[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----TEXAS, ALA., ARK., MO., VA.
rhalperi at smu.edu
Wed Aug 17 17:37:31 CDT 2011
TEXAS----new execution date
Guadelupe Esparza has been given an execution date of Nov. 16; it should be
(sources: TDCJ & Rick Halperin)
ALABAMA----new execution date
Execution date set for Alabama death row inmate
An execution date has been scheduled for an Alabama death row inmate charged
with killing a 25-year-old clerk during a robbery at a Madison County
The Alabama Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered that Derrick O'Neal Mason of
Huntsville be executed by lethal injection on Sept. 22 at Holman Prison in
The 37-year-old Mason was convicted of the June 1993 slaying of Angela Cagle.
He was accused of shooting Cagle at close range after ordering her to take her
Mason would be the 5th person executed in Alabama this year. He would be the
3rd person executed since the state changed the 1st drug used in its execution
cocktail from sodium thiopental to pentobarbital.
(source: Associated Press)
Condemned Madison County Prisoner Gets Execution Date
Alabama prison officials have set an execution date for a Madison County man
convicted of murder.
Derrick O'Neal Mason was convicted in 1995 for the robbery and murder of a
convenience store clerk named Angela Cagle. Tuesday, officials said he will be
put to death on September 22nd.
Mason is 1 of 9 Madison County prisoners on Alabama's death row.
(source: WAAY TV News)
Fort Smith Homicide---Prosecutor Files To Seek Death Penalty
Sebastian County Prosecutor Dan Shue on Tuesday filed notice of his intent to
seek the death penalty for a Memphis man accused of killing two Fort Smith
women, one of them pregnant.
Kevin Wolfe, 29, is accused of killing Jada Moses, 26, and Aligene Seals, 21,
at Presley Apartments, 3805 Presley St., on July 25. Seals was six months
pregnant. A 3rd woman, Barbara Gowers, 25, was also shot but survived.
Wolfe confessed to shooting all 3 women in front of Seals’ young son and told
investigators that he was aware Seals was pregnant when he shot her, according
to a police report.
He claimed he shot Moses by accident and then decided to shoot Seals and Gowers
to eliminate any witnesses, according to the same report.
Wolfe is charged with 3 counts of capital murder — 1 count related to Seals'
unborn child — 1 count of attempted capital murder and 2 counts of aggravated
In a 1-paragraph letter to presiding Circuit Court Judge Steve Tabor, Shue
wrote in part:
“In considering the relevant aggravating circumstances, mitigating
circumstances, potential victim impact evidence, and, after consulting with law
enforcement and the victims’ families, the State of Arkansas will be seeking
the Death Penalty during the trial of this matter.”
The letter also was copied to Fort Smith attorney Shannon Blatt and Little Rock
attorney William James Jr., who were appointed by the Arkansas Public Defender
Commission to defend Wolfe.
Wolfe told investigators the shootings were set in motion, when Gowers — at his
request — set up a drug deal involving Gerry D. Seals Jr., the husband of
Aligene Seals, on the morning of July 25.
Gerry Seals told investigators he was a “middle man” for the transaction
involving what was supposed to be a pound of marijuana, but was in fact 10
ounces of marijuana and six ounces of rabbit food, according to a police
Wolfe said Gerry Seals and Moses arrived at a prearranged location, where he
was waiting with Gowers, and Seals handed him a package wrapped in newspaper,
plastic and a tank top.
As he was opening the package to weigh the marijuana, Wolfe said, Gerry Seals
and Moses left before he got it open and discovered the rabbit food.
Wolfe said Gowers took him to Gerry Seals’ apartment to try and find him, but
when they pulled up, a woman and small boy were standing outside.
Wolfe told investigators Gowers told him the woman was Seals’ “girl,” according
to a police report.
Gowers said Wolfe was carrying a long rifle which she described as an AK-47,
when he walked up to Aligene Seals, and took her and her son into the Seals’
apartment, according to a police report.
Gowers told investigators Wolfe returned to the vehicle she was in a short time
later with the Seals’ son, and told Gowers to take the boy to her house and
Wolfe told investigators that he then called Gerry Seals from the couple’s
apartment, told him to bring him his money, and told Gerry Seals he was at his
apartment right then.
When Gerry Seals acted like he didn’t believe him, Wolfe said he put Aligene
Seals on the phone, according to a police report.
Gerry Seals said Wolfe then threatened to shoot his wife or son if he called
police, and ordered him to smash his cell phone, which he did.
Gerry Seals then walked to a cousin’s house and got a ride to his apartment,
but didn’t arrive until police were already on the scene and his wife was dead,
according to a police report.
Wolfe told investigators he then called Gowers and told her to bring the Seals’
son back to the apartment, which she did.
After Gowers and the boy returned, Wolfe said he saw Moses walk into an
apartment next to the Seals’ apartment, according to a police report.
Gowers said Wolfe ordered Aligene Seals — who he referred to as “the pregnant
girl” during his statement — to get Moses and bring her back to the apartment,
which she did, according to a police report.
Wolfe told investigators he was shaking a 9 mm pistol in Moses’ face and
yelling at her, when it went off, and he jumped and closed his eyes.
Once he opened his eyes, Wolfe said all he could think of was getting out of
there and not leaving any witnesses, according to a police report.
Gowers told investigators that Wolfe then shot her before shooting Aligene
Seals and left the apartment.
Outside the apartment, Wolfe forced a woman to surrender her silver Mitsubishi
Galant at gunpoint, forcing the woman and her daughter from the vehicle,
according to a police report.
Wolfe told investigators that he then abandoned that vehicle a few blocks away
and forced a man to give him a ride to the area of Churchill and North O
He then fled to Memphis, then Chicago and on to Saginaw, Mich., where he turned
himself in, according to a police report.
Wolfe told police he threw the gun in a dumpster in the 2300 block of North
But the dumpster was emptied before Wolfe talked to police, and a city
sanitation employee told investigators the contents were under 20 to 30 tons of
garbage, according to a police report.
After he shot the 3 women, Wolfe said Seals’ son looked at him like he was the
Wolfe is being held without bond at the Sebastian County Adult Detention
(source: SW Times)
Judge Rejects Death Penalty Challenge
A federal judge has rejected a challenge by Missouri prison inmates to the
state's execution procedure. The inmates' lawsuit argued that Missouri does not
get valid medical prescriptions for the drugs used to put prisoners to death.
The lawsuit cited the state's use of non-medical personnel to administer the
In a ruling Monday, U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey said the inmates'
lawsuit failed to show actual harm to anyone. Missouri's execution process has
been the subject of legal wrangling for several years.
(source: Associated Press)
Governor declines to stop execution
Gov. Bob McDonnell Friday issued a statement that after reviewing death row
inmate Jerry Terrell Jackson's petition for clemency he was not going to
commute Jackson's death sentence to life. Jackson is scheduled for execution on
A Williamsburg-James City jury sentenced Jackson to death in 2002 for the 2001
rape and murder of 88-year-old Ruth Phillips at her apartment in the Rolling
Meadows apartment complex off Longhill Road. Jackson was linked to the murder
through DNA and fingerprints.
McDonnell, in the statement, said Jackson's trial and verdict have been
affirmed by the Virginia Supreme Court and arguments that he should be granted
a new sentencing hearing have been rejected by a federal appellate court.
"After conferring with the appropriate parties, as well as thoroughly reviewing
the clemency petition and the judicial opinions in this case, I find no
compelling reason to set aside the sentence of the jury imposed and affirmed by
the courts," the statement read.
Attorney's for Jackson have also filed an appeal and request for a stay of
execution from the U.S. Supreme Court. The high court has not yet made a
(source: Virginia Gazette)
Lawyers trying to avert Va. execution
Lawyers for a man convicted of raping and killing an elderly woman in her
Virginia apartment are making final attempts to save his life.
Jerry Terrell Jackson, now 31, is scheduled to die by lethal injection
Thursday, the Newport News Daily Press reported. Gov. Bob McDonnell declined
Friday to commute his sentence to life without parole.
Ruth Phillips, 88, who lived in the Williamsburg area, was found by her son
hours after her death in 2000. She had been smothered.
Jackson's lawyers say his defense team erred at his 2002 trial by failing to
use his brother and sister as witnesses to the horrific abuse all three
suffered in childhood. A federal judge agreed in 2010, but her order for a new
sentencing hearing was reversed by an appellate court.
Lawyers hope the U.S. Supreme Court will delay the execution and consider their
Andrew Protogyrou, who represented Jackson in 2002, said the decision was a
strategic one and that he did present evidence of abuse from social workers,
doctors and nurses, a police officer and Jackson's parents and stepfather.
Using his brother as a witness might have hurt his case, Protogyrou argued,
because the brother, who suffered the same abuse, joined the Navy and has no
Several jurors have said the additional evidence would have made no difference
to their sentencing decision. Foreman Lewis Samuels said many children have
"As you grow older, you never get over it, but you accept the fact that I gotta
get on with my life," he said.
(source: United Press International)
2 could face death penalty in?'05 killing of Uppy's clerk
2 men charged Tuesday in the 2005 slaying of Robert Lamont Rush, a Richmond
convenience store clerk shot during a robbery, could face the death penalty.
According to authorities, Stephen White, 27, of Hampton, and William Langley,
Jr., 35, of Rocky Mount, N.C., were indicted by a federal grand jury in
connection with the shooting.
The indictment alleges Langley, White and others planned and carried out the
May 4, 2005, robbery of the Uppy's Exxon Convenience store at 5024 Brook Road
in which Rush was shot and killed.
Each man is charged with armed robbery that resulted in a death —– a
death-penalty-eligible crime under federal law. No decision has been reached on
whether the death penalty will be sought, said a spokesman for the U.S.
White and Langley were arrested last month and the case was kept under seal
until Tuesday's indictment. Both remain in custody.
Authorities said the case is being investigated by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol,
Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Richmond Police Department, the
Chesterfield County Police Department and other law-enforcement agencies.
Police said Rush, 53, did nothing to provoke the 2 men who robbed the store at
about 11:45 p.m. and then shot him to death behind the counter. The suspects
fled with cash and 2 cases of beer.
According to an affidavit filed by an ATF agent in June, Rush was able to push
a panic alarm before he collapsed. Police arrived shortly after the shooting
and found Rush lying dead on the floor in a pool of blood. He had been shot in
the left side of the neck.
The affidavit says surveillance videos from the store shows Jenkins going to
the rear of the store where he grabbed 2 cases of beer.
The other suspect, identified as White, was seen "displaying a firearm at Mr.
Rush" and taking a telephone out of Rush's hand and hanging it up. Rush can
then be seen taking money out of the register and handing it to White.
"Stephen White then shot Mr. Rush, and both Jenkins and White can be seen
running out of the store," alleges the affidavit. White's fingerprints were
said to match a fingerprint found on the store telephone.
For members of Rush's family, the arrests close a long chapter of loss.
"We get together every year to make sure something is done to remember my
brother," said Livingston Rush, now 61, of his younger brother, a Vietnam War
"Usually we will gather at Uppy's, where there is a plaque in my brother's
name. He was a low-key, do-the-right-thing sort of person all his life," he
Rush's mother, Grace, who is 79 and lives in South Richmond, said she still
keeps a picture of Rush when he was 5 years old. He is survived by a son, a
daughter and 2 grandchildren, she said.
Livingston Rush said he is indebted to Richmond police for the work they have
put in over the years, especially Detective James Baynes, who kept the family
aware of developments in the case and always promised to bring Rush's killers
Livingston Rush said he attends gatherings for families of homicide victims and
"will be there every day" when the 2 suspects in the case are brought to trial.
(source: Richmond Times-Dispatch)
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