[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----ILL., CALIF., OHIO, WASH.
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Thu Oct 9 18:03:23 CDT 2008
Man Accused in Freeport Murders Could Get Death Penalty
The man accused of killing a mother and daughter in Freeport faces the
Melvin Parks Jr. is accused of killing Louie Rose, 47, and her daughter
Jose Pena, 18, in April. They turned up dead in separate homes in
Police say Parks was dating Rose's other daughter. He faces 2 counts of
1st degree murder, but pleaded not guilty.
Now his lawyer says prosecuters will seek the death penalty if Parks is
(source: WREX TV News)
Jury: Damm guilty on all charges----Verdict comes in after a couple hours
After a couple hours of deliberations, the jury in the David Damm murder
trial came back with verdicts of guilty on all counts.
The jury's verdict confirms the prosecution's contention that Damm, 60, of
Waterloo, Iowa, hired longtime acquaintance Bruce Burt to kidnap and kill
Donnisha Hill. 2 weeks before her Oct. 27, 2006, death, the 13-year-old
girl produced a paper towel containing Damm's semen. According to Burt's
testimony, Damm wanted the teenager to disappear before the DNA evidence
came back that December.
(source: TH Online)
Topete case takes twist as DA asks for death penalty
The tumultuous case of Marco Topete, accused of killing Yolo County
Sheriff's Deputy Tony Diaz in June, is moving forward with officials in
the District Attorney's Office now saying they intend to seek the death
Topete became eligible for the death penalty after he was most recently
indicted on a charge of 1st-degree murder with special circumstances,
which include the murder of a peace officer, killing to avoid arrest, and
killing as a gang participant.
In addition, Topete faces 6 other charges, including transporting an
assault weapon, criminal street gang activity and endangering a child.
A status conference is scheduled for Friday under the orders of Judge
Fall was handed the case in mid-August, following a disqualification
motion against the original judge of the case, David Rosenberg, was made
by Topete's attorney, Public Defender Barry Melton. The motion was
prompted by an alleged "collusion" during the public lockout that took
place at Topete's original June arraignment.
However, Melton resigned from the case in early August, citing an
unspecified conflict of interest. His replacements Hayes Gable III of
Sacramento and Tom Purtell of Woodland eradicated the disqualification
motion as soon as they took over. Still, Rosenberg voluntarily stepped
down from the case.
The status conference will take place at 9 a.m. Friday in the Yolo County
(source: Daily Democrat)
Judge sets hearing on funding for California prison medical care----A
federal jurist wants to know Oct. 27 how state officials will transfer
$250 million to the overseer of healthcare in state prisons.
In Sacramento, a federal judge Wednesday gave state officials nearly 3
weeks to explain how they will transfer $250 million to the overseer of
medical care in state prisons.
In his order, U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson stopped short of
finding Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and California Controller John Chiang
in contempt of court for refusing to turn over a total of $8 billion for
new prison medical facilities sought by the overseer, J. Clark Kelso.
Federal overseer seeks to seize $8..."This is an opportunity for the state
to bring itself into partial compliance," Kelso said in an interview. "It
obviously leaves a big chunk of the remaining funding unresolved. We're
going to take this a step at a time."
Kelso was appointed by Henderson as part of a court case to manage prison
healthcare so poor that inmates were dying from medical mistakes and lack
Kelso previously asked the judge to hold the two officials in contempt for
defying an earlier court order to fund the construction program he has
The state has argued that the order did not obligate it to pay and that it
is precluded by state and federal law from doing so.
Instead of ruling on the contempt issue, Henderson said he would first
conduct a hearing Oct. 27 in San Francisco to expedite the transfer of an
initial $250 million that Kelso says is already available from a separate
prison-building plan state lawmakers approved last year.
Lisa Page, a spokeswoman for the governor, said the state would be ready
to address the issue at the hearing.
Kelso said that if he receives the money, it will pay for his office's
operations into next year. He intends for construction to begin in
February, and says he needs a total of $3.5 billion from the
deficit-plagued state for the fiscal year that ends in June.
The judge also granted Kelso's attorney permission to depose
Schwarzenegger's finance director, Michael Genest, and two of his aides.
They may be deposed about potential sources of state funding for Kelso's
(source: Los Angeles Times)
2 appellate courts say Richard Cooey's execution can go ahead Tuesday
2 appellate courts gave the go-ahead Thursday for the execution of Richard
The Ohio Supreme Court rejected Cooey's argument that prison food and
limited opportunities to exercise have contributed to a weight problem
that would make it difficult for the execution team to find a viable vein
for lethal injection.
The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on upheld a lower court decision
dismissing Cooey's claim that lethal injection as conducted in Ohio would
not be quick and painless and therefore violate his rights.
The U.S. District Court in Columbus ruled that the challenge was not
raised soon enough and the appeals court agreed.
Amy Borror, spokeswoman, with the Office of the Public Defender, which
represents Cooey, said an appeal is expected to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The 41-year-old is scheduled to be put to death Tuesday for killing 2
University of Akron students in 1986. He would be the first person to be
put to death in the state since the end of a de facto moratorium on lethal
injection began last year.
Cooey has never denied participating in the rape, beating and
strangulation of Dawn McCreery and Wendy Jo Offredo near Akron but blames
his accomplice for delivering the fatal blows.
Clinton Dickens, who was 17 at the time and cooperative with police,
according to authorities, was also convicted for the murders and is
serving life in prison.
McCreery and Offredo were abducted on Sept. 1, 1986, shortly after
midnight, soon after they left work in Akron. Cooey and Dickens had
dropped a piece of cement from an overpass onto the women's car as they
drove along a highway. The men then pretended to help the women before
eventually killing them.
(source: Plain Dealer)
Ohio inmate's too-fat-to-execute argument fails
Cooey's execution could be 1st in state since moratorium
The Ohio Supreme Court has rejected arguments that a death row inmate is
too fat to die by lethal injection.
Richard Cooey, 41, is scheduled to be executed on Tuesday.
Justices on Thursday gave the go-ahead to execute Richard Cooey. The
41-year-old is scheduled to be executed Tuesday for killing 2 University
of Akron students in 1986.
He would be the 1st person to be put to death in the state since the end
of a de facto moratorium on lethal injection.
Cooey's attorneys had argued that prison food and limited opportunities to
exercise contributed to a weight problem that would make it difficult for
the execution team to find a viable vein for lethal injection.
Cooey is 5 feet, 7 inches tall and weighs 267 pounds.
An appeal is still pending.
Skagit County shooting arraignment postponed
The arraignment for the man charged in a Skagit County shooting rampage
has been postponed to bring in a defense lawyer with death penalty
A deputy superior court clerk, Jaime Leblond, says a hearing Thursday set
the arraignment for Oct. 23 in Mount Vernon.
KOMO-TV reports a defense lawyer qualified to handle death penalty cases
will join the case in about a week.
The 28-year-old suspect, Isaac Zamora, has been charged with 20 felony
counts, including 6 counts of aggravated 1st-degree murder, which could
bring the death penalty. The dead included a sheriff's deputy.
Skagit County Prosecutor Rich Weyrich will have 30 days after the
arraignment to announce whether he will seek the death penalty.
(source: Associated Press)
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