death penalty news----PENN., N.C., GA., FLA., TENN., ARK., MO., OKLA., NEV., CALIF., USA
(too old to reply)
Rick Halperin
2017-09-16 12:06:05 UTC
Sept. 16


Bond set for 3 suspects in Southern District Court----All 3 suspects in
Monday's killing of a 19-year-old New Philadelphia man appeared in Southern
District Court in Uhrichsville Friday morning.

Bond has been set at $5 million for one of the suspects in Monday's murder of a
19-year-old New Philadelphia man who was found dead on a lawn in Newcomerstown.

In the Southern District of Tuscarawas County Court, Judge Brad L. Hillyer also
set bond for the other 2 suspects at $2 million on Friday morning.

Newcomerstown police Officer Jennifer Lowery declined to say whether the higher
bond for Arnoldo Moreno-Orduno, 19, of Dillonvale, indicated that he was the

"That I don't know, to be honest," said Lowery, who is investigating the
killing with Newcomerstown Police Chief Gary Holland. "We have ideas, but it's
information that we cannot give out yet because we are still actually
investigating the case.

"We're not 100 % conclusive in our findings; we can't say anything."

Although all 3 suspects are Jefferson County residents, Moreno-Orduno was born
in Mexico, according to his defense attorney Francesca Carinci of Steubenville.
She said his mother married an American man who adopted him.

Carinci, who handled the adoption, said that Moreno-Orduno's birth certificate
was never obtained from Mexico.

She said her client has green-card status. People holding green cards are
permanent residents who may live and work in the United States.

Carinci said deportation is a possibility for her client, although she
identified that as the least of anyone';s worries.

All 3 suspects have been charged with aggravated murder, murder, aggravated

(source: timesreporter.com)

NORTH CAROLINA----female faces possilbe death penalty

Stephanie Frazier has 1st hearing on murder charge

Accused murderer Stephanie Frazier stood before District Court Judge David
McFayden Thursday morning to hear the charges listed against her.

Stephanie T. Frazier, 45, of 105 Great Oaks Court, Havelock, was charged with 1
open count of murder in Wednesday's shooting death of her husband, Marvin
Orlando Frazier, 55, of the same address.

He was shot at 12:30 p.m. while in his car outside a home on Godette School
Road in the Harlowe community outside of Havelock.

She fled on a 4-wheeler, according to Captain John Whitfield of the Craven
County Sheriff's Office, and road blocks were formed in an attempt to find her.
She was captured in the same general vicinity at 4 p.m. after she abandoned the
vehicle and following a short foot chase.

Marvin Frazier died at the scene.

Frazier is currently charged with 1 count of homicide. McFayden told her the
maximum sentence she could face, if found guilty, is life without parole or the
death penalty. She stood calmly throughout the short hearing, quietly answering
the judge's questions.

A few family members were in the courtroom during the hearing and, as she was
escorted from the room, 1 of her daughters burst into tears. Frazier looked
back toward her daughter but said nothing.

Frazier will be assigned an attorney and is currently being housed in the
Craven County Jail without bond.

(source: newbernsj.com)

GEORGIA----impending execution

At Issue: Should juror's racial bias halt execution?

Keith Tharpe faces the death penalty for killing his sister-in-law and
kidnapping and raping his estranged wife. His lawyers have appealed the
sentence because 1 of the jurors who voted for his execution may have been
racially biased.

Keith Tharpe was convicted in 1991 of killing his sister-in-law and kidnapping
and raping his estranged wife on Setp. 25, 1990. The wife left him and moved in
with her parents. He intercepted her and her sister, Jacqueline Freeman, while
they were on their way to work. He killed her sister, dragged her in a ditch
and raped her and drove her to Macon to force her to withdraw money from her
credit union account.

With only 100 days to prepare the case, Tharpe's defense team lost the trial.
The jury unanimously sentenced him to death.

8 years later, claims of a racially bias juror surfaced. The man in question,
Barney Gattie, admitted he used racial epithets and racially biased language
when describing Tharpe. Now-deceased, Gattie's signed an affidavit for Tharpe's
lawyers stating that. 2 days later, he signed another affidavit for the state
saying that he voted for Tharpe to receive the death penalty because he was a
cold, calculated murderer, not because he was black.

Tharpe's lawyers filed new motions after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in March
that courts can examine what happened in a jury room when there are showings
that racial prejudice played a role in the deliberations.

U.S. District judge rejected the claims because 10 other jurors said there was
no racial animus in their deliberations.

Tharpe's lawyers are now asking the 11th Circuit to consider the juror
misconduct claim.

What do you think? Should the death penalty be thrown out because at least one
member of the jury appearted to be racially biased? Or should the claims of the
other 10 jurors prove that their was no bias in the deliberations? Send your
response to ***@ajc.com. Replies may be edited for length and/or
clarity and may be published in print and/or online.

(source: Atlanta Journal-Consitution)


Amidst tragedy of Hurricane Irma, M. Lambrix Declares Hunger Strike To Protest
His Innocence

In an unprecedented move, Florida death row inmate Michael Lambrix has declared
a "hunger strike" to protest his execution (October 5, 2017)

Michael Lambrix has consistently maintained his innocence in a case that
remains essentially a highly circumstantial case (no eye witnesses, no physical
or forensic evidence, no confession). Despite the case receiving international
attention, his appeals for justice in courts have been defeated for over 30

The State funded agency CCRC South recently filed a strong and comprehensive
"habeas petition" in the Florida Supreme Court specifically arguing that he
must be allowed to present and be heard upon the wealth of evidence, including
DNA testing (see Lambrix v Jones, Case No SC17-1608)

Support in the US and around the world, as well as attorney Adam Tebrugge
strongly believe that should Michael Lambrix lose his appeal again, he should
then get a unique clemency hearing.

Mike Lambrix has said:

" I have been forced into a non-win situation in which the vast resources of
the State of Florida are being employed to put me to death for a crime I am
actually innocent of. I cannot stop anyone from executing me. But I am
constitutionally entitled to protest against this injustice by declaring and
maintaining a hunger strike as an expression of the free speech without
governmental intrusion."

Please send a message email, letter AND phone to the Governor's office: For
further details: http://www.save-innocents.com/save-michael-lambrix.html

(source: change.org)


Man says he served as lookout as friend shot Tennessee woman

A man charged in the case of a slain Tennessee nursing student said Thursday
that he helped his friend unload the injured woman's body from a truck and
served as a lookout when the friend shot her near a river.

Jason Autry testified in the trial of Zachary Adams in Savannah, Tennessee.
Adams, 33, has pleaded not guilty to kidnapping, raping and killing Holly Bobo,
who was 20 when she disappeared from her home in Parsons on April 13, 2011.

Her remains were found 3 1/2 years later in woods not far from her home in
Decatur County, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) southwest of Nashville. Adams
faces the death penalty if convicted of 1st-degree murder.

Autry also is charged in connection with Bobo's rape, kidnapping and slaying.
He is on a list of witnesses who could get immunity in the case, and he told
prosecutor Jennifer Nichols during questioning that he was testifying because
he wanted leniency.

Adams' trial began Monday. Autry's testimony provided the most detailed
description of the connection between Adams and Bobo's killing. Bobo???s
brother, Clint, has testified he saw his sister walk into woods behind their
family's home with an unidentified man on the day she disappeared.

Autry said Adams provided some graphic details when he told Autry that he, his
brother John Dylan Adams and Autry's cousin Shayne Austin had raped Bobo. John
Dylan Adams also is charged in the case. His trial has not been set. Austin was
found dead in an apparent suicide in Florida in February 2015.

Wearing a white prison uniform with the words "maximum security" on the back of
his shirt, Autry told jurors he had been locked up for theft and drug
convictions 3 times before he was jailed in the Bobo case. He acknowledged an
addiction to methamphetamine and morphine.

Autry said he'd known Zachary Adams for years. He said he called Adams on the
day of Bobo's disappearance asking Adams for a morphine pill. When Adams called
him back, he told Autry that he needed his help.

Autry then drove to Austin's trailer, where Adams had driven with Bobo wrapped
in a blanket in the back of his pickup truck, Autry said.

Autry, whose nickname is "Train," said he bought a morphine pill and went to
his car, cooked it down, mixed it with meth and injected it.

He then walked to Adams' truck.

"He said 'I need you to help me bury this body,'" Autry said. "He said, 'Train,
that's Holly Bobo.'"

Adams and Autry drove Adams' truck to the river and retrieved Bobo's body from
the truck, he said. He said they didn't have the necessary tools to dig a
grave, so they decided to throw her into the river, at a spot under a bridge.

But Bobo made a sound and moved, indicating she was still alive. Adams
retrieved a pistol from his truck, Autry said.

Autry said he told Adams to wait. Autry then walked around the area to make
sure no one was around, he said.

Autry told Adams the area was clear. He then heard a gunshot coming from the
location where Adams and Bobo were.

"It sounded like, boom, boom, boom, underneath that bridge. It was just one
shot but it echoed," Autry said. "Birds went everywhere, all up under that
bridge. Then just dead silence for just a second."

Autry said he heard a boat engine. Fearing capture, he and Adams loaded Bobo's
body back into the truck and drove away, Autry said.

Autry then told Adams he had to meet his girlfriend for lunch. But there was
another reason he wanted to leave, Autry said.

"I realized that this old boy had made some bad mistakes, some bad judgments,"
Autry said. "I was looking for a way to put some distance between me and that

Autry later faced questions from defense attorney Jennifer Thompson about his
drug use, including how he injected it the day they went to the river.

Autry acknowledged failing to remember calls he placed that morning.

"Once that euphoria kicked in, you could say my track of time was altered,"
Autry said.

Later, Thompson asked if being high affects his memory.

Autry said: "That, and time, yes. We're discussing events that happened 6 years

Autry also acknowledged lying when he said after he was charged that he did not
know who hurt Bobo.

Bobo's disappearance led to a massive search in western Tennessee. The
Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has said it was the most exhaustive and
expensive investigation the agency ever conducted.

(source: WPSD news)


Arkansas death-row inmate tries to drop appeal blocking execution; request

Arkansas' Supreme Court justices, who in April stayed the execution of Don
Davis, said Thursday that the condemned killer cannot fire his legal team and
drop the appeal that has, for now, spared his life.

In a series of handwritten motions sent from prison over the past 2 months,
Davis, 52, asked the high court to drop his case and remove the ongoing stay
preventing his execution.

Davis did not explain his rationale. Each motion, on lined legal paper,
contains just a few simple sentences in neatly written, curvy printed

Federal public defenders hired to represent Davis separately filed a reply,
asking the court to only recognize arguments made by Davis' legal team, and to
dismiss the prisoner's motions.

A response from the state attorney called Davis' letters a "dilatory tactic."

The Supreme Court, ruling on motions in dozens of cases Thursday, simply denied
Davis' request without a written opinion.

Scott Braden, one of Davis' federal public defenders, said he had not spoken
recently with his client -- one of several men he represents on death row --
and did not know why Davis sought to end the stay on his execution.

Asked if Davis wanted to die, Braden said, "He sure didn't in April."

Davis has lived in a solitary cell on death row since 1992, when he was
convicted in the execution-style shooting of Jane Daniel, 62, after robbing her
inside her Rogers home.

During his yearslong appeals process, Davis was appointed federal defenders by
a U.S. district judge. Braden said it would be up to a federal judge to remove
Davis' legal team.

The Arkansas Supreme Court "didn't appoint us, so they cannot be the one to
unappoint us," Braden said.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson set Davis' execution for April 17, part of the 1st pair in
a series of 8 planned executions that brought international news crews -- and a
traffic jam of lawsuits -- to Arkansas. Davis made it as far as the holding
cell outside the execution chamber at the Cummins prison before his execution
was called off at 11:45 p.m. that day.

Lawyers for Davis and Bruce Earl Ward, another inmate set to die April 17,
successfully petitioned the Arkansas Supreme Court to delay the executions
while the U.S. Supreme Court separately considered a case out of Alabama, where
a condemned man sought access to an independent mental health examination
presented at trial.

Courts ultimately blocked 4 of the 8 planned executions. The other 4 inmates
were put to death.

By the times the U.S. high court ruled in favor of the Alabama prisoner in
McWilliams v. Dunn, Arkansas' supply of a drug needed to conduct executions had
expired. Davis' attorneys are now asking justices in Arkansas to apply the same
right to independent mental health examinations to Davis and Ward, whose
executions remain on hold.

The Arkansas Department of Correction announced in August that it has again
obtained a supply of drugs to carry out lethal injections, and Hutchinson set a
Nov. 9 execution date for Jack Gordon Greene, who was not among those set to
die in April.

Stays remain in place for 3 of the men granted April reprieves, and Hutchinson
has since granted clemency to a 4th condemned man.

(source: arkansasonline.com)


Arkansas board to hear condemned killer's bid for clemency

The Arkansas Parole Board says it will hear a convicted murderer's bid for
clemency just more than a month before he's scheduled to be executed.

The board said Friday it will hold a hearing Oct. 4 on Jack Greene's
application for executive clemency. Greene was convicted of killing Sidney
Jethro Burnett in 1991 after Burnett and his wife accused Greene of arson.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson last month scheduled Greene's execution for Nov. 9 after
the state said it had a new supply of midazolam, 1 of 3 drugs the state uses
for lethal injection.

In April, the state scheduled 8 executions before its previous supply of
midazolam expired. 4 prisoners were put to death and 4 other men were spared by
the courts.

(source: Associated Press)


Not guilty pleas entered for man charged in officer's death

A Montana judge entered not guilty pleas on behalf of a California man charged
in the death of a sheriff's deputy and for shots fired at other officers during
a pursuit that spanned the southwestern part of the state.

Lloyd Barrus appeared before District Judge Kathy Seeley in Townsend on Friday.

Seeley read the charges, which include deliberate homicide by accountability
for the May 16 death of Broadwater County Deputy Mason Moore. Prosecutors have
said they are seeking the death penalty.

Barrus also is charged with attempted deliberate homicide, attempted deliberate
homicide by accountability, assault on a peace officer and unlawful possession
of a firearm.

Prosecutors believe Barrus' son, Marshall Barrus, killed Moore. Marshall Barrus
was shot and killed by a law enforcement officer after a pursuit that ended
near Missoula.

(source: Associated Press)


"I want it done." Mother of Hailey Owens shares thoughts on Craig Wood trial

The Springfield teacher's aide and coach charged with murdering a 10 year-old
Hailey Owens was back in front of a judge Friday.

Craig Wood will be facing the death penalty if convicted.

"I've been through a lot and everything. I'm glad people are still behind me,"
says Stacy Herman.

It's been years since her daughter, Hailey Owens was kidnapped and murdered.

"Their wish is that Mr. Wood, who knows what he did, expresses remorse, accepts
responsibility and full accountability for his actions," says Herman's
attorney, David Ransin.

Herman was against the death penalty as punishment but has since changed her

"They're willing to go with that decision being made," says Ransin.

2 more hearings are scheduled before the trial starts.

"I always have this gut feeling that what if they bring up a subject that I've
already seen and heard and I have to relive it again," says Herman.

She is doing her best to prepare herself.

"I want it done. It's been 3 years. I'm hoping that it will be finished soon.
I'll have closure and justice for her finally," she says.

Several items were discussed during Friday's hearing including the state's
accusations of wrong doing by defense attorneys.

Prosecutor Todd Myers presented a video recording as evidence, explaining to
the court what was on it. He wanted the judge to play it in court.

"The video itself clearly shows Mr. Stevens stomping his foot, indicating to
Mr. Wood that this is where, hey this is where you need to say you're not going
to say anything," he said.

Myers also asked the judge to play two separate audio recordings of
conversations Wood had with his father and his friend.

"The defendant discusses how his attorney, Mr. Barrigan, instructed him on how
to proceed."

Ransin explained the reasoning behind the state's request.

"The state presented information of conversations which the prosecution
believes shows a cavalier and light-hearted, not serious appreciation and
attitude towards this entire aspect," he said.

Wood's defense attorney, Patrick Barrigan objected.

"None of these exhibits are relevant in our view to what the court has to
decide today. These are for media consumption only so they can be played on the
evening news or the News Leader herald tomorrow," he said.

Wood's request to have the media banned from all further proceedings was

As was his request to have the death penalty removed, citing it was against his
constitutional rights.

Wood's mental state during the crime was also brought up. He refused to
cooperate with doctors hired by the prosecution to evaluate him. His attorney
told the court that Wood invoked his 5th amendment rights. If Wood's attorneys
argue a diminished mental capacity as a defense for the crime, the judge said
he would have to be examined by doctors on both sides for any evidence to be
deemed fair and admissible.

Wood's murder trial is scheduled to move forward next month.

(source: KSPR news)


Opening statements begin in trial of Moore beheading suspect

Officials say 12 jurors and 3 alternates have been seated in the trial of
beheading suspect Alton Nolen.

Nolen stands accused of beheading a former coworker and stabbing another in
September 2014. Authorities say Nolen stabbed 54-year-old Colleen Hufford
multiple times and beheaded her inside the Vaughan Foods distribution center on
September 25, 2014.

After attacking Hufford, Nolen allegedly stabbed 43-year-old Traci Johnson
numerous times before he was shot by Mark Vaughan, the former CEO of the
company and a reserve sheriff's deputy.

Hufford died from her injuries, but Johnson survived.

In court Thursday, Nolen sat in court surrounded by 2 sheriff's deputies. His
eyes were shut, and his ears were covered.

During opening statements, Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn
argued Nolen "brutally" murdered Hufford after he went home to grab a knife
after an apparent altercation at Vaughn Foods that day.

According to Mashburn, who went into graphic detail, it was well know that
security guards left at 4 p.m. each day.

The defense argues that it is clear that Nolen killed Hufford, but says Nolen
is mentally ill and did not understand what he was doing was wrong.

Before being selected, the jurors were questioned on their educational
background and family history of mental illnesses.

They were also asked if they would be able to stay impartial to Nolen's
behavior in court and whether they had a chance to review all 3 possible
sentencing options should Nolen be found guilty, which includes the death

(source: KFOR news)

NEVADA----impending volunteer execution

Judge Allows Death Row Inmate To Review Execution Manual

As the state prepares to execute a death penalty sentence for the 1st time in
over a decade, the condemned inmate and his lawyers will be able to review the
state's execution manual according to a recent court order.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports Scott Raymond Dozier is scheduled to be
put to death November 14 for 2 murder convictions, and Thursday District Judge
Jennifer Togliatti ruled the manual released to them - but not to the public.

Some controversy has come over the state's untried method of execution, which
consists of the drugs diazepam, fentanyl, and a muscle relaxant.

Federal public defenders representing Dozier want the method to be reviewed by
a medical expert.

(source: KNPR news)


Laci Peterson Murder: Was Evidence Lost That Points to Scott's Innocence?

When Laci Peterson and her unborn son, Conner, were murdered in 2003, the story
quickly became international news, with newspapers and magazines running
pictures of a smiling and pregnant Laci.

Authorities quickly zeroed in on Laci's husband, Scott Peterson. He was
arrested days later and was convicted the following year, after which he was
sentenced to the death penalty.

But the latest episode he ongoing A&E docuseries, The Murder of Laci Peterson,
takes a close look at the timeline prosecutors used to convict Peterson.

The episode spotlights several pages of evidence that were allegedly
inadvertently separated from the rest of the documents presented during
discovery, including handwritten notes from the Peterson's mail carrier,
Russell Graybill. (The show alleges that several pages did not scan correctly,
so the evidence was presented to the defense team separately.)

In Graybill's notes, he claims the family dog, McKenzie, did not bark at him
when he delivered their mail between 10:35 and 10:50 a.m. The account of
Graybill, a defense witness, diverges from that of prosecution witness Karen
Servas regarding McKenzie's whereabouts, leading to different conclusions of
when Laci was killed.

Servas testified that she found McKenzie wandering around the neighborhood at
around 10:18 a.m. on the day of her death and returned the dog to the
Peterson's fenced yard. The prosecution says that this indicates that Laci was
killed before 10:18 a.m.

But the defense now contends that Laci walked McKenzie after Servas returned
the dog to the yard, indicating that she was alive between 10:35 and 10:50
a.m., while the mail carrier was on their street. Defense attorneys say that
Scott Peterson was logged in to his work computer during this time, meaning
that he could not have killed her.

Although the handwritten notes were not presented at trial, Graybill testified
in Peterson's 2004 trial and his testimony did not sway jurors who convicted
him of 1st-degree murder - a decision that Peterson says "staggered" him.
Members of Peterson's defense team who appear on the show theorize that
Graybill's notes could help overturn the verdict.

Peterson, now 44, sits on death row in San Quentin State Prison. His attorneys
have requested a new trial.

(source: people.com)


While blacks executed, whites more likely to walk free in killings of black
men----As long as society holds stereotypes among core values, implicit biases
will remain at every level of the justice system

A recent headline in The Washington Post said it all: "A death penalty landmark
for Florida: Executing a white man for killing a black man."

Since the 1970s, when the death penalty was reinstated, there have been 92
executions in Florida. Of those, nearly 20 were black men executed for killing
a white victim. But until Aug. 24, the state had never, in modern history,
employed the death penalty in the other direction - executing a non-Latino
white male for killing a black victim.

The high-profile cases that have involved the death of blacks nationwide are
all too familiar. And so are the names of the non-convicted: George Zimmerman,
Betty Shelby, Darren Wilson.

These are just a few of the people who have walked free after killing an
innocent black person. While family members were forced to mourn the loss of
their loved one, these killers faced no consequences for their actions. The
killers were from different walks of life, but with 1 thing in common: They all
used snap judgment based on preconceived notions to kill a black man.

A recent report by the Marshall Project in collaboration with The Upshot,
provides hard evidence of what many have already suspected: Killings of black
men by whites are far more likely to be ruled "justifiable." This is a creative
way for the system to say, "Yes, you killed someone, but we're going to allow
you to continue living your life even though an innocent black man is dead."

Crimes are deemed justifiable when the person attacking has reason to believe
they are in danger or are witnessing a crime. This label of "justifiable
homicide," which can be categorized as "felon killed by private citizen" or
"felon killed by police officer," already presumes something about the
deceased, that they were committing a felonious act.

From the beginning of this country's history, we've seen the system slap an
all-too-familiar criminal label on a black man, without giving that man a fair
trial or the opportunity to defend himself.

This racial disparity persists despite countless variables, including age and
location. Regardless of the circumstances, white people were deemed "justified"
in their actions due to a fatal flaw in our society that holds stereotypes as a
core value. This implicit bias exists at all levels of the justice system, from
killer to prosecutor to jury. Many of these individuals would vehemently argue,
and very probably believe, they harbor no racial bias. But the facts show

To claim self-defense, a person does not need to actually be in danger, they
must only believe they are. And implicit biases - those deep-seated racist
stereotypes that affect our choices and decisions - have a direct influence on
whether someone believes they are in danger.

A study published by the American Psychological Association that included
photos of black and white football players showed that participants judged
blacks as larger, stronger and, in some cases, more harmful than whites of the
same size. In many people's minds, "black" equates to "attack." The belief in
misguided stereotypes is enough to trigger a sense of fear, a feeling so strong
that people grant themselves permission to end someone else's life.

This term "justifiable" boils down to one fundamentally flawed central idea:
that black lives do not matter as much as white lives. In general, the number
of deaths deemed justifiable is small. A mere 2% of deaths are justified when
one person kills another. A white person who kills a black man, however, is
more than 8 times as likely to be considered justified, and to receive no more
than a slap on the wrist.

These stereotypes and preconceptions permeate every part of the American
justice system. A killer has several opportunities to establish self-defense. A
prosecutor can drop charges, a grand jury can choose not to indict, a jury can
declare the killer not guilty. Each of these stages is influenced by the racial
biases of those in power. But the victim, the killed black man, has no chance,
at any stage of justice, to speak for himself.

Though the justice system should work diligently to eliminate biases, many
self-proclaimed non-racists slip through the cracks, still clutching their
subconscious predisposition about black people.

It is not news that our society and our justice system are racially skewed.
Though it may not always be an outright proclamation of hate, actions speak
louder than words. Our current justice system operates with thinly veiled
micro-aggressions that let white people walk away scot-free with the blood of
black men on their hands.

With the Marshall Project study, we now have cold, hard facts to put pressure
on America to make a change.

Isn't it about time?

(source: Op-Ed; Attorney Benjamin Crump is a civil rights advocate who has
represented the family of Trayvon Martin----USA Today)
A service courtesy of Washburn University School of Law www.washburnlaw.edu

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