Because of the Marsh case, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled the death
penalty unconstitutional. However, prosecutors weren't ready to concede.
Twice, Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline argued the case to the U.S.
Supreme Court. After years of uncertainty, the Kansas Supreme Court was
The death penalty in Kansas would stand, but that wasn't the end of the
story for Marsh. Last month, the Supreme Court ordered Marsh should
receive a new trial on the charges of capitol murder and aggravated arson.
His convictions for first degree murder and aggravated burglary still
A decade later, the process is underway again. Marsh waived his right to a
speedy trial and the state officially served him with notice. It will once
again try to get the maximum punishment for the one time death row inmate.
Marsh's trial is set for June 25.
(source: KAKE News)
Death row inmate indicted
A death row inmate has been indicted for killing a dishwasher
12-years-ago. Jamie Madrigal who is already in jail accused of another
murder will face a judge tomorrow. The victim's wife says she has waited a
long time for this day.
Death row inmate Jamie Madrigal was indicted in the death of a former
Pacific Crab House dishwasher. In 1995, Larry Loose was shot to death
during a robbery at the restaurant. The victim's wife never gave up hope
that police would catch the killers.
Barbara Loose remembers that day 12-years-ago; the day her husband never
came home from work.
"So I went out and I had a glass. 2 police officers asked are you Barb and
I said yes; then they said Larry was shot tonight and he didn't make it."
Last year Chris Cathcart was convicted for his role in the Pacific Crab
House murder. A witness testified he helped Cathcart and Madrigal plan the
Jamie Madrigal is already serving time for his role in killing a teen.
13abc talked exclusively with Madrigal on death row. Our reporter asked
him about detectives trying to link him to the Pacific Crab House murder.
"That was in the past. They're not trying to link me to another murder
right now, which was back when this occurred."
Madrigal never finished his statement, he just laughed. Loose's wife says
she knew one day Jamie Madrigal would be brought to justice.
"We all thought from day one they were the ones."
Larry Loose's wife says she hopes a judge sends Madrigal to prison for
Madrigal had been on death row for the killing of an Oregon teen.
Witnesses say 18-year-old Misty Fisher, an assistant manager at a south
Toledo KFC restaurant, was shot execution style during a robbery in April
1996. A federal court said there were errors in Madrigal's original trial.
Last year a federal appeals court affirmed Madrigal should get a new
trial; that is supposed to start next week.
One central question for his new trial is whether Madrigal was present at
the scene at the time of the murder.
As for Cathcart, convicted in both Misty Fisher's and Larry Loose's
murders, he's locked up at the Allen Correctional Institution in Lima; he
won't be eligible for parole for at least 40 years.
(source: ABC13 News)
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