Christa Pike (Female Death Row Inmate)

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Mugshot photo of Christa Pike

Christa Gail Pike was the youngest female ever to be sentenced to death in the United States. Born March 10, 1976 she was 18 years old at the time she committed murder and 20 when she was sentenced to die by lethal injection.

Pike lived a troubled life growing up. She allegedly endured sexual abuse and was doing drugs with her mother before she had even hit her teen years. She had behavior issues including bipolar and dropped out of high school. In 1994 she joined the Job Corps in Knoxville, Tennessee, a government program aimed at helping troubled youth by offering vocational training and career skills. There, Pike met and fell for a young man named Tadaryl Shipp, one year her junior. Together they “dabbled” in the occult and devil worship.

Pike became jealous of fellow Job Corp student Colleen Slemmer, then 19. She believed Slemmer was trying to “steal” her boyfriend from her although friends of Slemmer deny the accusations, Pike was set on a vendetta and started harassing Slemmer. One day she had snuck into her dorm room and watched the victim sleep. It got so bad that days before the murder Slemmer had called her mother telling her she wanted to come home but her mother told her she couldn’t due to signing a 2-year contract.

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Photo of Victim Colleen Slemmer

Pike, Shipp and a friend named Shadolla Peterson, 18, came up with a plan to lure Slemmer to an isolated, abandoned steam plant close by on the University of Tennessee Campus. They choose the wooded area due to it being isolated.

On January 12, 1995, Pike, Shipp, Peterson, and Slemmer signed out of the dormitory and proceeded to the woods where Slemmer was told they wanted to make peace by offering her some marijuana. Upon arrival at the secluded location Slemmer started to become nervous and asked Pike if they were really planning on smoking some weed. Pike then turned on Slemmer and started to yell at her and attacked her. For the next 30 – 40 minutes she was taunted, beaten, and slashed, and a pentagram was carved in her chest with a box cutter. A meat cleaver was also used in the attack. Sometime during the torture Pike had said “The bitch wont die” followed by “I want to see her brains flow” and it was then that she lifted a large chunk of asphalt paving over Slemmer’s head and proceeded to smash her skull until brain matter started flowing out of her head. Pike kept a piece of her victim’s skull and began to show it off around the school and within 36 hours the three were arrested.

Below are crime scene photos of Colleen Slemmer

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Smaller full body shot of Slemmer’s brutalized corpse

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The Murder of Crystal Faye Todd, Teenager Brutally Murdered By Friend She Trusted

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Crystal Faye Todd (January 4, 1974 – November 17, 1991)

Conway, South Carolina, was experiencing a cool Saturday evening on November 16, 1991. Located in Horry County, only a dozen miles from Myrtle Beach, the small southern community had not long settled from the resort season’s large influx of tourists. Most of the stores, hotels and restaurants were back to doing regular business. Traffic on the streets had thinned and the town’s citizens were pleased to return to their normal routines.

Conway’s teenagers traditionally spent Saturday night downtown at its only mall. The teens all knew each other and attended the same high school. Coastal Mall was the place to be seen. They would cruise around, exchange small talk, make plans and just hang out.

Attractive 17-year-old Crystal Faye Todd was in her senior year at Conway High School. She was popular and well-liked among her classmates and a good student. Shoulder-length brown hair framed her bright blue eyes and ever-present smile. Although only five-feet-three inches tall, Crystal’s vivacious personality augmented her petite frame.

Early that evening, Crystal attended her grandmother’s birthday dinner party in the neighboring community of Toddsville. At 7 p.m. Crystal left the party and climbed into her new 1991 Celica. Her mother, Bonnie Faye Todd, had given her the car as an early graduation present. Crystal was happy to be driving again. Her license had been suspended for an accident she had while driving under the influence of alcohol. The car was her pride and joy and even had her name “C TODD” emblazoned on a personalized plate.

Crystal Todd was no different than her schoolmates. She looked forward to joining them at the mall, realizing there would not be many more opportunities for her to do so. Graduation was only several months away and she and many of her classmates would be moving on with their lives and careers.

When Crystal arrived at the mall, she hung out with friends. By 8 p.m. she was standing in the parking lot talking with a girlfriend. At 9 p.m. both girls left the mall in Crystal’s car and drove to a party that was being held at a friend’s home in the Punchbowl community. It was almost 9:30 by the time they arrived. At 11 p.m., Crystal and her girlfriend left the party. Her friend had an 11:15 curfew and had to get back to the mall where her car was parked. Crystal dropped her girlfriend off at her car in the parking lot. Crystal drove off, not seeming to be in a hurry. She and her mother had agreed upon a curfew time of midnight. Click here to continue reading the Crystal Faye Todd murder case by Crime Library

You can also watch Crystal Faye Todd: Conway, SC (Investigation Discovery full episode) on YouTube

Teen girl stabbed her best friend to death because she didn’t ‘like her anymore’

Article originally published by Mail Online on May 25, 2013

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16 year old Rachel Shoaf (left) along with a juvenile accomplice, stabbed her best friend 16 year old Skylar Neese (right) to death because she didn’t ‘like her anymore;’ then hid her body for months.

Emerging details of a teen’s murder confession, who claimed she acted out a preplanned stabbing last summer, have shaken a small West Virginia community.

On May 1, 2013 Rachel Shoaf, of Morgantown, pleaded guilty to the second-degree murder of Skylar Neese and she awaits sentencing in a juvenile detention center. Another unnamed girl is also facing charges.

Now, a newly released transcript of a secret plea hearing reveals that Shoaf said she and the second girl carried out a plan to kill Neese.

shoaf-neeseFriends: Rachel Shoaf (on the right in both pictures) has confessed to stabbing Skylar Neese (left) to death last summer

Court documents offer no insight into the motive for the crime. On May 1, Skylar’s father said the only reason he could think of was that they ‘didn’t like her any more.’

WDTV reported that Dave Neese stated: ‘They didn’t like her anymore. That’s the only response I got.

‘I want a reason, I want some kind of reason (for this to) happen. There is no reason I don’t care if you have the best reason in the world, but there’s no reason (for this to happen).’

Neese added of Rachel Shoaf: ‘I feel bad for your parents and I hope you rot in hell.’

The victim was last seen on surveillance video leaving her family’s apartment voluntarily and getting into a car on July 6, 2012.

She was initially considered a runaway, but her parents soon suspected she was abducted.

Police chased numerous leads with no luck. The break finally came when Shoaf admitted plotting with another girl to kill her – shocking even the investigators working the case.

Skylar Neese disappeared in July 2012 and was initially thought to be a runaway but her parents soon suspected she had been abducted

The two girls were charged with luring the straight-A student at University High School out of her family’s apartment in the middle of the night, stabbing her to death at an agreed-upon moment and hiding her body under branches in a Pennsylvania township about 30 miles away from her house, according to court documents.

The pair had spent time with Neese’s mother after the slaying and even helped with the search.

The cold calculation and brutality of the plot shocked a community already frustrated by the slow pace and secrecy surrounding the case.

shoafPictured; Rachel Shoaf, of Morgantown, pleaded guilty to the second-degree murder of Skylar Neese and she awaits sentencing in a juvenile detention center.

Investigators have said little since announcing the charges three weeks ago.

People sit in the chairs at John’s Barber Shop, gaze at Neese’s photo on a bulletin board and wonder: How could anyone so young plot to kill a classmate and friend?

‘They look as normal as any other kid that you could ever see,’ said barber BJ McClead. ‘Not kids you would think would have anything to do with anything like this.’

The other girl’s identity is, for now, shrouded by the confidentiality of juvenile court.

Though McClead says most people in town have figured out who it is, it’s unclear how long the three girls had been friends or just how close they were.

It’s also unclear whether prosecutors will try to have the second suspect charged as an adult, as Shoaf was.

‘People are confused. They’re like, “What is taking so long?”‘ said McClead, whose daughter Hayden had been friends with Neese since junior high.

‘It’s ridiculous. Who’s protecting these girls?’ said the barber, who still hands out red-and-yellow bracelets bearing the victim’s name.

‘Three families’ lives are now ruined because of this heinous crime that these girls committed.’

Monongalia County Prosecutor Marcia Ashdown has refused to return repeated calls seeking comment.

The mystery began last July when Neese climbed out of her bedroom window.

Surveillance video showed her getting into a car at the end of her street in a quiet residential neighborhood near West Virginia University.

With no sign of fear, no money and no contact lenses, she apparently expected to return.

When she didn’t, Dave and Mary Neese worried. Police initially suspected their daughter was a runaway, but they knew better. They walked up and down Crawford Street with Neese’s photo, then plastered fliers everywhere.

‘You couldn’t go 5 feet without seeing her,’ said 24-year-old Brittany Crouse, who moved in around the time of the disappearance. ‘Everybody really, really wanted her to come home.’

For months, police chased down tips to no avail. The transcript from Shoaf’s hearing shows the break came January 3, 2013 when she finally told investigators the truth – and where to find the body.

But it wasn’t until March that authorities confirmed it was Neese, and silence followed until the day of the plea hearing.

‘I think police who were involved in the front lines of that interview and that part of the investigation were stunned at Rachel Shoaf’s confession,’ Ashdown told Judge Russell Clawges that day.

‘She confessed to a plan and conspiracy with another juvenile to kill Skylar Neese. A plan carried out.’

The three girls drove to Wayne Township, Pa., got out of the car and the suspects pretended to socialize with Neese.

‘And, at a planned and agreed upon moment,’ Ashdown said, the girls ‘attacked and stabbed Skylar to death, and they left her there.’

They tried to bury Neese, she said, but covered her with branches when they couldn’t.

In the five-page court file on Shoaf, prosecutors say they plan to recommend a 20-year prison sentence. But she could get as many as 40 years under the law.

Shoaf’s family issued a public apology through a lawyer but has made no further statements.

‘There is no way to describe the pain that we, too, are feeling,’ they said.

‘We are truly sorry for the pain that she has caused the Neese family, and we know her actions are unforgivable and inexcusable.

‘Our daughter has admitted her involvement and she has accepted responsibility for her actions.

‘Our hearts are broken for your loss,’ they told the Neese family, ‘and we are still trying to come to terms with this event.’

Mary Neese has declined interview requests. But the family has tried to spare others their agony, persuading legislators to pass ‘Skylar’s Law’ earlier this year.

Under the law, Amber Alerts are no longer limited to kidnappings in West Virginia. Even when authorities suspect a child is a runaway, information is turned over to Amber Alert officials.

The transcript of Shoaf’s hearing shows other students also had suspicions, chattering on social media about all three girls.

A few overheard a conversation between the suspects about the plot but waited to report it.

The teenagers thought it was a joke, Ashdown told the judge, ‘but only later decided and believed it was all too true and all too prophetic.’

McClead marvels that two teenage girls could maintain their deception from July to January. ‘Some of the criminals that are locked up for life aren’t that hard.’

“Take me to my King”: Texas Death Row Inmate, Rickey Lynn Lewis, Executed Tuesday (Star-Telegram)

rickey-lewis-executedHUNTSVILLE, Texas (Star-Telegram) —

A Texas convict with a lengthy criminal history was executed Tuesday evening for fatally shooting a man and raping the slain man’s fiancee during a home break-in more than 22 years ago.

Rickey Lynn Lewis already had been in and out of prison five times in less than seven years when he was arrested three days after the killing of 45-year-old George Newman and attack on Newman’s fiancee in 1990 at their home in a rural area of Smith County, about 90 miles east of Dallas.

Lewis, 50, acknowledged the rape, but not the killing.

“If I hadn’t raped you, you wouldn’t have lived,” he told Newman’s fiancee, Connie Hilton, in the moments before the single lethal dose of pentobarbital was administered. “I didn’t kill Mr. Newman and I didn’t rob your house.

“I was just there. … I’m sorry for what you’ve gone through. It wasn’t me that harmed and stole all of your stuff,” he said to Hilton, who stood behind a glass window a few feet away. The Associated Press normally does not name rape victims, but Hilton, 63, agreed to be identified.

Lewis said the two people responsible for Newman’s killing are still alive. He didn’t identify them.

He told Hilton he watched her flee the house to get help. “When I saw you in the truck driving away, I could have killed you, but I didn’t,” he said. “I’m not a killer.”

Lewis thanked his friends who watched through a nearby window “for the love you gave me.”

“I thank the Lord for the man I am today. I have done all I can to better myself, to learn to read and write,” he said, appearing to choke back tears. “Take me to my king.”

As the drug began taking effect, he said he could feel it “burning my arm.”

“I feel it in my throat. I’m getting dizzy,” Lewis said before he started to snore and, seconds later, lost consciousness.

He was pronounced dead 14 minutes after the lethal dose began.

The U.S. Supreme Court last week refused to review Lewis’ case and the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles unanimously voted against a clemency request.

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Current mugshot photo of Lewis

No last-day appeals were filed by his attorneys to try to halt the execution, the second this year in Texas.

Earlier appeals focused on whether Lewis, a ninth-grade dropout who worked as a laborer, was mentally impaired and ineligible for the death penalty under Supreme Court rulings. The claims included a suggestion from Lewis’ attorneys that the court reconsider a denial it made in his case in 2005. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals refused that recommendation on Monday.

Hilton declined to speak with reporters after the execution. In a first-person account she wrote of the attack, she said she got out of bed the night of Sept. 17, 1990, after her barking dog woke her and saw a man in the hallway with a shotgun.

She screamed, and Newman responded and was shot in the face. A dog in the home was also killed.

Hilton tried hiding in a bathroom, was struck at least twice in the head and then assaulted for over an hour by Lewis while the other two people Lewis claims were there stole items from the house.

She testified she was ordered to “quit whimpering,” felt a gun barrel on her and was told someone would find her in the morning.

According to court documents, she was left in the kitchen with her hands and feet bound. As Lewis and his partners fled in her truck, she managed to free herself, crawled to Newman to find him dead and then climbed out a window to seek help.

Lewis was arrested three days later after he was seen with some of the items stolen from the house. DNA evidence linked him to the attack.

“There’s still a lot of fear in the back of my mind because the other two men never were caught,” Hilton told the AP last week. “You never know if there’s going to be retaliation.

“He’s never told anyone and as far as I’m aware of, nobody knows. On the other hand, if he were to tell who was with him, that would confirm his guilt, and he’s not going to do that.”

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in 1996 upheld Lewis’ conviction but reversed his death sentence, finding jurors had faulty instructions when considering his sentence. At a new punishment trial the following year, Lewis again was sentenced to die.

Lewis’ mother, who has since died, testified a 10-year-old Lewis shot his father to protect her. Testimony indicated Lewis’ father had abused him as a child.

Records showed Lewis first went to prison in 1983 for burglary, was paroled and returned to prison as a parole violator. He continued to be a repeat offender and parole violator. His arrest on capital murder charges for Newman’s slaying came six months after his most recent release.

Evidence showed two months before the Newman shooting he stole a truck and led police on a chase. Then four days before the attack, Lewis used a sawed-off shotgun during a store robbery in Tyler.

At least 11 other Texas inmates have executions scheduled through July, including three more this month.

Source of article: Star Telegram

Don’t Execute Me! Condemned Ohio Man Who Beat And Raped Baby To Death Before Putting Her Limp Body Next To Her Mother As She Slept (MailOnline Article)

steven-smith-pedofileIn a desperate bid to save his life, convicted Ohio baby killer Steven Smith has asserted that he never meant to murder his girlfriend’s six-month-old daughter – only to sexually assault her.

The girl, Autumn Carter, of Mansfield, Ohio, died in 1998 because Smith was too drunk to realize his sexual assault was killing the child, Smith’s attorneys planned to tell the Ohio Parole Board Tuesday. And Ohio law is clear, they say: a death sentence requires an intent to kill the victim.

‘The evidence suggests that Autumn’s death was a horrible accident,’ his attorneys, Joseph Wilhelm and Tyson Fleming, said in a written argument prepared for the board.

They continued: ‘Despite the shocking nature of this crime, Steve’s death sentence should be commuted because genuine doubts exist whether he even committed a capital offense.’
Smith, 46, was never charged with sexual assault, meaning the jury’s only choice was to convict or acquit him of aggravated murder, his attorneys say.

The Richland County prosecutor says Smith continues to hide behind alcohol as an excuse, and calls Smith’s actions ‘the purposeful murder of a helpless baby girl.’

Prosecutor James Mayer told the board in his own written statement that the girl’s injuries are consistent with a homicide that contradicts Smith’s claim he didn’t intend to kill the girl.

‘The horrific attack upon Autumn Carter showed much more than Smith’s stated purpose,’ Mayer said.
Mayer said Monday he didn’t know why Smith wasn’t charged with rape, but said it wasn’t part of a trial strategy.

The attack happened early in the morning of September 29, 1998, in the Hardwood Drive apartment of the girl’s mother, Kaysha Frye, a 19-year-old woman Smith, then 31 years old, had been dating about six months.

Frye was awakened after 3am by a naked Smith, who placed Autumn beside her in bed, according to records prepared for the parole board hearing.

Frye realized the girl wasn’t breathing, told Smith he’d killed her, then ran to a neighbor’s house for help.
Smith, known to consume as many as 12 beers a day, had had several beers earlier in the evening and had a blood-alcohol content of .123 – well above the legal limit – when he was tested almost eight hours later, at 11am, records show.
Smith had unsuccessfully tried to have sex with his girlfriend the evening before the attack, according to records.

The prosecutor argued that Smith’s assault of the girl was revenge for Smith’s failure to perform with Frye.
Smith’s attorneys dispute this, saying the girlfriend was not upset with Smith.

Prosecutors presented evidence at trial that Smith’s attack lasted as long as 30 minutes, during which time Smith beat the girl to death.
Expert witnesses for Smith conclude he may have accidentally suffocated the girl within three to five minutes while he lay on top of her, according to Smith’s clemency petition.
Autopsy showed that little Autumn died of trauma and compression asphyxia. The child also suffered optical nerve damage consistent with being violently shaken.

Smith’s attorneys have an uphill battle in their argument because of the ‘moral repugnancy’ surrounding the claim of partial innocence, said Doug Berman, an Ohio State University law professor and death penalty expert. Click here for the rest of the article written and published by MailOnline.

Child Abuse Charges For Muslim Mother Who Burned Daughter After She Resisted Arranged Marriage

sahar-thabitNBC Miami News Article; Child Abuse Charges for Hollywood Mother Who Burned Teen Daughter Over Arranged Marriage -

A South Florida mother who used a knife to burn her teen daughter after the girl resisted her parents’ wishes to marry her cousin in an arranged marriage is facing child abuse charges, Hollywood Police said Tuesday.

Sahar Thabit, 35, was arrested Friday and is facing three counts of child abuse on her 17-year-old daughter, according to a Hollywood Police arrest affidavit.

According to the affidavit, the abuse began in early January when Thabit used a stove to heat up the metal on the knife and burn her daughter’s arm three times, twice on her left forearm and once on her upper right arm.

“I swear to God I didn’t see anything,” the victim’s grandfather, Ali Alomari, told NBC 6 outside the family’s home Tuesday.

The burns caused permanent disfigurement, the report noted.

A friend of the girl reported the abuse to a school administrator, who later called police, the affidavit said.

According to the friend, the teen said her parents became upset because she didn’t want to marry her cousin, but wanted to marry a boy in Yemen she had met on the Internet, the affidavit said.

The daughter later told police that she had been talking to the boy in Yemen through the Internet, even though it’s not allowed in the family’s religion.

The girl’s friend also said the parents verbally and mentally abused their daughter calling her a whore and slut, the affidavit said. The friend also said the girl had attempted suicide over the incident, the affidavit said.

When the victim’s father was questioned by detectives, he claimed she had been burned by a stove until it was pointed out that the burns were in three different areas, the affidavit said. The father then asked for an attorney, the affidavit said.

The girl’s grandfather gave the same explanation Tuesday, saying, “She burned herself in the stove.”

After interviewing witnesses and the victim, police determined Thabit had placed the knife on her daughter’s arms, the affidavit said.

Detectives weren’t able to interview Thabit because she only speaks Arabic, the affidavit said. She was arrested and later released on bond, and it’s unknown whether she has an attorney.

The girl’s father told NBC 6 over the phone that the family is going through difficult times with the allegations and said he had no comment.

Lenore Walker, a psychology professor at Nova Southeastern University, said the alleged abuse in the case is similar to an honor killing.

”The rationale is that you’re shaming your family by getting involved with a boy or a man who is unacceptable for whatever reason. In this particular case, it’s because she was promised to another man and so she talked on the Internet, not even face to face,” Walker said.

Source: NBC Miami

Teen Stomped Physically Disabled Prostitute To Death in 2008 For Being Called A “Wet Back”

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Mugshot photo of Helen Coulter prior to her Dec 2008 stomping death.

Helen Coulter was a 39-year-old physically disabled female with a troubling past. A street prostitute, she had been to jail on more than one occasion, mainly due to drugs and theft. She was released from a Phoenix woman’s prison in December 2008 after doing time for forgery, identity theft and drug convictions and it didn’t take her long to get back into the swing of things including prostitution.

Many in the city would see the less than appealing woman dressed down, walking with her cane. She received very little respect due to her appearance and background. All one had to do was look at her and they would instantly assume she was a drug abusing hooker.

In the early morning hours of December 13, 2008 as Coulter was walking somewhere between Broadway and 22nd Street in Phoenix, AZ, she came across 16-year-old Jose Preciliano Quintero, a documented gang member since the age 14. Quintero was walking with a group of teenagers including his younger brother not to far from his house. He had just split from his girlfriend and was already on edge and when he spotted Coulter he started taunting her, sarcastically requesting sex and asking her “how much” (for her services).

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Photo of Jose Quintero

Coulter responded by calling Quintero a “wet back” which is a racial slur meant to insult Hispanics.

The insult enraged Quintero who then snapped and punched Coulter, knocking the handicapped woman to the ground. He then dragged her to a nearby field and spent the next 40 minutes beating and stomping her to death. He focused mainly on her face and neck and by the time he was done there was little left on her face and she was non recognizable. He then sodomized her corpse with a stick and left her nude body lying in the field where it was discovered the following morning by a passerby.

A few days later authorities tracked Quintero at his high school and arrested him. He was wearing the same shoes he had used in the attack and Coulter’s blood was still on them. In fact, the bloody footprints on Coulter’s deformed face matched the dried up blood on the bottom of Quintero’s shoes. He definitely made it an easy case for police to solve.

Police brought Quintero back to the Station and interviewed him. He would soon confess, even employing sound effects like “boom” and “pow” when he reenacted the crime. He also told police that Coulter looked “all cracked out”.

His trail was held at the Maricopa County Courthouse and Quintero plead not guilty despite all the evidence against him. His defense lawyers even tried pointing the finger at his younger brother, accusing him of being the culprit. The brother told police that he had gone to the scene and retrieved Quintero’s camera, and that he had poked Coulter’s body with a palm frond. It was pointed out that the two brothers wore the same shoes, perhaps interchangeably. But police could not find sufficient evidence to charge the brother or another youth who was implicated by other witnesses interviewed by police.

The brother did not testify, instead invoking the Fifth Amendment against the possibility of incriminating himself.

The Jury didn’t by the possible cover up and on September 21, 2010 Quintero was found guilty of murder.

His sentencing trail was held in December 2010 to determine if Quintero, then 18, should get a chance of parole after 25 years. His attitude at the sentencing trail two years after his crime was that of amusement. Quintero smirked as the prosecutor described how he stomped Coulter to death, and kept smirking even after the prosecutor called it to the judges attention. Not smart on his part because one can almost predict that in 25 years, when he’s up for parole, his smirking will be brought up at the parole hearing, dimmering any chance of release in the future.

“Her face was destroyed,” said prosecutor Jeanine Sorrentino. “It didn’t look like a face (anymore).”

Helen C. Coulter’s mugshot photo was posted on http://www.mugshots.com/ and is still listed on there today. It also shows her crimes and released date as well as other information.