[Deathpenalty] death penalty news-----TEXAS
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Thu Sep 20 19:30:30 CDT 2007
Convicted killer executed for triple slaying in San Antonio
His appeals exhausted, convicted killer Clifford Kimmel was put to death
Thursday for his part in a triple slaying 8 years ago in San Antonio where
2 of his victims were injected with cleaning fluid before they were
Kimmel, 32, pleaded guilty to capital murder just as he was about to go on
trial. A Bexar County jury was left to decide between a life prison term
and a death sentence. They chose death.
Kimmel had nothing to say when asked by a warden if he had a final
"No sir," he replied.
Among the people watching his death were his wife and parents, and the
mother and sisters of 2 of his victims. He looked only briefly at the
victims' relatives before closing his eyes as the drugs took effect. He
was pronounced dead 9 minutes later at 6:18 p.m. CDT.
Kimmel was condemned for the deaths of Rachel White and Susan Halverstadt,
both 22-year-old topless dancers, and a friend of theirs, Brent Roe, 29.
Derek Murphy, an accomplice with Kimmel in the early morning hours of
April 9, 1999, received a life prison sentence for his role in the
Murphy and Kimmel were accused of using a syringe containing a bathroom
cleanser to inject 2 of the victims and using a Bowie knife to fatally
stab all 3 at White's apartment.
The 2 men were arrested about 6 weeks later after detectives tracked
purchases made with a credit card stolen from 1 of the victims. The bodies
were found more than 3 days after the attacks when friends became
concerned that none of them had been seen or heard from and asked an
apartment complex worker to check on them.
"They were just college girls who figured out they could make some money
dancing because they were good looking," Jim Wheat, a prosecutor at
Murphy's trial, recalled. "Murphy or Kimmel had a friend who knew these
girls and had taken them to the apartment once and they saw they had a
bunch of electronics. So they went back a few days later to steal them."
Kimmel had been out of prison about six months, released on mandatory
supervision after serving about 1 1/2 years of a 6-year term for burglary.
At his trial, Kimmel's lawyers argued unsuccessfully for a life sentence,
saying Kimmel had a long-term drug problem and presenting witnesses who
said Kimmel was repentant.
He and Murphy got in the apartment under the guise of wanting to use the
"One of them said they injected (the victims) with cleaning fluid," Wheat
said. "They thought that would cause them to die. We really couldn't prove
it because there was no way to test the blood and find cleaning fluid."
Then the victims were stabbed. White had numerous wounds to the neck and
chest. Roe died of wounds to his neck, chest and abdomen. Halverstadt had
two wounds to her neck.
The pair left with White's stereo, video cassette recorder and her purse,
Roe's wallet, a jewelry box, a bong, a silver letter opener and some music
CDs. They sold much of the stolen property and used White's credit card.
A defense psychiatrist testified Kimmel had been a heavy user of
methamphetamines since he was 13 or 14. He dropped out of school in the
11th grade and had numerous arrests as a juvenile.
As an adult, he was convicted of burglary and placed on probation, which
he violated. In April 1997, he was sentenced to 6 years in prison, was
released after 19 months but disappeared from a halfway house less than 2
months later after testing positive for cocaine and marijuana.
Murphy also is serving a 2nd life term for an armed robbery he, Kimmel and
2 others were accused of committing 3 days before the triple slaying.
Kimmel had no 11th-hour appeals. The U.S. Supreme Court in April refused
to review his case. This week, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles
voted unanimously against his commutation request.
Kimmel becomes the 25th condemned inmate to be put to death this year in
Texas and the 404th overall since the state resumed capital punishment on
December 7, 1982. Kimmel becomes the 165th condemned inmate to be put to
death in Texas since Rick Perry became governor in 2001.
2 more executions are set for next week in Texas. The first is Michael
Wayne Richard, 49, set to die Tuesday for the 1986 rape-slaying of
Marguerite Dixon during a burglary of her home in Hockley northwest of
Houston. 2 days later, a 28-year-old Dallas man, Carlton Turner, faces
death for killing his parents in 1998.
Kimmel becomes the 41st condemned inmate to be put to death this year in
the USA and the 1098th overall since the nation resumed executions on
January 17, 1977.
(sources: Associated Press & Rick Halperin)
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